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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

Magazine

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

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“Continuous Learning, adopting innovation & creativity and teamwork are among the guiding principles of success and excellence in the government sector” Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Name: Eng.  Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Title: Director Assistance for Control & Inspection for Economic Activities at Ministry of Industry & Trade in Jordan

Winning categories:

  1. The Gold Stevie Winner in the category “the most innovative Communications Professional of the year “
  2. The Silver Stevie Winner in the category “Innovation in Community Relations or public Services Communications”
  3. The Bronze Stevie Winner in the category “Innovative Management in Government – Organizations with 100 or more employees”
Brief Biography about the Winner:

Abeer Ramadna is the Director assistant of control and inspection unit at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply (MIT) in Jordan, she has a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering- Engineering Administration / University of Jordan with “excellent degree”. Abeer has 20 years of experience in private and public sectors, and is a focal point for UNIDO at MIT in Jordan. Abeer is a certified Management development Expert from ITC/ Vienna in 2005, a certified Export Consultant to EU from CBI/Netherland in 2007, certified Lead Auditor for Quality Management ISO 9001:2015, a certified Engineer Expert in Quality and Environmental Management systems in 2018 and a certified EFQM Assessor from EFQM in 2019. Eng. Abeer has a wide professional expertise in many fields that allow her to provide consultations to the organizations in various fields including Quality Management, Environmental Management, preparing industrial polices, strategies and plans, Inspection polices, Monitoring & Evaluation systems, implementing the ISO9001, ISO14001 ISO14040s standards, and conducting technical industrial sectors studies.

Eng. Abeer won three Stevie Awards from three different categories after participation in Middle East Stevie Awards in 2020, these are:

  1. Gold Stevie Winner in a category:” The Most Innovative Communications Professional of the Year”. These categories honor the most innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology.
  2. Silver Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications”. These categories honor innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology in the public sector.
  3. Bronze Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovative Management in Government “. These categories honor innovation in executive management including the Award for Innovative Management in a number of industry sectors.

Abeer has been published scientific papers in one of the world accredited journals in E-government. Titled “Barriers to E-Government Adoption in Jordanian Organizations from Users’ and Employees’ Perspectives” in 2017, the link is:

https://www.igi-global.com/article/barriers-to-e-government-adoption-in-jordanian-organizations-from-users-and-employees-perspectives/181280

and published another scientific paper titled: “SEM approach to determine factors affecting e-government success in Jordan”,  the link is:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333488499_SEM_approach _to_determine_factors_affecting_e-government_success_in_Jordan

She was selected as a Judge at the Best Jordanian chemical product Award in all three cycles of it during 2015 to 2020, Judge in the 2019 management & entrepreneur Awards categories judging committee Stevie Awards, and Judge at the best industrial engineering project for the Jordanian universities in 2019. She participated in several national and International conferences, meetings and presented papers, as a representative of the MIT / Jordan.

https://www.facebook.com/abeer.ramadna

http://linkedin.com/in/abeer-ramadna-msc-ie-pe-cbi-em-itc-mde-66928170

https://stevieawards.com/ar/mena/eng-abeer-ramadna-2

http://jordanembassyus.org/news/jordanian-engineer-wins-three-middle-east-stevie-awards?fbclid=IwAR2iBj4P8uHERE_Q2Yf-hatk2yJ-bGeq1g8MaYPIz_HJ42HqUyA6UCPehdM

Stevie Award winning Case Study:

  • Developing action plans of inspection development to governmental institutions (Inspectorates) work in fields of health, Environment, labor, safety for economic sectors in Jordan.
  • Supervision of developing Electronic Inspection System for governmental inspectorates.
  •  Conduct many awareness workshops for governmental inspectorates and for private sector institutions.
  • Conduct many workshops and training sessions as A National trainer of trainers in the shaping of future studies.
  • Secretariat of higher committee for Inspection development of Economic Activates that consists from high level management in governmental inspectorates.
  • Abeer is trusted as a competent team leader and confident expert in Quality management & Inspection systems
  • Abeer conducted in 2018 a study titled the Industrial engineering in the government sector in Jordan, current situation and future opportunities and present it in the 2nd International Conference on Industrial Systems & Manufacturing Engineering (ISME’19) Nov, 11-12, 2019 in Amman.
  • Abeer was chosen after a series of selection process as one of the National participants in the Civil Service Development Program in Jordan and attended all phases including the leadership and developing high performance teams at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK during 2019.

Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna “Continuing to contribute achievements and make positive impacts are goals that are achievable with the presence of strong & positive attitude, self-motivated character & determination.”

