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Interview with Mr. Phonphawit Ton-Od ~ Marketing Manager of Tiger Kingdom Phuket ~ Thailand

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INTERVIEWERS: ALIA FARAMAWI & MAHMOUD MANSI

EDITOR: MONA TIMOR SHEHATA

PHOTOGTAPHER: ALIA FARAMAWI

About Tiger Kingdom Phuket: A place that attracts tourism from around the world as it gives the chance to people to personally interact with Tigers. Tiger Kingdom Phuket is one of several branches among Thailand.

As copied from the official website of Tiger Kingdom (www.TigerKingdom.com) it’s clear they have a deeper vision behind playing with tigers and tourism, “Tiger Kingdom aims to increase the tiger population through captive breeding. These tigers, however, are not prepared to inhabit the wild and therefore, are faded to remain in captive from birth to death, which, given the current situation, it’s understood to be better than no tigers at all.

Since the tigers have been born in captive and fed a special diet of milk and chicken, they tend to be less aggressive than tigers in the wild. Captive tigers, therefore, can be visited by tourists, who pay a considerable amount of money to spend around 10-15 minutes with them.

The proceeds from tourism allows Tiger Kingdom to increase the tiger population through captive breeding, as well as improve the overall living conditions of the tigers through the acquisition of larger areas for them to roam around. Currently, the Tiger Kingdom has over 100 tigers in captive…

THE INTERVIEW

1-HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Who are the customers of Tiger Kingdom?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: Most of our customers are people who love animals especially tigers because here they can touch and feel the tigers and we welcome everyone.

2-HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Being the Marketing Manager of Tiger Kingdom – where people come to visit the tigers, play with them and take pictures – which contains a percentage of risk, how do you manage to approach the customers who are not adrenaline seekers, and convince them with your product?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: Usually people who come here already want to be close to tigers, which is our product but a few of them hesitate to go in when they get here. They ask a lot of questions then our Customer Relations department assures them how safe it is.  The hesitant customers start witnessing others who came before them and safely played with the tigers. They see the enjoyment on their faces then they finally decide to go in.

3-HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: What are the local and international marketing approaches that you use?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: We have several tourism magazines in Phuket that we already advertise in. On the other hand we have some local support from student activities and charities. However, we began with no advertisements at all. We relied on the word of mouth; people talking about us, it worked and we became known as a place to visit to see tigers. In addition to this, we created good connections and deals with the local tour companies.

4- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Who are the employees of Tiger Kingdom? What are the job titles that are present in such an organization?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: People who work here are hired for a job based on their required skills just like any other organization. We have many departments like a Managing, Accounting, Marketing, HR, Food and Beverage, Kitchen, Park, etc…

5- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Is motivation, and providing a bonus or a punishment part of the training of disciplined tigers? How do you provide that? Can these approaches be implemented on human beings too and affect their discipline as employees?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: We do a combination of bonus, motivation and punishment actions. In order to discipline our tigers we have to train them and we need to do that when they are very young. We start the training when they reach 2 months old. But before that we hand-raise the cubs so they can start bonding with us, and eventually they start seeing us as their own family. This way we both learn from each other. We learn to be together. Somehow we cannot let them be rough when they are with humans. If they do so, we need to tap on them to let them know the act is not accepted. On the other hand, if the cubs are sick or in pain for any reason the keeper takes good care of them, for example when they get scared of something unusual to them, we go and comfort them so that they remember us as family and friends; nothing they need to be afraid of. It is simply the method of every creature to get used to something that they know well and be afraid of things that they are not use to. However, not every human being can be disciplined very easily, because the human brain is complicated; full of thoughts, which makes it much more different. I would say human beings are clever pretenders (actors); some would do anything for something in return, but not everyone does.

6- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: In Tiger Kingdom, how do you recruit the tigers? Do you have some sort of personality or behavior test before accepting a certain tiger? What are these tests like?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: No, we do not recruit tigers. We breed our own tigers and train them ourselves. However, not all tigers interact well with humans; some of them after being trained, their behavior is still rough; when they play they do not trust anyone except their own keeper. These tigers are not used to being touched by customers but they still remain with their friends or siblings because young tigers like to be together unlike adults, they chose to live in solitude.

7- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Is it possible that a wild tiger can be tamed? How?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: Yes, if we have them when they are very young, but it is better not to get them from the wild. However, adult tigers are not possible to get close to even if they have been with humans all their lives, because the nature of adult tigers is living in solitude. When you are with them after a while if they reach the mating season, they will get so aggressive or very protective of their own territories or of a female, so it is not a good idea to deal with adult tigers neither wild-born or captive ones.

8- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: How do you ensure that there is no animal abuse in the park?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: In Thailand, it is hard to have a good job with a good salary so if they want a job they will do as they are told, otherwise they will get a punishment. As I said, human beings are clever pretenders; some would do anything for something in return, but not everyone does. We aim to hire employees who love animals and they take good care of them. Those will be the ones who get a bonus and those who abuse animals are not qualified to work as keepers and that is the way it should be. Also there is a written note in the park for our customers in case they witnessed any sort of animal abuse they should report right away.

9- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Your photographers are highly skilled. Phuket contains a wide variety of photographers in each place I personally visited. How did you hire your photographers? Where they already talented or did you add your own trainings too?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: We have hired one who already is a photographer and we do a test before employment. However, the process of taking pictures with tigers is another thing, it needs training. For example, in the first week, the junior photographer needs to go with a senior employee to perceive how he works then he takes a couple of pictures of the same customer. The junior photographer returns to the senior to show him his performance and receive a feedback. The supervisor tells him which pictures are good, which ones need improvement or need to be replaced. Most importantly we teach the photographer how to be safe when close to the tigers.

10- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Whenever you visit a touristic place in Phuket, the photographers take a picture of you and print it. You see the picture on your way out and then you decided whether you want to buy it or not. In Tiger Kingdom, you are using a totally different approach than the rest of the places. Can you please tell us more about this approach, and why you are using it instead?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: Because this is a waste of resources, effort and time. Eventually after you print the picture the customer might not buy it. It is better when the customers are the ones who decided to have it or not.

11- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: How do you hire and train the trainers of the tigers?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: We hire the ones who love animals or those who studied animal science and Zoology if possible. But to be a professional trainer we need time to train them. At least 2 months before we can let them go with a customer so that they can take care of themselves first.

12- HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: What is your criticism regarding the marketing field in Thailand, and what is your advice to Thai marketing specialists?

Phonphawit Ton-Od: I am very new in the marketing field, however I do believe that we as marketers should give customers the right way of what to expect through a different and creative approach. One company may have many services and products to provide its customers with, so we should first define the kind of customer we deal with. We need to know who our customers are; starting from a single person to big organizations. As a marketer, everyone except yourself are your customers.

But here in Tiger Kingdom the way we do things is more sophisticated because we offer a different product. Our product is a living one, it has a life that makes us need to ask for some cooperation from our customers; not just what they want but also how it should be implemented in order to make it safe for both tigers and humans.

HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine: Thank you so much Mr. Phonphawit for this amazing interview.

DSC_0064

HR Revolution Journalists: Alia Faramawi & Mahmoud Mansi / Copyrights: Tiger Kingdom Photographer

thumb_a3Hm_0sBGQmEyllULobCfcTYfpQy1S4lmqn9HP7MP6Q

Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/Tiger-Kingdom-44464992878/timeline

Articles

How did the International Certification from the HRCI change your career?

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Testimonials from Certified HR Professionals in the Middle East

Journalism: Menna Hamdy

Mostafa Gallal (PHRi, Egypt) – Recruitment Manager at Al Ezz Dekheila Steel

“The most important thing about the certification content is that it helps us to understand the HR science from a global perspective. In addition, to updating us about the new HR trends.

Most of us don’t practice at work all the HR functions, so it allows me to learn about all the HR functions.

Being certified gave me the opportunity to take a role in many projects, as well as participating in many events that added a real value for me.

My mindset started to think about top management decisions and how I can solve the regular issues that happens between top management and unions. I learnt that when proposing any new idea, I should take into consideration how to apply it in a way that fits my company culture

I would advise HR professionals when approaching their HRCI Certifications content study; to try to understand the practical way of each module, and to get acquainted with the HR Expressions and abbreviations as they are very important; they have to study them very well.”

Ezzddin Malek (SPHRi – PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at Misr Capital S.A.E

“I acquired my PHRi and SPHRi certifications in 2017 and it gave me an edge to make 2 steps up in my career from senior HR specialist in 2017 to Head of HR in a multinational company within just 2 years and I was chosen by HRCI to be an exam development panelist since 2018.”

Mina Adel (PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at IRAM JEWELRY

“Knowing the latest internationally applied methods of human resource management and being a certified practitioner from the premier human resources certification institute (HRCI) made me qualified to undertake larger tasks and assume advanced responsibilities in the field of human resources”

Mohannad Albashabsheh (SPHRi- PHRi, Jordan) – HR & Training Section Head in JBC

“Practicing HR Professionally is an outstanding responsibility. Being SPHRi certified facilitated for me the knowledge, skills, attitude and resulting power to be successful HR Professional”

Dana Hasan (PHRi, Jordan) – TA, LD Section Head

“I have got my first HRCI certification in 2014, then I got my recertification in 2017 as PHRi. Getting such certification helped me to grow in my HR career, stand as a distinguished HR professional in international and multinational companies. 

