Growing up, Dr Pakapun (Vicky) Leevutinun holds the personal belief that everything is possible if one possesses optimism, enthusiasm, clear goals and a strong determination to take massive action. Thus, despite the many challenges she meets along the way, she never fails to believe in herself and builds a relentless attitude. Leveraging on the creativity nurtured as an arts enthusiast in school, Dr Leevutinun continues to confidently march on in her entrepreneurial journey with a strong zest for corporate citizenship.
As a leader, she firmly believes in leading by example and the power of teamwork. Looking upon her boss and mentor Ms Melisa Quijano as a role model, Dr Leevutinun continually advances her knowledge and skills such that she can be a positive influence to others.
A HEART FOR SOCIAL GOOD
Growing up in Thailand, Dr Leevutinun always knew that she wanted to be a business leader with a strong entrepreneurial spirit where she could integrate corporate social initiatives into the conventional business environment. It was only during a meeting with Blake Roney, one of Nu Skin’s founders that she realised her novel ambition was achievable. According to Dr Leevutinun, Mr Roney enthusiastically shared Nu Skin’s mission statement, which is ‘to be a force for good throughout the world by empowering people to improve lives with rewarding business opportunities, innovative products and an enriching uplifting culture’. Inspired by the elements of giving, empowerment and entrepreneurship, Dr Leevutinun decided to take a plunge, joining the wellness company that uses direct selling as a marketing platform.
“What differentiates an entrepreneur from the rest is the desire to give back to society. Therefore, in 1999, I started the Children’s Heart Fund in Thailand where Nu Skin raised money to help underprivileged children diagnosed with congenital heart disease undergo life-saving surgeries. We partnered with the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Foundation (PCSF), an endowment that collaborates with the Institute of Cardiovascular Disease at Rajavithi Hospital, to offer heart surgeries to children from needy families. This has extended to become a regional initiative and was later renamed Nu Skin Southeast Asia Children’s Heart Fund (SEACHF). Today, I am delighted to share that we work with 7 partner foundations across Southeast Asia and have saved 10,000 lives as of March 2018,” said Dr Leevutinun.
MANAGING WORK-LIFE BALANCE
As the President, Nu Skin Southeast Asia, Dr Leevutinun oversees 7 markets in the region – Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Vietnam. Spearheading the company’s regional plans alongside its global direction, Dr Leevutinun and her team develops robust strategies for business growth. The diverse economies, different regulations and varied purchasing power of each distinct market across the region mean that she has to work even harder to eliminate any potential barriers across the region. With her role to be visionary and to set the pace and strategic direction for the Southeast Asian region, Dr Leevutinun leads a hectic traveling schedule and long work hours as she meets with local management teams in each market regularly to understand their needs and support them. Therefore, she feels that it is imperative that she strikes a good balance between work and family.
Dr Leevutinun said, “As a mother of two girls, I want to be there for my children as they are growing up. I want to spend as much time with them as possible. With this goal in mind, I need to know how to manage my time wisely. While at work, I focus only on work. At home, I give my full attention to my family, making sure I spend quality time with them. I am fortunate that my family is very supportive of my career, especially my husband. As an entrepreneur himself, he really understands the nature of my work and readily fills in for me when I am tied down at work.”
LEARNING IS A CONTINUOUS JOURNEY
Nu Skin Market Heads & SEA Management (from left to right): Ong-Ea Panaudomsin – Vice President, Vietnam; Kany Soemantoro – President, Philippines & Indonesia; Melisa Tantoco Quijano – President, NSE Asia Products; Dr Pakapun Vicky Leevutinun – President, SEA Region; Neo Chiou Yee – General Manager, Singapore; David Cheong – General Manager, Malaysia & Brunei; Vipada Tangpakorn – General Manager, Thailand
The most impactful decision Dr Leevutinun has ever made was to never stop learning. With an innate curiosity and passion to keep learning new things, she strongly believes in ‘sharpen[ing] the saw’, which is one of the habits discussed in Steve Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. In her quest towards excellence, Dr Leevutinun consistently reminds herself to embody this vigor of constant self-renewal in pursuit of improvement and empowerment. Since joining Nu Skin as an International Assistant Manager in 1996, life has been a constant learning curve where continuous learning helps her cultivate and keep a creative mind. Despite holding a full-time position, this was one of the integral reasons that propelled her towards pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Technopreneurship and Innovation Management.
“Continuous learning helps me to see things in new light. Although it took me 4 years to complete the doctoral degree from Chulalongkorn University, it was well worth it. Acquiring new knowledge is part of a renewal process, and I enjoy this challenging but meaningful journey. In this competitive business environment, we need to constantly innovate and change how we think and what we do to remain relevant. It took me a while to learn how to overcome this challenge. We need to communicate clearly to the team why we
need to change and this helps them to be more receptive.”
“At the end of the day, life is a learning journey! Look towards the future and do not have any regrets!” Dr Leevutinun added.
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