How Myanmar could capitalise on the millennial market

Yangon based youngster, Nicky Min Ye Myat, does his shopping online. He’s 28 years old and following the global trend for Millennials to do most of their business over the internet.

He is a personal trainer and finds the selection and prices online better than the clothes available in the local shopping mall. Using popular ecommerce platform Alibaba Express, Nicky can find what he wants, quickly and easily.

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Myanmar government lifting ban on livestock export

As part of its long term economic recovery plan, the Myanmar government has announced it will lift the ban on exporting livestock.

The Ministry of Planning and Finance also reports that it will offering loans to farmers in an attempt to further boost Myanmar’s agricultural industry.

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More than 1000 small businesses in Myanmar will receive loans

The government of Myanmar has recommended that more than one thousand small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) should come under consideration to receive bank loans. This information has been released by the Central Department of Small and Medium Enterprises Development (CDSMED) and is good news for the start-ups in the country.

The Ministry of Industry has 46,794 businesses officially signed up and registered with them, and have recommended that financial institutions offer loans to the selected enterprises after they conduct an assessment.

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Regional growth just as important as major cities

Regional growth just as important as major cities

A new report by International Growth Centre (IGC), a research centre based in the UK, has stated that Myanmar’s economic development depends just as much on regional capitals as it does on the major cities of Yangon and Mandalay.

The report highlighted how important it is to develop secondary cities as part of the established plan for boosting the main cities in the country. The research centre is based at the LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) and is partnered with Oxford University. It has offices in London and Yangon and has released the report called Urban Myanmar.

Strategic growth centres

The three main growth centres as part of the government’s economic strategy for Myanmar are Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.

Yangon takes its place as a crucial growth centre as it leads the country’s financial and commercial services, as well as exports due to its ports. Mandalay is up there as it is a major trading hub for northern Myanmar and should play a big part in many initiatives. Nay Pyi Taw retains its importance due to being the centre for the government.

However, the main thrust of the report warns against relying too much on the development of Yangon’s economy. It argues that inclusive development is vital, including the growth of regional capitals and secondary cities.

Cities like Yangon attract a lot of investment from overseas and develop quickly. They are busy importing new technologies for manufacturing, for example, giving firms based there an advantage. This can be seen with the garment factories that are situated on the border of Yangon, as well as the industries thriving in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

Moving industry out beyond key cities

The report said that secondary cities need to be connected with their regional towns and the main tier cities. This, along with border town and agro-industrial centres being linked will help to allow production to spread away from the main cities.

Secondary cities should be seen as regional hubs that are strategically very important for commercial gain. Similarly, the development of towns on the borders of cities can help to boost trade and support a national identity for the country.

Urban planning vital
Along with these suggestions, the report also says that urban planning is the key to make sure that cities become hubs of economic activity rather than centres of congestion and problems.

The three channels that make productive urban areas:

  • Deep local product and labour markets that allow workers and companies to find jobs or fill positions quickly.
  • Higher wages that attract workers to the cities.
  • Availability of intermediary services.

These have all contributed to the success of Yangon’s growing economy and workforce and need to be implemented in other cities, as well as regional towns for the growth of the country’s overall economy.

Htet Tayza

Transparency is key to attract investment

Experts from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) held a business forum at the Stock Exchange in Yangon recently. Its aim was to discuss the best ways to attract investment and increase stakeholder confidence.

Listed firms were invited to hear key speakers discuss disclosure and transparency standards in reporting. The conference was called Enhancing corporate transparency trends and a business case on transparent reporting and ongoing disclosure and was held with input from the UK Department for International Development and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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Myanmar’s Foreign Trade Rises in Latest Fiscal Year

Image of stocks online. Htet Tayza discusses Fintech in Asia.

Myanmar’s government is currently focusing on facilitating greater foreign involvement with the nation’s economy, to supply small businesses with the funds required to foster growth. Figures show that these efforts are paying dividends, as Myanmar’s foreign trade rose during the latest fiscal year.

