Improving on China’s horrible product, Thai rice flour snack, rakes in US$2 million sales a year

At 81, Panya Suksphan, never thought snacks would make him rich. Now his rice flour cakes rake in sales of about US$2 million. “I went to China and saw that rice flour cake snack was everywhere, but tasted them and they were bland in taste and hard,” he says. When he returned to Thailand, he started in his kitchen, testing a similar product, and that testing took him about a year. “In the end, I got a product that tasted better and crunchier and launched the product,” he says. Panya said those early days were difficult, with the product not moving, so he began to give out samples in front of schools and other places. “The sales began to pick up with some people getting used to the snack,” he says. However, a major fair took place in Chieng Mai, where the company is based, and with the millions of visitors, sales rocketed and remain strong ever since. Panya is now, placing his snacks at gift shops throughout Thailand, as the stepping stone to sell regionally. “It was not easy,” he says. Panya says he was crushed by the Thai economic crisis some 20 years earlier, but said that his success today even surprised him. He says he strives for quality, having passed several “Good Manufacturing” certification. “It is hard to win over customers so I intend to keep them happy with the bast product, he says. (Source: SMEs Plus Magazine)

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