As the second largest city in Southeast Asia, Myanmar boast a population of 50 million with a rich cultural background that has been hidden away from the curious eyes of tourists due to its strict military control until 2011. Currently, the country is steadily gaining international attention with widespread hope of improvement and progress.
Situated in downtown Yangon, our partner Hintha Business Centres, offers versatile office facilities and managed space on flexible terms. In a special interview for eOffice, Lucia Loposova from Hintha Business Centre, shares about their office space and services and the current startup ecosystem and climate in Myanmar.
eOffice: Tell us more about your Hintha and what are the features that clients enjoy the most in your space ?
Lucia: Myanmar is the size of Texas and an exciting market that is set to be a major Asian economy. But as of today, setting up in Yangon, the largest city and commercial hub, can be challenging and time consuming. We offer the classic example of why a serviced office makes sense. We are located in a reviving Central Business District, very near the new stock exchange. We have excellent Internet links and continuous electricity. Our offices are in a modern style, with a flavour of local design, and we offer high levels of service. In a country where international office facilities are rare, where things often don’t work or everything takes time, our Hintha Business Centres are like an oasis of calm and efficiency. Our clients enjoy international standard facilities: they can walk in, sit down, plug in and start work without worry.
We survey our clients regularly. They particularly like our reliable and fast Internet connectivity. They also like the level of service our staff provide, whether it’s within Hintha Business Centres or helping with information and navigating the business environment. We provide additional services, such as handling payroll and corporate registration, which also makes life easier for clients.
The look and feel of Hintha Business Centres is important. Our multinational clients in particular like the fact that our facilities are of a high caliber so they can host their clients and visitors. The local décor, use of recycled wood and displays of antiques give a “wow” factor for when the boss or out-of-town guests arrive. Our separate and fully equipped meeting rooms provide the privacy clients need for meetings. The latter is important in a city where the alternative is often public hotel lobbies where everyone can see who you are talking to.
eOffice: How is the current startup and entrepreneurial climate in Myanmar?
Lucia: The start up scene is vibrant. In every sector there are people setting up new businesses whether it is coffee shops, fashion houses, food factories, interior design agencies and especially IT and mobile data firms. People are saying “the country’s opening, let’s try this idea or that concept that worked in California or Hong Kong or London.” Many are young Myanmar people returning from living or studying overseas especially from Singapore, the UK or North America. Others are foreigners looking for success in Asia’s last large-scale emerging market. With them are multinationals especially from Asia and neighbouring states like Thailand. Familiar global names like Toyota, Samsung, Huawei, Ford, Coca Cola, Unilever and Nestle have a growing presence. International hotels from Kempinski to Hilton are arriving. There are many more waiting in the wings. It’s exciting. And a first step for many of these firms Hintha Business Centres, a base to start operations and to start to understand the Myanmar market.