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#AnyMindFamily Stories - (Mook) Wanlapa on her growing role, work mantras and speaking five languages

#AnyMindFamily Stories - (Mook) Wanlapa on her growing role, work mantras and speaking five languages

Hi everyone! My name is Wanlapa Siriphatthananunthakun, and I am pretty sure that’s the longest name in the company. I’m better known by my nickname, Mook! My mum gave it to me when I was young, and it basically means ‘pearl’ in Thai.

Prior to joining AnyMind Group, I worked at Google, an ad tech company, and an oil & gas company. Now, I am Regional Head of the Account Strategy department and based in Singapore.

I met Otohiko Kozutsumi, one of the founders of AnyMind Group, Riku Saito, Director of Account Strategy, and Takashi Okazaki during a Google Event in April 2016. At that time, the company was called AdAsia (it now is so much more) and it was just established in Singapore. There were only 4 members at that time, including Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder, Oto-san, Riku-san, and Takashi-san. Since the event, I kept in touch with Oto-san through LinkedIn.

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A year later, I saw a job opening at AdAsia in Singapore, so I contacted Oto-san that I would like to explore the job opportunity and discussed it with him in further details. I was impressed by how fast AdAsia was growing and how great his leadership and his personality are.

I was surprised to know that Oto-san did a lot of hands-on execution such as setting up and launching campaigns by himself. People in our company might not know about this.

I also had an opportunity to talk to Riku-san before joining AdAsia, and I saw a great culture and a bright opportunity here. Hence, I made the decision to join AdAsia.

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Worlds evolving quickly

I guess I always had big aspirations in mind - even going back to my childhood. I wanted to be a doctor then! Obviously, that did not turn out to be my career path, though I still find myself in a position where I can help people, so I am happy with that! My current position allows me to play a big role in helping advertisers from all across the region achieve their campaign and overall business goals.

This involves a lot of strategic planning and a meticulous approach towards driving and executing across the toolsets that we have that are best suited for each business and campaign.

I have enjoyed working in the Account Strategy team. My mantras are: “Do What We Love”, “Be Open” to learn new things, face new challenges, and “Never Give Up”. Those made me grow in my career.

Interestingly, it is difficult for advertising tech companies in this region to take a self-serve approach towards programmatic advertising, and the decision by the management team to provide ad optimization support to our clients is so important to our continuing success.

Of course, this is a fast-paced, technology-driven industry, where advances and improvements come out seemingly every other week. Making sure that we provide our clients with the very best solution stack requires us to always remain updated on the latest advancements. To this end, I make it a priority to work with my team to level up their skills through sharing and training sessions.

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It is not just me though. It is a team effort, and I want everyone to work together and grow as professionals together. I truly believe that: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Talking about the Account Strategy team is one that’s very dear to me; I have been given the opportunity to lead a wonderful and diverse team across the 11 markets the company is present in.

The value of localization can never be taken for granted, and I have learned so much working with each and every one of my team members. I would like to take this chance to thank the management for the opportunity, and the team for fighting so hard alongside me.

As Regional Head of the Account Strategy team and also a local member of our Singapore team, I need to look at everything as one big picture. One issue from one market might occur in other markets. However, each local team will have its own style of operations, cultures, and procedures.

“Open sharing & flexibility” is key to work smoothly between regional and local teams. From the regional side, I can share cross-market best practices, insights and solutions that each local team can apply and adapt to their market’s requirements.

For the Account Strategy team, we work very closely for both regional and local teams. We have weekly meetings, centralized team repositories, group chats, group emails, team knowledge training, and boot camps. These tools help us to work well regionally and locally.

Challenges make us grow!

There are always unexpected obstacles and challenges happening in our life. I admire all of the challenges and issues coming into my life, as they are like puzzles. Once I solve a puzzle, I will have more courage to solve the next level of puzzles.

I believe in both positive and macro thinking. “If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means “First Attempt In Learning”, the end is not the end. In fact, E.N.D. means “Effort Never Dies”. If you get NO as an answer, remember N.O. means “Next Opportunity”.

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Motivations come from within

An interesting fact about me: I can speak five languages. Namely Thai, English, Japanese, Mandarin, and French. In fact, I majored in Japanese while in university, and spent several years working in a Japanese company. I migrated to Singapore eleven years ago with my family.

Away from work, my life is about my kids. I have two children, a lovely boy and a lovely girl. They are my treasures, and I do my best to raise them to be happy, smart, and emotionally intelligent. I do tell them a bit about my work, and one day, they actually came to me and said, “Mommy, I saw your online advertisement, I helped you to click it.”

Looking ahead, I am confident that AnyMind Group can grow to be one of the leading technology companies in Asia. When the time comes, I will be very proud to tell my children that their mother is part of a dynamic team that has helped to drive the company to the top!

I’ll leave you with a quote from Jim Lovell, a former astronaut and one of the first people to fly and orbit the moon: “There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

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