Unique background helps home renovator bring innovative perspective
NUNTADEJ Sutthideshanai quit his career as a marketing consultant more than three years ago
with the initial aim of pursuing his own business in the same profession. But he hit a snag right
A friend who had planned to co-invest in the venture changed his mind at the last minute after
finding an interesting job offer. Nuntadej, who had already sent his resignation letter to his
employer, decided to go ahead with the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur anyway.
However, he chose to become a home renovator instead, even though he had neither formal
education nor work experience in the field.
“I had never thought I would have been in the real-estate business,” admitted Nuntadej, 29.
Nuntadej holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marketing and business administration
from Assumption College. He started his career in 2010 with Idea 360, a marketing research
company, where he had the chance to work with clients in various businesses.
The massive floods in 2011 that swept through Thailand and destroyed his house gave him the
chance to discover he had a passion and a gift for home decoration and renovation.
“After the floods, I couldn’t find a contractor. Then, I happened to know a contractor who was
taking over a restaurant on an island, and he wanted to transfer his company to me. So I got his
workers to fix my house,” he said.
After rebuilding his house, he brought his workers to help build a new home for one of his
close friends who had just got married. Nuntadej took no profit from this project, but the nice
job his workers did helped him land more jobs.
One of them was for a woman in the business of renovating condominiums for rental.
Nuntadej suggested that she use teakwood coated with plywood instead of MDF (medium-
density fibre-board) or particleboard for furnishing her condos. Although the costs were
double those of MDF used by most other people, the teakwood furnishing helped the woman
find clients more quickly, in addition to saving her long-term costs because of the durability of
“I charged her about Bt200,000, double the Bt100,000 for normal MDF work. But if she could
rent out the condo two months faster, that meant Bt30,000 based on a monthly rental fee of
Bt15,000. In addition, it is cheaper over a long time, since MDF will not last long,” he said.
That condo-renovation job is an example of the different business thinking that Nuntadej has
applied to his company, 8020 Syndicus - focusing on return on investment (ROI) for its clients.
“The client’s ROI can be non-monetary, such as aesthetics or other aspects that a client
values,” he said.
To help his clients find out what their family members really value in their houses, Nuntadej
has developed two unique sets of questionnaires that gauge different design factors for
clients. These factors include safety, feng shui, ergonomics, cost versus ROI, durability,
aesthetics, usage function, environmental impact, operating process, product, target market,
For example, a client who plans to rent out his property will normally focus on long-term ROI,
durability and ease of maintenance, while usage function and aesthetics will be on medium
scale, since they have to cater a wider range of residences.
Results from questionnaires help 8020 Syndicus work out designs that emphasize what really
matters for particular clients, thus eliminating unnecessary costs for things that are not valued
by the clients.
Nuntadej said the name of his company, “8020”, came from the famous 80/20 rule - also known
as the Pareto principle - that says 80 per cent of the outcome from a given situation is
determined by 20 per cent of the input. In other words, one should focus on what really
Nuntadej also runs a small shop that produces wooden works to support 8020 Syndicus’
business. It is headed by a woodworking technician who has been given a share in the
Looking ahead, Nuntadej said 8020 Syndicus had no plan to expand the quantity of its work,
but instead was aiming for the high-end market, where builders charge clients an average of
about Bt40,000 per square metre. Currently, 8020 Syndicus is competing in the market charging
Bt15,000-Bt25,000 per square metre.
“It will be a challenge to enter this high-end market,” he admitted.
Despite discovering his passion relatively late, Nuntadej said he did not regret never studying
interior design, since his different background and lack of formal education in this field helped
him to think differently and find a unique proposition for his business.
“Had I studied interior design, I would have been thinking the same as other architects,” he
Source: The Nation Newspaper, 4th August 2015