Indonesia and Myanmar?
Yun Seung-hwan, Department of Accounting
Recently, many students are preparing for the CBNU self-designed competition, which is a program which students plan and practice activities by themselves based on their major or non-major in both at home and abroad. I passed this competition last year so my friends who are preparing for this program asked me a lot of questions about it and I tried to help them. I stayed 6 days in Indonesia and 4 days in Myanmar through this program. Now, I am going to share my experiences of this program with readers.
I remembered when I first vowed to prepare for it last year. I thought a lot about where to go and what to do. I
recognized that many young people go abroad to start their business in blue ocean, and eventually decided on
the topic of 'Startups of young people spreading abroad’. I decided to sell Korean style meatballs, ‘dong-geu-rangddaeng’ with the help of friends of a local college in Indonesia who I had met while volunteering overseas. Since there isn’t much information about Myanmar, I got help from my university professor and a Korean entrepreneur whose Korean-style spa thrived in Myanmar.However, not every plan was put into practice. On the first day, I missed my plane so the plan was delayed half a day and preparations for street selling in Indonesia were also delayed. I originally planned to develop sauce reflecting Indonesian sauce by tasting it, but I failed because I didn’t have time due to flight delay. I directly went to a local market as soon as I arrived at Indonesia, bought ingredients for sale and commercial rights for the Buah Batu Street. Right after that, I started to sell dong-geu-rangddaeng. Young customers were curious about Korean food, but older people showed reluctance. As a student of the department of accounting, the sales price was set in consideration of material costs, labor costs and manufacturing overheads, but it could not make a profit because we did not sell much. Through this process, I realized that I had to move to Braga Street, which has a large number of young people and lower our prices by being competitive with local traditional markets rather than the more pensive supermarkets. This is certainly something to consider when starting a business. Moreover, most Indonesians do not eat pork, so I was forced to limit the meat to beef and chicken. In addition to selling foods there, I met and interviewed business administration students at Pasundan University in Indonesia. The reason I really wanted
to interview them was that there was no company that came to mind in Indonesia, nor was there a prominent manager.
So I wanted to ask students in business school what they thought about getting a job or starting a business. As I expected, there were no companies we knew. The most famous company in Indonesia was Telcom, so of course, many students hope to join the company. In addition, most business students in Indonesia had no intention of starting a business. Most companies are set up by foreign capital and college students are employed as simple laborers. Even though wages are rising steadily, it is still lower than Korea's. Therefore, if you plan to run business in Indonesia with good business items, you won't have to worry about labor costs. After 6 days in Indonesia, I went to Myanmar and in conclusion, every schedules in Myanmar I planned have failed. Both Myanmar university professor and Korean businessman, who were scheduled to interview, suddenly expressed their opinion that they won’t be able to interview. So I interviewed the manager of the store we visited as soon as possible. Fortunately, he was very interested in Korea. Myanmar is test-running a policy which Koreans could come to Myanmar without a visa for a year, which resulted the increasing influx of Koreans. He asked me a lot about what kinds of food Koreans like, the service, and what we've been through efore arriving at Myanmar. Two people, ncluding my friend, ordered six kinds of dim sum, which cost 30,000 won in Korean money. I was embarrassed by the huge price difference between street foods and foods selling in the shop, but it turns out that the cost of setting up a store was too high that the cost of food can’t be cheap. Therefore, this should be regarded as an account when starting a business in Myanmar, since it is a country where there are not much information available for people outside the country. I tried to cope as well as I could in various situations and was able to return to Korea safely. The information we can gather is scarce and we contacted a local Korean reporter to get more information and prepared it. However, planning was not as easy as I thought and contacting professors and businessmen was also difficult. Such a local project will be important, but the most important thing is the "post-plan." Through this self-designed program, I had to think about what I would do and how I would grow myself. Although the process of preparing this project was very hard, I hope there will be good results for many students preparing for this program. Although I was interested in starting a business, it was difficult to implement it overseas. I wouldn't have done these things simply if I had just gone for a trip, but I was able to learn a lot about these things thanks to Chonbuk National University.