Author Archives: bbgadmin

Board Member – Dr. William Thomas

Dr. Will has been a part of the Lao PDR community since his initial visit in 2005, before fully relocating here in 2011. With extensive experience in healthcare, conservation and tourism business sectors — Dr. Will has been at the forefront of Veterinary and animal welfare in Laos opening the leading veterinary hospital in Vientiane before expanding across SE Asia and has been Vice-Chairman of the Board since 2018.

In 2011, in conjunction with a French NGO he was part of establishing the first Elephant Clinic in Laos, followed by the founding of Animal Doctors International (ADI) in 2014. Since then Dr. Will has grown ADI into the leading veterinary group in SE Asia, with over 10 hospitals operating across Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and most recently — Thailand. Here, he employs a team of 45+ dedicated veterinarians, providing unparalleled access to veterinary care to animals across the region.

ADI was recently recognised by the Lao Government for registering the first international Trademark for a Lao Company using WIPO and is proud of winning the Responsible Business Award in 2023. Dr. Will believes in advocating for economic investment and growth within the region and is one of just a few people to successfully raise private equity investment for Lao based companies. He’s a staunch advocate for the continued development of Laos and its untapped opportunities, seeing it as pivotal for the country’s future and growth. He is also an investor in Mandalao, Luang Prabang’s premier elephant ecotourism initiative.

Throughout his journey, Dr. Will has held positions on both commercial and non-profit boards, including 501(c)3 organisations in the US and Asia. Alongside this he has experience in collaborating with governments, NGOs, international legal teams and investors, building on his expertise in business in SE Asia, and particularly in Laos.

Most recently he founded Idsara Wild — a non-profit organisation collaborating with Zoo de Beauval and World Animal Protection, which is aimed at providing veterinary expertise and support to Laos’ wild animal population through operating the only Elephant Ambulance in the country and consultancy for local and international NGOs.

An advocate for animal welfare and economic development through business, Dr. Will is a permanent fixture in the Lao PDR community and the British Chamber of Commerce.

You can reach Dr. William Thomas at will.thomas@bbglao.org or dig deeper into his professional journey by connecting on LinkedIn.

BUSINESS | SOCIAL @ LoveLife Cafe

A big British thank you to Love Life for hosting our first Business | Social event. A great evening catching up with old friends and making a few new ones. Thank you to all that attended and looking our for our next event.

H.E. Heather Wheeler Cocktail Reception

It was a great honour to welcome H.E. Heather Wheeler, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Laos and Cambodia back to Vientiane.

A great evening bringing together some of the finest British businesses and Lao dignitaries for important discussions over some delicious dinner from Crowne Plaza Vientiane

Many thanks to UK in Laos and Jaguar-LandRover for co-hosting and organising such a wonderful event.

Lao Responsible Business Awards 2023

Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum and Animal Doctors International were two of the leading businesses to be recognised at the 2023 Lao Responsible Business Awards for their commitment to the wellbeing of their workforce.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and good corporate Governance (ESG) are internationally proven approaches that facilitate organisations to be successful, and these awards are designed to promote these practices in order to support the development of a successful Lao economy.

Hosted by the British Embassy in Laos, the awards ceremony took place on the evening of 21 September to celebrate and recognise businesses in Laos who have demonstrated a strong commitment to responsible business practices. Participants included representatives from the 17 shortlisted businesses, the Lao National Chambers of Commerce and Industry, international business chambers, embassies and business leaders from across the country.

First launched in 2021 and the brainchild of the Canadian Embassy to Laos and Civitas Consulting, the annual responsible business awards has grown rapidly with additional partners coming on board each year to help organise, support and judge the awards. Canada continues to support this important initiative consistently, as both sponsor and organiser.

Announcing the winners of the small business category (for those businesses with fewer than 25 staff), Sheng Lee, President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry recognised ‘the great work and commitment the finalists had shown to investing in their people and demonstrating how this had had a positive influence on their business performance’.  Animal Doctors International took first place in this category, with BIPO Services in second and The Green taking third.

In the large business category (for those with 25 or more staff), the competition was even more fierce with Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Laos praising ‘the breadth of inspirational examples of good business practice and the commitment of the finalists to demonstrating how doing business well makes good business sense.’  The large business category was won by Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum, with this Luang Prabang based hotel demonstrating an impressive commitment to workforce wellbeing through their ‘8 Pillars of Wellbeing’ approach to staff engagement.   Krungsri Leasing followed closely in second place, and Lao Toyota Services in third.

Organised by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Austcham), the British Business Group in Laos and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the awards are designed to raise the profile of those businesses who are committed to responsible business practices, to demonstrate that good business practice makes good business sense and to inspire more businesses to follow in the footsteps of these industry leaders.

The organisers would like to thank all the businesses that participated, the panel of judges who evaluated the array of applications received, and the following sponsors who made the event possible: the Embassies of Britain, Canada and the EU , Civitas Consulting and Austcham.

JCB

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