Narongchai Kueyen

Country: Thailand
Sector: Utilities and Renewable Energy
Job title: Finance Manager
Subject of study: Finance and Investment
Year of graduation: 2018
Type/Level of study: Postgraduate Taught

Current Employer/Organisation Name


What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Since leaving Exeter, I’ve been on an exhilarating journey in the realm of finance and corporate strategy. After graduating as a financial analyst at Macquarie’s Thailand branch, where I honed my skills across diverse sectors such as Power, Electronics, and Airlines, I transitioned to PTT Group. PTT Group is a leading energy company in Thailand with a significant presence across various sectors including exploration and production, refining, petrochemicals, and power generation. Within PTT Group, I joined the power flagship company, Global Power Synergy Public Company Limited (GPSC). Here, I undertook the pivotal role of Project Management Officer (PMO), spearheading synergy projects, including the monumental acquisition of GLOW Energy from the Engie Group. This endeavor was not only the largest transaction in the power sector but also a testament to my ability to navigate complex corporate landscapes. Following this success, I was selected for GPSC’s prestigious management trainee program. This initiative aimed to bridge the middle management gap and groom future leaders. Throughout the program, I rotated through various departments, with a primary focus on the Corporate Strategy team. Here, I played a crucial role in crafting a comprehensive 10-year strategic roadmap to facilitate the growth of our power business, with a particular emphasis on expanding into renewable energy. Subsequently, I embarked on a transformative journey as a Secondment to India following GPSC’s acquisition of Avaada Energy Private Limited. Avaada Energy is a pioneering renewable energy company in India, renowned for its innovative approach towards sustainable energy solutions. In my role as Finance Manager (acting CFO), I have been instrumental in steering the financial operations of Avaada Energy, contributing to its continued success in the dynamic Indian energy market. Overall, my journey post-Exeter has been characterized by dynamic challenges, strategic endeavors, and invaluable learning experiences, all of which have shaped me into the versatile and accomplished professional I am today.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose this career path because it perfectly aligns with my academic background in Electrical Engineering and my master’s degree in Finance and Investment from Exeter. This unique blend of technical expertise and financial acumen positions me as a natural fit for leadership roles within the power sector. Moreover, I’m passionate about leveraging my skills to drive positive change, not just for the companies I work for, but also for myself and society at large. One of the aspects I enjoy most about my work is the opportunity to be at the forefront of the transition towards sustainable energy solutions. Being able to contribute to the integration of green power into the grid and witnessing firsthand the positive impact it has on people’s lives is incredibly fulfilling. Knowing that my efforts are helping to improve the quality of life for communities while also advancing environmental sustainability makes every challenge worthwhile. It’s a career where I can continually learn and innovate while making a meaningful difference, and that’s what truly motivates and inspires me.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

During my time at Exeter, I was an active member of several Thai societies. These societies provided a vibrant community where I could connect with fellow students from Thailand and immerse myself in our shared culture. Beyond just academic pursuits, these groups organized a plethora of activities, including cultural programs and trips to various destinations across the UK. Being part of these societies was instrumental in helping me adjust to life as a foreign student. The support and camaraderie within these groups created a welcoming environment that made the transition smoother. Moreover, the cultural events and trips offered invaluable opportunities to explore and experience different facets of British life, enriching my overall university experience. Without the support and resources provided by the university through these societies, adapting to a new country and excelling academically would have been far more challenging. I’m grateful for the sense of belonging and community these groups offered, which undoubtedly contributed to my ability to deliver strong performances and achieve favorable results during my time at Exeter.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

One of the aspects I enjoyed most about my program was the comprehensive curriculum designed throughout the CFA program. It provided a holistic understanding of finance from both programmatic and financial perspectives. This foundation was instrumental in my achievement of passing the first test of the CFA Level I exam right after graduation. The rigor of the program not only honed my analytical skills but also equipped me with the knowledge needed to excel in the financial industry. Another highlight of my program was the opportunity to participate in Bloomberg training and earn certification. Bloomberg is a crucial financial tool widely used in the industry. Gaining proficiency in Bloomberg was immensely beneficial, especially as I transitioned into my role as a financial analyst upon returning to Thailand. It allowed me to navigate financial data more efficiently and make informed decisions, ultimately enhancing my effectiveness in the workplace. These experiences not only enriched my academic journey but also laid a strong foundation for my career in finance. They exemplify how practical, hands-on learning opportunities can significantly enhance the educational experience and prepare students for success in their professional endeavors.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

