Home Insider Swiss Time Square expecting more demand for luxury watchesKyaw Myo Min

Swiss Time Square expecting more demand for luxury watchesKyaw Myo Min

Name : Position : Company :
Kyaw Myo Min Director
Time Square Trading Company Limited (Swiss Time Square


MI : How did you begin your career in Myanmar? How did you arrive at the position you are in today?

I have been working in management posi- tion in different sectors, managing human resources, organizational development and projects management for more than 20 years. Of course I have encountered many chal- lenges, hardships and difficulties, which are irreplaceable and valuable experiences after I have overcome them strategically. When Swiss Time Square was established, I was offered this position for strategic planning and orga- nizational development. As a matter of fact, I am also a lecturer of Business Management at Private College in Myanmar.

MI : Please tell our readers about Swiss Time Square.

STS, is situated on Kabaraye Pagoda road, stands as a watch gallery in a prime loca- tion of Yangon and it is also not far from Pyi road. Kabaraye Pagoda road is near Gold- en valley which is seen as affluent people’s neighborhood. We would like to give the im- pression that World class brands are at an arm’s length to them. Customers can easily come in and see “World of Fine Watches”, appreciate the finest quality and admire scrupulous manufacturing with full atten- tion to details.

We are selling the watches at international prices. In the past, locals have to go to Sin- gapore or Bangkok to buy a luxury watch, as such, it can be expensive as you don’t know the real value of the watch and hard to get after-sale service as well. The benefits of customers for buying from STS are that each and every customer is treated equally

with internationally compatible prices and serve the best to all the customers. Other fringe benefits here at STS are promotional sales offering discounts and after-sale ser- vices. Therefore, customers not need to goabroad to buy a watch, but to buy at STS which will safe more time and money.

We have also launched the Rolex Service Centre at Uwizara Road. Rolex had a long reputation and popularity among Myan- mar locals. We also have well-trained staff to provide the best quality services.

MI: How was Swiss luxury watch gallery founded in the first place in Myanmar?

Time Square Trading Co., Ltd. was estab- lished in parallel with the recent economic opening in Myanmar. With that opportuni- ty, we see there is a gap to fulfill the needs and requirements of discerning customers. Thus, we came to have “Swiss Time Square Boutique” to serve the growing demands providing the fine luxury watches from Switzerland. Our commitment is to serve the right customers with the right product, price, value, satisfaction and delight.

MI : May I know more about your role as Director of STS?

I am providing guidance and leadership to the team for the growth of the whole com- pany in a way that provides uniqueness in terms of product, quality, and price, so as customer services during and after sales. I designed the strategic and business de- velopment plans, ensuring the continuous improvement of STS as a whole but not lim- ited to staff, service and quality.

MI : Please tell us more about the cur- rent trends of branded watches mar- ket in Myanmar.

Currently, most economic sectors of Myan- mar are gradually growing creating more windows of opportunity to everyone, more investments came in, more job positions cre- ated. With that kind of pace, human needs and wants will likely to increase soon. Ac- cording to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the first thing is physiological needs, such as food, water & sleep, after that safety, then love/ belonging, later self-esteem and finally self-actualization. So, with economic devel- opment, more people will want to possess branded products to fulfill their esteem, thus we positioned STS as forerunner and get market share ahead as most people will have luxury products including branded watches as a need for stable self-respect and self-es- teem.

MI : How will foreign companies en- tering into business affect local work- force, and do you feel that they will bring new opportunities to existing local businesses?

It is of two folds I would say, because, we are still lacking in the technologies, though we have resources and materials, we still couldn’t produce final products and we are losing in trading. For instance, Thailand and China, they are taking advantages of that and getting richer while we stay in poverty trap. Another weak point of us is that most

of Myanmar businessmen build their com- pany in traditional way (family type). If for- eign investments bring in the higher tech- nologies, our country will benefit (technical, incomes, GDP, more job opportunities etc.), furthermore, the businesses affiliated with also profit so as the people. For example, Telenor and Ooredoo entered into Myanmar for telecom sector, a lot of people got new promising jobs, quite a substantial numbers of local businesses benefited, moreover, so many people have access to mobile phones. Whether to take it as a threat or challenge or opportunity is depends on the perception and planning (mission, vision & objective) of the local businesses. As country is in tran- sition process, so should the business sector to compete shoulder to shoulder with the foreign investments, or else, we will defi- nitely suffer.

MI : As the market leader in Myan- mar, how is STS planning to keep its current position in the branded mar- ket?

We will keep on maintaining our unique- ness of products, quality, price and custom- er services at all-time, we will not stop just to satisfy the customers but to understand the requirements and needs of customers

and assure to fulfilled to get their delights. That is also why we have established “Rolex Service Centre” at Uwizara Road.

MI : How different are customer’s ex- pectations here in Myanmar compar- ing other countries?

It is likely to be the same as we are all human and expectations of customers in Myanmar are no different than other countries, as such they want good quality products and best services as I have mentioned earlier, the needs & customer’s expectations will not stray away from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in general.Yet Myanmar people expect more customer care, which we are trying to fulfil at all time with continuous improvement.

MI : What sort of difficulties and hard- ships STS could be facing in Myan- mar’s watch sector?

As STS is handling high-end Swiss brand watches, we do not see much of difficulties in competitors as of now, we may have some though in the future. The only hardship we may encounter would be the trade policy and procedures, including customs regula- tions, which affect not just watch sector but also other business sectors as well. But I see it positive way, as the country grows, there will be new policies and proper regulations developed reflecting the current economic situation.

MI : Could you tell us special services offered by STS to their customers?

We treat every customer the same regard- less of race, religion, status or occupation, with the warmest reception of the trained staff.

The product quality is maintained high while prices are the same as international with additional after sales service. You will not need to go abroad to service your watch, we assist here in Myanmar. For some brands, we are not the main distributor, but we fa- cilitate and accept the job to take care of the service to the satisfaction of the customers. We take care of the watch to send it to main

service centre. However, it is depend on the customers, if they wish to contact the centre directly, which they can as well.

MI : Is there any special program that Swiss Time Square offers currently?

As special programs, we sent out New Year Wishes to our customers and recently of- fered Valentine Day Chocolate Provision. For future, we are planning to offer “Royalty Program” such as Beach Tower for Thing- yan in April, Hamper Delivery at October and Birthday Card.

MI : What are your future plans to de- velop watch industry in Myanmar?

We are actually brainstorming internally to establish “Watch Business Group”, with all other watch businesses, to have a stronger voice to advocate the government to adopt smooth import and trade procedures. If that happens, we all will have common agree- ment and collective decision as a whole watch sector, not just by an individual busi- ness owner.

MI : From a business perspective, what do you feel are the biggest chal- lenges facing you in the next one to three years?

In transition period, nothing can be ascer- tained. But we see it from a constructive point of view that the economy will devel- op further and positive changes at the same time. With more foreign investments, many other competitors would come in and we will have to work harder, put more efforts to get better.

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

My advice is simple, that they first try to understand on Myanmar culture, custom, attitude, tradition and Foreign Investment Law, because Myanmar is unlike other neighbouring countries. It may not be hard but very subtle.