Name : Le Thi Kim Hoa
Position : Director (Sales and Marketing Department)
When did you first come to Myanmar and what was your impression then?
I had a short business trip to Myanmar in July 2012 for doing market research for HAGL project on behalf of Cushman & Wakefield – a well-known American international real estate firm. I was not sure at first because the info I had about your country was so limited at that time, however things were all amazing turned out that made me so impressed. I had a chance to meet with all the biggest retailers in Yangon and they’re so professional and very welcoming. Since then, I knew deep down in my heart that I would come back here to work one day and I did.
What is your impression now?
I’ve been working here back and forth since 2012 and moved here permanenttwo years ago. It’s getting better every day and I love Yangon more and more.
How did you end up as this position?
I have been working almost 14 or 15 years in real estate sector at some big names like Savills & Cushman & Wakefield and it’d be amazing/exiting for me to contribute my knowledges for developing the new market like Myanmar so I decided to take the job.
How different is it working with stakeholders in Myanmar compared to other countries?
There is not much different and it actually surprised me. Despite of the country had been closed to outside world for quite some time, all our local clients are very professional, open minded and very humble which is not easy to find in another market. There are some names like City Mart Holding, Yoma Bank, CB bank etc.
What is your occupancy rate like?
Myanmar Plaza with 100% occupancy rate, two grade A office buildings – Myanmar Center Tower with occupancy rate of nearly 60% and 5-star hotel – Melia with capacity of 429 rooms with occupancy rates over 60%. For the Lake Suites, although, sales have slowed down a bit compared with the beginning, however it remains stable. Investors and customers are still waiting for the Condo Law and we hope that new policies from the government will boost up the market and increase the buying demand.
How do you secure the high-profile clients?
Good project in prime location with great facilitates to provide the most convenience to client. Also meet the requirements of health & safety and other technical issues. Last but not least is the price. Please explain to our readers about your pricing. One thing I can say is we, HAGL, always listen to market. We analyse and update the market constantly. Our price is market price. We don’t go above market price and for us
What is your view on Myanmar real estate sector?
Myanmar real estate sector is interesting and challenging at the same time. As you may know, there are four main sectors in real estate are office, retail, residential & industrial zone. In the new market like Myanmar, demand vs supply isn’t always matching. We might have an oversupply sector but still lacking of good quality projects. However, there are huge opportunities here for developers who put their effort and time to do researching, FS (feasibility studying), concept development before starting the construction in order to have the best products that suitable for the local needs but still stand out in the future.
From a business standpoint, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing you and your team in next 1-3 years?
HAGL Group along with many other businesses that investing in the new markets such as Myanmar having so many challenges. From the real estate point, the market is still relatively small with low buying power and mainly focused on a certain segment. The Condo law for foreigners is not clear in term of owning assets for individual and entities. However, with the view of doing long term business here in this golden land, our group believe that we will overcome the challenges and develop sustainably.
How has HAGL contributed to Myanmar communities?
We employed more than 1 thousand employees for the job opportunities both short term and permanent staff. We are fully aware of CSR, and we are taking some corporate social responsibilities by offering some donation to natural disasters and war affected areas, H1N1 prevention and Education Process and even supported to Bagan Earthquake Rehabilitation project. And we also invited some orphans to Mo Mo Land Play Ground at Myanmar Plaza and donated food and stationeries as well.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking up to start up a business and invest in Myanmar?
Research and research. To understand the local market’s needs; supply, demand, challenges & opportunities.
How are you enjoy your days ?
I love here. As I said, the first time I came to Myanmar in 2012 for 1 week. After coming back, I told my team that “I will move to Myanmar one day”. In 2015, I joined HAGL Myanmar. My dream came true.
Now, you can see the whole country is changing especially Yangon, there is new opening of restaurants, bars, coffee shops etc every month which is so exiting and people have much more choice in term of entertainment and same with me.[/paypal]