Following the three-year success of its commercial operations in Yangon, Titan Pest Management Co, an international subsidiary of Singapore’s Killem Pest Pte Ltd, is planning to expand into other major cities in Myanmar, according to Krystian Zycinski-Singh, the firm’s co-founder and managing director.
“Our main target is to be firmly established into Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay with a robust client base this year,” he said in an interview.
“Additionally, we want to be in a position whereby we are working together with the relevant ministries to establish a robust public-sector pest control programme to benefit all people in Myanmar.”
According to Zycinski-Singh, the firm will commence servicing Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay after the water festival, and then will expand its services along the western coastline including Ngwe Saung, Chaungtha and Ngapali beaches in the third or fourth quarters of this year. The firm aims to provide nationwide services by 2020.
“Realistically, once our presence is more established in the two cities, we would embark on phase 2 which will cover the western coastline areas,” he said.
“Our financial strategy is for funds from current growth to be invested back into the expansion into other cities.”
As the nation’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw is a strategic expansion for Titan Pest, and Mandalay is considered another key engine for the company to expand its footprint in Myanmar. Earlier this year, the regional government pegged the city’s growth at 8.1 per cent.
“Mandalay is very attractive because the pace of urbanisation there is fast and there is a conscious effort on the part of the local community to promote a sustainable city. Pest management would be integral to a green Mandalay,” said Zycinski-Singh.
The executive reminisced about 2016, its very first year of commercial operations in Myanmar. At that time, the firm started with three technicians, two office staff and one vehicle. It has grown to more than 30 technicians, seven office staff and five vehicles. By 2020, the firm expects to have more than 50 technicians, 10 office staff and eight vehicles to expand its services across Myanmar.
“Our customer base has been growing phenomenally since 2016, while the number of services we have completed grew by more than 600 per cent from 2017 to 2018. From a small team of five, we are now more than 40 people and growing further,” he said.
The firm now has more than 150 corporate clients, and expects the number of clients to double to 300 by the end of next year. Hospitality and manufacturing sectors mainly drive its growth in Myanmar, while the firm also sees growth potential in other sectors, said Zycinski-Singh.
“Our commercial client base accounts for more than 80 per cent of our business. In terms of international agencies, we work with the European Union, the United Nations and Japan International Cooperation Agency,” he said.
The firm provides pest management solutions that prevent the breeding of rodents, cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes, which spread infectious diseases including dengue, malaria, typhoid fever and leptospirosis. It uses environmentally less harmful chemicals along with safer and more effective pest control technologies that meet international standards.
“Last year, we carried out more than 6,500 services and 99 per cent of our customers said they were very satisfied,” he said.
To date, the firm has completed nearly 11,000 services in Yangon, catering to residential, commercial and industrial customers. Businesses that rely on Titan Pest’s premium service include shopping centres, hotels, hospitals, factories and warehouses, building and construction, food and beverage outlets, as well as pharmaceutical and manufacturing plants.
Big names including City Mart, Capital Diamond Star Group, Sule Shangri-la, Damco, Maersk and Pepsi are among its customers, and the firm also helps protect hospitals, schools, embassies and international organisations.
Earlier this month, the firm launched its cleaning and hygiene service in Myanmar. The new product will provide commercial facility cleaning maintenance, cleaning audits, commercial deep cleaning, upholstery and carpet cleaning services, drain and pipe clean up, and decluttering services.
“Ultimately, what we aim to achieve is total protection against any pest infestation. Hygiene is an important part of this. This step is part of our commitment to consistently add value through an end-to-end and convenient service,” he said.
“Together with an effective pest control programme, meticulous cleaning and consistently good housekeeping are a must. Poor housekeeping results in stagnant water, mountains of garbage and clogged drains where pests such as rodents and mosquitoes thrive. Mosquitoes are a big problem in Myanmar, and they only need as little as 5 millimetres of water to lay their eggs.”
According to Zycinski-Singh, the challenges in Myanmar include the lack of public awareness, the lack of an institutional baseline for sanitation and hygiene standards, no community immunity, the lack of consultation on pest management at township level and the absence of a policing agency for pest-related projects.
“Macro problems need macro solutions. So, we will focus on public consultations to raise awareness about pest control,” he said.