Forbes names Thai fan maker a philanthropic hero

Forbes magazine is a fan of one of Thailand’s largest fan makers. The publication named Joon Wanavit, the 85-year-old founder of Hatari Electric, as one of its 2022 Heroes of Philanthropy, the only Thai to make the list of the region’s most generous this year.

Forbes cited Joon for his large and consistent donations to healthcare and hospitals in the Kingdom. He donated over $24 million, mainly to the Ramathibodi Foundation in Bangkok, in 2022. The foundation, associated with Ramathibodi Hospital, raises funds to help pay for treatment and care for those who cannot afford it.

This was the 16th Heroes of Philanthropy published by Forbes, and the unranked list for Asia and the Pacific included names such as India’s Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group; Li Ka-shing, Senior Advisor to CK Hutchison Holdings; Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, Co-Founders of Canva; and Hiroshi Mikitani, Founder and CEO of Rakuten Group.

The list highlights philanthropists who are donating from their personal fortunes and giving their time and attention to their causes. It does not include corporate philanthropy unless an individual is a majority owner of a privately held firm. Only 15 people make the list each year, and this year there were 9 new names on it.

Joon began his career by opening a small electric fan repair shop in 1980. The company eventually began making its own fans and took the name Hatari Electric. It is now one of the leading makers of electric fans in the Kingdom. Privately held Hatari produces 90 percent of its components in-house and sells 8 million domestic and industrial fans per year. The company had $182 million 6.3 in revenue in 2021.

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