In 2015, a 21-year-old dropped out of the prestigious Columbia University to focus on his startup. It’s a common enough plot, but one where a fairytale ending is the exception rather than the norm. If anyone was ever set up to be that exception though, it is Korawad Chearavanont.
For Chearavanont, the fourth-generation of the family that owns and operates Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group—Thailand’s largest conglomerate—entrepreneurship wasn’t a matter of if but when. CP Group’s empire spans across sectors like agriculture, retail, real estate, and telecommunications, employing 310,000 people around the world. But as Chearavanont explains it, the family rule is that each member must start something of their own.