In the first edition of the Friday Future List in 2024, Koktail has gathered three individuals who stand out in their achievements with a shared commitment to sustainability in the hospitality scene, impacting society and serving as an inspiration to look beyond the ordinary and embrace creativity as a force for positive change.
Thailand’s hospitality scene is centred around the idea of providing unique and enriching experiences, and these individuals add depth and significance to this movement.
Meet the Change-Makers
Siradej "Champ" Donavanik, the managing director of Asai Group, is revolutionising the hospitality sector with a fresh approach. Coming from the third generation of the Dusit Thani group, Siradej has taken charge, introducing Asai as a youthful and dynamic addition to the Dusit Thani brand. He leads Dusit International’s sustainability committee, demonstrating his dedication to eco-friendly practices. The Asai locations feature green spaces with organic vegetable gardens. For instance, the Sathon location employs a composting machine to repurpose wasted ingredients into fertiliser. This fertiliser is then used to cultivate vegetables at ASAI Bangkok Chinatown, creating a Circular Economy for the hotel.
Siradej’s vision goes beyond the boardroom; he co-founded Wonderfruit, an event that combines culture and being green. In his role as the head of culture for the hotel group, he prioritises fostering innovation, creativity, diversity, and empowerment. Whether commuting to work on his Vespa or preparing for a triathlon, Siradej embodies a commitment to sustainability in both his professional and personal life.
Vichada "Dao" Sitakalin, the design director for Rayavadee, Tamarind Village, and Raya Heritage, brings a touch of luxury to life. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA, Dao combines her knowledge of how buildings are designed with a love for creating things that are different. Working on various projects, including curating rooms at the Jim Thompson home furnishing showroom, Dao's design philosophy is eclectic. She merges elements of nature, textures, colours, and a mix of contemporary and vintage aesthetics, crafting spaces that radiate unpredictability.
In her designs, Dao goes beyond creating aesthetically pleasing environments; she embraces a sustainable approach that aligns with the ethos of responsible luxury. Her dedication to minimising environmental impact is reflected in the support and promotion of local craftsmanship, preserving cultural heritage. Moreover, Dao extends her sustainability ethos into the Raya Curated Collection, featuring clothing, accessories, and home décor items. Dao elevates luxury and champions a responsible and mindful approach to the art of living.
Sukamal Mondal, the Area General Manager at Amari Watergate Bangkok, has made being eco-friendly a big part of how his hotel works. Raised in a traditional Indian family, Sukamal developed a deep-seated awareness of food waste, a consciousness that has shaped his journey in the hospitality industry.
Beginning his career as a bartender in China, Sukamal worked his way up to hotel manager by the age of 32. When the covid 19 pandemic hit, he decided to do more to fight food waste and help organic farmers launching the Sustainably Conscious campaign, covering key areas of the hotel, from sourcing organic ingredients to minimising food waste and providing support for hospitality training for those in need.