Ananda Development CEO Chanond Ruangkritya is keen to build “green townships” after his company lists on the Stock Exchange in Thailand later this year. Chanond, 37, is a proponent of green living as well as a supporter of renewable energy initiatives
“The success of Ananda during the past three years can be attributed to our ability to provide affordable housing in the city where buyers can ride mass transit rail lines, thus saving time and money by avoiding slow, and expensive transport on jammed roads,”the CEO says at his newly completed project at Hauy Kwang, off Ratchadapisek Road.
“The Huay Kwang site near the MRT subway station allows our buyers to do away with buying cars, which is a terrible investment. Once sold, vehicles lose 30 per cent of their value and even more over the years. With a condo. the price almost always appreciates,”
he adds. His Ideo brand of condominiums, located at more than a dozen sites in Bangkok, champions the reduction in petrol usage, thus cutting down carbon emissions that contributes to global warming. “It is obvious the world is headed for a green future,” he says.
“In the US and Europe, as well as in Thailand, government technology and cutting down oil consumption as much as possible,”he notes.
The idea of green to townships is not new, he notes. In Germany, there are towns that run almost entirely on renewable fuel such as solar and wind. The big advantage of such residences is the dwellers need not pay much for utilities.
Today, Bangkok residents pay a huge sum on electricity, as government subsides seldom cover middle income households, the most productive social strata. Green townships are already the models for developed countries to adopt and Thailand should able to see the advantages of supporting these initiative.
The recent BP oil spill, now nearly 80 days long, has destroyed so much coastal life in the Gulf of Mexico and soon, its economy. Clearly, deep-sea drilling hold greater risks than most people suspect. If demand for oil drops, the need for such drilling should become redundant.
A recent green victory is the success of Tesla, the electric car maker’s listing on the Nasdaq stock market, which allows the company to further develop more efficient clean cars and send petrol-guzzling vehicles to the junkyard. Israel is one of the first countries to adopt 100,000 electric cars and the trend is catching up all over the world, including Japan and California, the most progressive US state on clean fuels.
As with all businesses, Chanond realizes that going green is a capital intensive effort and will require a bit more investment than contemporary products. But over the longer term, contemporary products risk becoming obsolete, while the more efficient, green-friendly goods will find ready buyers. Given the choice, consumers will choose green products over non green items. That mentality is certain to rule in coming years as greater awareness about over-reliance on foreign oil shifts the consumer away from such industries.
Chanond believes innovation and timing are critical to success. Five years ago, housing firms were building overly large units that few could afford. Today that bloated market is so saturated, it has become stagnant. With the high cost of oil the last three years, the cost of commuting form faraway suburbs where mass transit lines will probably never come, travel costs are excruciating. Unless more Bangkokians adapt to the new realities of high-priced oil as well as the coming green trend, they stand to lose a big portion of their savings.
“The most important rule in survival is to protect one’s capital,” says Chanond, who holds economic degrees from the London School of Economics and University of California at Berkeley.
“For young middle-income workers, living in a smaller home moy offer less space, but our Ideo projects make sure they recevie healthy facilities such as our rooftop swimming pools, and pockets of gardens as recreation space.”
The next step is go even more green, by examining what Ananda can build, such as green communities, perhaps for older, affluent buyers who seek a more serene, relaxed way of life away from big cities. Ananda’s IPO is scheduled for the end of this year or early next year. The firm has 12 condo sites worth Bt20billion and six suburban estates worth Bt11 billion. Phatra Securities is its underwriter. Source: The Nation .
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Ananda eyes green projects after IPO
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Over 10 million people live in the greater Bangkok area. With one foot in the past and the other firmly in the present, this vast metropolis is Thailand’s capital. On the one hand, it’s a city of oriental splendor complete with over 400 Buddhist temples, countless spirit houses, floating markets, and the awesome Grand Palace of soaring roofs and gilded spires. But it’s also a city of skyscraper office blocks, choking traffic jams, girlie bars, and shopping malls. Take your pick!
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