The Chirathivat family tops the list of Thailand’s Richest People, according to Forbes, buoyed by a jump in their Central Group’s revenues to $7 billion in 2013. Central Retail, the country’s largest retailer, is run by Tos Chirathivat, the grandson of the group’s founder.
Tiang Chirathivat founded Central Group in 1927. His son Samrit Chirathivat, inherited the business and opened the first shopping centre in Thailand, in Bangkok, in 1957. Chirathivat now owns mega-sized department stores and shopping malls in every major city of Thailand.
Having already penetrated deep into the domestic market, Tos Chirathivat began a roll-out of Central Group department stores across the wider Southeast Asian region. The group also has a $560 million joint venture with China's JD.com to set up an e-commerce site. Meanwhile, Chirathivat is expanding the portfolio in Europe through several acquisitions; the family purchased the Danish department store Illum in 2015 and, in a separate deal, acquired upscale Italian department store chain, La Rinascente, for $291 million.
At the height of the Thai political crisis in 2014, which saw widespread unrest, Chirathivat opened the most luxurious of his Bangkok shopping centres to date. Central Embassy bowed with much fanfare welcoming the likes of Prada, Hermès, Tom Ford and Christian Louboutin .
Prior to joining Central Group as chief executive, Tos Chirathivat served under several executive director roles at Big C Super Center, Robinson department store, and B2S Company Ltd. He has an MBA in Finance from Columbia University.
As of May 2019, the Chirathivat family has a net worth of $21 billion, placing them second in Forbes' "Thailand's 50 Richest." They also ranked 10th in the 2017 list of Asia's richest families.