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Why Self-Confidence is Vital for Entrepreneurs

Htet Tay Za

My experience has shown me that every business owner needs to believe in themselves if they want their venture to become a success. On the Htet Tayza blog I explain why self-confidence is vital for entrepreneurs.

“I always knew I was going to be rich.”

Ask any of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and they’ll tell you that they never had a single doubt that the venture they were about to embark on would turn out to be a success.

US business magnate Warren Buffett once said that “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” Meanwhile when Dell CEO and Chairman Michael Dell was asked what he wanted to do with his life by his dad, he simply said “compete with IBM.” Ask any entrepreneur and their story will be the same.

The importance of self-confidence

In other words an entrepreneur needs to be self-confident if they want to be a success. Studies have shown that self-confidence can be linked to success.

A study conducted at Purdue University in 1998 of 3,000 entrepreneurs found that a third held the belief that their venture had a 100% chance of success. Meanwhile research undertaken at the University of Houston in 1997 concluded that entrepreneurs are biased to think that they can prevent anything negative from happening to their venture. Finally a study done at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2013 even discovered that entrepreneurs believe that they’ll have a longer lifespan than anybody else.

An entrepreneur needs to believe their business will be a success

This means that evidence seems to suggest that there’s a link between entrepreneurial success and self-confidence but why? The answer to that question may lie in the struggles that an entrepreneur is set to face as they establish their venture.

Statistics from the US show that a third of ventures will fold in their first five years. Two-thirds will collapse within the first ten. According to Business Insider, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has suggested that entrepreneurs need to be confident to even take on this kind of risk.

Kahneman commented that “a lot of progress in the world is driven by the delusional optimism of some people.” He went on to say that “the people who open small businesses don’t think, ‘I’m facing these odds, but I’ll take them anyway.’ They think their business will certainly succeed.”

Entrepreneurs need to be confident to take a chance

Therefore self-confidence is vital to entrepreneurs because it gives them the support they need to take on the considerable risk of starting a business. Without self-confidence entrepreneurs would never take the chances they need to capitalise on in order to edge out their competitors and build a lucrative venture.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Five Ways to Let Your Employees Know You Appreciate Them

Hospitality is an industry that depends on the people it hires to man its ranks. As such on the Htet Tayza blog I’ve decided to look at five ways to let your employees know you appreciate them.

Hospitality businesses depend on their employees

Whatever industry they choose to forge their career in, there is one eternal truth every young entrepreneur needs to acknowledge. They need to cultivate a talented employee roster if they want their business to become a success.

This is particularly important in the hospitality industry. Hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels need good employees to carry out the everyday tasks e.g. serving customers that their revenue streams depend on.

Employee retention is a major issue for hospitality sector

Yet employee retention is a particular problem for the hospitality industry. For example according to The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy, there was a 62.6% turnover rate in the restaurants-and-accommodations sector in the US in 2013. This contrasts with a turnover rate of 42.2% for the overall US private sector.

As such entrepreneurs who are looking to build a hospitality business need to develop strategies which will enable them to hold on to talented employees. There are many strategies you can use to hold onto a good employee, yet there is one simple method that will prove particularly effective; showing your employees you appreciate them.

Five easy tips to let your employees know you appreciate them

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Everyone likes to feel as though their hard work is being acknowledged. Doing so may persuade a talented employee to stay with you. Here are five ways you can show your employees that you appreciate them:

  • Say please and thank you: Manners get you everywhere. They indicate that you respect an employee enough to believe they deserve common courtesies. Please and thank you go a long way.


  • Get the treats in: Who doesn’t love after work drinks or pizza Friday? Get a little treat in for your employees when you’ve had a particularly successful week and they’ll know you value their hard work enough to believe it needs a reward.


  • Cut them some slack: Everyone makes mistakes. Yet you don’t need to punish the people who work for you every time they make one. Cut them some slack every once in a while and you’ll show your employees that you appreciate everything else they do, so you can forgive one little mistake.


  • Be nice: Simple, yet effective. People like positive people. Strive to be nice to your staff and they’ll see that you like the work they’re doing. Why else would you be in such a good mood? Plus your good mood will put them in a good mood and positivity goes down well with customers.


