Serving customers since 1856, ATEMS is a family owned business of the Maskati family and is recognized as one of Thailand's oldest business houses. The company, A.T.E. Maskati Ltd.was featured in a cover story "Pioneers in Trade" by the magazine Business in Thailand.The business founded as a sole proprietorship by the founder Mr. A.T.E. Maskati was later incorporated into a limited company in 1948.
The group celebrated completion of 160 years with the launch of the book "House of Maskati" which chronicles the history of the Maskati family and business.
The business first started by importing from India the heavily starched, hand block printed cotton fabric known as Pha Lai for the old Siamese dress costume. Both men and women wore the colorfully patterned cloth of similar style. They were produced at the Maskati production facility in Ahmedabad, India and exported to S.E. Asia. The “Maskati” brand became most popular in the market. Today some of these fine antique pieces can be viewed in textile collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The foundation of Phalai textile helped establish the group’s presence in S.E. Asia with offices in Cambodia, Singapore and Burma besides Thailand. In the 1930’s an office in Kobe was set up. The Indian head quarters had offices in Surat, Ahmedabad and Bombay.
After World War II, the Phalai business declined as fashions changed and with the introduction of mechanized production. The Thai company shifted gears to export of agro-commodities. In the year 1955, the firm took the initiative to pioneer the export of Thai grown Jute Fibre “Mesta” which gave the country a new source of substantial foreign exchange.
Besides, Jute, the company successfully exported Timber, Seedlac, Mineral concentrates, various Agricultural produces and also manufactured items like cement, kraft paper and cotton yarn among other traded products.
With the start of industrialization in Thailand, the company saw opportunity in established their indenting and import department representing well-known Indian manufacturers such as Godrej & Boyce for steel doors and safes, Kirloskar Oil Engines, Tata Textile, Usha Wire Rope, Emery India, Electrical Manufacturing Company, Texmaco, as well as the Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan. The company successfully bid for several tender projects of EGAT and PEA such as in transmission towers.
Today ATEMS in Thailand is managed under Mr. Ateeb Maskati, fifth generation in the Maskati family. The group employs over 50 persons. The business continues to evolve from its trading roots having consolidated operations with a focus on core business areas where they can grow and add value to customers.