CHAYUDA “NINA” JIARAVANON

Prestige (Thailand) - - CONTENTS - PHO­TOG­RA­PHER VATCHA­R­A­SITH WICHYAN­RAT | STYLIST PISIT JIRATHADAPHAN MAKEUP ARTIST SUKHON SRIMARATTANAKUL | HAIR STYLIST NARONGSAK YIAMLAENGAMKOOL ED­I­TO­RIAL CO­OR­DI­NA­TOR RATTANACHAI CHAIPORNSANTIKUL | LO­CA­TION THE SUKHOTHAI BANGKOK

“I want to pick up a new skill, be more mind­ful of ev­ery­thing I do, and spend more time with my fam­ily”

DE­SPITE BE­ING BORN WITH THE PROVER­BIAL SIL­VER SPOON IN THEIR MOUTHS, SIB­LINGS CHAYUDA “NINA” JIARAVANON AND CHAVAL “RICHIE” JIARAVANON ALSO SHARE AN UN­WA­VER­ING COM­MIT­MENT TO FORGE THEIR OWN PATHS. françois oosthuizen MEETS THE DY­NAMIC BROTHER-AND-SIS­TER DUO

BY THEIR OWN AD­MIS­SION

and pos­si­bly (partly) due to a four-year age gap, Nina and Richie Jiaravanon’s re­la­tion­ship hasn’t al­ways been that of dot­ing brother and sis­ter. “We used to fight a lot as chil­dren. We didn’t get along and liked com­pletely dif­fer­ent things. I think we are much closer now; we can dis­cuss big­ger is­sues or work, fam­ily and friends,” Nina says.

Richie con­curs. “We have a love-hate re­la­tion­ship; some­times we are in­sep­a­ra­ble, other times we can’t stand be­ing around each other. But we’ve got­ten closer over the years as we’ve both grown and ma­tured. I think we’ve come to un­der­stand each other a lot bet­ter,” he says.

The only chil­dren of Chatchaval Jiaravanon, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Group In­vest­ment and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of True Cor­po­ra­tion, and his wife, Kwan­jai, chair­woman of entertainment com­pany CK United, Nina and Richie credit their per­sonal value sys­tem to their up­bring­ing.

Nina, who cur­rently works as a pri­vate banker at UBS Sin­ga­pore af­ter earn­ing a de­gree in In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions from Tufts Univer­sity in Bos­ton and a Master’s de­gree in Busi­ness Man­age­ment from Im­pe­rial Col­lege Busi­ness School in Lon­don, re­calls happy me­mories from her child­hood. “Grow­ing up, it was mostly my mom who was there to mentor and teach me, as my dad was work­ing most of the time. My mom was strict – which, in hind­sight, was a good thing. She would make us sleep at a cer­tain time, prac­tice pi­ano, do our home­work. It taught us to be dis­ci­plined. She also made sure we had proper ta­ble man­ners, knew how to speak po­litely and treat oth­ers with re­spect and kind­ness – not tak­ing things for granted. This all have guided me to be­come who I am to­day.

“I feel like my re­la­tion­ship with my mom has changed to be­come more of a friend, my clos­est con­fi­dant. We go shop­ping, chat, watch movies, etc. My dad, on the other hand, has al­ways been my big­gest role-model. His work ethic is amaz­ing. Even to­day he is still jug­gling nu­mer­ous work projects. He is a man of great vi­sion – he has the abil­ity to stay rel­e­vant, com­bin­ing his work ex­pe­ri­ence and wis­dom with new tech­nol­ogy. He is able to con­nect with both peo­ple of his gen­er­a­tion and the new gen­er­a­tion. He is the most in­tel­li­gent per­son I know; his knowl­edge of Chi­nese his­tory and his abil­ity to draw par­al­lels to current events is amaz­ing. He has also taught me about busi­ness; how to think about in­vest­ing and man­ag­ing money, Nina ex­plains.

