By Maciek Klimowicz
The day Tobias Lauinger, an internationally experienced, passionate salesman from Germany, discovered wine and that it’s unlike any other product out there, was the day his life changed forever. Now, with his Global Wines & More company, he is aiming to do the same with the wine market in Phuket and beyond – change it, forever.
From the island’s north to its very south, in restaurants big and small, the wine lists are constantly expanding, offering a choice wider than ever before. From more obscure wines and lesser known appellations to Super-Tuscans and Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux, there is little that isn’t available in Phuket. Yet in the island’s seemingly saturated wine market, Tobias Lauinger spotted a gap. A gap in quality and individual services.
Not just the quality of the wines on offer - though those 94 labels in his Global Wines & More catalogue, he selected carefully and personally for exactly that – quality. But it’s also the quality of service that Tobias bets on. “The foundation is in the quality of our services and the quality of our wines, which I ensure through my visits to the wineries and the personal relationships I build with my business partners, all over the world,“ he explains.
Those personal relations with winemakers – he visited all vineyards represented in his catalogue – are an extension of his personal passion for wine, one that he discovered eight years ago on his first day as a GM of a wine distributing company in Phuket. And the emphasis on quality? He thinks it can be traced back to his German roots. “I don’t consider myself a stereotypical German, but of course I have German culture in my blood, I can’t help it,” he laughs. “And when it comes to business, it’s very good, ‘Made in Germany’ still has a very positive ring to it,” he adds, and continues to list some of the qualities that set Global Wines & More apart: “Individual, custom-made service; reliable and always on time delivery where and when the client needs the wine - this is the philosophy of my team.”
But you don’t have to take his word for it. Do it the German way and look at the numbers. In just one year Global Wines & More gained more than 200 customers in Phuket and the South of Thailand – from top-notch resorts to small, local restaurants - and are now expanding operations to Bangkok, where they are already working with brands such as Mandarin Oriental or Siam Kempinski. Their goal of becoming the most visible wine supplier in this country is becoming ever-more tangible.
But for Lauinger, success isn’t a single goal, a particular achievement at a precise point in time. It’s a process. “Success for me is having happy people around me. It’s not a financial thing, it’s about making people happy,” he says, adding that “if your customers are happy, the financial success will follow anyway. Satisfied customers keep ordering and spreading the good news, that’s the key to success.”
Learn more on globalwines.co