another publication by IMAGE asia

Kiranee Narabal

Kiranee Narabal’s svelte figure and flawless skin reflect a supercharged and healthy lifestyle which revolves around no less than eight diverse and demanding personal projects.

At 40 years old, and from a privileged Peranakan background, she would pass for 30 but even more astounding is that her metabolic age – an accurate gauge of physical wellbeing – is a staggeringly low 15 years.

She attributes much of this fitness to one of her less public passions - long-distance running. Phuket, with its triathlons, marathons, fun runs and trail runs, is a hub for these activities. Never one to shirk a challenge, Kiranee decided to embrace this arduous sport. With commendable marathons and ultra-marathon runs, she then graduated to even greater distances - completing 66km south-to-north and 100km circuit of the island. She has also tackled sections of the Great Wall of China, New York City Marathon, Vietnam Mountain 70km and Madrid 'Corre por Madrid 10,000'.

As if that's not enough, Kiranee is an enthusiast of 'trail running', where participants run and hike, usually off road, through natural terrain. Support comes from Kiranee's husband who, as a 'sky runner' confronts a different kind of challenge - in rarified Pyrenean airs and elsewhere. Running gives her, she says, an opportunity for meditation. It also means she can pass on her knowledge to other athletes via a few blogs aimed at the running community in Thailand.

That desire to help and communicate is central to Kiranee's compassionate philosophy. Education is a longstanding and abiding passion. It's in her blood. She is the third generation of her family to own and head Thalang Wittaya Kindergarten and Primary School, a local private establishment which has now split into two separate entities. Very successfully. The kindergarten section, her cherished 'baby', has 300 pupils the elementary school 500. With her passion to contribute to her hometown, she aims to develop the schools to become part of the community and integrate knowledge of the 'Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of King Rama IX' into all curriculum and learning activities. She is always concerned about selecting properly qualified and dedicated staff to develop healthy and happy children in the local community.

For all her preoccupation with excellence, the school fees are extremely competitive. The profit motive is not all-consuming 'profit' and 'competition' are not dominant words in Kiranee's vocabulary - she's much more concerned about co-operating and interacting with other schools in Phuket and to share ideas and experiences. In short to improve the learning experience of children.

I was amazed to discover that she also plays a role in the Young Business and Professional Association of Thailand - Phuket Chapter to organise a three-year 'Take Less Give More Camp' project for 100 inter-high school students in Phuket. One of the highlight activities during 2016 was the beach cleanups, where children not only learn through practical experience about the spoiling of our environment, and but then create artwork from the objets trouv?s - cigarette lighters for example - that they have collected.

After their small exhibitions at the end of the project, then their pieces of arts were given away asa souvenirs to other public schools in the community to create more social awareness about caring for the environment.

Kiranee's major ongoing projects reflect her extraordinary catholicity of interests and social conscience. A devotee of the late King's 'Sufficiency Economy' and some Royal Projects, she is, for example, a consultant to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, involved in promoting Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animals A ct B.E.2557 (2014). Her passion for animal welfare is reflected in her involvement with the Soi Dog Organisation as a Vice President. She's also Chairman of the Private Education Association of Phuket - which means regular meetings with owners of the island's other private educational institutions in order to improve standards and services.

She's also a head committee member of the Young Business and Professional Women's Associations of Thailand - Phuket Chapter. As if that's not enough for our supercharged heroine, Kiranee is a part-time lecturer at both the Prince of Songkla University and Phuket Rajabhat University, where she can pass on her extensive knowledge of promotional and business practice, an expertise honed during her past career of more than 10 years in hi-tech manufacturing and automotive industry background, plus intercultural experience working in global corporates in both USA and Asia. Kiranee now has come back and settled herself in her hometown - Phuket, for already eight years and giving back to the community has become a strong obsession.

But perhaps Kiranee's best known contribution to Phuket society resides in her vaunted role both as public speaker and MC of many prestigious events nationwide. Everyone knows her as Khun Joiy. Not only is she the founder of Unique Organization Development & Consulting Co., Ltd., which specialises in organisational action research and human capital development to hi-tech industry and manufacturing clients, mostly in Eastern Seaboard towns of Chonburi and Rayong, she is herself a regular performer, an expert at forging links with her adoring audience.

She remembers with affection such gatherings as 12,000 runners and audience at The National Stadium in Bangkok for the Thailand 10K Championship 2017, the Bangkok Triathlon 2016 and The International Gastronomy Symposium 2017, with candidates from all over the world. She is as also a news anchor for National Broadcasting Service of Thailand (NBT) Channel 11.

Kiranee's enthusiasm, social conscience and sheer zest for living is extraordinary. The island is indeed fortunate to have her on board. Little wonder, then, that in 2015 she was voted one of Phuket's 'seven most inspirational people and was recently recognised at national level by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security as one of the 20 most inspiring people under the campaign: "Inspired Women, Inspiring Others" in August 2016.