One of the main reasons that enabled me to work for big companies and be a business partner is having a professional certification.

I advise each professional: Invest in yourself, strengthen your experience with knowledge”

Mariham Magdy (PHRi, Egypt) – HR, Strategy and Management Consultant & Trainer

“As an HR Trainer & Consultant I believe that one of the most important benefits of the International Certification by the HRCI is how efficiently it builds the mind-set of the HR professionals acquainting them with the technical know-how for HR, spoken and standardized in an international language.

The HRCI exerts sound efforts to provide learners with valuable framework that can help them understand technically correct the processes of the different HR functions.

The HRCI Certification enabled me to understand the HR science from an international perspective, which gave me confidence in my work as an HR practitioner and Trainer.

The knowledge learnt throughout the certifications content designs for us a reliable road-map for the right steps to follow for decision making in HR.

I strongly recommend the certification for each professional aiming to progress his/her career in the HR field. Take a step today that you will thank yourself for it tomorrow”

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Magazine

Interview with Eureka (ICS Learn Student) Customer Service Agent – Qatar Airways

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Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

1. HR Revolution Middle East: Welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

What special recommendations would you share with CIPD students to encourage them to progress in their study?

ICS Learn Student:

Going through a period of change is very challenging and emotionally draining with the end outcome almost always unforeseeable. Everything seems to be unpredictable, but that is okay! Take some time to adapt to this new situation, accept it as positive reinforcement to yourself. Add value to yourself. Break through the situations in life. Continuing to learn will bring you academic and professional value to be the person whom you always want to be.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: How did the online set-up provided by ICS learn supported you to finish your CIPD Certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As a CIPD student, I am very glad that I choose ICS Learn as my platform. The online set-ups are very easy to go through and convenient to manage time. Especially as I am a full-time worker, it is very challenging to manage time for study or attend classes. However, ICS Learn supports you with recorded classes and fast responsive tutor support. That connection always made me feel that I was in a live classroom.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the CIPD has helped you to progress on your professional path and opened new doors for different career opportunities?

ICS Learn Student:

CIPD is an internationally recognised professional body. Most employer’s value and recognize the professional certification of CIPD. Being a CIPD Member gives professional values to my CV, especially in the field of Human Resources Management.

4- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your HR practice at your organization changed after acquiring the CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

My organization recognized me as an HR student as I am successfully achieving my professional qualifications with CIPD. I feel more confident as they look at me as someone whom they can rely on professionally at any given task.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What special support have you received from your Tutors at ICS Learn that evidently helped you to finalize your certification?

ICS Learn Student:

During my study period, the support that I received from all ICS Learn tutors is special. Personalized feedback with regards to any assessments helped to achieve pass grades. I highly appreciate that all my tutors are available to answer or clarify any inquires related to my assignments or theoretical doubts in the one-to-one online chat forum.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: The online administrative support is one of the most important things an online global learner need, how was it flexible to proceed with such important certification through the online platform of ICS Learn?

ICS Learn Student:

ICS Learn is one of the best and most recommended online learning providers. The online admin support is a click away as we all are connected in different time zones in the world. That is very important as an online global learner. They do not only support academically but also technically. As a path connecter to the CIPD body, ICS Learn have a very professional admin team.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your problem-solving techniques changed in dealing with HR challenges after finalizing your CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As an HR student, a CIPD qualification will enrich you with academic techniques. I have improved lots of skills that are helping me to handle challenges in a patient and professional manner. All the studies are practical scenarios rather than theoretical ones which allows me to improve as an individual and improve my behaviours as a people person.

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What would be your next academic degree in mind after the CIPD?

ICS Learn Student:

I would like to do a master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

9- HR Revolution Middle East: Do you believe HR/L&D professionals shall create communities of practice to encourage one another in finalizing their CIPD certifications and nurture the profession that way?

ICS Learn Student:

Yes, I do believe so. Being connected to a community that is driven by the same goals and targets is encouraging. It also helps to build confidence and practice some of the professional behaviours by supporting each other. Sharing each other’s knowledge and giving feedback and different viewpoints always achieves a better outcome.

10- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the needed competences for an HR professional to excel in his/her CIPD studies?

ICS Learn Student:

The field of HR is dynamic and our ability to process and understand it requires self-motivation. Growing in your job means being receptive to new ideas, wherever they may come from. HR professionals who never stop learning are well-positioned to translate well thought out industry trends and data into actionable insights. CIPD is the perfect gateway to our dream career. They support choosing the right course to up-skill your HR practice and stay motivated remotely.