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Articles

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Asiacell

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“Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel”

Winning Organization: Asiacell

Nomination: Award for Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries (including Telecom)

Brief about the Organization:

Asiacell is a leading provider of telecommunications and data services in Iraq. As part of international telecommunications company Ooredoo Group, Asiacell was Iraq’s first mobile telecommunications provider to achieve nationwide coverage. Asiacell is also a leading internet provider with its 3.9G data services, offering the best network coverage in all of Iraq since January 2015.

Stevie Award Winning Case Study:

As part of its commitment to expand network coverage in Iraq, Asiacell has continued to support the redevelopment of the country’s infrastructure and economy and the provision of high-quality connectivity solutions. It has enhanced its “Hot Zone” restoration strategy by putting 200 sites on air and connecting over 500 sites to 3G.

Focused on improving the quality of life for communities, Asiacell’s CSR initiatives are focused on key areas, such as health, education and culture. Asiacell has equipped several higher education institutions with computer labs and supported the renovation of schools, with the aim of providing quality education infrastructure. It also partnered with the Chibayish Environmental Tourism Organization to build the first Iraqi Marshlands heritage museum in Ahwar as part of its efforts to revive Iraq’s Marshland, while generating a positive effect on tourism and jobs creation. 

Recognising that its people are its key asset, Asiacell continues to roll out initiatives focused on engaging and empowering employees. It has invested heavily in digital transformation, including digital upskilling for employees, and streamlining of various internal processes in order to nurture a digital-first culture that embraces innovation.

We are so glad to be recognized as a successful and innovative telecommunication company in Iraq with a Stevie Award for “Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries”. Recognition from the Stevie Awards means a lot to us and motivates Asiacell to continue to serve the community with professionalism. Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel.

THANK YOU

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Articles

Qisaty Project & Developing Talent in Children with Special Needs in Egypt

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Edited By: Mahmoud Mansi

Qisaty Project – founded by Mona Lamloum – was launched on 26th December 2019 to support children talents through a series of storytelling, writing and drawing workshops.

The total number of children who participated in the storytelling workshop is 60 including the most talented 20 who were selected to the story writing sessions, 16 children ranging from 6 to 14 years old got their stories selected to be drawn by 19 children with special needs.

The drawing workshops were held in 3 cities in Egypt with cooperation with 2 special needs associations; Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor. 14 children, and Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria. 5 children.

The children have different disabilities, hearing loss, partial blindness, movement disability, learning difficulty disability, mental disability and increased electricity in the brain.

Of course such an interesting project needs proper preparation and an intellectual plan. Mona Lamloum shared some of the challenges that she and her team have faced during the project:

1-The global pandemic and the sudden lockdown.

2- The fact that most of the children with special needs suffer from many chronic diseases which lowers their immunity, in addition to the huge responsibility that lies on the team while holding the workshop during the pandemic.

3-The fear of the parents of the children with special needs participation at the drawing workshops due to the pandemic and the lack of their immunity. Which was managed to concur with the help of the project partners in drawing workshops. 

Eventually, Qisaty Project was held at exceptional circumstances and according to deadlines set up before the global Corona pandemic. However, the team did their best to get the project done within the lockdown with a quality that is aspired from the beginning, and that was done simply by teamwork, sharing a unified vision, and collaborating to find new solutions.

The result is 16 short stories in addition to 64 drawings by hands of talented children with special needs and with variable disabilities from three cities: Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor. Each drawing tells a different scene from a short story inspired from the children themselves to be published as a grand book that gathers the short stories and the drawings of all the talented young participants.

Acknowledgements:

Qisaty Sponsors:

– Amideast: Hosted the story telling, story writing workshops and the day that gathered the writers and children with special needs mixed day.

– Nahdet Misr Publishing House.

Media Sponsors:

– Marj3 Platform

– HR Revolution Middle East

– EBBY

– Arablit Quarterly

Children with special needs Associations:

– Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor.

– Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria.

Qisaty Trainers:

– Hanan El-Taher.

– Mona Lamloum.

– Zeinab Mobark.

Designing Storytelling and writing workshop:

-Mona Lamloum

Writing workshops:

– Mona Lamloum

– Yaqoub El-Sharouni

Drawing workshop:

– Under the supervision of Shoikar Khalifa,

 – With the help of respectful team at Nida Association at Cairo and Luxor.

 – Ashab El-Erada Association at Alexandria by Sahar Zaiton with the help of Aliaa Abd-Elsalam.

Team Members:

– Rawan Said

– Ahmed Ismail

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