One of the best products in the world when it comes to food is a seaweed snack by Taokaenoi – a manufacturer from Thailand. Customers now don’t need to visit Bangkok to be able to buy this product because it is so popular and easy to order online.
The 2014 “Snack Attack” report by Nielsen showed that 57% of consumers in Asia took snacks made from plants and vegetables while according to Forbes, Taokaenoi Food and Marketing only exported to 40 countries around the world and accounted for 70% market share of seaweed snack.
However, not all know about the person who is behind the Taokaenoi empire. He is Itthipad “Tob” Peeradechapan – the 36-year-old man who used to drop out of university. Notably, his life story was even adapted into a movie in 2011.
The life story of Itthipat “Tob” Peeradechapan is a “thriller”. It all started when his parents’ debt exceeded 40 million baht (~ 1.3m USD) in 2002. It was because his father’s business went bankrupt in 1997.
Being a gamer since very young, Peeradechapan had earned quite big money via playing video games and even garnered 10,000 USD from selling gaming products.
But in his first year at university, he decided to leave school to focus on making money. His first business was selling DVD players. It turned out to be unsuccessful and he moved to fried chestnuts, investing about 7,200 USD to run a store in a mall.
At the age of 19, Peeradechapan had opened 30 stores in different locations and hired 50 employees. Unfortunately, the mall manager asked him to move to a less crowded section of the mall because the smoke from frying became a nuisance. This made his revenue dip.
What happened next became a big turning point and made a “money-making machine” for Peeradechapan. He came up with an idea about seaweed when his girlfriend gave him a little fried seaweed she just bought from a street vendor near her school.
But things were not easy from the start. When he unveiled his fried seaweed named Taokaenoi, at 7-Eleven, the sales stalled for a while. Though the sales improved after that, a flood in 2011 brought bad luck to Peeradechapan again. The flood damaged his factory and the company had to work day and night in three months to restore its functionality.
Moving forward to the year 2018, Peeradechapan was put on the list of “Top 50 richest in Thailand” by Forbes with a net worth of 600 million USD. It is safe to say now that his family doesn’t have to worry about any financial problems anymore.
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