Myanmar: The New ASEAN Headline

IMG_2915Have anyone of you seen Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo” series of movie? I didn’t remember which version of Rambo film that talked about Myanmar — I better check it again 🙂

Myanmar, famous with communism politic and young-troops as well as Golden Triangles Area. These past few years, Myanmar changed a lot from fully-100%-communist with close-market to become one of the most attractive market to be invest in ASEAN countries for the investors. Myanmar’s economics is growing dramatically. GDP per capita is US$1,711 [World Economic Outlook 2003], higher than Cambodia’s GDP. This is very good for doing business in Myanmar while the government is not open for all investors to invest in this country. That’s a very good sign for Myanmar.

Capital and Currency

The capital of Myanmar is Naypyidaw. Yangon is the largest city of Myanmar with the population of 5,998,000, nearly 50% of total Cambodian population. In Yangon, motorbike is not allow to drive, only car and you will not difficult to catch a taxi. The official currency of Myanmar is Kyat [US$=MMK973.994] but you can always use US dollar for some reason.

Food  and Drinks

Traditional or local food is looks very similar to Indian food with the taste and smile very similar but they don’t use curry as much as Indian does. It is hard for a proper restaurant for a good food, especially very hard to find Thai restaurant or American restaurant and definitely, no KFC, StarBuck, Burger King or Pizza Hut. If you want to try Thai-liked restaurant you might need to drive more than 20 minutes. But in general, the food is okay and the beef is really good.

Buildings and Infrastructures

Hm.. speaking about buildings and infrastructures, Myanmar is under developing in this area. Most of the buildings are old and French-colonial style. There are also many new hotels with new modern style. Sule Shangri-la, ParkRoyal Hotel…are the famous hotel in the town with very modern decoration and style. And you can watch your favorite cable TV without any doubt. They also offers free internet connection, but it’s not so speedy.

People and Communication

Burmese are look quite alike to Cambodian, Thai, Indian and Laotian. But they are seem not so friendly if compare to Laotian, Thai or Cambodian people. They’re still very conservative in term of communicates with foreigners. Maybe they’ve separated from the world too long. The strangest thing here, Burmese women still put white-powder on their face which I used to saw this when I was read a grade 7 geometry books. I don’t know what that white-powder made from, but it is somehow looks very obvious. Maybe it’s herbal to protect their skin or make them more beautiful.

Burmese if the only official language and it is use wisely. Burmese people are not good at English communication in general. Their speech was not easy to understand at all. I spent 10 minutes to just tell taxi driver to bring me from hotel to my office. But however, they still didn’t play around [taxi drivers are generous, will not cheat you] at all.

Mobile phones are selling there in Myanmar but I’m sorry, it is easy to own a SIM card because it is too expensive and the calling price also never cheap at all. If I want to call or chat to my wife, I have to wait until I come back to my hotel otherwise, I cannot contact her.


Myanmar is in ASEAN region so the climate is not much different from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and any other ASEAN countries, but a bit warmer if compare to climate in Cambodia because Yangon is quite close to the beach.

Entertainment and Cinemas

There are a few clubs [ I asked my colleague] operating here but it’s not so easy to get it. But they also have a few cinemas which showing Hollywood movies like Hercules, Lucy Lucy… I didn’t see it yet but I planned to see it.

In general, Myanmar is a good place for business and Myanmar need to change more in terms of communication, openness and perception. I believe Myanmar will become of the fastest growing in term of economic in the very short future.




Behind The Success Of A Company

There’s no car can be moved if its 4 wheels flatted. This is the classic example that I always tell my staffs and friends each and every time that we discuss about business.

What does that mean?

Can you imagine how can a fancy car move if its four wheels flatted? Those car will just only a car with no use at all. It cannot be used and its owner will never reach their destinations. This is just like a company or doing business by underestimate the value of lower level employees. The business or company will never reach its goal if their is no staffs who really works with passion for their company or for that business. It is really important to motivate or take care of staffs.

Every staffs will! Happy to work under any conditions when they can get enough benefits or salary to feed themselves, their families or their goals. It just like a car will brings its owner to any destinations while it has enough gas, good engine oil, enough coolant and good tires. Those gas, oil, coolant or tires are the benefits that company should provide at any circumstances to helps convince its staffs works for them with passion, with goals and together success.

So, no matter what, a company should really think about their lower-level-staff rather than just fully focus on higher level employees because the success is not just only those higher level delivered, it is about team and about together.

Should have a proper plan for lower level staffs and do whatever you can to convince them stays and work for you as long as possible.

Real Life Learning — Work Is Just Not About Business

It seems just like yesterday but it is already 5 years of my career with GSK ( I started with GSK as my first job and I ended it also with GSK.
August 1,2009, a fresh graduated student from Hanoi University of Pharmacy ( submitted his unprofessional CV for a Medical Communication Specialist (MCS) with no experience. He was tried to understand the processes, the job and learning everything as much as possible even though he had a very huge challenge in using English instead of Vietnamese that he used to use it for 6 years during his university period. That could not stop him from becoming a guy who like to explore, reading and learning new things.

Five years at GSK taught me a lot of good things. If you ask me where could you find a company that putting every efforts to taking care of human well beings? I would tell you that you should go to GSK. GSK will teaches you how to be a good people, good leader, and also a good staff as well. This is not just a pharmaceutical company that always put their business in the top of everything like Anh others does, GSK always share their responsibilities to the country that they’re operating, especially for lease developing countries such as Cambodia by spending 20% of its profit to help build or improve healthcare infrastructure. That’s what inspire me the most and I am believe that there is no such companies who willing to do such GSK did.

GSK is also a good university as well. GSK spent huge amount of money to make sure that each any every staffs get themselves learn new things and improve their skill and knowledge. I’ve got trained a lot from GSK’s intranet and it matured me up.

Now, my career with GSK had already ended and I can tell you that I do really it. It’s just like my second home, my second university. But as a human being we have to move on and we sometime have to put every emotional thought behind if we want to move forwards and I chose to moved on and learn something new, to find something which I still need it. My career page with GSK had already and the page is going to open soon.

Thanks to everyone at GSK, thanks to my colleagues, team and supporters who always support me, helps me, teaches me and guides me for past 5 years. Thanks to GSK that changed me, teach me to what’s right for human beings and what’s right for business. Now I can see that doing a business is not just money or making ourselves rich, it is about what will contribute to this beautiful community, what can we do to help our nation, out people to live in a happy life.