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Su Swezin Aung from Yangon, Myanmar

Founder & HR Adviser of Medium Myanmar

There are times when you feel sad, and feel like a failure. And when people judge you, it’s difficult to take. Don't stop there! Just keep doing what you love to do and what is right for you.

Consultant Strives to Raise HR Management Practice in Myanmar

You don’t have to be a big company to do business with a multinational, as Su Swezin Aung discovered when she returned home to Myanmar in 2013.

Utilising the skills she had learnt from her time studying and working abroad in Sydney, she quickly identified a business need for better human resource practices across local organisations.

Together with a business partner, Su started Medium Myanmar, a human resource consultancy based in Yangon.

She soon snared a giant multinational which was setting up operations in Myanmar as a client and the company asked Su, to help recruit their early employees.

Other multinational customers followed, hiring Su’s firm Medium Myanmar to recruit their employees and advise on adapting their international policies to suit local conditions.

Now, after four years of doing business, her firm has a pipeline of repeat business, and Su says she is more interested in working with local companies where they can have a bigger impact. Many organisations don’t have proper human resource management practices in place and need help with everything from recruitment planning to performance management.

“There wasn’t much competition, and now we’re in big demand,” she says. Clients regularly ask them back to conduct employee appraisals, one of the main offers of her consulting business.

“We’ve had to be quite harsh in some cases,” says Su, who gained a Bachelor of Business from UTS in 2009, specialising in human resource management. “We have to tell managers they need to fire people, and we’ve had to try really hard to be accepted by the employees.”

Su is one of a new generation of local entrepreneurs making an impact in Myanmar where the commercial environment is opening up new opportunities after decades of military rule and centralised economic planning.

Su is one of a new generation of local entrepreneurs making an impact in Myanmar where the commercial environment is opening up new opportunities after decades of military rule and centralised economic planning.

She’s also considering other businesses, eyeing opportunities in the fashion and beauty market. “I need to understand more about the industry first,” she says.

Su’s passion for now, however, is people management, and she’s looking at several new initiatives to develop her business, including offering an expatriate recruitment service to local companies.

“There’s a shortage of skilled workers in Myanmar,” she says “and working alongside more experienced expatriates is a good way to gain skills.”

Her advice to budding entrepreneurs? “Make sure that what you want to do is really who you are. You might be young and listen to other people, but you don’t just have to follow other people’s decisions.

When it comes to choosing a business, she says, “You have to ask yourself do you really love what you’re doing, because you don’t want to get bored. Every day has to be fresh and new, and you have to be excited by what you’re doing.”

Ready to make your mark?