Amarit and his brother launched Thailand’s first and largest coworking space, HUBBA.
What’s your story?
My co-founder and brother Charle and I have worked together for 7 years since late 2011 to launch HUBBA, Thailand’s 1st and largest coworking space network and community. We also spun off a subsidiary, Techsauce in 2015. Techsauce (https://www.techsauce.co/en) is based in Thailand and is Southeast Asia’s leading technology conference media and events company. It is the organizer of Techsauce Global Summit (https://summit.techsauce.co), Asia’s leading technology 2-day conference with over 10,000 attendees. Our conference is considered one of the premier Tech Summits in Asia.
What excites you most about your industry?
Coworking is the future of work, dominated by WeWork with a $20 billion valuation. However, in Thailand, coworking has penetrated less than 1% of all total office space supply whereas in Hong Kong or Singapore it is more like 5-6%. We believe that coworking one day could be as big as 40% of all office supply in a given city. That means that there is massive room for more than 1 player and we love to be a part of that story to transform the way we work in Asia and create one of Thailand’s first homegrown real estate tech unicorn.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand but I call Southeast Asia (and a bit of New Zealand) home. I love the optimism, the people, the food, the culture, the opportunities and the speed at which things are changing for the better. It’s a region full of great entrepreneurs that work incredibly hard to create something from nothing in their ecosystem and I’m proud to support them every step of the way.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Bangkok! It’s the perfect balance of excitement, liveability, convenience, safety, opportunity, affordability and density of creative talent. Not too expensive and small of a market like Singapore (which I love) but also not too difficult and challenging to start like in Indonesia (which I love as well). Bangkok is the right balance as a starting market to expand across Southeast Asia.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Gary Vee: Stop Complaining. No Regrets.
Who inspires you?
Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and anyone who dares to create a better future for humanity, one step at a time.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Happy wife, happy life. One of the biggest skills a founder needs to learn is how to manage one’s psychology. If you lose it, you won’t be able to accomplish anything. Especially after coming home from a difficult day at work, then having to fit the internal battles at home, which drain you down the most. So keep your wife happy, your family happy and make sure you take care of yourself!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I do not wish it was any other way. Every failure was a lesson that I needed to learn, and every setback and detour led to something much more rewarding in the end.
How do you unwind?
I travel a lot to meet interesting people, attend conferences and look at new coworking spaces. Being outside of my usual environment recharges me with more energy to dream bigger, feeds me new ideas and inspiration, and makes me excited to get back to start building again.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
My favorite place to travel to is any place with friendly people, a cool startup scene, a community-driven coworking space, lots of nature, a few nice theme parks and amazing food! For example Bali, Chiang Mai, Beirut and anywhere in Japan are some of the first places that come to mind 🙂
Everyone in business should read this book:
My favorite all time book to give as a gift is actually a book I was given as a gift by a friend, Yoseph Ayele who is the CEO at Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF). The book is Big World, Small Planet by Johan Rockstrom and Mattias Klum. In it, the authors vividly show how our actions are now threatening to trigger “tipping points” that could derail the earth off into a falling cliff without a turning back point. It’s a masterpiece of a non-fiction book: rock-solid science, amazing photography, and riveting storytelling to share the latest insights on the necessity, possibility, and opportunities presented by a new development paradigm—abundance within planetary boundaries.
As a Buddhist, I believe that we are very lucky and fortunate to be alive in this day and age of startups, coworking spaces and accelerating innovations but I want the world to be around for my children to see as well. Protecting what we have left and leaving the world in a slightly better place than when we inherited it from our parents.Living within the Earth’s limits and using innovation to fix some of the wrongs is the most important action we should take within our lifetime.
Shameless plug for your business:
Born as Thailand’s first co-working space, HUBBA (www.hubbathailand.com) grew to become an entrepreneur growth platform serving end to end from early-stage startups to large conglomerates and MNCs. Armed with HUBBA CONNECT, our online community platform (http://connect.hubbathailand.com) and Techsauce (www.techsauce.co/en), our business runs on a digital platform supported by media and one of Southeast Asia best-organized tech conference, Techsauce Global Summit (http://summit.techsauce.co). I love for everyone who travels to Asia and would like to get connected to the startup scene here to sign up and be part of our community!
How can people connect with you?
Just find me on HUBBA Connect, our online community platform (http://connect.hubbathailand.com) 🙂
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.