Only days after he was named Thailand’s third richest man by Forbes magazine, Chaleo Yoovidhya, founder of the drink, Red Bull, has died at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn Hospital. He was 89 years old.
Khun Chaleo was an entirely self-made billionaire, who came from a very poor Chinese immigrant family and who through hard work and smart thinking, in 2008 was named Thailand’s richest man. He dropped to third place on the list this year but Forbes still estimated Chaleo’s wealth at around US$5 billion or 150 billion baht.
Interestingly too, Khun Chaleo contributed his success to just the same things as Thailand’s now-richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont, owner of CP Group — creating products that were good quality at a cheap price, so that even the poor in Thailand could afford to buy them. You have to admire a savvy business man like Chaleo, one of the ‘old-fashioned’ kind who believed that hard work, rather than immoral practices and corruption, would get them to the top..
Funeral rites for Khun Chaleo will be held at Wat Khrua Wan Worawiharn in Bangkok Yai district until Friday. A cremation ceremony will take place next Saturday. We send our condolences to the Yoovidhya family. A sad loss for them and for Thailand.