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Applying Classroom Lessons To Real Business
Myanmar entrepreneur Thein Myint Oo applies SIM’s principle and practice of lifelong learning in his own daily life
“I WAS looking for the best place to study, without travelling too far from home,” says Thein Myint Oo from Myanmar. “My mum didn’t want me to go to Europe or England. In South-east Asia, Singapore sets the gold standard for tertiary education. People in Myanmar consider Singapore a safe environment to study.
“And SIM was the best place for private education in Singapore,” says Thein who came to Singapore in 2006. He enrolled in SIM’s Diploma in Management Studies. On completion he went on to the second year of the SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) programme, graduating in August, 2010.
“At RMIT, we have to do research and explore the subject, and not just depend on the lecturer. Before taking the Marketing exam, for instance, I went around to the shopping malls to find out how shops conducted their marketing and promotion campaigns. RMIT programmes have lots of projects, which are real-life,” says the 30-year-old entrepreneur who is into the infrastructure business, such as the construction and maintenance of solar energy farms.
His tertiary studies also taught him important lessons in the management and entrepreneurial thinking process. “Through my studies, I understood what leadership entails and why cooperation is so crucial to success.
“A university life is what I called a honeymoon period in a young adult’s life. When it is over, you will face actual life as you work with colleagues and partners in the real world. To survive and prosper, you must know how to apply the business and management theories you’ve learnt in the classroom.”
And we shouldn’t stop our education when we graduated. “I believe in lifelong learning and I definitely like to continue studying. I suppose I would only stop when I’m 70,” Thein adds with a laugh.
As part of his continual education, he reads books because their contents are like “feedstock for the brain”. “I love to read Buddhist Scriptures too as they give me peace of mind,” he adds. The scriptures or Sutras recount Buddha’s discourses and their application in daily living.
For leisure, he plays games, reads, and watches football matches.
Currently, Thein is involved in two projects. The first is a 10 megawatt solar energy farm to be completed this year (2015), covering 40 acres, and costing about US$20 million. Another 210 MW is coming up soon. “I started the company with my Dad about three years ago,” he says. “I’ve got investors from Belgium and Canada, who were interested in the renewable energy business. The 210 MW solar farm will be one of the biggest in Myanmar.
“I am also setting up a factory to produce lightweight concrete, which is suitable for low-cost housing. I’ve seen machinery in Thailand for producing such concrete and I would like to bring it into Myanmar.”
— Posted online, 6 May 2015