The case is set in November 2013, when Siam Park City – one of Thailand’s biggest Amusement Park and Water Park – was celebrating its 33rd anniversary. Siam Park City was born out of the vision of Chaiwat Luangamornlert, a successful businessman who wanted to build an amusement park and water park for the people of Thailand that was of international standard, but yet available to the average Thai at an affordable price.
With affordability as the cornerstone of the business philosophy, the park’s entry fee was pegged at ‘a reasonable price’, with heavy discounts offered to Thai residents. Visitors also spent very little inside the park. This pricing strategy proved unsustainable for a business that had high set-up and operating costs, and the park suffered financial losses for more than two decades, ultimately leading to its bankruptcy. The financial loss was further aggravated by reputation loss, following two accidents in the park.
Understanding that the park required a leadership change, Chaiwat stepped down from the helm in 2008 and handed over the reins of the business to his children. The new management team revamped internal operations and worked to diversify the park’s customer base. The changes ushered in a new era for the amusement park – business improved and the company even earned a modest profit in 2012.
Looking ahead, the new management faces the challenge of making the business financially viable over the long term, keeping in mind his founder’s principles to keep the park affordable and accessible to locals.
Through this case, students will learn the challenges of managing and ensuring long-term sustainability of a business that firmly rests on the principals of affordability and inclusivity.
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