Interview with Ms. Namporn Kietthanakorn Executive Director of I plus Q Company Limited
Ms. Namporn Kietthanakorn, Executive Director of IplusQ, which is where Innovation plus Quality begins in Thailand. She initially discovered her passion in Ethnobotany from the family business, TCFF – Thai-China Flavors and Fragrances – the magnificence of natural plants and herbs, modern science concept and also Naturopathy.
In the year 2000, Namporn set her business vision of becoming the leading spa product manufacturer (ODM) and created the botanical spa products renowned as “I plus Q | House of Aromatherapy”.
Moreover, Ms. Namporn has since participated in many external activities and has been selected to be a Vice President of Thai Spa Association. Her never-ending inspiration leads to the expansion into the domestic market, and the ASEAN market. Also I plus Q (Guangzhou) Cosmetics Company Limited, the new vehicle, was established in 2012 in China where she is aiming for global business growth for our total well-being.
SpaChina interviewed her to learn more about her business between Thailand and China, and also about the Thai Spa Association.
Thai herbs and aroma related products are very popular around the world. How do you process and produce your products?
At the House of Aromatherapy, ever since 2000, I plus Q was first started with the state of naturalistic passion. We believe in the power of natural holistic balance. When classical aromatherapy from the West meets traditional remedies from the East, it can draw on the essence of life. At the House, which is an artisan-like manufacturer, we have continuously brought an innovative approach, with careful selection of authentic materials imbued with our process safety-related standards for true beauty absolutely. Made in Thailand, our family, artisan and expertise, have created more than 300 spa and skin care products. Not only that, we have also crafted our signature products to serve respected patrons in the domestic market and all around the world. To ensure our promises – Innovation, Authentic, Customise and Quality – we have applied for and been granted GMP and ISO22716 to emphasize quality assurance for client’s safety, precision and long-lasting results ultimately.
The house has been crafted exclusive collections through “6 Steps – Success Formula”. We design and create the exclusive collection in service responsive to our client’s desires. To begin the brand journey, clients should identify their needs and co-create signature collection together with I plus Q family, artisan and expertise. Then the prototype formulas will be crafted around the finest ingredients. While clients can select designed packaging from trustworthy sources precisely, their chosen packaging are tested and proven by the necessary test service, including leakage test, stability test and compatibility test for efficacy and safety. Before finishing, our creative division provides the service of designing product label to convey your brand in the harmony of appealing packages. For perfect brand journey, the notifying number must be declared on your product label under laws and regulations of FDA Thailand that is the additional service for your total exclusive.
How do you feel about working as one of the key person for Thai Spa Association? How do you spare your time for your own business and association works?
Beyond individual success in business, I plus Q has emphasized on sustainable value. It is truly more worthy than tangible benefits. From philosophy to practice, we have attended to TSPA to meet the state of mutual growth- I plus Q, stakeholders, and society. With our specialty in bespoke approach, we can be a part to strengthen spa industry relating to the association objectives.
Please introduce Thai Spa Association to our readers.
The Thai Spa Association is a non-profit organization, established to promote and develop the spa industry in Thailand. Members enjoy a wide range of benefits, including educational newsletters and seminars, regular member meetings and events, and the opportunity to network with spa professionals from Thailand and other international spa organizations.
The association has been established since by Khun Napalai Areesorn with the vision to promote Thai Spa industry being the leader in the region and upgrade the standard of spa operations to be competitive in the international level.
The Association Objectives are as below:
- To promote and preserve the general welfare of the spa industry and the safety of its consumers, by establishing standards for staffing, training, spa set-up, spa operation, and product and equipment supply.
- To be the voice of the spa industry in Thailand, educating the public a bout the value and benefits of the spa experience.
- To support and assist members to overcome obstacles as well as mediate with outsiders for mutual benefit in the engagement of business in the categories contained in the objectives; monitoring and following up on the movements in both the domestic and foreign markets of the products and service in which its members are engaged, for the benefit of trade, finance, economy or security of the country; and to encourage participation of spas of every size and kind, and entities actively engaged in supplying goods or services to the spa industry.
