In The Passenger Seat | Richart : Owner of Reporter Journey page

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Mr. Watcharatit Ketsri, or Richart, Owner of Reporter Journey chooses to drive a car that is worthwhile and worth the price regardless of brand.
  • Introduce yourself to Motorist members

Hello, I’m Richard Watcharatit Ketsri, CEO of Reporter Journey company.

  • The starting point for creating a Reporter Journey page

Initially, I was a reporter for a news agency. When the media industry was shaken up with a lot of reporters being laid off, I was unfortunately one of them.

After that happened, I knew that having been in the media industry for almost 10 years, media work is something that I really can’t leave behind. Coinciding with that period, online media was booming. A lot of new media journalism sites such as The Standard or The Matters began to emerge. I saw this as an opportunity to tap on. I created a page titled “Tam Tid Chee Wit Nak Khao” to tell a more in-depth behind-the-scenes news story. Because when we go out to explore news, there will be a lot of stories that sometimes can’t be told through normal media. Maybe due to various limitations or insufficient space in the story. So, I opened this page to tell the news as I wanted, but it's told in deep detail. Even if it sounds difficult., I try my best to describe it in a way people would be able to understand more easily.

After working on the page for a while, it started to gain followers. I then had an idea to try and write more serious stories instead of just personal news stories. I decided to try a news column, an analysis of the economy, investment, global situation, and business ventures which led to a follower increase to tens of thousands. When the number of followers hit approximately 40K-50K, I started distributing content to other platforms such as Blockdit and TikTok.

Around mid-to-end 2019, a number of customers started to come in. Because they wanted us to write content for business or marketing purposes. Combined with the coronavirus situation in early 2020, many businesses stopped spending money on event marketing and online media immediately became the main media in marketing, which greatly benefitted Reporter Journey, both in terms of exposure and income.

Reporter Journey is currently an exclusively online company but there are plans to do other businesses, have other products or other channels to do business, and create more of our own content, such as Event Organiser and TV Content Provider in the future. This is only just the beginning of the Reporter Journey that started from an unemployed person to owning a media business.

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  • Why “Reporter Journey”?

If you take word from word “Tam Tid Chee Wit Nak Khao” (Following a journalist's life in Thai) it refers to something that fits perfectly. The cohesive meaning is a journalist's journey who travels to various places to find information to make news.

At first, I planned to present the news as vlogs, but because I was not very good at making video clips, I decided to tell stories through letters on Facebook, website articles, and Blockdit.

Also, my "journey" doesn't mean that I have to physically go around looking for news. I sometimes I read news from foreign news agencies and upon identifying an interesting issue, I’ll present it in my own words and analysis. I explore the world of information and bring it back to report as a "Reporter", hence, Reporter Journey.

  • What is most of the page content about?

Mainly it will be content about business, economy, innovations such as automobiles, as well as social issues and international news analysis.

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  • Why are you particularly interested in business and investment?

I would love to say that Thai people understand the economy but that would not be true. They can understand the household economy such as policy projects that come out of the government, assistance and the cost of living for the people, etc., but when looking at the big picture of the economy, it is a blurry picture. Ask how many Thai people understand the word “GDP (Gross Domestic Product)”. They may understand to some degree but we don’t know if they fully grasp the concept.

GDP is not only GDP Growth but also GDP per Capita hence why it is called Gross Domestic Product. There is also the matter of GNP or purchasing power. These matters tie in very close to their daily life but Thai people are unaware. So, I try to pick up these stories and tell them in an easy way. For example, why should we care about China, America, and Europe? Because in the end we still have to rely on imports, exports and doing international business with them. If one day the world's superpowers don't accept our products or we are boycotted, the Thai economy would definitely suffer. If asked, then why should we not take care of ourselves? Because our economy is small. We only have 70 million purchasing power, and 70 million have household debt at 90% of GDP. It's not a huge purchasing power these days. Thus we have to depend on other countries.

Having said that, everything in this world is connected, for example, there was an incident in Russia-Ukraine. It seems far but then the oil price increase, food price increases, high inflation, everything that happens in every corner of the world is related to every country in the world. As for Business, I think it can be used as a case study. For example, why do I have to tell the story of Central's investment in Vietnam? You have to see how much potential Vietnam has in attracting investment. But what are the factors that make them a country that can't develop as well as us? Even as they develop there will always be an angle.

Therefore, these things are like things that seem to be understood but are not understood well. It's close but Thai people see it as being far away. Someone is always questioning why other countries are rich as compared to ours. When in fact, if all public companies in our country have failed, the Thai economy would be way worse. We depend on these companies to drive our economic system. If so, why not make the household sector or the small business sector grow? It must be said that there are many limitations in this world. We as outsiders may not be able to see what the business world is like in general.

Some say why this capital group has to dominate? Why should this company have a concession? It’s that everything in this world is conditional. Therefore, in the world of free trade, you will have to compete with others. Not for other people to wait to feed you., it is impossible. And we have to develop ourselves to compete with them and not be the only person waiting to receive.

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  • Which car innovation has been the most wow for you these days?

Recently, I have been particularly interested in electric cars. I wasn’t surprised that it got produced but rather, of how fast it happened. We originally thought that electric cars would be something for the next 10 years. But factors such as higher oil prices act as a catalyst for people to become more interested in electric cars. Various car companies are starting to dabble more in the electric car market, as can be seen in the past 2-3 years with the launch of many new electric cars. The reservations were collapsing and we began to see a lot of people driving EV cars on the road in general. That means that customers are starting to pay less attention to the brand or the country of manufacture of the car. Rather, they see that this automotive innovation is really developing and it is something that will happen in the future that we will inevitably encounter.

