Author Archives: bbgadmin

Advisory Board Member: Eshan Sebastian

Eshan Sebastian was born in London, UK and studied in the UK culminating in qualifying as a Chartered certified accountant.

Eshan has worked for number of different industries in the UK including leading companies such as Staples, British Aerospace and Johnson and Johnson – predominantly all in finance roles.

In more recent times Eshan worked for Imperial Tobacco in Dubai from 2014 to 2018 and has been in Laos since January 2018, moving from Finance to General Management at Lao Tobacco.

His goal is to work in a consumer centric environment where innovation and product quality is at the centre of what theydo.

Delivering business growth through empowerment and development of people is a key focus.

Three of Eshan’s key career achievements include:

  1. Rolling out a back-office ERP system while at British Aerospace which provided automation and reporting suite capability
  2. While at Johnson and Johnson – successfully tendering to St Thomas Hospital in London demonstrating the cost effectiveness and patient care benefits of using the medical procedure and associated equipment to address acute disease types.
  3. Transitioning from a Finance background into leading a business of 300+ employee who are predominantly local employees.

Outside of work, Eshan is married with 3 children and is a keen sportsman.

Eshan joined the BBGL Board in November 2021 and supports both the Finance and Management Subcommittee, and the CSR Subcommittee.

Vector Control Consulting – South East Asia

Tel: +856 20 9428 3071



Advisory Board Member: Andrew Mullins

Andrew Mullins has more than 20 years’ experience in the luxury hospitality sector providing management, training, development, and consultancy services to hotels and resorts, bars and restaurants in some of the most exclusive venues in the world.

A founding member of both Fling Bar Services and The Spirit House Company, he has trained more than 2,000 bartenders and service staff and opened more than 100 bars in over 60 countries around the world.

After completing an honours degree in Journalism in the mid-1990s, Andrew worked as a professional bartender before taking a full-time training position with Greenall’s Bars and Restaurants, opening bar-focussed town centre venues across the length and breadth of the UK. Numerous independent training and management positions followed before Andrew set up Fling Bar Services and found his calling developing and delivering international training programmes to non-native English speakers in the luxury hospitality sector.

International recognition and a burgeoning reputation, led to the establishment of Fling Bar Services Middle East in Dubai, a dedicated regional hub supplying world-class hospitality training and development to a growing number of clients in the Middle East and Indian Ocean.

Since first crossing the Friendship Bridge in 2002, Andrew’s ties to Laos have grown in parallel with his successful international career. In 2005 he invested his experience in the successful opening of The Spirit House Cocktail Bar & Restaurant, a private hospitality venture in Vientiane that became recognised as an iconic venue and industry standard within the capital.

In 2016, Andrew moved back to Laos to establish a second The Spirit House Cocktail Bar & Restaurant in Luang Prabang as well as The Spirit House Company, a vehicle for delivering the same world-class hospitality services to Laos and wider South East Asian region as well as a vibrant retail arm offering The Spirit House bottled cocktails to be enjoyed at home.

Andrew has been on the BBGL’s Advisory Board for three years. He utilises his hospitality experience and journalistic skills to support the Membership Services and Communications Subcommittees.

A keen surfer, landlocked Laos is not an obvious sanctuary for Andrew, though the mountainous country and undeveloped infrastructure has inspired a love of exploration on his Honda CRF. A father to two young daughters he lives with his wife Khonesavanh in Vientiane and retains an active interest in all things cocktail related.

You can connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email on

Executive Board Member: Emma Pelletreau

Emma Pelletreau has been living and working in the Lao PDR since 2001. An anthropologist by training, Emma came to Laos looking for ways to combine her interests in contributing to sustainable development, south-east Asian culture and language, and engaging in applied anthropology. After years of freelance consulting for a variety of public and private sector clients, Emma started Civitas Co., Ltd. with her friend, and now business partner, Mette Boatman. Civitas is a value-driven boutique consulting company which supports clients engaging with communities in the Lao PDR through research actions, strategic communication, and social mapping.

As the Managing Director of Civitas, Emma focuses on FPIC (free, prior, informed consent) processes, and on strengthening the two-way communication between her clients and the communities with which they interact. Emma has considerable experience in designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative information gathering methodologies, in engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and development actors for capacity building, and in maintaining high quality and consistency of data. Emma was recently interviewed about her work with Civitas and you can watch the interview and learn more about her work here.

Emma serves on the Executive Board of the BBGL and Chairs the CSR Sub-committee and its work in supporting the BBGL’s local charities. Emma is always available for our members if they have questions about Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Relationships, or information gathering/research.

On the personal side, in 2009 Emma met Gregoire Pelletreau (in Blue Bananas – remember that?) – they married in 2012, and have two children, Hugo and Chloe. Emma and her family will be relocating to Paris at the end of the year – but after 20 years and a thriving business here, rest assured she will maintain an active interest in all things Lao – and be back to visit!

You can connect with Emma via LinkedIn or email on

BBGL Chairman: John Cockcroft

John Cockcroft has lived and worked in Lao PDR continuously since 2010.  He has enjoyed a long and successful career in senior positions managing and directing major heavy civil engineering construction projects and companies around the world.  He is a Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK and the  American Society of Civil Engineers in the USA.  He worked as a contractor for the first 30+ years after graduation, and for owners and their consulting engineers since the year 2000, working on large hydropower projects in Pakistan, Iceland and Lao PDR.  Following completion of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion and Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Projects in Lao PDR, he is currently Construction Management Advisor and Contracts and Commercial Director of the Vientiane based developer Chaleun Sekong Energy Company, responsible for work on several ongoing projects at Nam Kong 3, Nam Emoun, Namphak and Nam Theun 1.

In parallel with employment that has taken him to over 35 countries on 4 continents, and residence in the UK, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Kenya, Egypt, the USA, Pakistan, Iceland and Lao PDR,  John has held voluntary positions as an officer or Board member in numerous organisations in the places he has resided.  These include being a Board member of the Federation of Piling Contractors and Examiner of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK, Chairman of the Creek Football Club in Dubai and the Tarbela Dam Golf Club in Pakistan,  and Board member of the Engineering Institute of Thailand and the Deep Foundations Institute in the USA.  John Cockcroft joined the British Business Group in Lao PDR in 2018 after he returned to Vientiane following being site-based on projects and became its Chairman in December 2019.

As a former international footballer and team captain as a student and then as a part-time professional in the UK, and still a tennis player and golfer today, John retains a strong interest in all sports as well as a keen business sense in a number of trade sectors.

You can reach John on or learn more about his professional background by connecting on LinkedIn.