PTG: Growth against all odds

From the June 2012 issue.

Turning a small business into a big one is a tough task, and the statistics are grim. But don't tell that to Thai fleet, PTG.

What are the odds of a $40,000 start-up becoming the next DHL or Toll Group? We’ve all heard that it’s slim, but according to US consultant Keith McFarland, the chance is actually microscopic – only 0.036 per cent of companies ever surpass one billion in annual revenue.

Thai gas and transport company PTG, however, has proven that breakthrough success is possible. In less than 25 years, it has grown into a $40 million business that can hardly keep up with demand and will generate revenue of $1.6 billion in 2012.

Given the current economic framework and the fact that PTG is still only a regional business, the company’s stratospheric development is a rare phenomenon. At the end of last year, the kingdom’s economy contracted sharply after some of the worst flooding on record disrupted manufacturing. Official statistics* reveal that GDP declined by nine per cent in the time leading up to New Year’s Eve, and the economy contracted by 10.7 per cent.

So, how did a small start-up become a multi-billion Baht business, maintaining constant growth even in a phase of economic instability? 

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