In 2003, after graduating with MA in for Manufacture Warwick University, UK. Wootinun (Oak) Sungong
started his business in the e-Commerce industry which was very new at that time, especially in Thailand. With no experience in any kind of business and limited funds. He started searching for a Thai product that suits the nature of e-Commerce and the perfect product was selling Muay Thai merchandise which he always enjoys watching and learningthe basics of since he was a little boy. He started selling on eBay and created his website name “Muay Thai Stuff”
) with only 4 members in the company. His first office was a small building at Laksi, Bangkok.
After selling other’s brands for a while, collecting customer data and needs, he decided to start his brand. “TUFF" was the first name in his mind, coming from his first work “Muay Thai Stuff” that has the word “TUFF” in it, and also the meaning of TUFF is a volcanic rock. Moreover, it’s the Homophone of the word “Tough” which is his character. The concept was simple. Most Muay Thai shorts all looked quite similar, even from different brands. So he saw the opportunity and design uniquely outstanding looks to Muay Thai merchandise, started with a T-shirt which was the first-ever TUFF’s product collection. In the year 2008, Mr. Oak was invited to the sports expo in London, UK where the name of “TUFF” begins to spread in the worldwide Muay Thai industry.
In 2009, the business was booming and TUFF’s factory was built to serve the demand of customers around the world. “TUFF Engineering” was established as a garment manufacturer which was the main production force for TUFF and also introduce to a new brand “Kombat” which offers cheaper and customized products. The factory contained more than 20 members specializing in Muay Thai shorts and equipment.
On the other hand, the TUFF company's main office moved to Vista park, a home office where marketing and IT teams were recruited. TUFF’s name started to catch the eyes of Thailand’s Muay Thai promoters and authorities. TUFF shorts were used in the King’s Cup Muay Thai Champion in 2009 and 2010. The tournament was crowded with top class Muay Thai fighters such as Yodsanklai, Cosmo Alexandre, Alex Vogel, Jordan Watson, Antoine Sianboxing, and Jesse Miles. TUFF was one of the top online Muay Thai brands in the industry. With the success of Tony Ja’s movie “Ong Bak”, the whole world suddenly loves Muay Thai, and hugely popular in gyms and fitness. In 2011, the TUFF camp was established in Laksi, Bangkok closes to the main office, focus to attract the people who just want to learn Muay Thai. The camp had bedrooms, training facilities, and fitness equipment where most of Muay Thai camps are for the experienced fighter.E-Commerce in Thailand was growing larger and the world-famous platform started a marketing campaign such as Google and Amazon. Because Mr. Oak was one of the first Thai entrepreneurs who join and use the platform. He was nominated as a presenter for Google Thailand. He started to appear in many press and magazines. Then a Thai celebrity and TV talk show host “Woody” (Woody Milintachinda), his famous show were “Talks With Woody” (วู้ดดี้ เกิดมาคุย) which he interviews a movie stars or a person in hot topics. Mr. Oak was interview by Woody on his show and use the TUFF camp as the show’s location. TUFF camp started to bring many beginners and professional fighters to train at the camp. Orono Por Muang Ubon, the Muay Thai legend, was hired as a trainer.
TUFF Sponsored fighters were introduced to the marketing campaign as the name “TUFF Warrior” to endorse TUFF products. TUFF Warriors include the name, Ramazan Ramaznov, Ali Ahli, Eduardo Maiorino, Joe Schilling, Zidov Akuma, etc. Then a major incident happened.
In 2011, There was a major flood in the Bangkok area. More than 12.8 million people were affected by the flood. The World Bank has estimated the damage as high as 1.44 trillion baht. TUFF also was no exception. Our staff had to carry the whole package of paid items on foot to meet the shipping agent's truck on the toll-highway.
After the Bangkok flood ends, TUFF needed to bounce back. TUFF camp was moved to the 10th floor of Peter's Mansion, Ekamai which is one of the hottest areas in the middle of Bangkok. The whole floor was renovated and transformed into TUFF's theme Muay Thai gym with a swimming pool and fitness facilities.
Fighters, tourists, ex-pats, or even Thai people started to come to train at the camp. We also held seminars about MMA, Muay Thai, and invite some Muay Thai legends to held a Muay Thai workshop. A Muay Thai Team from Brazil was coming to train and stay at the camp for a long period. We brought some of the fighters to fight art the legendary stadium like Ratchadamnoen and Lumpinee and also some small venues around Bangkok, Pattaya, and variety Muay Thai rings across Thailand. TUFF also started a youtube channel named "TUFF Sport TV". The content was about Muay Thai tips, interview with Muay Thai fights and training methods.