Executive Interviews

Myanmar

2017/5/12(Fri)12:00

(Myanmar/ミャンマー)

*This interview article divided into two parts and posted separately.
It is the first part of the article.
<Part2>

Nature Sunshine Travel & Tours
Ms. Min Min Myitzu (Managing Director)
Myanmar

Nature Sunshine Travel & Tours Ms. Min Min Myitzu (Managing Director) MyanmarMany business people from abroad including the emerging countries have participated in HIDA training programs. Positions of the targeted audience vary with the programs, and there are some programs aimed for top executives.

This time, we interviewed with a managing director of a travel agency in Myanmar which provides tourism related services and professional MICE arrangements.


--Please explain your company profile first.

Nature Sunshine is a travel and tours company which was established in December 2015. We provide all tourism related services and professional MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) arrangements. We are working with a team of 10 talented and passionate Myanmar nationals and our main services are inbound/outbound tour arrangements and MICE arrangements.
 
One of the reasons why I established this company is that I simply have been travelling a lot and do love it; I have been to Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, China, and various other countries so far. In addition to this, one direct impetus is my experience visiting the United States as a participant of the International Visitor Leadership Program offered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. During the program, I was able to see that many American people enjoyed travelling and also that foreign business people who visited the US for business purposes had fun by doing private trips after their business was finished or in their spare time. This experience gave me inspiration and made me consider that I could do the same in my home country and provide great opportunities for people to travel in Myanmar.


--What aspects of corporate management do you put much value on? Please share with us your management philosophy or policy, or something considered important.

I would put more value on the aspect of leading the team, which is to manage for the effective utilization of company resources to attain the set goals.

As for a service company, we are committed to fulfill customer’s requirements by :
  • Trying to understand our customers’ needs,
  • Seeking ways to improve our business and service,
  • Listening to customers’ advice and feedback, and
  • Taking care of the environment while providing an enjoyable holiday at the destination.

Regarding the last point, sadly when a place becomes a tourist destination, its natural environment is likely to be negatively influenced; people visiting there sometimes throw rubbish away, or remove or harm plants. I believe that in order to not affect the natural environment and maintain its beauty, we, tourism companies, need to educate our customers.
 
We are trying to learn from our customer’s advice and feedback to improve our business, but so far, fortunately, all of our customers have been satisfied by our services. Some of them recommended us to their friends and acquaintances by word of mouth because they were happy with us, which has helped us to grow further.
 
There are customers who are satisfied with our service and then ask us to arrange a tour not in Myanmar but to neighboring countries. For instance, once we had a customer from London who was actually skeptical about our service at first, but after we took care of all her trips well and she was satisfied with what we had done, she even asked us to arrange a trip to Vietnam.
 
Other memorable customers we welcomed were a couple from France. Unluckily, at the start of the trip that we arranged, the husband started to feel unwell and could not even move to the next destination. They asked me for help in this situation because I was the only one there to help them. I arranged their accommodation and contacted a clinic without asking any additional service fee, since I started to feel attached to them in person as a friend. As a result of a medical check, the spouse had to go back to France but they appreciated my help very much. This event was in November 2016 and after a month, I got a phone call from a taxi driver saying that another French couple would like to meet me. Surprisingly, they brought a gift from the couple from France which I helped! Their kindness touched me very much and this is one of the best moments I have ever had since I launched this business.


--Do you think of any challenges that hinder your company business to grow and develop further? What kind of actions do you think need to be taken to address the above-mentioned “challenges”?

The challenges will be:
  • Not having enough knowledge and exposure to step ahead to become a larger organization, in the aspect of finance and operations,
  • Having difficulty in maintaining a trained workforce, and
  • The ability to establish a larger business network.

Job-hopping is one of the hardest problems for travel agencies. Companies have been fighting over experienced human resources in this field due to their shortage, which leads to well-versed staff job-hopping, seeking much better offers with higher salary and position. A big problem is when employees acquire new skills: they change their job as these skills are a great advantage.
 
We are trying to tackle these problems by:
  • Learning more about the corporate management,
  • Studying the success stories of large corporations, and
  • Developing an effective HR plan.  

In order to prevent our employees from job-hopping, I have made an effort to develop mutual trust with them by working together as a team and let them see the potential to grow. I do not regard relationships between them and me as a one-way relationship between an employer and employees; rather, I would like to establish a win-win equal relationship pursuing mutual benefit. I consider them not as employees but as business partners. When they have difficulties or troubles, I help them to solve the matter. I share my intention to them that I can share the business ownership with them; that is, they can be shareholders of the company if they wish to, after working together for a certain period of time. I wish to grow my company together with them.


--How do you view the current status of your business in the global market?

My business is an SME, which has the potential to grow, as over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and has becomes one of the fastest growing economic sectors around the world. ‎
I have business relationships with foreign tour agents in Bangkok, Singapore, and Vietnam, but yet to have a relationship with Japanese companies.
 
Some of the companies are inbound tour operators in which they arrange the visits for tourists to Myanmar and some are outbound tour operators, in which my company has to do the travel arrangements inside Myanmar for overseas tourists.


--Are you planning to expand your business overseas? What does your company consider important and wish to focus on to lead your business overseas to a success?

Yes, I do. In fact, we are growing day by day and trying to expand our business with ASEAN countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. By that, we are getting more experience of doing business overseas, which can lead to us doing business in a new way and I hope very soon we will have a chance to expand my business in Japan.
 
According to the current situation in my company, the first step to expend my business overseas will be trying to establish a good relationship with a reliable partner. The advantage is that the overseas partner will have knowledge and experience of their country which will take some years for me to get. The focus will be the quality of business operations, which directly effects customer satisfaction and upon which we can expect more business.
 

*This interview article divided into two parts and posted separately.
It is the first part of the article.
<Part2>

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