Jay Mart arouses symbolic interest

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“Various companies in the real estate industry have expressed interest in deploying their own tokens for marketing tools and promoting their brands. – Adisak Sukumvitaya, Managing Director, Jay Mart

From a small electrical appliance store on Phatthanakan Road in Bangkok three decades ago, Jay Mart has grown into a technology-driven empire with a market capitalization of 35 billion baht under the reins of Adisak Sukumvitaya, who controls the ‘company under the maxim “be the first and stay different”.

The 65-year-old CEO of SET-listed Jay Mart believes the company’s flourishing growth may serve as a role model for others.

In 1990, the company started with 2 million baht in cash through the sale of hire-purchase electrical products – a model inspired by Singer Thailand.

The company was the first to offer installment payment plans for mobile phones.

Some 28 years later, Jay Mart bought 25% of Singer’s shares for 940 million baht, becoming its largest shareholder.

” I’m proud of it. This not only involved buying a stake, but Jay Mart is also working with Singer’s 180 branches nationwide to ensure a close relationship with local customers, ”Mr. Adisak said.

The company has also extended its reach to a myriad of new business opportunities.

TOKEN TRIP

In 2018, Jay Mart’s subsidiary J Ventures generated 300 million digital tokens, known as JFin coins, as the first initial coin offering (ICO) by a listed Thai company. He sold 100 million tokens in the first 55 hours of the ICO with 2,200 buyers acquiring the tokens.

The company earned 660 million baht from the ICO set at 6.60 baht per coin.

Jay Mart has devised a plan to use the decentralized blockchain-backed digital lending platform as a channel to provide loans to people rejected by banks due to their bad credit history or low income.

In May of this year, Jay Mart announced his mission to promote mass adoption of JFin coins, which could be used to purchase products and services from the company and its subsidiaries.

The company recently unveiled a plan to roll out non-fungible tokens (NFTs), featuring nine celebrities.

This made the company a pioneer of NFTs in the Thai market. Jay Mart said he aims to foster a strong token ecosystem to diversify his long-term business operations.

“I would like to see the Jay Mart Group as a recognized business model in the country that reflects the success of business diversification and synergy driven by technological innovation,” said Mr. Adisak.

The NFT business is one of the group’s puzzles for this innovation-driven path, he said.

Jay Mart is in talks with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission about creating a market for NFTs. The company expects that it will be allowed to offer this market in the near future, Mr. Adisak said.

Discussions have been underway since the start of this year.

Jay Mart’s JNFT would be a marketplace where collectors meet token makers, he said.

As part of his plan, J Ventures would tap the market and benefit from transaction fees or gas fees, as they are known in the token world, Mr. Adisak said.

NFTs to be launched include those featuring Udom “Note” Taepanich, a comedian; singer Palmy; and Boy Thaprachan, a famous collector of Buddha amulets.

These NFTs represent unique digital assets or elements, such as Palmy’s first concert, Note’s first stand-up show Cutout 1, as well as Boy’s first amulet and the rarest item he owns.

“NFTs are not utility tokens. They are intended for enthusiasts who wish to collect them,” said Mr. Adisak.

NFTs can be acquired by bidding at an auction, he said.

Various companies in the real estate industry have expressed interest in deploying their own tokens for marketing tools and promoting their brands, Mr. Adisak said.

These companies are in talks with Jay Mart over their plans, including those for the real estate, airline, entertainment and transportation segments, he said.

Jay Mart is ready to support these plans, providing a blockchain-based platform with transaction fees on token transactions collected in return, Mr. Adisak said.

DIVERSIFICATION

He said Jay Mart is focused on diversifying businesses in a way that can increase synergy.

As a result of this approach, Jay Mart’s market capitalization increased sevenfold to 12 billion baht from 2009 to 2017, Mr. Adisak said.

Jay Mart was transformed into a holding company in 2017. Its flagship mobile telephony activity was sold to Jay Mart Mobile Co, 99% owned by Jay Mart.

Jay Mart created J Ventures to focus on technology development and digital platform services. JMT Network Services was formed to operate a non-performing debt management business.

JAS Asset was founded to manage leased commercial spaces in shopping centers and operate a real estate business.

Other affiliates include J Fintech, a personal loan provider; JP Insurance, which manages a non-life insurance business; KB J Capital, a joint venture between Jay Mart and Korean credit card operator KB Kookmin Card for a credit card company; and Bean & Brown, a retail operator.

JMT and JAS Asset are both companies listed on SET.

FAMILY CONCEPT

Mr. Adisak said he built this business with heart. Its stability and growth are based on the fact that managers and staff become a family.

That’s because Jay Mart is steeped in a family concept, he said.

J is derived from the name of his daughter Juthamas and A from his name Adisak. Y is taken from the name of his wife Yuwadee, while Jay is also the nickname of his son Aekachai.

He recounted the first difficulties when Jay Mart started selling electrical products through installment plans in 1990.

Around this time, financial services provider Aeon entered the market, offering installment payment services with a lower interest rate, which undermined Jay Mart’s business.

“I decided to form a joint venture with three friends to start a TV manufacturing business funded by bank loans. This business then collapsed and my friends left me with $ 30 million in debt. baht. It was the most difficult time of my life, “Adisak said.

At that time, Aeon only offered loans to buy home appliances. So he approached the company and asked if they would collaborate by selling handsets using Aeon’s lending service network.

The partnership with Aeon started in 1994.

“On the first day, we sold 33 cellphones through installment plans. But by the end of the first year, the figure had risen to an average of 5,000 units per month,” Adisak said.

“The second year the number increased to 10,000 units per month.”

The company earned 700 million baht in the seventh year of operation, which propelled Jay Mart to the SET list in 2009 and helped expand its business portfolio through subsidiaries.

Last year, the company recorded total revenue of 11.2 billion baht with a net profit of nearly 800 million baht.


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