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“The Billionaire” (Reaction Paper)

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  • Word count: 827
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“Do not give up whatever happens, if we give up, then it’s over.” –Top

His full name is Aitthipat Kulapongvanich. Top Ittipat is one of the youngest billionaire in the world. He is the CEO of Tao Kae Noi Food & Marketing Co., Ltd., the company that dominates 70% of seaweed market share in Thailand. When he was still 16 years old, he was an online game addict.

Even though, he gained success at playing online games and winning tournament prizes. He was able to generate 400 thousand baht from online games. Because of his hobby playing online game, he was often underestimated by his teachers at school. He finally decided to drop out from school to become chestnut dealer when he was 17 years old. He invested his money into selling fried chestnuts, which became popular in Thailand.

One year after that, his family went bankrupt and his father had a debt of 40 million baht. That time, all of his family decided to go to Shanghai, China. Top Ittipat refuse to come along with his family and so he continues his business in Thailand. Struggle with several difficulty, Top never give up and keep trying to reach success. His roasted chestnut business that is located in a shopping mall success to bring 3 million baht income per month.

But the management finally prohibited his roasting machine because the smoke carried the smell over the mall and dirtied mall’s ceiling. Because no roasting activity, the sales dropped. When he was 19 years old, he created new products which are dried fruit and seaweed snacks called, “Tao Kae Noi”. After a few months, the seaweed became best selling product of the booth and it took over Chestnut sales.

A few months later, Top found an idea to make his business growing faster. He applied his products to 7-Eleven. Now, Tao Kae Noi is sold in more than 3,000 7-Eleven branches in Thailand. 2 years after his products has entered 7-Eleven, Top could pay his father’s debt. Top Ittipat is 27 years old that year. He is the owner of the company that produces best selling seaweed that can generate more than 1 billion baht per year. His company employee reached 2,500 employees.

Now, Tao Kae Noi products were exported to 27 countries around the world including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and United States. Top even had his own seaweed plantations at South Korea. At each roadblock, he squeezed out every hope and alternative he had, even though people he met tried to prove him wrong or close all doors of opportunities on him. He was open to possibilities and worked towards his dream, despite going against mainstream conventions. He knew what he was going to achieve mattered a lot to him and his family.

For me, these are the lessons that you will get from the film. It is okay to be different, so think out of the box; do not be afraid to make mistakes. Keep making them; Do not think that a job is too tiny or unworthy; If plan A doesn’t work, there’s always plan B C D E; Wait and see and show integrity;

Take chances and keep challenge myself; Always respect parents and the elders and love them even when they have shown poor support before; Show to people that I can. Show them. Act that ended with lovely result, not words; Make goals and accomplish them – with due date; Even when other people tell me to cease, I still must follow my heart and passion; Do not cease believing in my own self.

Relating this true story to the life of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, like Top Ittipat, at a very young age, he also tried to explore new things and discovered that he can make a difference in their land. Just like what Top did, Rizal pursued his plans and took the risks just to show that they can have a great impact for the past, present, and future generations. They did not give up whatever trials and challenges that may arise. They both followed their heart and passion and they did not stop believing themselves.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.

Are we giving up too early and allow our setbacks to reinforce our limiting beliefs? Perhaps, what is truly holding us back from fulfilling our life’s aspirations, vision, and purpose are our fears and doubts. Only a few have realized that the big breakthrough comes from one’s capacity to embrace the unknown. We may be put down by our circumstances, but it is how we choose to respond to them that makes a difference.

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