Nicharee Phatitit meets ML Nathasit Diskul, the businessman looking to put supercar brand Lamborghini back in Thailand’s fast lane
Renazzo Motors’ ML Nathasit Diskul expounds on the re-launch of Lamborghini in Thailand, while business executive Preeyanart Soontornwata of B Grimm Power talks energy
We get together with ML Nathasit Diskul at Lamborghini’s sleek new workshop and showroom on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. Known as Gong, Nathasit is the chief business officer of Sharich Holding, an umbrella company for a raft of motorcycle and electronic brands, as well as the managing director of Renazzo Motor, appointed by Automobili Lamborghini Asia Pacific as the marque’s official dealer in Thailand. He is working a tight schedule to have the new facility ready by December 2018. “Lamborghini has been in Thailand for the past 20 years, but dealership operations have experienced a hiatus in the past two years,” he explains. “I’m running full-steam at the moment, putting in 15-hour days to push the completion of the construction.”
Fittingly, Renazzo Motor takes its name from the hometown of Lamborghini’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini. The name in Italian is associated with rebirth, in this case a new beginning for the brand in Thailand. “We are confident that come December, everything will be fully operational,” says Gong, but he also acknowledges that that is only half the challenge. Rebuilding the image and customer confidence in the brand is also paramount. “Right now our potential customers don’t have the confidence due to the two-year pause. Our goal is to restore the marque’s reputation for both our existing and prospective owners. We’ve already achieved part of that through our media activities, including a press conference to announce our selection as the new authorised importer and distributor for Lamborghini in Thailand. The CEO of Lamborghini Asia Pacific flew in specially for the announcement.”
Starting with a clean slate, Gong’s integrity is reflected in the policy of transparency that he has implemented. “We want to import through a completely open process, so we did something quite extraordinary for this industry. We submitted an official letter from Lamborghini headquarters in Italy to the Thai Customs Department stating the precise cost of each car. There are simply no grey areas when you buy a Lamborghini here and we can assure prospective owners that all the cars we sell are properly valued and legally imported. As a business it means a smaller profit margin for us but I think the sacrifice is worth making if it helps to restore confidence in the brand.”
An avid photographer, Nathasit’s passion for vintage cameras and photography runs in his blood. “My grandfather was a keen photographer. I prefer using a film camera because the process of taking a photo is more delicate and technical. You have to think about the composition, the shutter speed, the lighting and so on before you can get a good shot. I like to take photos in medium format, so I only get 12 pictures per roll of film. It makes you concentrate on getting the right image! Nowadays you can just snap away on your phone camera, but it takes away the sense of calm composition you only get when trying to frame a shot using film,” he says. Getting the film processed, too, has a charm for Nathasit because of the time and effort he invests in the pictures. “When I look at the photos I take, I can recall everything—the people, the way they laughed, even the smell at the moment I pressed the shutter. I like street photography, so I take a camera with me whenever I travel to get pictures of how people actually live their lives.”
A modern man with an adventurous spirit, Gong enjoys sports such as skiing and snowboarding, hobbies he picked up while at high school in New Zealand. “I also love rockclimbing with my wife and daughter. We take turns to be each other’s belayer—the climber who stays on the ground to apply tension to the rope while another climber is ascending.” He’s an obvious safe pair of hands for taking Lamborghini back to the top in Thailand.