mobile opportunity in Myanmar


The new digital wave in Myanmar is both very recent but extremely fast. In particular, the mobile opportunity in Myanmar is currently creating untapped opportunities for tech start-up and ecommerce ventures across the region. The country has seen massive growth in internet penetration, mobile phone adoption and social media usage in the past few years, spurred by the end of direct military rule and rapid opening up of its market after decades of isolation.

The consumer market in Myanmar has essentially bypassed the development stages seen in other economies and moved straight to digital and mobile, making the country a potentially interesting test bed for internet-enabled businesses.

The mobile phone penetration rate in Myanmar, which barely touched double digits in 2013, has now reached around 50% of its estimated 54 million population last year.

According to Ericsson report, Myanmar is the fourth fastest-growing mobile market on earth and over six years, the cost of a SIM card has shrunk from US$ 1,500 to US$ 1.50 today.

The major challenge to overcome urgently is “that the digital transformation is happening so quickly, it’s difficult for countries in the region to keep up in terms of talent” explains Rami Sharaf, Senior VP of Royal Group of Companies Ltd in Cambodia.

The upside of the new mobile opportunity in Myanmar is that it creates new markets for local and foreign tech and ecommerce startups around the region. “With more users, more businesses will come because the market is here,” he said.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 20. Read the full article here.

OnePlus Quits Indonesia

Source: Google Images

OnePlus blames Indonesia’s complex and strict regulations on imported smartphones for its decision. Last year, the government passed a law that requires imported 4G phones to contain 30 percent locally sourced components. OnePlus failed to complete the mandatory certification process on time and the investments needed to comply with the new regulation, set to take effect in January 2017, is too overwhelming for the relatively new brand.

“Chinese phone maker OnePlus is halting its operations in Indonesia. That means the company’s upcoming flagship phone, the OnePlus 3, will not be sold in the archipelago through official channels”

The regulation would require OnePlus to build a new fulfillment center or join a local factory, something beyond the company’s current capability. OnePlus will be missing an enormous opportunity to reach the 326M Indonesians on mobile where foreign companies such as Samsung and Asus are performing well.

Indonesia mobile

The new regulations set by the Indonesian government as an attempt to give room for local players may decrease success found by smaller foreign brands. It also highlights the complexities of doing ecommerce in Indonesia as ever-changing government regulations is often seen as a bottleneck to business growth.

Read the full article on Tech in Asia here.