Catching up with Kong: Director of Quantitative Research in Thailand

This month, we catch up with Kongkeiat Karasuta, Quantitative Research Director at InsightAsia Thailand, to find out what the Thai team have been up to lately. 

He also shares some of the latest trends in Thailand and gives us an insight into the Thai market research industry.

Hi Kong! What is your role at InsightAsia Thailand?

Kongkeiat Karasuta

I am a Research Director, leading and focusing on the Quantitative side of research at InsightAsia Thailand. It’s my job to manage the team effectively and ensure we go above and beyond our clients’ needs and expectations.

To ensure the team deliver every task to a high standard without missing a detail, I encourage them to step into the clients' shoes and try to think like them. This is how we get the best results and happy customers!

My main goal is to simply make the customer happy through our work, while ensuring that all our team members enjoy their working life. But ultimately for InsightAsia, my major task since day one has been to grow the business and build our reputation for long term success.

What’s a typical working day in the life of Kong?

My day starts with one of the most important tools – my iPhone calendar! Thanks to technology, I can arrange meetings, set reminders and check my appointments, emails and messages really easily.

Luckily for me, I live really close to the office – less than a ten-minute drive! So I usually come into the office early if I don’t have any appointments on that day.

I believe in ‘working productivity’, not ‘working hours’. Our team are never forced to sit in front of their computers at the office all the time, but they know how to manage their productivity and get things done.

InsightAsia Thailand

In my case, I spend most days in meetings with clients to take care of many tasks, like introducing our service, getting their brief, discussing project details or presenting results. I usually spend the rest of my day working with the team.

Sometimes we hang out together for lunch or dinner too… yum!

How long have you been working at InsightAsia?

I’ve just stepped into the third year! Time flies by so fast.

We’ve been faced with a lot of challenges since then, resulting in a stronger and more united team here in Thailand. We still have some way to go though!

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I think the best part of our work is when we get to see our findings and recommendations making a real difference within a business. When our clients succeed, we succeed.

For that reason, I really enjoy talking with the client to learn all about their needs, expectations and working style. These are all crucial when it comes to delivering the best results in every project.

What has changed at InsightAsia Thailand since you started working at the company?

Many things! Before InsightAsia I worked in business to business research rather than FMCG or consumer studies.

At first, I had to learn new types of study, techniques and products which I wasn’t so familiar with. The quickest way to learn these was from my team who had worked in B2C research for longer than me.

At the same time, the way I have made a difference at InsightAsia Thailand is largely through transforming our working style. We now work as partners or consultants to every single client.

Tell us a bit about the InsightAsia Thailand team!

InsightAsia Thailand

“We are small enough to care, but big enough to trust!”

In my opinion, this is one of the best quotes on our website to express us as a business. We are not a huge team, but this means we are able to work very closely with our clients to deliver world-class research to them.

In our office, we stick together as friends and family, we respect each other’s roles and we work as professionals.

What kinds of Quantitative Research does your team carry out in Thailand?

Over the years, we’ve had the chance to work with small projects right through to huge projects in a wide range of industries.

Consequently, we are able to carry out not only specific research, but a wide variety of studies with many different clients. This success is something the InsightAsia Thailand team should be really proud of, and I give them 100% of the credit for their achievements.

What do you like about Quantitative Research? What makes it interesting to you?

An easy question for me! Although I have the marketing background, as a statistician I totally believe that everything has to begin with the logical.

In marketing, logic is always needed in order to create an effective plan, as well as the right price to meet the demand. Quantitative research is about extracting the story from the numbers in order to generate this logic.

What is it like in Thailand?

No matter how far you travel around the world, there is no place like Thailand.

You can find your favourite foods and fruits on the street, you’ll see temples, culture and history in every city and in the summertime, you can find calm beaches and relax by the ocean.

What are the people like there?

Ahh, how I can describe myself?! Well… I think Thai people can surprise to you.

InsightAsia Thailand

Most foreign visitors say that the Thai people are super friendly and smiley. For me, I think one obviously Thai characteristic is to be ‘Krangjai’. There isn’t an exact English translation for Krangjai, but it basically means ‘to consider the feelings of the people you deal with or work with’.

So, when you work with Thai people, we will not directly complain to others in public or in a meeting, as we are concerned about their feelings. Instead, we try to talk face-to-face, one-on-one with people to resolve any potential issues.

What are the key market trends to look out for in Thailand at the moment?

Like many emerging economies in this region, the growing population is boosting the Thai economy. Rapid urbanisation in Bangkok caused the population to increase by 50.4%, and consumer spending to around 13 million THB.

As for research, a big trend for us at InsightAsia has been the significant shift towards digital. That’s why we’re now able to offer clients a range of digital research tools and techniques.

What’s your favourite thing about living and working in Thailand?

Despite my experience of studying abroad, very bad traffic in Bangkok and the hot climate (during almost nine to 10 months of the year!), I was born here, and my family are here.

Additionally, all my work connections are here. The research industry in Thailand is not massive, so we are well-connected with clients, societies, associations and other companies. This is why I am passionate about working in Thailand!

What projects have you been managing across the region lately?

We’ve recently had a couple of client projects both globally and regionally – mostly product testing, branding studies and lots of Qualitative Research projects.

Do you face any challenges when carrying out research in Thailand?

Imagine it… there are more than 60 research companies in Thailand, and each company has a different reputation with customers in the market.

So, the real challenge for us at InsightAsia Thailand is to maintain our reputation and deliver top insights and value to clients, both today and in the future.

Thailand temple

What are business opportunities like in the country?

There’s plenty of room for online businesses, such as business platforms or services, to enter the market, innovate and grow in Thailand.

Thanks Kong! Is there anything you’d like to add before you go?

At InsightAsia Thailand, our main focus is to bring our local knowledge and understanding of the Thai market to our clients to help them grow, while maintaining our strong position in Thailand’s research industry.

Sawasdee and Kob kun krub,

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