Ever wonder exactly who owns the hundreds of buses at gigantic Bangkok bus stations like Morchit?
Probably Suchinda, Suchinda Cherdchai, the bus tycoon who pulled off a PR stunt recently that made her famous. Dressed up in an old Chinese opera costume, she met with Prime Minister Surayud and managed to win a 30 satang per kilometre fare increase to make up for diesel price hikes. (See photo on right) Her early life:
Mrs Suchinda, 71, is better known as Jeh Kiaw, and she owns the coach assembly company Cherdchai Industrial Factory and the passenger bus company Cherdchai Tour in Nakhon Ratchasima...
She was born into a poor Chinese family in Nakhon Ratchasima, but now runs businesses worth a billion baht.
She was brought up according to family tradition, which meant a daughter did not need a high level of education but had to work to help generate income for the household.
Consequently, she finished only some early grades of primary school.
Nearly 50 years ago she entered the passenger bus business with capital of 120 baht.
She started with a small bus route in her home province.
The business grew incredibly and became one of the largest coach assembly companies in Thailand, with production capacity of 800 buses a year and a workforce of more than 3,000.
Mrs Suchinda also has passenger bus concessions in the North, Northeast and East.
The secret to her success?
Besides perseverance, saving is another key factor behind her success. Demonstrating her frugality, Mrs Suchinda still wears the cheap trousers her friend gave her in 1985. Of course, the 22-year-old trousers have been repeatedly patched up, but Mrs Suchinda simply says they are still usable.Definitely, an inspiring story and a life to emulate.