From the walls of his childhood room covered with his drawings to large chunks of Phuket’s land covered with lavish villas of his own design, Attasit Intarachooti never stopped chasing his dream. What changed, is the dream itself. It kept growing bigger.
I sat down to this interview with Attasit Intarachooti in one of his flagship Botanica Villas. And before we even started talking, I already had a feeling what kind of man I’ll be dealing with – you can say a lot about a person just by looking at their house.
The first impression? Big! In every dimension. Large open spaces, high ceilings, a pool perfectly suited not just for careless dipping but for swimming laps. A closer inspection revealed tastefully matched elements of interior design, high-quality materials, bespoke furniture. Here was a house of someone who dreams big and pays attention to detail.
So, did I read Attasit Intarachooti correctly? Keep on reading to find out.
Maciek Klimowicz: When did it occur to you that you wanted to be an architect?
Attasit Intarachooti: I first joined an architecture company around 12 years ago, straight after university. It was an entry-level job with a low salary in a small company. Maybe 4-5 years later, the company grew and developers started noticing out designs and it was around that time that I started Botanica Villas. I consider myself an investor too and that’s what I did – I invested money in a new business and started my own company. I had a small firm, a small project and a big dream.
And that decision to become an architect? What motivated it?
I always liked drawing, I liked art, the walls of my room were always covered with my drawings. In fact, in the beginning, I wasn’t sure If I want to be an artist or an architect. Especially that I wasn’t good with all the technical stuff. I remember once, my boss brought me to a big construction site and I didn’t really know much about what was going on there. But I had my team, I had my engineers and I kept asking questions. I wanted to learn quickly. You know, I could have quit there and then, but I decided to keep going, to learn and to follow my dream.
What was that dream?
I wanted to turn my design skills into a business, I wanted to invest, I wanted to grow. But what I have now is very different from what I dreamed about then, my dream was much smaller. The design of the first Botanica was good, but I didn’t have much experience or money, so the project was much smaller and the location wasn’t great. And when we started selling, we managed to sell only 5 villas in the first 6 years, just one house per year.
How did you manage to push through this difficult time?
It was a precious experience. I discovered that I have this strength inside me. I had a business partner but he left because it wasn’t his main job, but for me, it was my life! So, I kept trying. I tried rentals, I was looking for new income streams to pay off the bank loans… and I never stopped dreaming. I kept looking for other opportunities, I invested in another villa project in Rawai, I bought an unfinished house in Layan and completed the construction, and slowly, step by step, things got better. I sold the villas in Rawai, I bought more land and started Botanica II – with a new design, better quality and higher price.
What I’m hearing is a story of an organic, constant growth. What do you think was the most important quality that kept you going?
Firstly – learning from experience and secondly – staying strong and persistent. You know, there are geniuses out there, people with a natural flair for design, for business, but not me. I’m a normal guy, but I don’t give up. When I fail, I get up and try again and I learn in the process. I fix the problem, I make it better.
In other words, you develop… where do you think your persistence comes from?
It’s in my DNA, it comes from my mother who is a very strong person. I remember, before I started Botanica, I invested in a restaurant. I didn’t have much money, I invested it all…and I lost, it was a failure. I remember feeling very low and calling my mother to tell her that I tried but I failed and that I’m tired. And maybe another mother would have told her son not to worry, but mine didn’t. She told me I needed to be strong and to keep trying. She taught me not to quit.
You are an architect and a businessman. Are you more of one than the other?
What’s most important to me is to give my best. I design, develop and sell projects and the money I get, I invest in designing and developing more projects. And the fact that I can do that is what success is for me, not the money.
Also, initially I just wanted to make better projects. But now I have a team, I’m not on my own anymore and I’m working for them too. Before I could focus just on myself and my work, but now I’m working with the future of my team in mind. So, I have to have a bigger dream.
What is it?
In the next project, I want to focus not just on the quality of the villas but on the whole luxury lifestyle experience. Our clients are happy with their homes, the quality is great, but for me, it’s not enough, I want to place more emphasis on the common area. We have a big plot of land and I want to have a nice garden, great common facilities… I don’t want to sell a house, I want to sell a lifestyle.
Do you only develop in Phuket?
Yes, it’s the best location in Thailand, because it’s the place where you can sell quality. I appreciate quality myself – if I buy a bicycle, I buy the top brand, If I buy a car, the top brand as well, the best I can afford. And this translates to our projects. If I want to make a villa, I want to make it the best possible. And you know, our clients aren’t stupid, they know quality and we have to respect that. We have to think about delivering great quality first, and the money will follow. With many properties, when you see their marketing materials and compare those to the ready project, it’s not even close! I don’t like that. If my project is not the same as in the marketing presentation, it’s only because it’s even better.
Phuket is not just a workplace for you, it’s also your home, right?
I come from Hat Yai, but I live in Phuket now. My home, my family is here. I like Phuket because it’s the best place for an architect in Thailand. I lead a simple life in Phuket Town. You know, Thai people don’t want a lot: a house near a school, a market, a 7Eleven, that’s enough for us. Sure, I like luxury cars, I like luxury watches, but my life is very simple. Every day, I still eat lunch with my team.
So, what did you have for lunch today?
Khao Pad! We keep it simple, we keep it honest. And this applies to selling villas too. I don’t use sales techniques, I follow my heart, my dream and just try to be myself.