Her ear­li­est pro­fes­sional as­pi­ra­tion was to fol­low in her fa­ther’s foot­steps and that, cou­pled with a nat­u­ral cu­rios­ity and a love for travel and other cul­tures, led to her stud­ies in In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions. “I al­ways had an in­ter­est in learn­ing about the grow­ing com­pli­ca­tions of our in­creas­ingly glob­alised world. The me­mories of learn­ing about Chi­nese his­tory from my dad trig­gered my in­ter­est in learn­ing about how his­tory may repeat it­self.”

She con­tin­ues, “Be­ing away from my fam­ily and liv­ing abroad alone for the first time pushed me out of my com­fort zone and al­lowed me to grow a lot. I was able to meet peo­ple from dif­fer­ent cul­tures and back­grounds and learn from their ex­pe­ri­ences. I be­came more in­de­pen­dent and self-aware.”

On the topic of her child­hood grow­ing up in Bangkok, Nina also fondly re­calls go­ing on road trips with her fam­ily and cousins to New­port Beach, Cal­i­for­nia. “We would al­ways em­bark on new ad­ven­tures dur­ing the sum­mer – white wa­ter raft­ing, sail­ing, body board­ing. It served as a con­stant re­minder to con­tinue to be cu­ri­ous of new things, to try new ex­pe­ri­ences, and the im­por­tance of fam­ily.”

Prior to land­ing her current job at UBS Sin­ga­pore, Nina held sev­eral in­tern­ship po­si­tions at fash­ion houses to gain first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of dif­fer­ent jobs, in­clud­ing Chris­tian Dior, Zac Posen and Jil San­der (the lat­ter two in New York City) – “I had to do sales man­age­ment, run sam­ples to pho­to­shoots, pack

sam­ples for mag­a­zines, what­ever they wanted me to do.” She then in­terned at Bangkok Bank SIP and Pha­tra Se­cu­ri­ties – her first ex­po­sure to the world of bank­ing – be­fore join­ing Credit Suisse in the busi­ness de­vel­op­ment di­vi­sion.

Two years later, in Oc­to­ber 2017, she be­came a full-fledged pri­vate banker at UBS Sin­ga­pore. “I love that as a pri­vate banker it’s not only in­vest­ment man­age­ment you han­dle for clients, but you can also help them with other as­pects such as suc­ces­sion plan­ning and phi­lan­thropy. I en­joy meet­ing new peo­ple (col­leagues from dif­fer­ent back­grounds as well as clients), ex­pand­ing my net­work of peo­ple, learn­ing the sto­ries of suc­cess­ful clients, and lis­ten­ing to clients’ needs and then find­ing com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tions to meet their de­mands,” Nina ex­plains.

Her work ethic – “work first, play when de­served” – might sound some­what se­ri­ous for a 20-some­thing, and that’s be­cause Nina ad­mits that her ca­reer is the most im­por­tant thing in her life right now. She does how­ever be­lieve in main­tain­ing a happy, healthy and bal­anced life­style. She’s a se­ri­ous foodie and has a sweet tooth, with Esora in Sin­ga­pore be­ing her new favourite restau­rant.

For her, the key to a bal­anced life­style is a com­bi­na­tion of four things: “Work hard, and re­ward your­self for the hard work; pri­ori­tise im­por­tant things and prac­tice good time man­age­ment; al­ways make time for your­self – even with a busy sched­ule; and al­lo­cate time for ex­er­cise.”

Nina’s de­scribes her per­sonal style is “ca­sual com­fort” and says good taste is all about “be­ing con­fi­dent in one’s per­sonal style and what you choose – be­ing able to ex­press what you stand for and what you be­lieve [in].”

If she could look into the fu­ture, she ad­mits that she would like to see three things: “To be suc­cess­ful at my job, to have a warm and lov­ing fam­ily, and to give back to so­ci­ety.” In the mean­time, as she kicks off the New Year with renewed vigour, she’s adamant to ac­com­plish at least three things in 2019. “I want to pick up a new skill, be more mind­ful of ev­ery­thing I do, and spend more time with my fam­ily.”

