Pattaya Daily News

21 October 2009 :: 16:10:40 pm 3272

Pattaya Businessman Wins National Award

Thailand’s famous businessman, Mr. Liam Ayudhkij (O’Keeffe) is known in Pattaya for his “Liam’s Art Gallery, but this is only a very minor side of the man who is the first man in Asia to be awarded the “Outstanding Achievers Award” by the Government of Ireland.
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Tuesday 20th October 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]: – Mr. Liam O’Keeffe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1945, and later gained a Leaving Certificate with Honors from the O’Connell’s Schools at Dublin in Ireland. Liam came to Thailand in 1967 at the age of 18-years and decided that he liked it enough to make the Kingdom his home, so he found a job with a large company and diligently applied himself to his work.

PCS commenced operations as a small Pest Control Service division of Anglo-Thai Commercial Co., Ltd. The company consisted of five people, under the management of Mr. Liam O’Keeffe (Ayudhkij), and the offices were located at Siphya Road, site of the present Royal Orchid Hotel in Bangkok. In 1972 with the growth of the local property market and new construction materials appearing, PCS recognized the need to offer professional cleaning services to the market. PCS Cleaning Services was born, and Anglo Thai was subsequently taken over by the Inchcape group, so staff numbers jumped to 300 personnel.

In spite of a tremendous work load, Liam did not quit, but amazingly led a management buyout of the company in 1989, and this is widely known today as Property Care Services (Thailand) Limited. In 1996 the company expanded its nationwide network by opening local offices in Nakhon Ratchasima, Chonburi, Khon Kaen and Hadyai having over 10,000 employees. Then in 1998 PCS Janitorial and Security services achieved ISO 9002 Standard followed by the launch of its Electronic Security Systems division to compliment its growing army of guards. Moving on to 2007, with over 23,000 employees, PCS integrated its core service strengths to service ‘specialized’ market segments for Aviation and Healthcare. “Foodhouse” was launched as a venture with S&P to provide catering services to business and industry, which coincidently was its 40th anniversary.

The professional track record of Liam Ayudhkij (O’Keeffe) is no less impressive as Liam Ayudhkij (O’Keeffe) as Founder and Director Irish Thai Chamber of Commerce, Member British Chamber of Commerce, Thailand Director Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital. Then follows his work as Director Cheshire Homes Thailand, Director Support the Children Foundation Thailand, Director Phya Thai Palace Restoration Committee, Committee Member HRH Princess Mothers Charity Foundation, Secretary and Director Medical Scholarship Foundation under the Auspices of HRH Princess Kalayani, Vice President Bangkok Nursing Home Association, Former Chairman Thailand Business Coalition Against Aids, Director Support the Children Foundation Chiang-Mai, Past President St Patrick’s Society Bangkok, Governor of The Heritage Club, Bangkok (closed 2006), Former Foundation Governor, of the Bangkok Pattana International School, Bangkok.

Liam’s Art Gallery started of as a small hobby and was founded by Liam himself, and he jokingly said that his great love of collecting artworks had seen his house overflow with art, causing him to start Liam’s Gallery as an additional display area. Today this trendy multi-storey gallery rates as one of the best in Thailand, but is again unusual as there is a sizeable proportion of gay art and work by gay artists.

When the Irish Government announced their Business & Finance Asia Awards, Liam was totally surprised to find that he had been “short listed” as a winner, so after sitting for a very rigorous interview, Liam Ayudhkij (O’Keeffe) was unanimously judged by the interviewing committee as the winner, and some of the questions were as follows: –

Q. – What have been some of the achievements of PCS?
A. – PCS Has become the largest Integrated facilities Management Companies in SEA. PCS is one of Thailand’s largest private emloyers with 23,000 workers. PCS runs one of the biggest training programmes on AIDS in the workplace. Through the PCS Foundation the company provides education scholarships for workers children , builds hospitals and does AIDS and HIV outreach projects

Q. – What are some of the characteristics that sets Liam apart from others?
A. – Liam has totally integrated into Thai Society and has a solid committment to doing business there. He has mastered the language in an amazing way and is as fluent in Thai as he is in English. He has been accepted by Thai society, a difficult hurdle.

Q. – What are some of the philanthropic projects and organisations that he has worked with? and why do you think he gets involved with them?
A. – For more than 30-years Liam riased funds for many Thai Charities in his position as Vice president of the Ploenchit Fair. He is a Board member of Cheshire Homes, Support the Children Foundation for Affected and Infected HIV Children and many other Charities. He has a passion for helping those who worse off and is determined to put something back in his adopted country.

Liam O’Keeffe, Liam Casey, and the Irish Alltech Company in Thailand, all received various awards at the inaugural, Business & Finance Asia Pacific Ireland, Business Awards, which was be held on October 16th at a luncheon in the Hotel Dusit Thani in Bangkok. The awards, which are in association with the Ireland China Association, Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum and the Irish Thai Chamber, centred around the third annual Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum and the annual Asian Gaelic Games. General questions to all candidates revealed quite a lot: –

Q. – How important is the Asia Pacific market to Ireland?
A. – Very important as it is fast growing with a huge population and has not been as badly hit as the West, by the World economic turndown.

Q. – And likewise how important is Ireland to Asia Pacific?
A. -Ireland can offer education, technology and a market for parts to feed our IT Industry from Asia.

Q. – In what ways has this relationship grown over the past number of years? Are there any landmark moments that can be cited?
A. – More Irish entrepeneurs have migrated to Asia, especially China, and have started high growth businesses and retained their links to ireland especially in terms of reciprocal trade. Trade missions have increased and more Irish Chambers and Business Associations have sprung up in the region since the year 2000.

Q. – In what way do you see the relationship progressing into the future?
A. – It can only intensify as more Irish see greener fields in this fastet growing part of the world.

Liam Ayudhkij (O’Keeffe) took his company from strength to strength, to the point where it now employs over 23,000 staff, and also has subsidiary branches in countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Cambodia and India, (where he is now the Chairman of this PCI Environmental Services), and as Liam sometimes jokingly states to his close friends; – “I made my fortune from cleaning toilets.” Liam’s personal interests include Charity work, Art and Antiques, plus Languages, so at 64-years of age, this business giant of Thailand’s corporate world shows no signs of slowing down. In retrospect it can be said that Liam Ayudhkij (O’Keeffe) has had a “life well lived,” with continued successes and achievements that few could match.

Reporter : Harry Green   Photo : Harry Green   Category : Business News

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