EATON CORPORATION PLC, a multinational power management company with 2017 sales of US$20.4 billion globally, expanded into the Myanmar market last week by signing a partnership agreement with Myanmar Golden Rock International Co (MGR), according to Kidsada Santisak, the firm’s country manager for Indochina West.
“At Eaton, we have a global marketing intelligence team to collect information on markets around the world. Interestingly, we have found out that only 30 per cent of Myanmar people have access to electricity the reliability of which is not that good. That is why we decided to enter Myanmar to better optimise power,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Nation.
Kidsada has noticed Myanmar’s growing demand for power and energy solutions as the country races towards electrifying 100 per cent of its households by 2030, the primary goal set out in the Myanmar National Electrification Plan.
He said infrastructural constraints could bring substantial challenges to the nation’s economic growth, despite abundant energy resources. This motivated the company’s expansion to Myanmar where efficient power solutions are urgently needed to support local businesses and attract foreign investors.
“Many businesses here need better power solutions. They are all facing the same challenges of reliable power. If businesses are able to utilise power more efficiently, their production capacity will increase, thereby the country will develop further,” he said.
“We focus only on power management, not on power generation. Our vision is to ensure that with the power you have, the people here can have access to the most reliable power by saving costs through the use of our products and solutions.” According to Kidsada, the company has a very sustainable investment plan for Myanmar, as it pledges long-term commitment in a country widely considered as Asia’s last frontier.
“Myanmar offers immense potential for exponential growth, particularly in the power and energy market. There are challenges of course, but we believe in its potential. So, we are here to find out what should be the right solutions for our customers in Myanmar to address their challenges,” he said.
“We need to consider the solutions very carefully. The requirements and problems of customers here are different from other countries. The main challenge here somehow is electricity. But, as a multinational company, we have experienced some cases in other countries that are quite similar to that of Myanmar.”
Though Kidsada was not explicit about the company’s investment plan owing to business confidentiality, he said investing in Myanmar could be direct as well as through its partners.
“When we look at a market, we mainly focus on sustainability. We foresee long-term sustainable growth here, so we need to collaborate with the right partners to deliver our solutions to the people of Myanmar. Part of our investment is to build up the competence of our partners. In the longer term, we will continue to invest more and more to ensure that businesses enjoy sustainable growth,” he said.
The company started its cooperation with MGR last year. Before it signed the partnership agreement, Eaton Corporation conducted several discussions and training for MGR staff, including sales executives and service people, to ensure that they are ready to support the customers in Myanmar.
“The signing of this agreement is a strong signal that we are now ready to serve our customers here. We expect closer relations with end users through our expansion into this market, so if they have any problem we can support them effectively,” he said.
“Collaboration is something that we believe in. We need local people to help us understand more about customers’ problems and needs because every country is different. Local partners play an important role in understanding the challenges of local customers and we can help address them for mutual benefits. We will do anything that matters to the customers.”
Kidsada said the partnership with MGR reflects the next level of Eaton’s commitment to growth in Asia. By forming strategic and meaningful relationships with partners and organisations, the company aims to support and empower Myanmar’s businesses and communities as they grow and evolve.
Together with MGR, Eaton will bring its global expertise to the data centres as well as the healthcare, utilities, banking and commercial building segments. Customers in Myanmar will be able to leverage the company’s key power management solutions, |including UPS (uninterruptible power system), automation and monitoring systems to improve the reliability of existing and newly developed power generation as well as transmission and distribution infrastructure.
“The cooperation helps. In every market we enter, we prioritise local requirements and local customers. In this regard, we need to have local partners that can help us minimise the challenges, including cultural differences and language barrier, to better understand what exactly is the need of our customers. Then, we can grow together with our partners,” he said.