In addition, the matter of battery technology has been developed to be able to recharge faster and drive further. The price is gradually decreasing until more and more people are able to access it. Today we can reserve an electric car at a starting price of 350,000 baht. Of course, it may not be able to go as far as Chiang Mai. But at least a distance of more than 100 kilometers is decent.

There are, however, electric cars that can run long distances as well. For example, one luxury car brand produces a car that can go up to 700 kilometers on one charge. It turns out that no matter what group of car camps start to produce more electric cars, in the future, there may be other energy cells to replace them and it will happen much faster than before.

In the future, we may have hydrogen-powered cars, which is something BMW and Toyota have worked together on and are very close to. We might even have solar-powered cars in the future. It's really up to the development of technology.

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  • What car are you currently using/why did you choose it?

I currently drive a 2021 Nisson Almera. If you ask me why I use it, well, I've driven almost every segment of cars whether it's an Eco Car or a European car. But the reason I chose to buy this car is that 1. The value for money in terms of functionality is just right. It’s responding to real-life usage. 2. It’s economical. Maybe it's my luck that this car was bought when last year's gasoline price was 25-28 baht, but this year it was hit by the oil price going up to almost 45 baht for gasohol 91. But I was affected by the oil price just a little because the oil tank is not very big. If I fill up the tank now, it's about 1,100 baht, but I can drive 600 kilometres to go back to the provinces with fuel left. It's proof that it really saves gas while my mother's Mercedes Benz on the other hand won’t last on one one tank of 2,500 baht.

Plus, nowadays, the car ownership trend is moving towards the Eco Car because it's cheap, tax is cheap and the maintenance cost is not very high. When I was driving a BMW, whenever I went to a car service centre, I had to pay very high fees. But when i take this car to the centre, it's only about 2,000 baht a year, the maintenance cost is less than ten thousand. Besides, they can take us anywhere as well. So, I chose this car because of its pure functionality.

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  • What do you think is unique or different from other types of cars?

As a consumer's perception they would look at the economy and the price is not too expensive to reach. Because the price is the factor that makes people decide to buy a car in the first place. Then it will be a matter of brand, design and value because the issue of the car is a commitment to us for about 5-7 years, so I look at the value of the price as the first factor.

The second will be a matter of fuel economy because Eco Car has a turbo injection system. The size of the machine is 1500 CC, but mine is only 1000, but it gives the same speed as 1500 CC or 1200 CC, while the fuel consumption rate is less. It made us feel that it was economical and worth using. Compared to cars in the same group, some camps have new cars but still use 1500 CC gasoline engines, so the economy will be different. This is another factor that makes people feel that the purchase is more worthwhile.

As for number three, I believe that Eco Car is the First Car or Second Car for many people. When we buy an Eco Car first, it's like we can both test drive and experiment with financial planning as we just started working for a few years. Income may not be very high and the savings may not be that much. Choosing to drive an Eco Car first is considered a good option. If in the future we have more income It can be sold easily.

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  • People tend to think CEOs have to drive expensive cars for you, what are your thoughts on this?

For myself, I think that the car is for use. It's there to take us to work. It's good to have a luxury car because it helps create a good image for people who are business people. But for me, I feel, so what? Do not forget that European cars have relatively high maintenance costs. Driving a luxury car is not wrong, but it depends on the form of business and lifestyle you have.

Personally, as I’m just starting a business. I choose to get an Eco Car with good performance standards that can take us anywhere. It has a beautiful design and it is economical and worthwhile. It's something that allows us to save a lot of money.

But if one day my business grows more, it may be possible to buy a European car. But for me today a good car is one that feels the best value for money. I'm not serious about what brand it has to be as long as it is not a burden to us both in the short term and in the long term. Most importantly, a car should help you earn more money.

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  • What is your dream car?

My dream cars would be a Maserati or a Bentley because I like cars that are elegant and good looking, but still, look usable in everyday life while having high-performance safety and a good image.

My first suggestion would be to look carefully at the money you spend during the month. Everyone can earn a down payment, especially with a high down payment, the finances certainly pass. But now you need to look at the matter of your financial discipline as well as how much you spend in 1 month. Because having a car doesn't just end with the instalment payment. You have to pay for fuel costs, maintenance costs, replacement parts costs, and the inspection condition periodically. That said, there are a lot of hidden costs, so you'll want to see if you have enough money to maintain it. Not just paying for instalments or refuelling fees.

Second, don't buy a car just because you want to upgrade your status. Buy it because you really need it.

Third, look at the car as a car. Don't look at it as an image-building asset. Because if you think like that, of course, you have to buy a European car which has to ask again if there is enough money left to take care of it or not.

And if possible, in a month, you need to know how to earn more money from it. If you can, having a car will be very comfortable.

Finally, I would like everyone to say to themselves that having a car is really comfortable for us. But don't forget that once you have it, you would want to go anywhere and everywhere, which can result in hidden costs. At first, without a car, it would cut off the desire to go. But if you’re thinking about having one, you have to manage your money well because a car = decrease money, you have to change it to make your car = rich, and having a car won't be a heavy burden for you.

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