Tanit Chutipongpattanakul : Owner Baan Rommai

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Tanit Chutipongpattanakul : Owner Baan Rommai

Tanit Chutipongpattanakul : Owner Baan Rommai Tanit Chutipongpattanakul

Several weeks ago Phuketindex.com had the opportunity to meet up with Khun Tanit Chutipongpattanakul owner of Baan Rommai – during our informal chat Khun Tanit mused;

I like to stay behind the scenes rather than stand in the spotlight. Only a few people here know that I’m the project owner, most think I’m only an engineer.”

We therefore thought you might like to hear a bit more!


Khun Tanit is not a Phuketian nor from Bangkok, but is actually from Chacherngsao, a Province in the East of Thailand. Like many aspiring individuals he went to Thailand’s capital city to gain a better education. After Khun Tanit got his bachelor degree for Electrical Engineering from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, he took a position in the Engineering Division at Berli Jucker Public Company Ltd. A company at the very forefront of Thailand’s trading, manufacturing and servicing fields. After working for the company for a few years Khun Tanit decided that he would like to be his own boss.

Onset in Business

Talking to Khun Tanit for half an hour we learn he started his Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) Engineering business under the name ‘E 24’ which is also the mother company of Baan Rommai, before developing into a full construction business.

His construction business mostly caters to Kiatnakin’s customers [Kiatnakin is a Thai registered securities company] since it is here he has good business connections. ‘E 24’ handles many building projects in the Bangkok area including Citibank’s head office, HSBC’s head office, Credit Suisse First Boston Securities (Thailand), Standard Chartered’s head office, ABN AMRO (Asia), as well as the first 20 branches of Makro. Following such illustrious contracts Khun Tanit was able to break into the Phuket market and his clients here include among others the Three Dolphins Resort, Katamanda Resort, and Trisara.

Becoming a developer

Baan Rommai represents Khun Tanits first personal residential development project in Phuket and was inspired by an incident involving the exaggerated costs associated with living around Phuket’s beaches. He enlightens us

“One day several years ago, we worked for a beachside project and one of my staff
was exhausted so he went to get a bottle of soft drink having 15 baht in his pocket. Unfortunately the bottle he wanted cost 50 baht even though its actual cost was only 5 baht and my worker went without due to unfair ‘tourist’ pricing.” This incident inspired Khun Tanit to think about a reasonably priced project, which could be built for Thai residents and workers. “I want to build a competitive, value for money projects” he states.

Tanit Chutipongpattanakul : Owner Baan Rommai

On his company name

“It’s a homage to my closeness to nature” said Khun Tanit who informs us he was brought up among ‘green fields’ since his family are farmers and therefore he tries to remain true to his roots. Meanwhile his development company is the named

“Baan Rommai Chailay” because it is a combination of ‘Rommai’ meaning ‘tree shade’ and ‘Chailay’ meaning ‘seaside’ which is indicative of Phuket.

Design concepts

Khun Tanit’s projects are built along the three predominant factors in his life:

“I am a Chinese descendent, I am not local, and I am a sportsman”.

Regarding the first point Khun Tanit tells us he is from a Chinese family (like many Phuketians), and lived in a row house (the likes of which can be seen now on Debuk road) during his childhood. However, progressing from his roots Khun Tanit now wishes to live in an open and airy place and this provides the rationale for his projects locations.

Secondly Khun Tanit tells us because he is not local, but comes here to work,
he is simply the same as others who are subjected to the increased costs of living associated with a tourist resort and the largely unfair prices. For this reason he has decided to offer reasonably priced homes in order to buck the trend and cater to people who cannot afford the unfair disparity with other places in Thailand.

Finally as he is a sportsman he uses a sports analogy, to explain his direct approach; “When I use a swimming pool that means I go swimming, not for a dip. I use a straight swimming pool. For a true swimmer does not like ‘free form’ pools” Such is also his approach to business.

Tanit Chutipongpattanakul : Owner Baan Rommai

On reasonable project costs Khun Tanit tells us

“Because I have knowledge and experience in construction it means I am able to control costs and cope with inflation. Nevertheless, if you have an engineering background and know the construction costs in Phuket you will still wonder how we can survive when you see what we have done and the price we charge!

On Phuket's setbacks

Khun Tanit has seen off; SARS, Bird Flu, and the Tsunami but what he worries about most is Thailand’s political situation and the people’s demonstrations. ‘It is not a natural disaster’ he advises ‘but it is if we make it one’.

His personal motto

“It’s easy, I never take advantage of others and I prefer to help others financially rather than make merit.”

And a final wish?

Humorously parodying Thai Beauty queens though serious in what he says Khun Tanit states “I want peace in Thailand” adding “not only for Thailand but also for my business as well.” Supremely confident in his projects’ Khun Tanit believes if the Thai political situation progresses favourably so will his projects.

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