Alain Cohen of La Colline

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Alain Cohen - Director of La Colline

Alain Cohen   Alain Cohen
Director of La Collinet

In every person’s life there comes at time when a spot of spiritual renewal is called for, and when it comes it has to be done in the right place. Somewhere away from it all, quiet, surrounded by hills covered in lush greenery and beautiful tropical flowers. Somewhere to relax in your own private pool, eyes closed, mind in neutral, and stress a distant memory. Imagine this, then opening your eyes to take in the deep blue of the sky reaching down to touch the rich green of the land. This is La Colline.

And the man behind La Colline is Alain Cohen whose emphasis on ’affordability’ makes the dream accessible to all. had an insightful interview with him just a few weeks ago.

On his background

Alain is a 58 year old Frenchman who has done many things in his life before deciding to run a property business in Phuket. One of his projects for example, was to open a textile factory in Vientiane, Laos in 1993, something he kept running himself until just over one year ago.

On starting La Colline

“We bought the land about 4 years ago just after the Tsunami disaster. When we first went to view it, we found that it was a really beautiful land here in Phuket surrounded, as it is all year, by lush tropical greenery. We conceived the idea to build affordable villas in the beautiful environment, making the most of the views. We then contacted A49-Architect 49, one of the best known architectural companies in Thailand, and asked it to design reasonably sized houses at a similarly reasonable price, whilst making the most of the space. As I expected, they have done a pretty good job.

On the most successful way to promote La Colline:

“I can safely say that word of mouth has been our best advertisement. So far we have sold almost 45% of the project, which is great, mostly to friends, and friends of friends who live in Bangkok, Indonesia, Shanghai, Taipei and even France. We have focused our marketing strategy on people who love Phuket and want to live here, or people who love to come here very often. Coupled with our reasonable price, this strategy has been successful.”

On his working principle:

“Actually, I have many ‘working principles’, but I know my limitations so I gather good professional people around me. Each task is analyzed then assigned to the right specialist whom I trust to make the right decisions. I limit myself to managing these people, and in this way I let them have the confidence to work with me and hopefully promote a happy working atmosphere. If we are happy, our customers should, in turn, be happy with the outcome.”

On dealing with the current financial crisis:

“Luckily, the financial aspect has been secured with La Colline. Since it’s inception we made sure that we had absolute security with this project and that is why we do not really have any concerns at this time. The crisis may slow down the marketing somewhat, but we are still confident that our project will be 100% complete by end 2010 as originally planned and despite the global economic downturn we are still receiving enquiries, and those potential customers who have seen the project are still really showing a great interest in our project and in fact, we have 3 – 4 houses targeted by prospective customer.”

On his greatest challenge:

“When you ask what my greatest challenge is, I have to say that it is giving each and every buyer customer satisfaction. It is sometimes a painstaking process but I believe in attention to detail and making sure that every demand is satisfied to the full extent of my ability. ‘The customer is always right’ is my maxim.”

On his other projects in the future:

“Well, actually, I really don’t know what will be next’, laughed Monsieur Cohen. “This project has been about 2 years in the making, so let’s get it finished first then I’ll think about it. A lot of hard work has gone into La Colline, but the way I’m thinking at the moment, I may do two further projects. Who knows?” he continued to chortle, “Anything can happen”

On his free time:

“Most definitely golf. I play almost every day and do lots of other sports including swimming. I’m not a night bird so I can wake up very early. I try to organize my daily routine to maximize my free time.” thanks Alain Cohen for his time and interesting conversation. We hope he will soon sell the other 55% of La Colline, a sanctuary of serene villas available in Phuket.

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