Kessara Thanyalakpark, the woman behind Sena Development’s solar residential properties
Since she joined property developer Sena Development Plc 17 years ago, 2020 turned out to be one of the most memorable years for Kessara Thanyalakpark.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, her company still managed to achieve record revenue, record pre-sales and a high net profit. She was also promoted to managing director.
Last year was the best year for the company despite the virus crisis. The company’s strong performance was derived from the foundations she had spent five years previously laying down, initiatives she had worked hard to push before the pandemic struck.
“Frankly speaking, if I had not spent 100% of my full time working with the company five years ago, joint ventures such as the one with Japanese partner Hankyu Hanshin Properties and the new initiatives like the solar homes and Made From Her campaign would not have happened,” she said.
In 2004, while working as a full-time lecturer in banking and finance at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy, Ms Kessara needed to jump into her family business as her father, Theerawat, became seriously ill.
Despite working two jobs, she was behind getting Sena listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2009 after her father started a housing development business in 1993 under the Krungthep Keha Group Co, which was the former name.
In 2015, she installed solar rooftops on the company’s low-rise housing units to differentiate it from other developers in the market.
Sena Solar Energy Co was established in 2016 to install solar rooftops and solar farms.
The self-generating energy idea provided to housing units was inspired by the major floods in 2011, one of the biggest crises for developers.
Learning that many houses in the company’s projects were inundated with no electricity to use, she thought about a solar home.
“A solar home is not only a house with self-generating energy but it is also one that is concerned with the environment as solar power is clean energy that can be conserved,” she said.
“It can also help reduce the impacts of climate change,” Ms Kessara added.
After co-studying with Kasetsart University, the company developed housing designs with affordable pricing for target buyers.
Today all low-rise houses by Sena are solar homes which are now a standard product presented by the company.
The company has installed solar rooftops at over 400 units and at common areas of condo projects with a combined power of 1,000 kilowatts.
“During working from home and the spread of Covid-19, this became a must as solar homes can help reduce energy consumption,” she said. “Last year we were the first developer in the country to launch solar townhouses, with units priced from 2.49 million baht to help middle-income customers own a solar home.”
Besides solar homes, Ms Kessara initiated Made From Her campaign in 2018 with an idea to focus all the fine details of housing and life for women, with the main idea being that “better details bring greater comfort”.
“Buying a house needs a large sum of money,” she said.
“Every detail of living in the house is important. We want homebuyers to live happily in the long term in their chosen house which should meet their needs and the needs of those living with them,” Ms Kessara added.
She said the advantages of women are their attention, dedication and caring nature, all of which are important to life.
Nonetheless, whether they are a woman or a man, they will be served with true comfort, satisfaction and happiness when they decide to live at Sena’s projects.
“When women are pleased, men are happy. This is the key idea of our campaign,” she adds. “Attention to details will help us deliver the best for our customers.”
Features from the campaign include bathrooms with multi-functioning, featuring usage at the same time during rush hour, five-degree slopes on furniture backrests — the most ideal angle for sitting — and awnings on windows or door frames which can help residents sleep without disturbance.
“Being a woman entails being dedicated and caring. This is good for doing business,” she said about women leaders. “But a negative view is probably a question like ‘Are you for real?’ ”
Fortunately, Thailand is more open to women as leaders, said Ms Kessara, a mother of two daughters, aged 10 and five.
“My daughters are still young,” said Ms Kessara, who spends her weekends playing golf with her daughters.
“I usually suggest female role models to them in each career and tell them women can do everything — they can be politicians, doctors, in the police force and even entrepreneurs, like their mother. Though women are fewer in numbers, that doesn’t mean they cannot. What I tell them will hopefully inspire them to know that when it comes to a career — women have a choice.”