Welcome back to the 2nd act of ICHITAN Group Public Company Limited (ICHI) telltale story. Two months have passed since the first act was released, and there seems to be nothing at all that can help sweeten this bitter tea.
Mr. Tan Passakornnatee, chairman and founder of ICHI, is in a tight spot when the business has stumbled, unlike its golden days in 2014 when ICHI had just entered the market. On the other hand, OISHI Group Public Company Limited (OISHI) is getting progressively better. Which, in return, caused ICHI to be even more unattractive.
Looking back at 2014, when Mr. Tan shook the green tea market and stock market (again) by listing ICHI in the stock market. The same thing happened in 2004 when this man also brought OISHI into the stock market. Back then, Mr. Tan really did focus on the marketing of ICHI in order to pump up the revenue to compete with its rival, OISHI. Mr. Tan’s sweat and blood did pay off when ICHI gained 1,078 million baht of profit in 2014, dusting OISHI who only gained 524 million baht.
The marketing method that Mr. Tan used to beat OISHI was recognized by people of all ages. A campaign of lucky number under the lid (green tea bottle’s lid) sent people to go on treasure hunts to find the lucky number under the lids and trade it for “Porsche(s)” or “Mercedes(es)”. What happened at the time was everyone actually bought ICHITAN Green Tea not to drink, but to get comfortable and good looking cars.
Thus, creating an “illusory demand” in 2014 to earn 6.2 billion baht in revenue and to book about 1 billion baht of profit, which are the numbers that ICHI had never been able to reach until today.
OISHI was also shaking and sweating when facing such a campaign, and there was not any other way but to come up with a similar campaign in a lower value. However, the “illusory demand” only had an effect for two years (2014-2015), when the mighty Porsche and Mercedes were downgraded into Camry, iPhone, or even 1 million baht reward! The hot hit campaign started to face a dead end, which is the meaning of his name in Thai.
In 2016, ICHI’s profit downed to only 368 million baht from 812 million baht in 2015, unlike OISHI who gained 1,066 million baht in 2016, increased from 712 million baht in 2015.
More importantly, in these recent years, the “illusory demand” had turned into “real demand”, and turned ICHI from a rabbit into a turtle. A really old turtle who does not seem to be able to gain its strength back anymore.
ICHI’s 2017 consolidated financial statement showed a huge loss, and only left Mr. Tan to 315 million baht of profit, while OISHI continued its gain to 1,457 million baht. What is even worse than ICHI’s 2017 financial statement is ICHI’s 2H18 consolidated financial statement that showed only 2.54 million baht of profit! Meanwhile, OISHI still maintained its standard at 837 million baht.
An unexpected turn of the market caused ICHI dearly, and there is no telling what would happen to ICHI in the future, or maybe it really is a dead end.