In 2017 we entered the second year of our nineyear strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, and in our journey towards balance, expansion and diversification, we placed ‘Strengthening the Foundation’ at the center of our business.
Not only did Dusit invest heavily in human capital to enhance our capacity for growth, but we also performed much-needed renovations of our longest -running properties to maintain their competitive advantage. As such, a softened financial performance was inevitable. But this is simply a case of short-term loss for long-term gain.
Sustainability, of course, is all about considerate planning for the future. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, we recognize our vision for a globe-spanning company will not be realized overnight. But the steps we take early in our journey are nevertheless essential to reaching our goals, and every stride must be made with purpose. Clear direction from the very top is essential.
With this in mind, in 2017 we successfully enhanced the Board by appointing three new members whose rich experience in various industries will help to strengthen DTC’s capacity for achieving our strategic goals.
This included tapping into the financial and educational knowledge of Prof. Emeritus Dr. Khunying Suchada Kiranandana, who, among other roles, is an active board member of Kasikorn Bank and current Chairperson of the University Council, Chulalongkorn University; and the financial expertise of Mr. Pakhawat Kovithvathanaphong, whose current positions, amongst others, include Honorary Director, Government Pension Fund (Thailand), and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Trinity Watthana Public Company Limited. Both joined the Board as independent directors in March 2017.
The third member to join the Board as independent director, in June 2017, was Mr. Somprasong Boonyachai. With over 40 years of experience in telecoms and related technology, and a current director of leading companies such as BEC World and Thaicom, he now provides vital guidance in line with DTC’s efforts to enrich its guest and customer experience via costeffective, high-tech solutions.
Another important development in 2017 was our decision to postpone the closing date of our flagship hotel, Dusit Thani Bangkok (DTBK). The property was originally slated to close for redevelopment on 16 April 2018 as part of our upcoming mixed-use project, but we decided to move the date to 5 January 2019 to allow more time to add even greater value to the project in terms of design and innovation.
With the land lease for DTBK graciously extended by the Crown Property Bureau for almost 70 years, we are now in an ideal position to create a new city landmark that enhances existing infrastructure, celebrates Thai culture, creates new opportunities for local businesses, and elevates our company’s standing internationally. All of this, of course, will create enduring value for all of our stakeholders – and we are determined for it to flourish and prosper.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all our shareholders, customers, guests, business partners and all other stakeholders for your continued support of our business. The extended operations of Dusit Thani Bangkok, coupled with the opening of at least 10 new hotels in China, Philippines, and new destinations such as Bahrain, Bhutan, Singapore and Vietnam, provide a strong foundation for success in 2018. Through innovation, investment, and focus on long-term outcomes, we look forward to continuing building a bright financial future for us all.