- To conduct research concerning the engagement of businesses of the categories contained in the objectives, exchanging and disseminating technical knowledge as well as trading information concerning such enterprises.
- To promote the quality of the products and services of those engaged in the businesses who are its members to meet standards as well as conduct research and improve production and trading methods for better results.
- To cooperate with the government in the promotion of trade, industry, finance or any other business in the economic field within its objectives.
- To agree or provide guidelines for members to follow so as to enable the engagement of business in the categories contained in its objectives to operate in an orderly manner.
- To mediate disputes between members or between members and outsiders in the engagement of business.
What kind of feedback that you have received from your association members? Who are these members?
Our members are all stakeholders in spa industry from the spa supply chain including spa consultant, spa suppliers, spa operators, investors, spa academy and spa professionals who are interested in Thai spa business.
Thai government is very supportive for the wellness, spa and massage business in Thailand, could you tell us more according to this point?
Spa business is mainly governed by ministry of public health, which will audit all spa standards and issued the laws to govern the standard of all spa business in Thailand. However, there will be also the ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor which will support the spa industry in ensuring the spa professionals are properly trained. For any foreigners who are interested to invest in Thailand, you need to contact with Board of Investment, which will facilitate the investors, how to invest in Thailand.
Thailand has become the No. 1 destination for Chinese, how do you see this according to spa business?
Thailand is one of the destinations, which are popular for Chinese people because our Thai massage techniques are the massage with pressure points and using a lot of thumbs, and elbow, which can concentrate to the various muscles with the firm pressure. And we also combine the medical benefits of various Thai herbs in the treatment, which could not only provide the therapeutic benefits for the skin yet the natural aromatherapy. Moreover, the Thai hospitality is another strength points which always attract the Chinese to repeat visiting spa for genuine Thai touch.
Are there any Chinese investment in Thailand relate to spa or wellness destination business?
Currently, there is no Chinese investment in wellness destination in Thailand. However, there are some Chinese investment in massage shop or spa in some Thailand tourist destination. This would be mainly serving for the Chinese tourist market not the local Thai.
Are there any Thai spa related companies in China now? What are their advantages and risks?
In terms of spa products, I plus Q is the only Thai spa products factory registered in China since 2012, their main clients are all major hotel and day spa brands like Banyan Tree, Anantara and Green Spa, their business sales have been getting higher year by year. They are the OEM spa products suppliers which created for many famous brands. However, the risk in establishing factory in China is the rules and regulation which are quite strict and need to be updated frequently. Even the products ingredients are imported and formulated from Thailand, sometimes Chinese will misunderstand that the products are the local brand.
In terms of spa operators and management, there is one company which is our Thai spa association members and fully owned by Thai company, the spa name is arom:D spa. Now they have their spa operation in Hangzhou. Their expertise is not only the authentic Thai treatment experience, but they also are very strong in training and spa management as well. Their business is also getting improved continuously. However, the risk in operating spa in China, the local spa talents are quite challenging to recruit, and the online marketing platform is also totally different from Thailand where they need to learn many new things to attract Chinese customers.
How do you think about Thai and China spa market? What’s in common and what are the major differences for spa goers?
Both Thai and Chinese spa market, they preferred more in muscles releasing for the digital ages that suffered from office syndrome. For the major differences, Chinese market are looking for more instant result-oriented product. But in Thailand, they are interested more in natural products. In term of skin, Chinese spa goers will be more sensitive than Thai spa goers. Therefore, the selected product should be more suitable for sensitive skin for Chinese.
For the spa industry in Thailand and China, what kind of spa products or equipment are popular on trend now? why?
In Thailand, spa products with local herbs are heavily promoted by Thai government to support Thai farmers. These local herbs are more studied with scientific prove to improve the skin condition. Therefore, the spa products in Thailand will blend more with local Thai herbs. For China, the products would be more result-oriented with less time for application such as two in one products. In term of scent, the exotic aroma would be more popular related with the famous destination.
Do you think China is a potential market for spa business? Why?
China is still the big potential market for spa business. Chinese are more aware of the wellness same like the global trend like the rest of the world. Moreover, spa business will also grow together with tourist industry which are getting more booming in China as well.