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.