October 2022 brings a lot of new developments for SANET ASEAN ADVISORS, the experienced German-speaking consulting team in Bangkok since 2004. The German-Thai colors of the group will now be complemented by a luminous “red-white-red”. The Linz lawyer and additionally in Thailand graduated specialist for international business law of ASEAN, Mag. Fabian Sonntagbauer, LL.M., took over substantial business shares of the group and represents together with the new GM Kanyaphat Meetongpun the “Next Generation” of Sanet.
On October 7, 2022, the shareholders and Board of Directors also formally resolved to apply for membership in the AVOLINK International Lawyers Network. The co-founding of an international consulting organization with leading consulting firms from all parts of Asia is also to be announced soon.
Our editorial team had the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Sanet founder Dr. Gunter Denk and COO Fabian Sonntagbauer on the new structure. The Present and the Future: The experienced and new management of Sanet interviewed.
Editor: Mr. Sonntagbauer, what drives an Austrian to seek his professional future in Thailand?
Austrians have always had an international and ASEAN affinity. Just look at the intensive business promotion of Advantage Austria, which has promoted the internationalization of Austrian companies for years with great success.
Editor: And now immediately in the management of an established consulting group like Sanet? Isn’t that a bit fast?
What do you mean by fast? As a lawyer, I gained experience in a law firm in the industrial location of Linz, and then I learned a lot about Thai foreign business law and ASEAN business law in my additional master’s studies in Bangkok. How long should I wait before taking on responsibility?
Dr. Denk: … and don’t forget that Fabian Sonntagbauer collected almost a year of practical experience as a “Visiting Expert” at Sanet.
Editor: Oh yes, Dr. Denk, and now you don’t feel like working anymore?
Hello? If you’re still regularly working 50 hours or more a week at the age of 71, you certainly can’t do it without “feeling like working”. But you also have to be prepared to hand over responsibility step by step, both as a consultant and as an entrepreneur. Otherwise, something is going wrong.
Editor: Well, if that’s the case, then it’s more likely that “The Leopard doesn’t change his spots.” Are you really going to hand over responsibility?
Dr. Denk: I understand the allusion (laughs). But formally, that has already happened anyway. I have relinquished my shares in Sanet and am no longer Managing Director. Rather, I now consult the consultants! And ideally, handing over responsibility also means passing on experience and knowledge. I think that fits.
Editor: Okay, let’s believe that. And now, what do you want to change at Sanet, Mr. Sonntagbauer?
Mag. Sonntagbauer: Better call it “further develop”! It is already a lot of work to maintain what has been achieved, and Dr. Denk will continue to help me with this for hopefully a good while.
Editor: No excuses please, what do you want to “further develop” then?
Mag. Sonntagbauer: You’re pressing! But well, of course I have plans. These include expanding our domestic consulting activities in Thailand. That means offering more of our services for Thai companies, for example, in management consulting, restructuring, legal consulting, personnel development and especially our successful recruiting. CEO and co-founder of Sanet, Chulalux Chinwong Denk, with her new co-manager, COO Fabian Sonntagbauer.
Editor: That won’t be easy. Consulting is not a very not a very widespread or common service in Asia …
Mag. Sonntagbauer: … but don’t forget, there are thousands of international and also very modern and internationally oriented companies in Thailand.
Editor: And that’s all about the “further development”?!
Mag Sonntagbauer: You’ re pressing again (laughs). But wait and see: We have just joined an international lawyers’ association with almost 300 law firms as an exclusive partner in Thailand. Negotiations with probably the best German-speaking consulting group in India at the moment and a renowned German China consulting firm about a joint company formation are about to be concluded this year.
Editor: And what do you have to offer your red-white-red compatriots?
Mag. Sonntagbauer: We are a consulting company for the whole of Europe with long-standing clientele from Germany, Benelux, Denmark, France and of course the German-speaking D-A-CH – states. In addition, we Austrians have natural ties to the whole of Eastern Europe.
Moreover, in contrast to our traditional clients, my compatriots make far too little use of the model of a service hub in the form of a Business Unit at Sanet Trade & Services, which is specifically designed for the market entry of owner lead companies. Here I hope that the Austrian Chamber of Commerce will help us to make this known. Finally, our top-quality products such as feasibility studies, hands-on investment guidance and market entry management remain in the spotlight.
Editor: Well, that looks like a lot of work. A closing word, gentlemen?
Mag. Sonntagbauer: Yes. For me, a company is only as valuable as its employees. I am very dedicated to the great Thai talents we have. And of course: thanks to Chulalux and Dr. Gunter Denk for welcoming me into the successful Sanet family.
Dr. Denk: I have little to add. We are a Thai company with about 30 Thai and also now German, Austrian, Swiss and French employees and managers.
We want to continue to be the “Economic and Cultural Ambassadors” between Businesses from Thailand and all of Europe.
Editor: That is really a good goal. Good luck with it.