Rent a friend in Thailand
People-renting services are peculiar yet popular. For example, Mr. Shoji Morimoto from Japan is a well-known companion who accompanies his “clients” for different occasions for a certain price.
Inspired by Mr. Morimoto, Phurin ‘Leo’ Donsri started his own “rent a friend” service in Thailand.
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Different roles upon request
During his video-creating internship, 22-year-old Leo was assigned to work on an odd job – during the research stages, he found Mr. Morimoto.
Leo then decided to adapt Mr. Morimoto’s business model and set up a Facebook page called Diew Pai Pen Puen La Gun, which translates to “I’ll go and keep you company” reported SME Thailand Club.
His first client was a teenage girl who hired Leo to dress up as a mum and accompany her in studying, shopping and playing games at the arcade. Leo accepted the gig because it was close to his place.
Another customer requested that Leo dress as Park Seong Yul from Netflix’s Korean series, Itaewon Class.
Image credit: Paiduaydaina
Customer: I want to feel like I’m going out with Park Seol Yul.
Leo: Have you had a look at my face? Lol
Customer: No worries. You can have a similar haircut and clothes as oppa, that’ll work for me. lol.
Leo, oops, Park Seong Yul and his customer
Image credit: Paiduaydaina
Disrupting the market
The creative entrepreneur’s Facebook page has received a lot of attention. Leo attributes his service’s popularity to the fact that many are out of touch with society and unfortunately do not have a squad IRL.
Whilst Leo asks that his customers subsidise his transportation and meals, the “rental fee” is completely up to them. For advertisements and promotional gigs, he charges ฿3,500 (~USD112), shared Bangkok Post.
However, the “rent-a-friend” does have conditions: Leo does not accept any sexual requests or anything related to nightlife, as mentioned on One News 31.
Who is Shoji Morimoto?
Shoji Morimoto, a 37-year-old Japanese man, started his “rent a person” service in 2018; his motivations were to go against societal norms and typical careers. He also struggled to fit in with his colleagues and peers.
Mr. Shoji Morimoto
Image credit: @makiwi
Shoji’s past clients include a divorcee who wanted someone to accompany her to file the request and many who want someone to have a meal with, written by Gai Jin Han.
An interesting job
Humans naturally crave connection and social interaction. These individuals like Leo and Shoji make it easier for those looking for companionship but don’t know how to approach their peers. Their jobs are very interesting and impactful for others.
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