You are currently working at Central Group. How did you get there? Did you start this job directly after GLOCAL?
My initial plan was to get a job with the ‘Destination Growth’ team at Agoda, where I did my internship during the GLOCAL summer break. However, at that point (mid-2020), being an online travel agent (OTA), Agoda’s business was significantly affected by the COVID pandemic, and they, unfortunately, froze all hiring. So instead I ended up joining Tesco Lotus Thailand, as a Customer Insight Manager. I stayed with Tesco for around a year, when I was contacted for a far more interesting and challenging opportunity at Central Digital, so here I am!
What exactly are you doing at your current job?
I’m a part of the team that works on the digital transformation for a leading retailer group in Thailand – Central Group, which is our parent company. So basically, we develop online shopping platforms and deliver good online shopping experiences. Think of Amazon for the local Thai market, that’s our mission!
Here I work closely with my team to gather insights to define the understanding of customers and online shopping behavior, how we can improve their experiences and help cross-functional teams (UX/UI designer, Product team) on product improvements across all phases of the product life-cycle.
Additionally, as a manager, I am responsible for leading and growing my team members’ capabilities, guiding them on how to set up research/select the right methodologies, using data from multiple sources, and helping them create processes that increase efficiency and collaboration across teams.
Did you already know that you were interested in these fields during your GLOCAL studies?
Yes, I have always been interested in consumer behavior and insights, but GLOCAL helped connect the dots. Since I had a chance to explore different topics/disciplines during my studies, it certainly helped me see a broader view and how I could connect my interests in today’s fast-moving digital world.
How are the topics you are working with connected with GLOCAL?
The key thing is the principle of how we connect global and local perspectives to each other. My team and my organization are very diverse, we have colleagues from all around the world who bring different cultures, contexts, and expertise. Working for an e-commerce company and sitting among the product and tech team, I have to keep my eyes wide open to see what is out there on a global level, new technologies, new features, global consumer behaviors and trends, and connect it back to our key market – Thailand and South East Asia.
The questions we ask include: When is the right time to introduce a certain new feature in the market here? How can we best adopt this innovation? What do Thai consumers need when it comes to an online shopping platform? What kind of learnings can we take from other regional markets, and how could we adjust it to the market here?
What skills and experience are valued in candidates applying to work in market research and customer insights?
A good Market Research and Customer Insights candidate is someone who is logical, has good communication, is very observant and analytical, and really has to be open-minded. As a researcher, you cannot jump to conclusions, unless it is something already tested and validated.
There are multiple ways to solve a problem, different research methodologies have their own merits and weaknesses – we need to look into all possibilities and gather data to make sure that our insight is accurate and this is the very first step of the development.
Do you have any tips for current GLOCAL students for their job search after GLOCAL?
It is important to understand your key strengths and be able to identify what you want to do, and what you are really passionate about. Once you know that, put yourself in the environment that you want to be in. If you are interested in startups – join startup events; if you want to start your UX research journey – connect to the UX community. It will help you generate conversations that will be beneficial for the interview process, even when you don’t have any direct experience. In short, you need to know your goal and just go after it!