“Leading with quality”
Relationship building is key to market leadership in Laos.
UniqTeK Company Limited (UTCL) is a fully Lao-owned company established in 2014 under the Laws of the Lao PDR. UTCL is a professional supplier of survey equipment, namely land survey equipment, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, mining, environmental, and hydropower and electrical-mechanical equipment. UTCL also provides surveying solutions such as aerial mapping, topographic surveying, cadastral surveys, reference stations, and project solutions such as transmission line survey and design, hydro power survey, mining application, road and bridge survey, land management system, irrigation mapping and survey, and other customer tailored Geographical Information System (GIS) solutions. Additionally, the company provides installation services of electrical works, communications network, and network cabling. It is one of the leading companies which supplies Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in the Lao PDR.
UTCL has worked with many government organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help develop their surveys and GIS. The work done includes modernizing the land survey system, building the Vientiane Water supply’s GIS system, using GIS for the Lao Statistic Bureau (LSB), and most recently, mapping the Vientiane electrical grid system. UTCL is a legally authorized distributor of world-class names in the navigation industry such as CHC GNSS technology, Garmin GPS, ESRI’s ArcGIS and DJI drones.
Chandavong Southitham, the Managing Director of UTCL, studied at the Australian National University (ANU) on a full scholarship and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Finance. He credits his time in ANU as a period of growth which helped develop his critical thinking and taught him how to deal with different people.
The MD is proud of several milestones UTCL has reached. The company is currently the only provider of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) for Lao PDR. UTCL has also set the industry standard for the surveying industry by moving towards digitalization. In addition to that, the company has been helping the Department of Land achieve their development goals since 2016, something which has not been done since 1989. Besides that, UTCL has expanded fourfold in the past five years under Southitham’s sound leadership, and controls 90 percent of the GNSS market share in Lao PDR.
The biggest challenge his company is facing is competition from new companies coming into the industry. These new companies enter the market with low-quality products and offers of lower prices in order to win over UTCL’s customers. However, Southitham holds firm to his company’s high-quality products and services. Having studied several CEOs whom he admires, he learnt how to run a business from an investor’s point of view. As such, Southitham invests his time in developing his people, the industry and his customers. Instead of short-term profits, the leader focuses on the long-term. He believes his strategy will win back his customers, as people appreciate good quality products and services and the sincerity of the company they deal with.
The intrepid leader views a successful person as someone who has money, time, and the freedom to decide when and what they can do in life. Success for him means having time for his family and enjoying his life. Persistence and laser-like focus on his goals have definitely helped him reach his current place in his career. In ten years, Southitham envisions helping build the future of the industry he will be in then, modernizing the company he will be leading and setting new industry standards.
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group: The challenge of a business is always how it reacts when faced with price wars. It is here that Chandavong Southitham has distinguished himself and his company, by choosing to bank on long-term strategies and high-quality products and services delivered by trusted providers.