Learning about doing business in a frontier market

 

Sean (in white top, front row) with Thura Shwe Mann and the MBA group

Sean (in white top, front row) with Thura Shwe Mann and the MBA group

“It’s a trip that is only possible due to the NUS MBA’s prestigious reputation around the world,” says Sean Bellamy who was part of a 14-member group from NUS Business School which visited Myanmar in September 2015 as part of the Myanmar Global Immersion Programme.

Sean, who is also the Class President of the 2015 MBA intake says that, despite having travelled to 27 countries prior to Myanmar, this immersion trip was one of the most rewarding he has been on, for its learning and networking opportunities.

The group met “a diverse group of companies”, he says, including “one of the largest corporations in Myanmar enjoying the typical boardroom presentation, a small printing shop owner with an operation in a back alley of Yangon with employees sleeping onsite, and an industrial timber operation on the outskirts of the city. We could compare and contrast seeing where the opportunities were as well as the challenges they shared.”

There were also cultural visits – to Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most famous pagodas in the world; and a visit to the Pyithu Hluttaw, or House of Representatives, where they met Thura Shwe Mann, the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttlaw. Intrinsic to these visits were the other moments, which showed them the essence of the country. Like its conservatism, when they were not allowed to visit Shwedagon Pagoda in their shorts and had to re-attire themselves. Or its determination, as they travelled along the new highway, marvelling at the infrastructure built to re-locate the country’s new capital city to Naypyidaw.

“I learned a tremendous amount about what it means to do business in a frontier market,” says Sean, who enjoyed it so much he hopes he can go on another trip before he completes his MBA.

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