Thailand’s B.Grimm has clear vision of the road ahead
The conglomerate has continued at full speed for 142 years with a focus on operating with kindness
142 years ago, B.Grimm founders Bernhard Grimm and Erwin Mueller set out on a path that would have a ripple effect on Thailand. In 1878, they opened the first European pharmacy in Thailand and later hired Adolf Link, a young German pharmacist, to manage the business. Thanks to Adolf Link’s visionary approach, bringing good health to many Thais all those years ago, B.Grimm is now one of the most respected companies in the country.
Currently led by third-generation chairman Dr Harald Link, B.Grimm continues to set its sights on the future while holding true to the company’s core belief of “doing business with compassion in harmony with nature”, based on its values of positivity, partnership, professionalism, pioneering spirit and hard work.
B.Grimm is one of the country’s largest industrial conglomerates. In the 1990s, it made a crucial decision to venture into the energy sector. The firm plans to increase its signed power purchase agreements to 7,200 megawatts by 2025, up from 3,680MW currently, with a budget of 180 billion baht allocated towards new project development and asset acquisition.
For example, B.Grimm Power is in talks to acquire gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 700MW in Thailand and Malaysia. The deals are expected to close early next year.
Another major capital expenditure is the 2020 construction of seven gas-fired power plants worth 40 billion baht. These seven small power producer plants, with a combined capacity of 980MW, are scheduled to begin operation in 2022-2023. They are primarily intended to serve as suppliers of electricity and steam for industry, which should help promote and attract industrial investment.
During his 42 years at B.Grimm, Dr Link remains actively involved and dedicated to ensuring that all B.Grimm companies, especially B.Grimm Power, achieve their annual and long-term goals.
According to Dr Link, B.Grimm Power endeavours to stay at the forefront of developments. The company is making substantial progress in the fields of energy transition and clean energy, namely:
Smart mini- and micro-grids;
Direct power purchase agreements with end users;
Entering into the natural gas and gas infrastructure systems business;
Analysing the economy of hydrogen production;
Working using ESG principles and obtaining the first commercial green bond in Thailand, as well as the first green project finance in CLMVT countries for a solar plant in Vietnam.
B.Grimm Power is active in Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Oman. It is confident the company will start work in Malaysia and Myanmar next year.
“Apart from energy, we are actively innovating in our industrial businesses in cooling, power equipment, transport and building materials,” said Dr Link. “We are building our next generation of businesses focused on digital transformation and innovation, for both our existing businesses and new ventures. These include systems and infrastructure for Internet of Things and data management, utilities services for smart cities, recycling and circular economy activities, data centers and energy conservation equipment. Energy efficient solutions are a focus across our businesses.”
An example of B.Grimm’s commitment to sustainable development is the 140 Wireless Road office building, which is under construction. This building is at the forefront of energy efficient solutions including the latest developments in building management systems from Chubb, energy efficient facades bringing over 50% electricity savings from MBM, as well as energy efficient and reliable cooling from Carrier.
“In our healthcare business, B.Grimm has long-standing joint ventures with Merck in pharmaceuticals and life science, Carl Zeiss for optical, industrial and medical equipment, and Getinge for the supplies for operating theatres and ICUs,” he said. “We are investing in medical services, pharmaceuticals and digital healthcare solutions. In December, we will start our first primary care clinic and next year our own medicinal products.”
In shipping, B.Grimm just launched its eighth bulk carrier made by the world leading bulk carrier ship builder Imabari in Japan. “These carriers are of the highest quality with the lowest fuel consumption, virtually guaranteeing continuous employment for the decades,” said Dr. Link.
When he’s not acting as the chairman for B.Grimm, Dr. Link is touted as one of Thailand’s foremost philanthropists. Keeping in line with his company’s compassionate philosophy, he and his family continue to dedicate a great deal of effort toward education, improving art, culture, sports and the environment.
Under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, Dr. Link is the Chairman of the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation. Together, they aim to make classical music accessible for all Thais. He is also the president of the Thailand Equestrian Federation. In 2019, for the first time ever in Asia, the FEI Asian Championships were held at Thai Polo and Equestrian Club. B.Grimm sponsors a team of riders who will proudly represent Thailand at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic games.
B.Grimm also has many environmental initiatives. Dr. Link oversees the “Save the Tiger” project and has had notable recent success in increasing the wild tiger population in Thailand. Wildlife conservation is critical in preventing future pandemics. In addition, B.Grimm is responsible for planting hundreds of thousands of trees in Thailand.
Dr. Link has a clear vision of the road ahead for B.Grimm. In the next eight years, he believes, the company will celebrate the earnings of 150 billion baht in the year of the company’s 150th anniversary.