  • Give them a challenge: Nothing shows appreciation like trust. Trust your employees with tasks that prove a challenge and you’ll show that you believe in them. You’ve seen their work and you know it’s good.

Be a good boss

Basically showing your employees that you appreciate them and the work they do isn’t rocket science. Just be a good boss and treat your employees with respect. Respect is often the difference between a member of staff who stays and a member of staff who goes.

How to Build a Customer Profile

No business can survive without a customer base to provide it with revenue, which is why this week on the Htet Tayza blog I’ve decided to explain how to build a customer profile.

Why do you need to profile your ideal customer?

You can have the wildest, most innovative idea in the world. If you don’t have a customer who’s willing to buy your product you don’t have a business capable of succeeding in the modern market place.

Therefore the first thing you need to do when constructing a new venture is build a profile of the customer that business is designed to cater to. Build a profile of your ideal customer and not only can you determine whether there are enough customers to make your company viable but how to market to said ideal customer to draw their funds to your venture.

Step-by-step guide to building a customer profile

As such you’ll need to know how to build a profile of your ideal customer to ensure you foster the construction of a successful company. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a customer profile for your business…

  • Figure out who your customer is: The first step to building a customer profile is to determine who that customer is. There are several criteria you can use to determine who your ideal customer is; demographics i.e. age, gender, psychographics i.e. preferences, personality type and behaviour I.e. hobbies, likes and dislikes. This will tell you whether your ideal customer exists and if they do, whether they exist in such numbers as to make your business viable.


  • Find out where the customer is: Now you know who your ideal customer is, you need to know whether you can reach them. You need to find out where your customer is. To do this conduct research to determine; where they live, where they spend their time and where they receive their information i.e. online.


  • Determine how the customer spends their money: Now you know you can reach your target consumer, you need to figure out whether they’ll buy your product. To do this conduct research to determine how your ideal customer spends their money. Ask what they buy, why they buy it, where do they find the items they spend their money on etc. Determine their purchasing patterns and you’ll see whether the person your product is geared towards will actually buy it.

What will this process do for your business?

Complete this process and you will determine whether your product is capable of generating a consumer base large enough to supply your business with the revenue it needs to thrive. If it does, you can use the information you have gathered on your ideal customer to draw their interest to your venture and ensure it becomes a success.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Hospitality Workers Want to Feel Valued

A new survey has revealed that workers in the hospitality sector want to feel valued in their job. This week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal how easy it is to give your employees what they want.

The Nuts and Bolts of the Global Hospitality Sector

The staff that sit behind its desks, serve its customers and carry out its administration are the nuts and bolts of the global hospitality sector. Without them it would fall apart.

Therefore employers working in this industry need to make sure they hire and retain the best of the best if they wish to expand their operations and protect their profit margins. As such, anyone working in the hospitality sector may be interested to know what its employees believe is the best way to motivate their ranks.

One Third of Hospitality Employees Believe it’s Important to Feel Valued

According to Big Hospitality, Argos for Business recently carried out a survey of 2,000 workers in the UK to determine what motivates an employee.

Its results were illuminating. Two thirds of those workers in the UK hospitality sector who were questioned suggested that feeling passionate about the job you do is the most important motivation for a hard working employee. Yet a third suggested feeling valued is the most important motivation for an employee.

How Can You Make Your Employees Feel Valued?

You can’t do anything to spark passion inside an employee. They either have it or they don’t. However, you can make an employee feel valued.

Argos for Business managing director Danny Clenaghan noted that “motivating staff and showing appreciation for their hard work year-round needn’t cost the earth” and he’s absolutely right. Showing your staff that you value their contributions is as easy as thanking them for their hard work, buying a treat for the office every once in a while or congratulating your team on a job well done.

The Benefits of Making an Employee Feel Valued

In other words, showing your employees that you value their input into your business is the easiest thing in the world, yet its benefits are not to be underestimated. When you make an employee feel valued you boost their confidence, drive up their productivity and ultimately, provide them with the motivation they need to stay with your company.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar