Investor and business consultant Lucille Krajciova only planned a short sojourn in Thailand when she arrived in the Kingdom a decade ago. But then Bangkok got well and truly under the Slovakian native’s skin and here she remains. The fashionable ‘girl about town’ is at the top of the invite list for the most elite gatherings and happenings and a regular at the city’s many exclusive night spots and eateries.
How long have you been in Bangkok and what brought you here?
I arrived in Bangkok at the start of September 2004. I came here because I wanted to explore new career opportunities. My partner and I had the choice between Singapore, Vietnam or Thailand. I chose Thailand because of its wonderful culture and also because of the growing market in developing sectors and many industries. Our original plan was to stay for a year and then move on to Singapore. That didn’t happen because I grew so comfortable here. Apart from being settled, another key factor for staying was that my business partner, Teeraya Seeharit, and I wanted to get into the skincare and beauty product market, the growing stem cell industry to be precise.
How has the city changed since your arrival?
Bangkok has grown in the past 10 years, particularly the construction of many new roads and developments such as shopping malls, restaurants, residences, hotels and hospitals. And of course I have to mention transportation. The MRT and BTS systems have made life in this busy city much easier.
How has the investment climate changed in recent years? Where do you see it heading?
Generally speaking, in recent years investors have been much more careful about what they are investing in. This applies both here and globally. I thinks this is due to in part to a residual caution after the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990’s and the more recent European debt crisis. Over the past couple of years certain industries have done consistently well in Thailand, the beauty and cosmetics sector being one. It remains a fastgrowing trend – ‘physical’ anti-aging products in particular – which is why I have become involved with Luminesce, one of the world’s leading stem cell-based skincare products. It really is booming.
Favourite boutiques for some ‘retail therapy’?
This is difficult because the choice is endless. I truly enjoy wandering around Terminal 21. The mall has a unique theme with each floor decorated to take on the ambience of a well-known city such as London, Rome, Paris, etc. Hordes of tourist and locals flock to the mall for its wide variety of unique boutiques and local designer apparel. I enjoy also shopping in the Chidlom- Ploenchit area. It’s something of a battleground for the city’s finest malls, including Gaysorn, Central World, Zen and Erawan. You can easily find what you want and discover trendy new things to buy along the way.
Best place for a drink?
Bangkok is blessed with super-design, Wallpaper*-esque nightlife concept outlets and has been since the emergence of ‘it’ joints such as Levels, FACE Bar, Demo and Fallabella over the last decade. This has continued with venues like KU DE TA. I enjoy them all on occasion. Making waves of late are two new roof-top hotspots Scarlett, high above Pullman Bangkok, is perfect for the sunset scene, while I love both the ambience and food at Speakeasy at Hotel Muse. I also enjoy the intimacy of Maggie Choo’s!
Favourite places to dine?
I’ve always liked Eat Me on Soi Convent, but I also adore dining at Antonio on Sukhumvit 31, 661 Silom on Silom Road, and Opus on Silom Soi Pan. I’m a big fan of Japanese cuisine too, hence regular visits to Izakaya at KU DE TA. In addition, I like to dine at Spasso at Grand Hyatt Erawan. The food there is fantastic.
Where in the city do you go to find some solitude?
For much needed ‘me time’ I visit the Health Land spa on Sathorn. It’s very tranquil and convenient. For fresh air and exercise I enjoy bike riding and rollerblading in Lumpini Park and Queen Sirikit Park.
What would be your motto for life and what advice would you give to new arrivals in Bangkok?
My motto is ‘To Inspire and Achieve’! My advice to any newcomer is check out all the city has to offer before exploring the region. You’ll be here a while! Be kind and respectful, always smile, and maintain your sense of adventure.