B Grimm takes care to support community as it expands into the region with green initiatives such as renewable power
Having been at the helm of B Grimm, the longest established company in Thailand, for over 30 years, Harald Link has driven the company's expansion into many markets across Asia and beyond.
Today, the 143-year-old multinational conglomerate operates many businesses across multiple sectors, from energy, building and industrial systems, to healthcare, transportation, lifestyle, real estate, digital and capital partners.
Established in the reign of King Rama V by the German pharmacist Bernhard Grimm and his partner -- who were later joined by a young pharmacist named Adolf Link -- B Grimm played a significant role in Thailand's development at a time of rapid modernisation. In addition to opening one of the kingdom's first modern pharmacies, the group won a concession to dig Bangkok's irrigation canals using German equipment and helped tame a cholera epidemic.
Adolf passed the business onto his two sons, Herbert and Gerhard. In 1978, Gerhard's son, Dr Harald, joined B Grimm as managing partner after graduating from St Gallen University in Switzerland. He took over as the company's chairman 10 years later, and proceeded to expand the company's operations into the energy sector, with its investment arm B Grimm Power, of which he was its first president.
Since then, B Grimm's businesses have expanded beyond Thailand and into faster-growing markets in the region. In 2017, B Grimm Power was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and today it is one of Thailand's fastest-growing industrial and renewable power producers.
B Grimm's other achievements include issuing Thailand's first Green Bonds in 2018 with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative. In 2019, B Grimm Power opened Asean's largest solar power project in Tay Ninh, southwest of Vietnam.
Last year, B Grimm obtained the first Green Loan in the CLMVT (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) region certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative to develop a solar power project in Vietnam.
In the same year, B Grimm started the development of the Hybrid Electricity Generation Project at U-Tapao International Airport and Eastern Airport City.
And last year, despite the hardships brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, B Grimm Power-Energy China Consortium completed the world's largest hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn Dam for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). The project started commercial operations in October.
Other notable achievements this year include the November acquisition of a majority share in a Vietnamese company which 100% owns a 48-megawatt wind power project in Vietnam. B Grimm Power also informed the SET this month that it has obtained a 49.9% share of Kopos Co, the developer of wind power projects and solar PV project with a total capacity of 95.78 megawatts in South Korea.
B Grimm's interests lies beyond mere profits, as Dr Harald reiterated that societies must prosper together with businesses. For example, B Grimm established Boworn Smart Village Project in Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo, as a model for sustainable development, complete with a school and temple that were built with the participation of residents. Dr Harald is the chairman of the Princess Mother's Charities Fund of Thailand, which provides scholarships to nursing students throughout the country.
Meanwhile, he also plays a leading role in supporting WWF Thailand's ambitious "Save the Tigers" Conservation Programme. And as concerns over climate change has grown substantially, B Grimm is committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emission organisation by 2050. In arts and culture, B Grimm is one of the major supporters of the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. As chairman of the Thailand Equestrian Federation, Dr Harald offers financial support to the national team riders.