GATEWAY Equipment Limited was formed by Roy Barrett and his two eldest children, Lisa and Philip, just six years ago and today it is the major supplier of equipment to golf courses in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The company employs over sixty staff with the head office in Bangkok and a branch office in Nakorn Ratchasima. Recently it also established a subsidiary in Vietnam.
The quite remarkable growth of Gateway Equipment from just three people six years ago to Thailand’s leading supplier of turf maintenance equipment, irrigation systems and golf cars to Thailand’s nearly three hundred golf courses is but the latest chapter in Roy’s life in Thailand.
UK-born Roy qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse (now Price Waterhouse Coopers) in 1970 and was sent to Thailand to join the Bangkok office as part of PW’s International Exchange Programme. At the end of this six month’s secondment, Roy returned to London but soon came back to the Bangkok office and over the next twenty five years had a career in industry working for the Thai subsidiaries of a UK-based engineering company and one of UK’s largest trading companies.
Roy says that his part in the establishment of the St. Andrews schools and the Hua Hin school are by far his most fulfilling and satisfying achievements. These schools will go on for many years, and thousands of children will obtain a great education, make life-long friends and have enduring memories of their school years.
Returning to Gateway Equipment, Roy attributes the company’s success to a focus on customer service. While there are close to three hundred golf courses in Thailand it is still a relatively small industry where everyone knows everyone else and it soon becomes known whether a supplier can be relied on.
Gateway Equipment represents a number of major brands in Thailand and neighbouring countries. These include John Deere turf maintenance machinery, Rain Bird irrigation systems, Trojan batteries and Yamaha golf cars. The company has won a number of awards for outstanding performance, including John Deere Asian Distributor of the Year for three consecutive years.
It is very much a family business with Lisa as marketing director and Philip as sales and service director. Lisa has considerable experience in marketing having worked with large multinational consumer product companies and Philip spent nearly eight years in the golf industry before joining Gateway Equipment.
The branch in Nakorn Ratchasima is the regional dealer of John Deere agricultural tractors selling directly to farmers, and also represents Rain Bird agricultural irrigation systems.