Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Myanmar travel portal set to grow

Myanmar travel portal set to grow

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People in Myanmar see the benefits brought by technology. Phyo Hein Kyaw/AFP

Myanmar travel portal set to grow

THE NATION (THAILAND)/ANN: AS MORE people in Myanmar become aware of the benefits brought by technology, Flymya.com – the nation’s leading one-stop travel portal owned by local investment firm BOD Tech Co Ltd – is eyeing bigger growth in the years ahead, Mike Than Tun Win, the firm’s founder and chief executive, said.

“It has been nearly three years since we launched our website in January 2016. We are fully aware that Myanmar people’s digital literacy has improved a lot, compared to a few years back. Now, it is time to ride the tech growth wave here,” he said in an exclusive interview.

“Until a few years ago, the majority of people in Myanmar were not interested in buying online. As more people have access to the Internet and as mobile data has become more affordable, some of the population has become familiar with online services. I believe the majority of the population will get used to them within a short period of time.”

Mike believes in investing in information technology as well as research and development. An estimated 30 per cent of the firm’s total investment has gone towards strengthening its IT infrastructure and the capacity of its technical staff, he said.

“IT investments usually cost a fortune. By its nature, it requires a lot of comprehensive research, which inevitably results in higher expenditure for businesses. That is why a number of local businesses are struggling to survive in the long run,” he said.

Mike considers telecom infrastructure, consumer behaviour and online payment systems as the three important factors for a technology boom in Myanmar. Over the past few years, he has witnessed a remarkable improvement in users’ behaviour and infrastructure, though it may take some years to see the nationwide use of payment systems in such a cash-dominated society.

Impressive growth

Mike believes Flymya.com will grow in tandem with the development of technology in the country. As technology shapes the people, the firm is about to meet its five-year target of $15 million yearly revenue within three years of commercial operations. The firm expects to enjoy stronger eight-digit revenue over the next few years.

“We are growing 250 per cent year on year, and aim to reach the peak within the next seven to 10 years. By then, we will make sure we have at least 40 per cent of total market share,” he said.

Mike seems confident of reaching his short-term target of ensuring 10 per cent of the market share by the end of next year. Currently, Flymya’s services include flight tickets, bus tickets, train tickets, hotel bookings, tour packages, car rental, events and attraction tickets, cruise bookings and balloon tickets. Most of the firm’s revenues are generated by air ticket sales, as it is currently cooperating with around 20 airlines.

“We cover all the routes in Myanmar because we also sell bus and train tickets to more than 100 major destinations here. And our system is very strong – just in case the ticket for your destination is out of stock at Flymya, there is no way to buy it elsewhere,” he said. Next year, the firm will put more emphasis on hotel bookings, home-to-home delivery and its omni-channel. It launched Get Digital Shop in May, which now has more than 1,000 shops on its online platform and expects to reach over 10,000 shops by next year. It will also continue cash on delivery services in Yangon and Mandalay.

“Our strategy is that we will not walk alone. This means we will go hand in hand with other businesses towards our growth path. If someone can do better than us in any line of business that we are considering, we will not hesitate to cooperate with them,” he said.

Mike said the firm would prioritise business-to-consumer as a core business model rather than the business-to-business. To ensure a larger consumer base, the firm has acquired Go-Myanmar.com and London-based engineering team SWITCH.CM for a six-digit sum each.

“This has resulted in rapid growth of website visits. Around 6.5 million people visit its website on a yearly basis, and we have 1.5 million unique users per year,” he said.

Mike also takes pride in the performance of his workforce of nearly 200 employees who come from 10 nationalities. Yet, he explained that less than five per cent of them are expatriates, and locals always take the majority of seats in the firm’s senior management. For better consumer experience, a call centre serves all the clients’ needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Our aim is to make travelling in Myanmar hassle-free. We have set our sights on removing the fuss from the process by bringing you a newly revamped one-stop shop for domestic bookings online,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from