Thai Dairy Pioneer Eager to Share Expertise With Myanmar Firms

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ALTHOUGH it took nearly 30 years for Thailand’s dairy business to achieve growth, Myanmar has high potential for the industry to grow in less than 15 years, according to Sangchai Chotchuangchutchaval, chief executive officer of Patkol Public Co, which is the pioneer among Thai dairy manufacturers.

“In Thailand, at the beginning of the dairy industry, we had very little knowledge. We had to learn the knowledge and know-how from ourselves and foreign investors, too. All the way, many of Thai investors lost a lot of time and money. We do not want Myanmar to repeat our mistakes,” he said on the sidelines of a seminar entitled, “Dairy Today: Update Dairy Business and Technology”.

“That is why we come today with something that might be suitable for the Myanmar market to let all the local investors get on the right track, not try the wrong way and lose money.”

Sangchai said that the event was the first of the firm’s efforts to help Myanmar dairy businesses grow further amid potentially increased inflow of foreign dairy products, thanks to the Asean Economic Community. He warned that Myanmar businesses needed to develop quality and standards before market competition becomes more intense.

According to Sangchai, Myanmar means a lot to Patkol’s business strategy to expand its network in Asia.

“Myanmar is the fastest-growing country, when compared to other countries we have worked with. We have already done a lot over the past three years,” he said.

“We started marketing in Myanmar with our services 10 years ago. The first business that we introduced here is ice-making machines. And later on, we introduced our second business, dairy. We already helped our partners build a few dairy plants in Yangon.”

The firm has offices in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and will expand to Cambodia later this year. It offers full services in the whole of Asean, as Laos is serviced from Thailand, and Brunei and Singapore from its Malaysia office. In the United States, it has vendors in California while the Middle East is serviced from Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and South Asia from India and Bangladesh.

“Our strategy is that customers’ success should be our success too. So we give them all the advice we have … We are also working with some ministries here, advising on their projects,” he said.

At the event, Yan Naing Soe, director of the livestock breeding and veterinary department, welcomed the firm’s input.

“Our economy relies very much on agriculture and livestock. There are a lot of rooms for improvement in the dairy business. We need to support farmers and help them grow their business and income,” he said.

“We need support from different organisations. Patkol has a lot of experience in the dairy business. We hope they can assist us very much so that we can fulfill the need of our country.”

Sangchai echoed the official’s view. He highlighted that the industry growth would lead to thousands of job opportunities, generate more income for farmers, and help reduce exports.

“Since the Myanmar market was recently opened up, most of international firms look to buy products from Myanmar because of the benefits for both sides. They usually expect cheap prices for Myanmar raw materials, labour and production costs. The Myanmar side also gets benefits to expand to the international market and then will develop towards international standards,” he said.

Sangchai suggested building dairy farms and plants in Mandalay, the capital of Upper Myanmar, as it has easier access to supply while demand is pretty high. He urged to produce milk and dairy products in Mandalay, and then export to Yangon and other areas.

 

Source: Eleven Myanmar
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