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Wilasinee Parnurat

Wilasinee Parnurat: Navigating Change and Innovation in Marketing

A Career in Marketing Evolution!

The marketing sector is constantly shaped by evolving market trends and consumer behaviors. In this complex field, understanding the synergy between marketing and consumer behavior is essential. Marketing serves as the catalyst for connecting products and services with potential consumers, while consumer behavior highlights the tough patterns driving purchasing decisions.

This symbiotic relationship underscores the necessity for businesses to delve into consumer behavior insights, enabling them to craft tailored marketing strategies that resonate deeply with their target audience.

Embracing change and innovation in the marketing sector served to fuel the passion of marketing leaders, pushing them to reach new heights in their careers. One such passionate individual is Wilasinee Parnurat, whose leadership as Country Manager/Managing Director exemplifies a commitment to fostering unity and agility within her team.

With a focus on embracing change and encouraging bold initiatives, she cultivates an environment where challenges are viewed as opportunities for learning and improvement. Amidst challenges and triumphs, her unwavering determination shines through as she charts a course toward success, guided by a clear vision and mission.

In her role at Bata Thailand, Wilasinee leads a vision to reclaim the company’s position as a market leader. Bata has a long-standing history and a global presence, with a commitment to delivering quality products that cater to the needs of its diverse customer base.

Under her leadership, Bata Thailand is poised to reach greater heights, challenge stereotypes, and break gender biases. Her leadership style, which emphasizes innovation, agility, and a ‘fail fast, learn fast’ mentality, is set to steer the company towards a future of continued success.

Let’s explore Wilasinee’s journey towards market dominance:

Breaking Barriers in the Corporate World

Despite graduating from a school of Material Science and Engineering, Wilasinee made the decision to pursue a career in Product Marketing after obtaining MIS and MBA degrees. Her first role in this field was at Samsung Mobile, which quickly captured her interest, and she began to develop a deep passion for it. Working in the Brand Development team at Unilever’s regional and global offices further solidified her enthusiasm for marketing.

The blend of logic and creativity in this field resonated with her, and she found it to be a perfect fit. Upon returning to Thailand, she was given the opportunity to join L’Oreal, where her marketing career reached new heights as she took on the management of the largest portfolio of the big three beauty brands.

The ever-evolving dynamics of marketing in FMCG, coupled with shifts in consumer behaviors and the market landscape, fuel her passion for her work. Despite the challenges presented during the pandemic, her role as CMO at Yves Rocher was a milestone that paved the way for her current position as Country Manager/Managing Director of Bata Thailand.

She is honored to be the first woman and first local to hold this position since the company’s establishment in 1929. While the journey has not been easy, she is thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to lead the company to greater heights, challenge stereotypes, and break gender biases.

Driving Growth through Innovation and Agility

Embracing change and transformation can be challenging, especially within a team as diverse as theirs. However, she believes that, with the right mindset and commitment, they can all move forward together. As the leader, her role is to ensure that everyone understands the reasons behind the changes they are making and the importance of staying agile and responsive.

By driving the obsession and fostering a strong sense of unity and teamwork, they can overcome any obstacles, leverage their strengths, and achieve the intended transformation efficiently and harmoniously.

With a focus on growth and innovation, they have also adopted a ‘fail fast and learn fast’ mentality. She encourages everyone in the organization to be bold and try new initiatives, taking calculated risks, and if they fail, moving on to the next one quickly. However, they also emphasize the importance of extracting valuable lessons and insights, allowing them to continuously improve and evolve as a team.

The Power of Passion in Leadership

Passion shines brightest in all that she does. No matter the mission she embarks on, her enthusiasm and energy are always at the forefront. Passion goes beyond just a strong positive feeling; it encompasses vision, excitement, and zeal. It ignites dedication and perseverance, and it is also contagious! Creating a team of passionate and motivated individuals starts with her as the leader.

Another key trait is the ability to have an eye for innovation and out-of-the-box initiatives while also being adaptable and having a growth mindset. She firmly believes that innovation is crucial for success and progress in a competitive world that is constantly evolving.

Lastly, possessing courage is essential for leadership. Making tough decisions, facing challenges, and taking risks are all part of the journey to success. From the beginning of her career, she has always embraced courage as a key factor in propelling her to where she is today.

Mastering Time Management for Work-Life Harmony

Achieving a harmonious balance between professional commitments and personal well-being has become an increasingly complex challenge for her.

Time is always limited, but by prioritizing, managing time effectively, and setting clear boundaries, she is committed to making more time for leisure travel and her personal agenda.

Learning from Failures

Among all of these, promoting an open failure culture—the ‘fail fast, learn fast’ approach she mentioned before—is always the one she utilizes the most.

The team members are encouraged to be transparent about mistakes and failures and are supported to learn from their failures. The emphasis is on identifying the root causes of failures and using that knowledge to improve processes, products, or services. Learning from failures is viewed as an essential step on the path to success. It also fosters trust and collaboration among team members, as people feel comfortable admitting mistakes and asking for help without fear of retribution. Ultimately, an open failure culture helps organizations be more innovative, adaptive, and resilient in the face of challenges and uncertainties.

At the same time, recognition and reward are also important. Team efforts, achievements, and learnings, not only for their outcomes, should be acknowledged and celebrated. This will help the team feel appreciated and valued and encourage them to keep innovating and creating.

Building a Consumer-Centric Corporate Culture

This also begins with the development of corporate culture. “Consumers First” or “Consumer Centricity Culture” has been adopted and embraced in recent periods to cater to all strategies and action plans according to the real needs of consumers. This requires an obsession for everyone in the organization to follow what consumers are talking about and demand as common habits.

In parallel, they also provide the resources and explore the tools to aid the team in gaining more insight and staying up to date. This includes social listening, conducting consumer connection sessions, and training and sharing from outside experts.

Building Trust in Teams

Wilasinee always leads by example!

She demonstrates the behavior that she wants people to follow. If she demands a lot from her team, she is also willing to set high standards for herself. Aligning her words and actions helps to build trust and makes her team more willing to follow her example.

Also, she suggests aspiring leaders to be bold! The doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock. Time is the most precious thing, so she advises not to waste too much time overthinking.

The Competitive Edge of Diverse Teams

Diverse teams incorporating a wide range of perspectives, experiences, expertise, and backgrounds possess a competitive edge in problem-solving, creativity, and driving positive change.

The more diverse these teams are along many dimensions, the more likely they are to draw inspiration from seemingly unrelated places. These combinations of ideas lead to more unlikely—and more innovative—ideas.

Yet one key thing is to make sure they acquire diversity to establish a culture in which all employees feel free to contribute ideas and realize that their diverse voices are heard.

By embracing diversity in their workforce, they gain deeper insights into market trends, customer preferences, and emerging opportunities, allowing them to develop products and services that resonate with a broader range of customers.

Setting a Clear Vision and Mission for Success

As a leader, she starts by having a clear vision and mission. That would help present the most important objectives, KPIs, and strategies and filter out the ones that are not relevant or aligned by balancing the trade-offs. Then, she sets rankings according to urgency, importance, value, and resource requirements.

Aiming for the Top Spot

She has a clear vision for Bata Thailand: to guide their team to achieve the highest sales in almost a century and reclaim their spot as the number one market leader. As the first Thai woman to hold this prestigious position, she is determined to break stereotypes and biases surrounding gender roles. She hopes to set an inspiring example for future female leaders, empowering them to continue the legacy of success.