AGSM alumni uses MBA to launch coconut business

AGSM Executive MBA graduate Jason Luichareonkit has launched Pure Naturally, a company dedicated to sourcing and packaging the world’s best organic virgin coconut oil.

“About 10 years ago we spent our honeymoon on a tropical island in the South of Thailand and saw heaps of coconut trees,” Jason said.

“We thought, ‘there must be something else you can do with them other than coconut milk and coconut water’, so when we came back we did some research and found out that virgin coconut oil is actually quite healthy for you. In fact, recent research suggests it’s the healthiest oil to cook with and eat. At the time there wasn’t anything out there, so I thought it could be a pretty good business.”

It wasn’t until Jason completed his Executive MBA and raised some capital that he finally decided to revisit his idea. Considerable research time and efforts were put in during the early stages as he had to examine oil extraction methods, coconut sources, and the most critical part – the ethical and ecological implications of harvesting.

“For example, we knew we wanted an extraction process that used no heat whatsoever.”

“We knew we wanted out coconuts to come from a single origin rather than from all over the place and we wanted something that looked and felt different, so the design of the bottle was also really important to us,” he said.

“Ultimately, we decided to source our oil from a specialist producer in Thailand. Due to the regulations and manufacturing standards in place over there, we know that coconuts grown in Thailand are probably the best in the world.”

Jason believes that his AGSM MBA played a crucial part when it came down to formulating his business model and strategy.

“Part of the reason for doing the Executive MBA was to help me to start Pure Naturally,” he says.

“I learned a lot, especially during the residential year when my assignment was based on this actual business idea. We learned about the key stages in the new business cycle, such as turning an idea into a business and then growing it. It certainly helped me to form strategy, to learn that you can’t be everything to everyone, and that with every strategy there’s always a trade-off,” Jason said.

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Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).

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