Apr 1, 2013

Vietnam - Khongkwan Clinic targets Vietnam for next Asean JV

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Dr Khongkwan Fujitnirun, laser surgeon and managing director of Khongkwan Clinic, is negotiating with a potential investor for a joint-venture deal to open the company's second overseas beauty clinic in Vietnam after opening its first overseas joint venture in Vientiane, Laos, three years ago.

Khongkwan currently has 12 outlets in the country with eight in Bangkok, two in Udon Thani, and one in Khon Kaen.

The foreign expansion is aimed at cashing in on the Asean Economic Community (AEC), which comes into effect in 2015, and the expected huge growth of beauty clinics in the region.

"I will go to Ho Chi Min city next month for discussions with the potential joint-venture partner, and to decide on the clinic's location. The Khongkwan Clinic branch in Vietnam is expected to be opened by the end of the year," she said.

Khongkwan, 34. graduated with a medical degree from Srinakharinwirot University in 2005. She had decided to pursue medical studies so that she could follow in the successful footsteps of her parents Dr Wiseth and his wife Chawewan who had set up a beauty clinic, the Christian Clinic, in Chon Buri some 30 years ago.

She has been awarded many fellowships and certificates, including in dermatology and anti-ageing medicine from the Medici Institute in Thailand, in anti-ageing medicine from the American Academy in the US, in stem-cell and regenerative medicine from Harvard University, and in cosmetic laser procedures from the American Board of Laser Surgery.

She established the first three Khongkwan Clinic branches in Rangsit, Siam Square and Piyarom Bang Na in 2007, with only four doctors and one office staff. The branch in Rangsit was closed after just three months as it turned out not to be in a good location.

"I learned by myself that running beauty clinics is quite tough, especially during the first two years of operation. We needed to work during that initial time from 9am to 1am the next day, and seven days a week. I look after many things, from the office, operation and marketing to accounting and stock," said Khongkwan.

A further three Khongkwan Clinic branches will be opened in Bangkok this year, with potential being Rama II Road, Bang Kapi and Bang Khae, as well as another in Phuket, which will be the first branch in the South.

The company has set aside Bt50 million for new branch expansion this year.

"I'm focusing on the AEC in expanding our base for beauty treatments to foreign markets, especially AEC member states. I also want to expand Khongkwan Clinic to cover all four corners of Bangkok," said Khongkwan.

Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn

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