A country’s economy is usually shaped by its companies and their industrial relevance. More often than not, it is apparent that the companies carry the role of fabricating a nation’s standing in the global stage, including developing nations like Myanmar. With that said, there is more to the role of companies apart from generating profits, as they also play a principle part in contributing back to the community and developing the nation.
The corporate groups in Myanmar have a huge role to play not only in driving the development of the country’s emerging economy, but also in tackling the local community problems. In this article, we’ll have a look at 4 prominent Myanmar corporations that have been sourcing potential assets to the local business, while providing great care to those in need within the country:
1. Max Myanmar Group
Inaugurated in 1993 and chaired by U Zaw Zaw, Max Myanmar Group stands as an excellent local conglomerate with an immense drive to support the Myanmar economic growth. They have 8 business units, each functioning independently and collectively employing a total of about 7,000 employees group-wide.
Max Myanmar Group is one of the few conglomerates in Myanmar with a notable portfolio. Besides being involved in the construction of Napyidaw, Max Myanmar Group also played an integral part in numerous other substantial projects, including the construction of Zabudipa Stadium that hosted the 2013 Southeast Asian Games and the opening of Ayeyarwaddy Bank, a successful private bank.
Since its inception in 2010 by Max Myanmar Group, the Ayeyarwady Foundation has been making significant contributions to the education and health sector, especially targeted to the younger generations. The foundation also aims to enhance the intellectual capacity of the youth through generous scholarships. Business trainings and healthcare services are also provided as part of its long-term vision to develop the country through strong CSR efforts.
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2. KBZ Group
The Kanbawza (KBZ) Group of companies is a privately held conglomerate founded in 1994 by U Aung Ko Win. Originally a family-owned independent entity, KBZ Group is a distinguished corporate group with family values integrated into the business. With over 100,000 employees, KBZ Group is well known for its philanthropic endeavors and successful CSR initiatives.
KBZ Group has an extensive and diverse business portfolio, covering a total of 12 industrial domains, including agriculture, aviation services, gems and jade, banking, logistics, hotel and tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing, mining, non-profit organization, sports, and trading. As a dedicated conglomerate with faith in philanthropy and responsibility, KBZ Group allocates a significant amount of their annual budget toward the CSR expenditures. KBZ Group is also a member of The United Nations Global Compact and the 10 principles of UNGC are put into practice by the companies.
KBZ Group has established an award-winning philanthropic project, the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation (BFMF) in 2008, which has received investments of about USD 115 million over the past decade. This impactful foundation has been effectively contributing to the local community, helping them with matters from disaster relief and recovery to youth empowerment and education development.
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3. Shwe Taung Group
With over 7,000 employees, Shwe Taung Group is a leading Myanmar conglomerate with a business portfolio covering 6 core sectors – building materials, distribution, engineering and construction, infrastructure investment, lifestyle, and real estate. Founded in 1990 by U Eike Htun and originally known as ‘Olympic Construction Group’, Shwe Taung has made an impactful and sustainable contribution towards the country’s infrastructure innovation and development.
Shwe Taung Group also extends its commitment to advance the community by being a proud member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2013. Being a reputable conglomerate with a core value rooted in sustainability, Shwe Taung Group is dedicated to preserving the environment and promoting people’s role as active and responsible citizens.
As of today, Shwe Taung Group had contributed over USD 23 million in extensive infrastructure projects, including the development and renovation of schools and hospitals. Shwe Taung Group also ensures that for each major project accomplished, 1 percent (%) of its revenue is reserved for the administration of CSR projects. In support of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Shwe Taung group is an advocate of non-discrimination, child-labor elimination and enhancement of equal opportunities for all.
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4. Asia World
Founded in 1992 by Lo Hsing Han and Steven Law, the Asia World Company (AWC) Limited is one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in Myanmar. Currently with a headcount of over 6,800, Asia World presides over several subsidiaries and business units that function with their own executive boards. Asia World Company Limited has a wide range of industries focusing on infrastructure, energy, finance, manufacturing, trading distributions, construction and property management. Asia World has also been involved in a number of notable projects, including the paving of the Burma Road that serves as a linkage between Myanmar and China in 1998.
AWC has accomplished the construction of prominent infrastructure like Yangon International Airport, Nay Pyi Taw International Airport, and Asia World Port Terminal. Gold Energy Company Limited, one of the subsidiaries of AWC, was the recipient of the ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award by CAFEO.
In 2014, AWC established the Asia World Foundation, a charity organization that aims to build a better and more progressive community by contributing to education and healthcare. AWC is also an advocate of human rights and complies with the principles designated by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the 8 Core Labour Conventions developed by International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
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Key Benefits of CSR for Professional Development
Running a big conglomerate comes with tremendous responsibility to contribute back to the economy and local community. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a great way for not only the company, but also the employees to get involved in charity and help those in need. Therefore, this is an aspect that one might consider when looking for a company to kickstart and build your career. Ultimately, getting involved in CSR can help your career development and even improve your relationships with colleagues and superiors.
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