The most difficult crisis is the one we have not prepared for, says one of the panel expert in crisis management.
For business there is the constant possibility of a crisis severely disrupting operations. There are an infinite number of possible disruptive events — whether a political crisis, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or simple equipment failure. Yet, numerous surveys highlight that businesses, while understanding that risks exist, fail to put effective plans in place to deal with crises that can negatively affect operations.
In light of the heightened awareness of the need for effective crisis management in Thailand-based companies caused by the current political crisis and its effect on various businesses, the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) and the Thai-European Business Association (TEBA), together with the support of Michelin, AON, LBG Le Boutilier Group, and SAP, held a special seminar titled “Crisis Management: Expect the Unexpected,” on 6th March at the Landmark Hotel in Bangkok for businesses, government officials, and academics.
The event built awareness regarding the various risks to business operations caused by disruptive crises, provided the latest knowledge on effective and alternative risk management solutions, as well as allowed participants to exchange knowledge, experience and best practices on how various businesses and organisations have managed their risks during critical events. Furthermore, the event provided a forum for encouraging greater communication between government agencies and the private sector.
“Risks to business operations can occur at any time and in any country around the world. Severe weather events recently with snow storms in the United States and flooding in the United Kingdom show that no country is immune from business disruptions. What is important is that businesses properly prepare for possible crises in advance so that the right decisions can be made to minimise disruption when inevitable crises do occur. The recent political crisis and street protests in Thailand have heightened the awareness of companies operating in Thailand that effective risk management plans need to be put in place,” explained Hugh Vanijprabha, Executive Director of the Thai-European Business Association (TEBA). “Our aim with this event is to provide businesses and government officials with the knowledge and skills to effectively plan for and minimise business risks,” he added. “With a well-prepared private and public sector, foreign investors will be more confident in doing business in Thailand.”
The event’s opening address was delivered by Dr. Watcharas Leelawatch, the Deputy Executive Director of the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD), in which the need for more effective crisis management by Thai companies was emphasised. Mr. Segsarn Trai-Ukos, Country Manager for Siam Michelin, provided attendees with valuable best practice of how a multinational company effectively manages the risks of business disruption. Following this, Mr. Daniel Bould, Principle Consultant for AON, educated the attendees with an overview of the business risks present in the wider Asian region, and Mr. Aaron Le Boutiller, Managing Director of LBG, focused on risk management for companies in Thailand.
The event ended with a panel discussion focusing on how well companies were preparing for potential crises. The panel discussion was moderated by the Thai-European Business Association’s (TEBA) Executive Director Hugh Vanijprabha, and the participants included Dr. Watcharas Leelawatch, Deputy Executive Director of the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD); Suresh Somasundaram Head of Industry Marketing – Public Services of SAP Asia Pacific Japan; Daniel Bould, Principle Consultant for AON; and Aaron Le Boutiller, Manging Director of LBG Securities.
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