Variously known as the city of angels or the magnificent city of nine gems, and tracing its roots some 600 years back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom, Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis that is thriving with the energetic buzz of commerce, yet sporting the rich legacy of longstanding cultural heritage .
In addition to offices in Singapore and Malaysia, EDMUND TIE also operates out of Thailand with a regional office in the country’s capital city. Our team-building trip, stretching from 25 – 28 October 2019, was therefore an opportune occasion for us to catch up with our Thai colleagues as well as explore the diverse sights and sounds of Bangkok.
After visiting our Bangkok office on 25 October, we sat down for a lovely dinner with our Thai colleagues later in the evening, during which Ms Punnee Sritanyalucksana (Pom), chief operating officer of EDMUND TIE (Thailand), delivered an animated address before an attentive audience.
Paying a visit to our Bangkok office, EDMUND TIE (Thailand)
Punnee Sritanyalucksana, whom we affectionately address as Pom-kun, delivering an address during dinner
After dinner, we rested. There was going to be a race that would take us to the ends of the city the following day, so we recharged our “batteries” for the upcoming challenge.
But how to sleep when we were all already revved up ?
The EDMUND TIE Amazing Race!
“Nee raa khaa thao rai”?
A dazzling kaleidoscope of colours, accompanied by an equally diverse array of aromas, warmly welcomed us. Tints of red, green and violet complemented by a variety of scents – ranging from the sweet fragrance of flowers and refreshing citrus of fruits to the piquant tang of herbs – pampered our senses as we stood amid Pak Klong Talad, Bangkok’s renowned Flower Market.
Our job was straightforward – all we needed to do was to shop. But we were only allowed to converse in Thai. Not so simple now, right? And in case it piqued your curiosity, nee raa khaa thao rai is the Thai equivalent of “how much is it?”: you’d have to know at least this much to transact successfully.
This task was part of a series of challenges that team EDMUND TIE had to grapple with as we embarked on our very own bespoke version of the Amazing Race. On a balmy Saturday of 26 October 2019, our colleagues – grouped into smaller teams of about 10 each – set out armed only with a map of Bangkok and “Adventure Backpacks” containing bare minimals like raincoats, mosquito repellent and such. No luxuries or excess baggage! The idea was to solve problems through teamwork and resourcefulness – and since that’s what we aspire to do for our clients, the EDMUND TIE amazing race was certainly good training.
“Teams come to the table with diverse skillsets,” said CEO Ms Ong Choon Fah, “and we need to constantly remind ourselves not to let groupthink or let any pre-existing mindsets stifle new and innovative approaches to problem-solving.”
“Here in EDMUND TIE, we always encourage one another to engage in independent thinking that is creative and cutting edge, so as to be always responsive to our clients’ needs,” she added.
Director of Consulting, Ms Constance Leung said: “The EDMUND TIE amazing race and other bonding activities gave us an opportunity to engage colleagues from other offices in a way that was fun and deeply memorable. A lot of us have built new friendships, and with improved rapport, we can certainly look forward to sharing ideas and working more closely together.”
“And yes, I would certainly love to do this all over again next year!” she added.
Constance’s enthusiasm comes as no surprise, since her team walked away with the top prize for the race.
Congratulations to the winning team of the EDMUND TIE amazing race!
In addition to procuring items at the Bangkok Flower Market, the teams also had to figure out how to make traditional flower garlands, tie a Thai sarong, attempt an ethnic bamboo dance and finally build a bridge using only wooden sticks, rope and scissors – all stone-age tools apart from the scissors!
Kudos to the team for beautiful, self-made garlands – well done!
Team EDMUND TIE back together again after their Bangkok Adventure, and ready for a hearty Thai lunch!
“In addition to building camaraderie among colleagues, the team-building exercise also illustrates the importance of acquiring local knowledge,” said Choon Fah. “That is why, at the strategic level, we have always emphasised the need to develop in-depth knowledge of the markets we operate in, so that we’ll always know how best to help our clients.”
“Last but certainly not least,” she continued, “much thanks to May and the Social Activities Committee for organising such a wonderful event. Well done!”