Yangon, Myanmar (8/2/2013) – Over 120 business leaders from Myanmar convened at the Shape the World Conference on 8 January 2013 to discuss new ideas and review challenges facing Myanmar brands as the country continues to open up rapidly. The event was co-organised by B2B Management Magazine and Consulus and held at Traders Hotel.

While Asia is expected to serve as a growing market for consumer products, few Asian brands are near the top league of brands. To lead in the future, it is crucial for Myanmar companies to catch up in terms of creating intellectual property, developing unique business models and designing new experiences. The conference was organised for knowledge-sharing and to probe Myanmar business leaders to think about the role of their brands as the economy opens up.

The session was opened by U Tin Kyaw Zan, Managing Director at Device Services Co. Ltd. and Professor Dr. Aung Tun Thet, Senior Advisor at UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, Yangon, Myanmar, who talked about how brand building equates to business building and should be given similar importance.

The keynote speaker, Lawrence Chong, CEO at Consulus and President at Design Business Chamber Singapore, who has spoken extensively in the region, most recently at the World Brand Congress in Mumbai and the World Marketing Summit in Bangladesh, shared 8 proven ideas on Asian innovation.

“The main reason why staff are not motivated to work is that they don’t have a reason to ‘fight’ for the company. We learnt that many leaders don’t spend sufficient time helping staff understand the meaning of their work, which will create an environment for innovation,” Chong said.

Lawrence Chong, CEO at Consulus, speaks on how to create an organisational model that will nurture innovation.

Lawrence Chong, CEO at Consulus, speaks on how to create an organisational model that will nurture innovation.

The 8 ideas shared during the conference was on the basis that Myanmar companies should move away from being a contractor and become a value-creator. To move up the value chain, business leaders must keep in mind the following:

  • Identifying the purpose and meaning of the business is important to nurture ownership among staff and inspire innovation.
  • A well-designed process of leadership succession encourages innovative behavior.
  • Managing time according to purpose builds sustainable business practices that will result in better scalability.
  • Shared rituals within the company has a role to align goals and nurture collaboration.
  • Building a system is beneficial so that the company can profit from failures.
  • Profit from data by ensuring there is time and resources spent on building a process to glean insights from business data.
  • Use small innovative teams to achieve change quickly
  • Define and groom an internal team of curators to ensure the rise of unique experiences.

During the afternoon workshop, Christina Tarigan, a Senior Strategy Consultant at Consulus who has trained and inspired leaders and management staff in Vietnam and Brunei, facilitated the use of two frameworks for Brand Purpose Model and Brand Experience model.

Christina Tarigan, Senior Strategy Consultant at Consulus, explains how the participants can use the Consulus frameworks in their own organisations.

Christina Tarigan, Senior Strategy Consultant at Consulus, explains how the participants can use the Consulus frameworks in their own organisations.

“[The conference] gives us better ideas and better strategies to maintain our brand and compete in the international market.  Employees with brand awareness will come up with a better marketing plan, business plan, as well as a strategy that will be in line with the whole company and company culture,” Aye Thida Aung Victoria, Managing Director at Super One International Co., Ltd, said.

“The frameworks that was provided will help Myanmar companies and brands to really understand and establish themselves, work out what their brand stand for and can clearly communicate that to their consumers,” Harsha Balachandra, Group Marketing Head at International Beverages Trading Co., Ltd., said.