Lldarin Nandhabiwat (née Mongkollugsana, Ch, 1986)
Never could I have imagined such a life-long impact that a couple of years at College (1984-1986) would have had on my journey and career thus far. Without ever realising it, College’s motto ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ has indelibly guided and stuck with me no matter the choices I made and despite how challenging they were at times.
One thing that remains is, I have loved all the choices I’ve made and entering College in the mid-80s from an all-girls school was one of them. Girls joining the Sixth Form was still new; with only 30 Chandos girls we stood out but certainly tried to fit in. To add to this novelty, I was also the first Asian student to be admitted.
After College, a change of heart took me away from a Foundation Year at Cheltenham Art School to Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii, where I graduated with a degree in International Relations and an MBA minoring in Japanese. My masters course entailed an internship at Mitsubishi Trading in Tokyo for four months and in my home country Thailand working in the International Research Development team.
I loved the research aspect of work, so when I returned to live in Thailand, I landed a job as a Securities Analyst for Swiss Bank Corporation, later becoming a Fund Manager before moving to Merrill Lynch Private Banking Division as a Private Banker for the next four years.
(Image right caption: Lldarin with her family in Bangkok (left to right): Lldarin, Larissa, Larinda and Reungvit Nandhabiwat)
After eight years in the financial sector, and with a young family of two small girls, an opportunity arose to acquire the franchise for Mothercare in Thailand. Having no retail experience but analytical skills and some funds, I took the plunge. Today, we are celebrating 20 years of Mothercare with 12 stores, along with a decade of exclusive Distributorship of Holster Shoes Australia with 19 outlets.
Upon reflection, I’ve been extremely lucky not to have been limited by my choices and have had wonderful opportunities to explore in both my education and career.
I admit that I haven’t always been successful, but the best lessons learned have been from my failings. ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ to me has meant that I needed to work hard to persevere, to achieve, to succeed in whatever I chose to do, particularly knowing that so many livelihoods were dependent on the company’s success. Hence this motto has been the underlying basis for my unconventional hard work ethic thus far.
(Image right caption: The most recent Mothercare store opened in June 2023 )