Issue 69

The president of the world’s leading producer of melamine tableware explains the company’s success and plans for the future.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of 100% melamine tableware, Srithai Superware is continuing to develop and offer new styles of products to meet the latest global trends and consumer requirements in every corner of the globe.

According to the DITP, Thai exports of tableware and kitchenware amounted to US$779.69 million in 2016, about US$143.20 million of which was in plastics. In the first half of this year, the exports of plastic tableware and kitchenware reached US$65.47 million with overall tableware and kitchenware exports totalling US$357.96 million.

“Customer-oriented product development is what we do at Srithai Superware,” Sanan Angubolkul, the company’s chairman and president, says. “Our local distributors in particular markets give input about consumer requirements, and our research and development team works closely with them and our material suppliers to make it a reality. However, we have to ensure that new products will be competitive and marketable before starting the production process.”

With over 50 years of experience in this industry, the company manufactures melamine tableware under its own brand – Superware – as well as operating as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for several well-known brands in the West.

“In the past several years, people are more keen to buy natural products or products with a natural look and texture. So, we have developed our Sila collection, which is melamine tableware with a natural stone texture,” Angubolkul explains. “It is a breakthrough innovation for the melamine industry, and to this day no other company can replicate what we do.”

In 2012, the company launched lifestyle brand The Potters to attract younger consumers, with melamine tableware, printed fabric-made kitchenware and handbags.

“We created a key design concept for The Potters. All products are presented through the stories of characters under a design concept, which is influenced by 17th century classical Europe,” Angubolkul adds. “It is an innovation for us too as these are not ordinary melamine products, but lifestyle items with a brand’s unique story. This has helped us create a new consumer base.”

Srithai Superware now exports its products to over 100 countries worldwide. In addition to Thailand, it has factories in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, which mainly manufacture products for domestic markets. Further factories in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are in the pipeline. “The company is consistently exploring new business opportunities in our existing markets and new markets to mitigate the risk of any economic downturn,” Angubolkul says.

The DITP awarded Srithai Superware the Prime Minister’s Award for Best Exporter in 2016, in recognition of its outstanding success on global markets. The company has also been accredited with the Thailand Trust Mark (T Mark), which is the symbol of excellence and trusted quality in production, fair labour, and environmental and social responsibility.

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Words by Somhatai Mosika