When Chalermchart Nakarungkul's parents moved from their native China to settle in Thailand, they opened a modest camera shop and soon attracted a regular clientele; such was the couple's reputation for honesty, reliability and level of customer care.
These characteristics continue to be evident today, and despite Denchai Trading Company Ltd. Being Northern Thailand's premier One-stop-shopping center for technology equipment, Khun Chalermchart, now Managing Director of the firm, insists on running his enterprise like that of his parents' small family business.
The turnover is far greater: the products belong to a new generation, and the little shop with one employee is now a major Chiang Mai based company with more than 140 staff on its books. But the customer can still depend on the honest, reliable and caring attention as given to his parents in that modest camera shop more than fifty years ago.
Denchai today is Northern Thailand's prime mover in bringing fully integrated, automated office equipment systems to its major clients: providing the staff of those valued clients with expert training, and bringing the very latest innovations in automated office systems to business people throughout the region.
The company's prime business remains the sale, maintenance and repair of camera equipment and their bright and spacious showroom at Rattanakosin Road carries all the top brands in the world of photography: Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony, Pentax to name but a handful.
Khun Chalermchart's parents would have marvelled at the range and capabilities of today's cameras. Apart from the few diehards like me, who insist on staying with film, the world of digital photography has taken over and is making great strides in the realm of hi-tech photography.
At Denchai the customer can choose from a vast range of digital cameras; from the modest, pocket-sized Sony Cyber-Shot for around 5,000 baht, to the all singing and dancing Nikon D200, a 10.2 megapixel DSLR with a five frames per second burst speed, and a brand new autofocus module at around 54,000 baht. There are scores of models in between to choose from and an expert sales staff on hand to help you decide on which model is best for your needs. There is an impressive array of lenses from wide-angles to telephotos for the serious snapper, and a host of accessories all aimed at kitting you out for any given assignment; from happy snaps with the family on holiday to a fashion shoot with a top model for Vogue or Elle. In the ever-changing world of photography, if you need it, Denchai has it, and if not, will get it for you faster than your top shutter speed.
Most serious photographers recognize the need for regular maintenance of their equipment, and Denchai specialize in camera maintenance and repair. Yes, even the world's top shutterbugs have the occasional mishap, when a lens will clatter off a rock face while you abseil down a mountain, or an entire camera will get drenched during a day's shooting in the rainy season. Denchai are in a class of their own when it comes to camera repair, and their army of technicians is constantly being trained and re-trained in the latest models available to the public. Most of these camera technicians receive constant training on the job, but each will have completed courses in Bangkok at the headquarters of the suppliers of all leading brands.
Depending on the damage done, Denchai can repair and return your camera to you in one or two days; ideal for the tourist. If the damage is more severe, however, it may take a bit longer. All cameras sold by Denchai carry full guarantees, and all repairs are carried out by highly trained technicians.
Denchai has long been a household name in Thailand for cameras, photographic equipment, accessories, maintenance and repair. But the company is also renowned for the supply, installation, maintenance and repair of the latest in automated office equipment systems: copiers, faxes, printers, paper shredders, machines from top makers geared to document production, retention, and mailing. Denchai offer a complete solution for any business environment, with each system individually tailored to meet the customer's budget and needs.
The company also specializes in audio visual equipment, a vital tool in the operations of today's sales and marketing divisions of leading companies, where a poor presentation can result in lost revenue.
Denchai's in-house expert in sales and marketing is Khun Chalermchart's son, Srichai, (it's a family business, remember?). "Many top companies in the region send their sales staff to our headquarters for training in the use of the latest audio-visual equipment," says Srichai. "We have the most up-to-date audio visual systems available in Thailand, and we take pride in ensuring that our customers' sales and marketing teams receive training in the most effective ways to use this vital tool."
Through his own expertise in sales and marketing, Srichai has seen his company become the leading supplier of office equipment in Northern Thailand, and his father is currently hinting at expansion plans for their operations throughout the region.
Srichai points to an emerging market within the existing and highly successful market of office equipment supplies; that of office equipment rental. Some companies, for whatever reason, seem to prefer renting their office systems from Denchai, and this I am told is a burgeoning market of great potential.
The company has, during the past year, moved into the computer market, providing sales, maintenance, training and repair operations. Anyone who has ever owned a computer will know that the machine is almost obsolete before you remove it from the showroom; such is the speed of technological advancement in the computer world. At Denchai, they are more than aware of this phenomenon and are expert at putting together computer systems tailored to meet the needs of each customer.
Not everyone, I am relieved to say, needs to speak like a geek! The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Denchai can help you choose the computer system you need, as opposed to the one they will claim you must have when you visit some of the computer malls around town. The main selling point for me is the use of only genuine spare parts at Denchai, thereby avoiding problems on installation for the sake of saving a few baht. The company's technicians are trained in the repair and maintenance of all major computer and printer brands, and it's comforting to know that should something go wrong and you bring it back to the showroom, that the showroom will still be there; as is all too often not the case when dealing with shops in the malls.
At Denchai, honesty, reliability and customer-care remain the watchwords in all three markets of cameras - office equipment and computers. Only the technology has changed since Khun Chalemchart's parents set out their shingle all those years ago.
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