De­ter­mi­na­tion and drive run in the Jiaravanon fam­ily, and younger brother Richie says his ear­li­est as­pi­ra­tion was to be as suc­cess­ful as his par­ents and other fam­ily mem­bers. “My role mod­els grow­ing up were my par­ents, grand­par­ents, aunts and un­cles. Be­ing for­tu­nate enough to be born into a suc­cess­ful fam­ily means that there are count­less role mod­els to as­pire to and all of them are more than happy to share what they’ve learned.

“Grow­ing up in my fam­ily was an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Both my sis­ter and I were in­cred­i­bly blessed to have sup­port­ive par­ents who were very open-minded; they never told us what we had to be­come do with our lives. Rather, they would sug­gest us to try any­thing and ev­ery­thing. My track record is an ex­am­ple of this as I grew up play­ing base­ball, ice hockey, alto sax, ten­nis, etc.”

Richie, who spent most of his child­hood in board­ing schools in the USA, de­scribes him­self (as a child) as “an en­er­getic and mis­chievous mama’s boy”, and there are some child­hood me­mories that re­ally stand out for him. “My grand­mother passed away when I was quite young and it

“GO­ING TO BOARD­ING SCHOOL IN AMER­ICA OPENED UP MY LIM­ITED WORLD VIEW”

“I WANT TO BE­COME A BET­TER VER­SION OF ME…” - Chaval “Richie” Jiaravanon

was a com­ing-of-age mo­ment for me. It was the first time in my life that I re­alised that not ev­ery­one is go­ing to be around for­ever. Go­ing to board­ing school in Amer­ica also opened up my lim­ited world view. Meet­ing peo­ple from around the world re­ally gave me a new per­spec­tive on how large and di­verse ev­ery­thing is.”

In his fam­ily, he says, there’s a say­ing that goes, “In life you have two choices. If you go out and play to­day, they will be­come your dreams by to­mor­row. If you go out and plant a seed to­day, by to­mor­row you will be­gin to see sprouts.”

Armed with a de­gree in In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness from Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity – a study field he de­cided on be­cause it pro­vided him with an op­por­tu­nity to pick up a for­eign lan­guage while learn­ing to prac­ti­cally ap­ply it in busi­ness – Richie set out on his own course. To­day he is the CEO of Sna­pask Thai­land, an edutech startup. “We cre­ated an education app that is sim­i­lar to the Uber of tu­tor­ing. We’ve launched in 10 dif­fer­ent coun­tries and have around 1.2 mil­lion stu­dent users,” he says.

And al­though his dream job as a kid was to be­come a pro­fes­sional hockey player or a pro­fes­sional singer, that changed as he got older. “Re­al­is­ti­cally, I want to be­come the CEO of a large multi­na­tional com­pany that makes peo­ple’s lives bet­ter on a big scale,” he says. And it ap­pears Richie is well on his way to achiev­ing just that.

Asked about his guilty plea­sures, Richie ad­mits that he loves dogs, shoes and cars. He’s also an avid sports lover who en­joys any com­pet­i­tive phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. “It makes me feel alive,” he says. In his free time he en­joys build­ing me­chan­i­cal things like com­put­ers and key­boards, and is slowly also mov­ing to­wards cars. No won­der then that high on this avid trav­eller’s bucket list is to watch the Monaco Grand Prix from a yacht with fam­ily and friends.

As far as his per­sonal style is con­cerned, it’s all about com­fort­able, well-fit­ted cloth­ing. “Hav­ing cloth­ing fit­ted to you is the most im­por­tant thing when it comes to fash­ion. I re­ally like stylis­ti­cally ‘clean’ look­ing clothes with a dash of colour to re­ally make a state­ment, com­ple­mented by a nice watch and shoes. I also love lay­er­ing dur­ing fall, al­beit not in Thai­land,” Richie says.

And his New Year res­o­lu­tion? “I want to be­come a bet­ter ver­sion of me…”

“I WANT TO PICK UP A NEW SKILL, BE MORE MIND­FUL OF EV­ERY­THING I DO, AND SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY FAM­ILY” -Chayuda “Nina” Jiaravanon

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