Chutima Rachaneekonkilas: Dominating The Fmcg Market With Constant Innovation & Research

Chutima Rachaneekonkilas: Dominating The Fmcg Market With Constant Innovation & Research

Chutima Rachaneekonkilas , Group CFO

Chutima Rachaneekonkilas

Group CFO

Digital disruption in the field of finance has become an inevitable reality. CFOs, who are at the forefront of mastering these changes, are in charge of fostering growth and protecting their companies from the precariousness of a turbulent business environment. Four years back, Chutima Rachaneekonkilas joined Hi-Tech Apparel, headquarters located in Thailand, as the Group CFO with a similar intention - navigating digital disruptions from multiple angles to drive the organization to deliver value and undergoing a radical transformation to keep up with the business evolution. Today, under her strong leadership, Hi-Tech Apparel has been successful in serving multiple famous international apparel brands across 150 countries and securing a sale of 300 million dollars annually.

Chutima’s previous experiences have helped her to lead and transform the family business into a large global player. She has been associated with KPMG for 13 years positioned as its Associate Director. She has also worked with several international companies as CFO. Throughout her career, she has been spearheading complex operations and reviewing, analyzing, and evaluating products, processes, systems, services, employees, and organizations at various levels.

In her current role, she is leveraging her strong financial knowledge and future-focused leadership approaches to translate the company’s growth into sustained profitability. Let’s hear it from her.

Where is Hi-Tech Apparel positioned in the market? Why do brands choose to partner with the company?

Hi-Tech Apparel is one of the leading garment manufacturing firms in South East Asia with over 14000 team members across its manufacturing facilities in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, producing over 60 million products each year. We strongly believe that technological innovation is the key to making our world a better place, and we apply this mindset not only to our core competence, i.e., manufacturing but also through digitalization across our entire business operation.

Our long-term approach to partnership coupled with exceptional manufacturing capabilities (with a focus on sustainability) and technologically advanced service enables globally reputed brands to trust us and our product's quality together with the delivered timeline. We are committed to producing with a responsibility towards the world, we deliver innovation to reduce environmental impact and improve the community where we live and work.

As the CFO, how do you determine the profitability of the investment of the company?

From day one, my priority has been to take the family business to the global market. And I have been able  to fulfill this vision by constantly seeking ways to translate long-term growth bets into sustainable profitability, capturing top-line opportunities while expanding margins, and restructuring their cost bases. It took a lot of efficient effort to outperform across business cycles, reinvesting cost savings to fuel innovation and growth within the company.

Two factors that determine the success of a business are continuous growth & sustainable profit; I keep both aspects in my mind while leading financial operations

Moreover, I have been instrumental in implementing technologies like ERP into our whole operations & processes and made them the backbone of the business while placing the company in a stronger position digitally. Even during the challenging COVID situations, Hi-Tech Apparel was brought differently and was successful in generating higher profit margins than in previous years.

What kind of leadership approach has helped you to deliver effective outcomes?

As the Group CFO, I often face numerous challenges. Deciding what red flags to tackle first is a critical component of my daily tasks. I try to bring financial insight and leadership to help support sales growth and then maximize profits through the increase of cash flow and minimize costs. I encourage effective delivery by adopting new platforms. I believe businesses become more streamlined, reach higher levels of success, and have upskilled team members to take on new roles if automated financial technology is available. Two factors that determine the success of a business are continuous growth and sustainable profit; I keep both aspects in my mind while leading financial operations within the organization and make sure that my team follows the same.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

When I first entered Hi-Tech Apparel, the company was undergoing a difficult phase and was not in competitive shape. My business strategies have helped the company gain back its recognition in the market. Now that we have gained stability, we need to work on how to manage our excess money and invest until we get more and higher benefit returns from our investment. We are a progressive international business and we are very excited to explore new continents and set up our business units in new countries where we have never been before. We have remained family owned and operated for over 30 years, and although we are now a large global player and as we aspire to secure higher positions, we aim to maintain our principles of respect, and tolerance, and contribute positively to society in our business.

What is your advice to upcoming leaders while hacking new opportunities in this role?

Be humble. Be optimistic and be open to learning while believing that there will always be opportunities to make things better tomorrow, even if the situations are challenging today. Be hopeful with a passion to drive for an improved tomorrow.

Chutima Rachaneekonkilas, Group CFO, Hi-Tech Apparel

Having a degree from one of the leading universities in Thailand, Chiang Mai University, and over two decades of extensive experience in strategizing and growing businesses in the SEA, Chutima is leading Hi-Tech Apparel as the Group CFO and crafting efforts to position the company as a leading manufacturing partner at the international forum.

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