WINDOW on Phuket Magazine

People Profile

 
July 2010

Dr. Jirachai Amornpairoj

This month we talk to a doctor who is a successful hotelier. Yes, that’s right! Let’s see how this came about, and how it works.

Dr. Jirachai Amornpairoj

 

Please tell us briefly about your background. I’m originally from Yala – the most southern province of Thailand, where I graduated from medical school. My specialty was orthopedic surgery.

What brought you to Phuket? I came here in 1984 after my graduation. I discovered a beautiful island, and as a bonus my brother was already living here.

How does a doctor come to be in the hotel business? Well, the hotel was owned by my brother and he persuaded me to become a part of it. Taking care of clients is a bit like looking after patients, you know.

What is your role in the business? I’m the General Manager.

How many years have you been involved in the hotel industry? 17 years now.

What is the best part of being an international general manager? You make many international friends, and you get to travel as part of the job.

How do you handle stress? You have to have a positive mental attitude. I find I can relax by talking with friends I can trust.

What is your motto for running the job? Never, ever give up. Whilst there’s life, there’s hope.

Describe your style of leadership. It's all about compromise, generosity and encouragement.
I believe you have other roles in life. Yes, I’m an associate judge for the Juvenile and Family Court of Phuket, and President of the Patong Hotels Association. I also run my own businesses – a clinic and a restaurant.

How do you do these jobs simultaneously? It’s all a matter of time management and planning, and putting the right man (or woman, of course) in the right job. Personally, whatever role I’m playing I aim for excellence, above all.

Do you think you’re successful in your line of work? Medium to fair.

Who is the person who has most influenced you? My mother. She always pushed me to be a good boy, to do a good job and work hard.

Where do you stay? I live in Makham Bay. It’s such a great location with a beautiful ambience. It’s clean and safe; the neighbours are great and they share my lifestyle. Best of all, it has a good environment which is not too far from the sea, and we have mangrove forests all away from the tourist scene.

How is Phuket from your point of view? The island is an exhilarating place to be, but I’m afraid that the environment is suffering from too much development, which is badly planned and executed. If we destroy the natural beauty of Phuket, it will be a loss not only for the residents, but for the nation and the whole world.

How old are you? Now, I’m 51 years old.

Could you tell us about your family? Yes, I’m married with two daughters and two sons aged 18, 16, 14 and 12 years, respectively. The eldest is studying medicine at Prince Songkha University.

How do you divide your time between work and family? Personally, I like to enjoy the best of everything. I love to work. I couldn’t live without working. I’m busy almost all the time; what with my job in the hotel, the businesses and charity work. Sundays are devoted to my family. I do enjoy taking them to eat out in fine restaurants. I spend any leisure time, gardening or cooking.

How is you lifestyle? I think it’s pretty simple and easy-going.

When do you plan to retire? When I’m 70 years old.

Do you exercise at all? Of course. I’m a doctor; I know the importance of fitness.

How would you rate the quality of your life? Fair.

What’s your most satisfying achievement to date? I think being chosen as President of the Patong Hotels Association. It gives me the chance to work with others to steer development within an ethical and responsible paradigm. There’s no doubt that much of Phuket’s success and wealth has been built on the back of the hotel industry, but it has to take its share of the blame, for contributing to the environmental damage and associated social issues.

For more information contact:
The Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa
Tel: +66 (0)76 340666
Website: www.royalparadise.com

Southeast Asia Pilot