At 82, Thein Tun is one of Myanmar’s most venerable tycoons.
His company Myanmar Golden Star (MGS) is regarded as one of the ten strongest businesses in the country.
MGS is best known for introducing Pepsi into the Burmese Market in the 90’s.
There are a lot of good take-aways from this down-to-earth businessman’s attitude to life, so here are 6 interesting facts about Thein Tun.
1. A Pioneer Of His Generation [restrict]
After colonial rule came to an end, traditional sectors such as banking and property development became a major avenue for aspiring entrepreneurs. Thein Tun is part of the first generation of Myanmar’s entrepreneurs and license-holders who’s roots come from that era.
2. A Man of Integrity
Many Myanmar tycoons built their wealth through connections to generals and politicians. Tun prides himself on his integrity, stating that he has no connection to current leaders, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi or President Win Myint. Although he admits to paying bribes, he says that these are insignificant amounts. He is very forthcoming on his detest for cronyism.
3. A Man of Progression and Innovation
Among the old guard in the business community, Tun is still known as ‘Pepsi Thein Tun’. When U.S sanctions eventually forced Pepsi to leave in 1997, he was given the franchise and $15 million. With his knowledge and capital, he started his own brand of soft drinks: Star Cola.
4. Enterprising Since He Was 16
Thein Tun left school at 16 and was unable to further his education. His first endeavor was to produce and sell groundnut oil with the help of local farmers. Up till today, his company, Myanmar Golden Star helps plant oil crops for domestic consumption and export in Magayway Divison. These crops include groundnut, sesame and sunflower.
5. Ambitious and Driven
Across his sprawling family empire, Tun has an estimated 3000 staff working in 17 businesses. These businesses involve hotel management, fish farming, rubber manufacturing and commodity trading.
Thein Tun’s daughter, Oo Oo, notes that her father is successful because his priority was not wealth. His priority was his greatest passion and hobby: business.
Likewise, ensure that your motivations have integrity. Business success is dependent on the love and effort of its’ owner, not the accumulation of wealth.