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Dhanin gets top gong from Forbes
Published: 25/11/2011 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News
Forbes Asia has named Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman of the Charoen Pokphand Group, as its Businessman of the Year in 2011 for transforming the agribusiness company and raising rural incomes.
Dhanin: ‘To get rich is glorious’
“To get rich is glorious. So is helping poor farmers,” Mr Dhanin says in a profile published by the magazine.
Mr Dhanin, 72, has been at the helm of the business since the age of 30. It started 90 years ago as a small seed-trading company in Bangkok and today is the world’s biggest producer of animal feed, the world’s biggest shrimp farmer and one of the world’s largest poultry producers.
Through the expansion of modern farming, along with retailing and telecommunications, CP has made Mr Dhanin the richest person in Thailand, with a fortune that Forbes Asia puts at US$7.4 billion.
The magazine said over the past five years Mr Dhanin had transformed CP “from a disjointed collection of local commodity businesses into a branded, high-margin, global food company complete with its own supply chains and distribution channels”.
It profits from every step in bringing food to consumers’ tables: with interests in hybrid seeds, livestock, animal nutrients, antibiotics and vaccines, poultry and pork, frozen cooked meals, and retailing.
It operates in 17 countries and exports to 40.
A strategy he describes as “from farm to fork” has helped double the group’s annual revenue to $30 billion in the past four years.
Shares in the group’s SET-listed flagship, CP Foods, today are worth 10 times their price compared with Nov, 2008.
CP is also the parent of the telecom, pay-TV and internet business True Corp, and CP All, the operator of the world’s third-largest chain of 7-Eleven stores.
However, CP’s reach in China, a market it entered in 1979 as the first foreign investor approved by Beijing, has been the most dramatic of its accomplishments.
“Now in the midst of spending $10 billion _ including government funds _ on building out food production in the world’s hungriest market, CP’s chief is changing Chinese lives and raising the bar for his own companies,” the magazine said.