THANK YOU

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تعاون بين شباب السودان ومصر لتنظيم النسخة الثامنة لتيدكس ودمدني بالسودان

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شباب من مصر والسودان يترجموا التعاون بين البلدين الشقيقين في المشاركة في تنظيم النسخة الثامنة لمؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني بالسودان.

يعتبر شهر مارس بكل عام بمدينة ودمدني السودانية شهر مختلف ومتميز وذلك لأنه على مدى 7 أعوام متتالية يشهد على تنظيم حدث لمؤتمر تيدكس العالمي، وجاءت النسخة الثامنة التي كانت بيوم 27 مارس 2021 نسخة متميزة ومنفردة بجمال أفكارها ومشاريعها وتنظيمها الذي تم الأشراف عليه من البلدين الشقيقين، وكانت المشاركات شاملة لكل المجالات التي تهدف لتنمية المجتمع والفرد ونذكر منها:

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم وكيف استطاعت أن تتجاوز كل تلك الصعاب بإرادة قوية حتى تم تسميتها باسم صاحبة الإرادة وتعتبر ياسمين الآن من الشخصيات الملهمة في السودان.

تحدث محمود منسي (جمهورية مصر العربية) على أعادة بناء الدول والمجتمعات بعد الثورات وجاء الموضوع مناسباً للمرحلة التي يمر بها السودان الشقيق وأستطاع محمود إلهام الشباب السوداني لأخذ دور في بناء البلد وذلك بتفاعلهم مع موضوعه.

تحدث كذلك أحمد رجب (جمهورية مصر العربية) على فكرة رقصة التانجو وعلاقتها بالإدارة والقيادة داخل المؤسسات.

وكذلك سها هيكل (جمهورية مصر العربية) وجهت رسالة توعوية للمجتمع لتغير نظرته تجاه الفنيين باعتبارهم شريحة مهمة في المجتمع، وأن محاربة العنصرية والتمييز في شتى مجالات العمل.

بينما وعد عصام (جمهورية مصر العربية) تحدثت عن الصعوبات التي تواجه طلاب الثانويات خصوصاً في تعلم اللغة الإنجليزية وكيفية التغلب عليها بنصائح سهلة بسيطة ومباشرة ووضحت وعد أن اللغة عبارة عن مهارات تكتسب وتمارس.

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم

ومن المشاركين كذلك من البراء عثمان (دولة الأمارات العربية المتحدة) الذي تحدث عن تجربته مع الاكتئاب وكيف استطاع تجاوزه بتوجيه طاقته تجاه ممارسة هوايته وهي الموسيقى وكيف أن ممارسة الموسيقى تساعد على التوازن النفسي.

فاطمة أحمد (جمهورية السودان) التي دعت للمحبة والسلام وتقبل الاّخر لبناء سودان جديد مستعرضة تجربة رواندا.

وكذلك تحدثت ماب خالد (جمهورية السودان) على أهمية التوعية بالعلاج النفسي وتجربتها في إقناع الحكومة لتضمين العلاج النفسي في التأمين الصحي وتوعية المواطنين بالصحة النفسية.

وعن السياحة تحدث بشغف محمد مجذوب (جمهورية السودان) وعن تاريخ السودان الذي يمتد ل 7000 سنة وعن حضارة الفراعنة داعياً الحكومة للترويج للسياحة في السودان معتبرا مؤتمر تيدكس مدني مؤتمراً يساهم في دفع عجلة السياحة بالبلاد وذلك للمشاركة الكبيرة من المتحدثين والجمهور من المناطق المختلفة.

وتحدثت أصغر المشتركات أسيل يوسف (جمهورية السودان) عن إمكانية استغلال الموهبة لمصدر دخل وتنميتها بالممارسة داعية شباب جيلها لحذو طريقها وختمت خنساء سيربال (جمهورية السودان) المؤتمر بحديثها على دور الممرض في المنظومة الطبية.

بالإضافة إلى الإعلامي إيهاب مجدي من مصر معد ومقدم فقرات برنامج المؤتمر، بالمشاركة مع الإعلاميين السودانيين خالد علي وآية عابدين.

وبختام المؤتمر قدم محمود منسي درع الأكاديمية العربية للعلوم والتكنولوجيا والنقل البحري للمنظم د. وائل العائد الذي شكر بدوره الأكاديمية العربية على دورها الكبير في إنجاح المؤتمر باعتبارها الشريك الأساسي وشكرها للمنحة التي تم تقديمها للمؤتمر وقام كذلك بتوجيه الشكر لكل الجهات التي ساهمت في إنجاح المؤتمر:

السيدة مونيكا وحيد، ممثل شركة تاركو للطيران مكتب مدني

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