Thailand Should Start Adopting A More Protective And Nationalistic Stance When It Comes To Startups, Innovations and Microbusinesses
Though I am a firm believer of technology and startups and generally do not consider myself a racist bigot as all my best friends are foreigners and my partner is a foreigner as well, of late as a common middle class Thai, I was wondering if the government agencies, private corporations and also the common Thai people are waking up and seeing what is really going on.
We tend to embrace with open arms foreign startups and companies like Grab (Singapore), Gojek( Indonesian), Line(Japanese), Honestbee (Singapore), etc (not to forget the monopolistic giants like Facebook from US.), while never helping out a small Thai startup or businesses. The common Thai people tend to embrace all these foreign platforms, apps and services without stopping to think for a moment that they are indirectly supporting a foreign entity. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, but they are forgetting that it is at the cost of something and this something can be many things ie a Thai startup, a Thai business or Thais being deprived of a chance. There is an opportunity costs for Thais and the country by supporting these foreign entities.
Do we Thais get the same reciprocal warmness when we try to set up a business or startup in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, or US. NO WAY! But we here get certain government agencies, Thai corporations and local Thais licking the soles of some of these new foreign entities setting up operations in Thailand like common dogs! The Thais working for some of these entities are no different either and further to that should be considered as criminals committing treason to the country and the citizens.
Yes Thais love all things foreign without raising a hand to support their own Thai microbusinesses or Thai SMEs or Thai Startups or fellow Thai countrymen.
Take the case of Grab from the country of Singapore that has no resources except a cunning mindset and yet we are allowing them to operate and kill the livehoods of the local Thai taxi drivers. Yes Thai taxis are not perfect and we hate them for their attitudes that have evolved as a result of the need to survive in this country where the disparity between the rich and the poor is so wide thanks to the corrupted politicians.
Instead of supporting Grab, why not create our own Thai version with the support of The Thai Government and our tax payer’s monies instead of spending those monies for so called government agencies’s events that generate nothing but hot air! That local version can get the local Thai taxis also involved and also set up new standards to control the behavior of these taxi drivers etc and impose higher penalties for those that disobey rules. We do not need a Singaporean entity to get involved in our local domestic transportation issues.
The same applies for foreign entities owning social media platforms, I still cannot figure out how certain stupid government officials could let them operate in the country without paying taxes in the past for so many years and also ripping off locals with their high but hopeless advertising plans etc. Why did not any Thai corporation or government agency support the setting up of a Thai social platform. I have seen so many young startups at startup events that have created such platforms but no Thai corporation or Thai agency was willing to back them up.
Some may ask where are my rantings originating from. Well for the last 3 months as a small struggling Thai media startup, we have been bullied by a couple of farang entities from locations like Phuket, Pattaya and Asoke that are running media companies (I still do not know who they are paying as I thought as a Thai, that by law media companies are restricted to only Thai nationals.) These farangs have been trying to bully us non-stop in so many unscrupulous ways the last few months despite the fact that we are smaller Thai entity no match to them.
As a Thai, that does not get support from any Thai corporations or Thai agencies, it irks me to see how these foreign entities are allowed to remain in Thailand, break laws and bully us and yet no one does anything. Many Thai journalists who have lost jobs due to these illegal farang stealing the market share have done nothing either. Neither have those Thai journalist that still have jobs. In fact I was surprised that one Thai media network was actually in cahoots with these farangs which makes me to think that they are no better that the street dogs licking these foreigners. What is worst is that these farangs are running sites that make fun of our PM, our government, our country , our culture and our people and yet no one does anything about them.
I think it is time that common Thais as a whole to wake up and start to rethink the way we treat our fellow countrymen and instead of worshipping the feet of foreigners, we start supporting local Thais in their innovations, startups, businesses etc. Buy Thai, Support Thai especially in these bad economic times.
Also if the government does not wake up and start supporting local Thais instead of these foreigners, Thais should stop supporting them and start asking for a change in a proper legal manner.
As a Thai, I am kinda sick of the current situation but am so disheartened that there is nothing much that I can do except rant.