Home Insider Mitv : Representing Myanmar’s Image Interview with Mitv’s Deputy CEO Zaw Thet...

Mitv : Representing Myanmar’s Image Interview with Mitv’s Deputy CEO Zaw Thet Maung

Name : U Zaw Thet Maung Position : Deputy CEO

Myanmar International Television (Mitv)

MI: How did you end up as the Deputy CEO of Mitv?

Mitv is a jointventure channel, born from rebranding the former MRTV-3 in 2010 and run by the cooperation between the Government and Shwe Than Lwin Media. I started as the General Manager at that time. We started to form a team and invested 50% of our time in capacity building and 50% in the operation. It was quite fun and challenging during that time.


MI : Please tell us about your duties and responsibilities.

We’re operating this channel with team- work and my duty is to lead this team in creating the Mitv brand in representing our country image.

MI : What kind of progress has Mitv seen since its foundation in 2010?

Before, the transmission was done from Nay Pyi Taw – Tet Kone area and the censorship was stricter. Now we are broadcasting with self-censorship and self – regulation. And all the productions have become of HD quality. We always listen to our audiences and provide the programs based upon their demands and needs. I think capacity building is the most important progress since its foundation in 2010. Media industry is still very young in Myanmar and we have to train our people due to the shortage of qualified human resources in this field.

MI : What kind of difficulties did Mitv has to face with during this journey? How did your team overcome them?

We had to face many difficulties during this 5 year-journey especially when merging government employees and private sector ones. Due to different backgrounds and perceptions we have to understand both sides to create synergies between these two teams to become one. We have employed about 200 staff here half of them comes from government sector and the other half from the private.

MI : What are Mitv’s major programs for its target audience?

As I’ve mentioned before, we are representing Myanmar so we highlight our culture and traditions, lifestyle, tourist destinations, business, politics and economy. Our targets include businessmen, expats, repats and local audiences who value our country’s customs and traditions. Mainly we broadcast current news and documentaries for which Mitv has a theme “Real People, Real Story” and we cover stories about ordinary people in that the audience might have interests.

MI : How do you deal with the audience’s expectation being the only one English Language channel in the country at the moment?

We always value our audience and listen to their feedback. We have a traditional tele- vision channel which is a linear one that we’re broadcasting right now and also provide with new media platforms; Mitv’s official website, official page on social network, Android and iOS applications as well as live streaming. Thus we can communicate with our audience directly and try our best to serve what they need and want.

MI : What’s Mitv coverage like internationally and locally?

For average international coverage, Mitv is available in ASEAN nations and we have also been streaming on the internet all the time for about two years. Locally, we’re run- ning FTA (free-to-air) analog in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay while FTA digital on MRTV, DVBBT2 as well as on Skynet and streaming.

MI : How do you recruit quality staff for Mitv?

Team players are always welcome here. Attitude and commitment are the most important for us and we can train them the rest once they join Mitv. We avoid people like worm and pet in our organization. Worm means those who do not perform well and also not get along with anyone. Pet are the ones who only look upward in the organization. That is the reason why we only need team players.

MI : What kind of commercial supports and infrastructure are needed to run a channel like Mitv?

Since we have started as a JV channel (Joint-Venture channel), we do not have any financial benefits till today. In future when Mitv becomes much more popular and available worldwide, we may have a way to provide our channel commercially.

MI : What are Mitv’s current projects and upcoming plans?

Mitv is currently expanding its programs and focusing on a theme called New Face of Myanmar. We’re also expanding our network coverage in 2015.

MI : What are your strategies to compete against the international broadcast brands entering into Myanmar?

I’m very proud to be a part of Mitv which is the only one channel in Myanmar broadcast in English and representing our country’s image. There are a number of global brands representing each nation for example; there’s CNA in Singapore, Arirang in Korea, DWTV in Germany and NHK World for Japan.

We’re using different strategies in order to compete with other international broadcast brands. Since we ourselves are Myanmar nationals, we understand deeply about our country and our people. We don’t acquire any foreign contents. Every single content of Mitv is one hundred percent production by our people and it’s our core competency. We have a strong and creative production team.

MI : What is your opinion on the country’s media sector?

Compare with the previous administrations, now we have freedom of expression and the broadcast law is being discussed in parlia- ment now. I hope we will have a greater future for the media sector.

MI : Which one do you think has much more influence in the country, print or electronic media? Why?

No doubt that electronic media has much more influence than print media because it can reach to millions of people at real time. That’s why every government focuses more on electronic media in their countries.

MI : What are the key success factors in running a TV station?

Clear vision and positioning are very important. It’s also essential to know who the target audiences are and the station must focus on its audience segment.

MI : From a business standpoint, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing you and your team in Myanmar in next 1-3 years?

Every business sector in Myanmar is at the breakthrough level. Every investor is waiting for the 2015 General Election and the FDI and other SMEs are expected to grow faster after 2015. I can foresee that the availability of efficient human resource will be the biggest issue in Myanmar in next 3 years. On the bright side, our target audience will be wider as FDI grows and the number of expats in the country increases.

MI : What advice would you give to someone looking to start up a business and invest in Myanmar’s media?

I would like to suggest to have faith, belief and enthusiasm for media business and also not to give up when facing with obstacles and difficulties along the way.

MI : If you could make one major change to any government policy, what would it be?

Since I am a media person myself, I would like to focus on the media industry. I feel that people here are misusing the social network. For example, some people tend to criticize or share the photos of tragedies but they forget about sympathy and dignity for the victims and their family. There already have been regulations for television, radio and print but none for the new media plat- form like social network. So I would like to suggest a change to the policy that will suit with the current trends in media industry.[/paypal]