Ta.Ta! (“Hi” in Indonesian)- Jimmy is now in Myanmar
1) What is Myanmar like?
– Myanmar is located between Indochina and the Indian subcontinent, with a population of about 55 million people. 90% of the Myanmar population practice Buddhism and there is a high prevalence of running into monks wherever you go, along with seeing their culture portrayed through the architecture and their way of life.
2) What is most memorable from your first business trip to Myanmar?
– My first Myanmar business trip was to the city of Yangon, known to be Myanmar’s busiest economic activity site. While walking to my morning meetings, I saw many monks sweeping the streets with broomsticks. Every street was very clean and it was hard to find garbage on the street.
I wanted to grab a motorcycle to visit dental offices in Yangon, but I could not find a single motorcycle. I found out that the Myanmar government banned motorcycles in 1999 to prevent traffic accidents. Due to this preventative measure, Myanmar is packed with exotic vehicles like bicycles that have been converted into carriages. If you look at the picture below, you can see an example of a “cyca”, which is a bicycle that has been made into a means of transportation that can carry multiple people at once.. This vehicle can carry people to and from their destinations and can be used for food delivery as well.
3) What is your relationship like with our Myanmar dealers? How is Vatech’s image perceived in Myanmar?
– There are three Vatech dealers in Myanmar but x-ray devices have not penetrated the Myanmar market as well as in other Southeast Asian markets. Even so, Myanmar dealers are more than eager to learn and I feel that we can grow by sharing the same vision. Vatech’s image in the market is very positive and our marketing efforts have played a big role in influencing doctors in neighboring countries, especially India. The perception that Vatech products are guaranteed to be Korean products remains strong in the minds of Myanmar doctors. Therefore, if we put in a lot of effort now, we expect to see great results in the next few years.
4) Do you have any hot-spot recommendations for those who are interested in traveling to Myanmar?
– As I stated earlier, Myanmar has a big Buddhist representation. You can find monks and temples on every street and you can see Buddhist statues at every dental office you visit. If you visit Myanmar, you will observe many pagodas, which are Buddhist temples/sacred buildings in India and East Asia. Out of the many pagodas you will see, I recommend that you visit Shedagon pagoda. You will be amazed at the scale and splendor of this building and the 6-ton golden plate at the top of the building will definitely make your jaw drop.
When you visit Shedagon pagoda, there will be statues of animals that each symbolize a specific day of the week. People in Myanmar believe that your fate is determined by which weekday you are born on, like how Korean people follow their zodiac sign, and they even choose your name based on which week day you are born on. I was born on a Friday, so my animal is a guinea pig. Check out the table below and see what animal represents the day of your birth!