What I enjoyed most about studying at Exeter was the combination of effective facilities and practical programs that were directly applicable to real-life scenarios. The university provided state-of-the-art resources and facilities, which greatly enhanced the learning experience. From well-equipped laboratories to modern lecture halls, everything was geared towards facilitating an environment conducive to learning and exploration. Moreover, the programs offered were not just theoretical but also focused on practical applications. Whether it was through case studies, hands-on projects, or industry collaborations, I found myself constantly engaged in activities that allowed me to apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations. This approach not only deepened my understanding of the subject matter but also equipped me with valuable skills that I could immediately apply in my professional endeavors. Overall, the effective facilities and practical programs at Exeter not only enriched my academic journey but also prepared me for the challenges and opportunities that awaited me in the real world. It was this blend of academic rigor and practical relevance that made studying at Exeter truly enjoyable and rewarding.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I chose to study at Exeter primarily because of its outstanding reputation in finance. As I had already decided on my career path post-graduation, I was seeking a university that could equip me with the best skills and knowledge to excel in the field of finance. Exeter’s strong ranking in finance made it an obvious choice for me. Additionally, Exeter offered an opportunity to accelerate my studies by allowing me to complete additional subjects in a shorter timeframe. This flexibility was immensely beneficial as it enabled me to graduate three months earlier than my peers. By taking advantage of this option, I gained a competitive edge by returning to Thailand ahead of others in my cohort. This early return allowed me to enter the job market with less competition, giving me a head start in establishing myself in my chosen career path. In essence, the combination of Exeter’s reputable finance program and the opportunity to expedite my studies made it the ideal choice for me to pursue my academic and career goals.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

One of the most valuable skills that has greatly contributed to my career success is financial valuation. Being able to accurately assess the worth of assets, companies, and investment opportunities is fundamental in the world of finance. This skill has allowed me to make informed decisions, whether it’s in analyzing potential investments, evaluating corporate projects, or strategizing for business growth. Moreover, strong decision-making abilities have been paramount in navigating the complexities of the financial industry. Making sound decisions often requires synthesizing vast amounts of data, considering various factors and risks, and ultimately choosing the course of action that aligns with organizational objectives. Through my experiences, I’ve honed this skill, enabling me to effectively weigh options, anticipate outcomes, and steer towards optimal solutions. Together, proficiency in financial valuation and decision-making has been instrumental in my career trajectory, empowering me to contribute meaningfully to the success of organizations, drive strategic initiatives, and deliver tangible value in the dynamic landscape of finance.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

My advice to current students aspiring to pursue a career similar to mine would be to actively seek opportunities to link the content of your studies to real-life situations. While academic knowledge is crucial, its true value lies in its application to real-world scenarios. Here are a few practical steps you can take: Engage in Practical Projects: Look for opportunities to work on real-world projects, internships, or case studies. These experiences will allow you to apply theoretical concepts to actual business challenges, providing valuable insights and enhancing your understanding of how finance operates in practice. Stay Updated with Industry Trends: Keep yourself informed about the latest trends, developments, and challenges in the finance industry. Subscribe to industry publications, attend seminars or webinars, and network with professionals in the field. Understanding the current landscape will help you anticipate changes and make informed decisions. Utilize Resources Like Simulations: Take advantage of resources such as financial simulations or trading platforms that mimic real-market conditions. These tools provide a risk-free environment to practice financial analysis, decision-making, and portfolio management, allowing you to develop practical skills in a controlled setting. Seek Mentorship and Guidance: Connect with professionals who are already established in the field and seek their mentorship. Their insights, advice, and experiences can offer valuable guidance as you navigate your career path. Additionally, consider joining professional organizations or networking groups to expand your connections within the industry. By actively linking your studies to real-life situations and gaining practical experience, you’ll not only be better prepared to apply your knowledge in the real world but also position yourself ahead of the curve when it comes to making informed decisions and achieving success in your finance career

What are your plans for the future?

My future plans revolve around continuing to enhance my financial knowledge while contributing to the advancement of green finance and renewable energy initiatives. I am deeply passionate about leveraging finance as a tool to drive positive change towards a greener world and a better quality of life for all. In the coming years, I aim to deepen my understanding of green finance principles and practices, particularly within the renewable energy sector. This includes staying updated on industry trends, regulatory frameworks, and emerging financial instruments tailored for sustainable investments. By continuously expanding my knowledge base in green finance, I hope to play a more strategic role within my company, guiding investment decisions and fostering sustainable growth while maximizing financial returns. Additionally, I am committed to actively participating in initiatives that promote renewable energy adoption and environmental sustainability through innovative financing mechanisms. Whether through green bonds, impact investing, or other sustainable finance solutions, I aspire to contribute to the transition towards cleaner energy sources and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Ultimately, my goal is to be at the forefront of the intersection between finance, green finance, and renewable energy, driving impactful change that not only benefits my organization but also contributes to the collective effort towards a more sustainable and equitable future for generations to come.


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