This week, BSM “Alumni Watch” introduces Mr. Ye Kyaw Thu (Harry) who graduated with BSc (Hons) in Business & Management in 2016 from Northumbria University at Bangkok School of Management.
Harry was recently employed by Everex , a start-up block chain company as Sales Manager.
Everex is an innovative FinTech and Blockchain (Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger or decentralized database that keeps records of digital transactions) development company which is fueling financial inclusion for billions of unbanked. Working in capital markets and banking for many years, they saw the many flaws in the system and the need for change. The 2008 financial crisis in the US, bank deposit seizures in Cyprus in 2013, 3 billion people with no access to banking or global financial systems are only the tip of this global financial iceberg, which plagues people to this day.
We are very glad to see Harry’s professional growth. We recently interviewed him to learn more about his study and professional journey in the last few years. We hope that his success story would inspire others.
Could you kindly introduce yourself?
My name is Harry, I’m originally from Myanmar, Yangon and am 21 years old, I recently graduated in 2016.
What brought you to Bangkok, specifically Bangkok School of Management?
Well, I was already with Bangkok School of Management in Myanmar, the school I was studying with already had a collaboration with Bangkok School of Management, Thailand. After my years studying there, I wanted to explore the world and so decided what better way than to start with Bangkok as I already have ties with the country.
What has your experience been like in Bangkok?
Thailand is just like Myanmar to be honest! It just has better facilities but the weather, my surroundings and the environment worked out just great and I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far.
Could you tell us more about the job you’re holding right now?
I am currently employed at Everex which is a financial-technology company we’re based here in Bangkok and my position is kind of flexible in reality! I am the Sales Manager, Business Development and also Content Writer in Burmese of course.
How was the job hunting process like?
I never actually thought I’d end up in a Fin-Tech company, my expectations were to end up getting a more ‘regular’ job in the marketing field but I tried to use the traditional methods to land up a job, which is visiting a job seeking website and applying through it, but because most jobs require more work experience I did not fare very well. Therefore, what I did when I saw the Everex job posting was that I did not e-mail through the job seeking website but wrote an E-Mail to them personally and sent it through my own E-Mail account asking for any positions available. The next day I got a reply from them asking for an Interview as they really liked the skills I possessed. The total process basically took about 4 months to get a job as my last assignment was completed in September 2016 and I joined Everex in February 2017.
You just graduated in Dec 2016 and has been already employed to take such important roles, can you share with us what convinced them to make such decision?
It was very challenging to find a job here in bangkok especially when you are fresh graduate. With some luck, timing, constant search, I found a position online. I had to applied by sending emails directly to the companies saying what I can contribute to the company. With the knowledge that I received over the past three years studying at BSM, it has helped me overcome the interview process. I lay out my visions, missions, strength, weakness showing my capabilities of what I can offer. The company saw my the value which I can bring to the table and that’s how I was hired.
How is Everex different from any of the BlockChain based Fin-Tech companies?
Like I previously mentioned we’re a start-up so our smaller size actually works to our advantage as we make sure to provide the best customer service to our buyers, our pricing points and features are also way ahead of any of the other companies in our field we also promise 100% security. Although there are many Fin-Tech companies but not a lot of them use Block-Chain which is pretty much the future of Fin-Tech.
What problems have you come across as a Fin-Tech company?
Because Everex deals with Crypto-currency which is a digital currency that is created through the use of encryption software.Governments all around the world try to prevent the heavy use of Crypto-Currency as it drives the exchange rate up, which is why this industry is marred with red-tape and stringent laws. We are facing issues getting investors and licensing. The biggest issue is with investors since we’re operating on a smaller scale and so have to try extra hard to prove that we have users, the software and our service ready to launch as soon as the investment comes through! We have already reached out to several investors as Everex was present at the Thailand Start-Up Summit 2017 for the “Pitch-Idea” segment, for which my boss was at the panel and we had an investor meeting on Tuesday, the 11th of April.
Do you see Crypto-Currency replacing regular paper money?
From what I’ve learnt at the conference I recently attended was that producing paper money is actually more expensive than the amount of money itself. In Europe, crypto-currency is already replacing regular money since regular money is more expensive, can transfer diseases or you could just lose it, but if you have a digital currency it’s easier, faster and lastly more affordable. However, in Asia it’s a different story and might take a few years to adapt crypto-currency as the fact that ‘digital is not safe’ is ingrained in our heads since a pretty young age and people have a constant fear of their bank accounts being hacked even after all the security developments and measures have drastically improved over the years. Therefore, these kind of ideologies and fears can only be calmed after a period of time, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and so we might just have to wait a little longer for crypto-currency to be accepted all over the world!
Do you see block-chain being applied to other verticals as well and being more mainstream than just Fin-Tech companies?
The beauty of block-chain is that it’s open source so I believe that block-chain can be applied to any field, it could be applied to Education or even something like Import-Export , we just have to find a way to apply this technology and that it is productive and innovative.
How’s the work going so far?
It has been very challenging yet I thrive in this atmosphere. I have been able to contribute the organization moved forward by setting up new clients and maintaining relationships, developing corporate business strategies, writing contents for the website in my language which is very challenging. Manage social media marketing.By the end of the day I was able to receive the knowledge of an entrepreneur working side to side with my CEO.
Have you met any challenges and difficulties to deliver the work and how did you overcome these difficulties?
My first time attending fintech convention in Yangon was challenging especially the very first day. I was new to the fintech and still learning and understanding about it. Many well-known business attended mostly banks and other remittance companies. Learning and pitching the business ideas was difficult but I managed to make connections among fintech business field.
Look back to your study at BSM, do you think the knowledge and skills you acquired are practical for workplace? (You can give examples of some projects you have completed during study, and how that provided you the hands on skills for your work?
The Northumbria courses have helped me face challenges in work. Doing research mainly, managing my tasks.
Do you have any statements you’d like to make?
Yes! Come to Bangkok it’s a fun place to be, join Bangkok School of Management it’s a great place to study and it has so many International students that I’m sure you’ll never get bored, that’s how I survived my college life. If you’re looking for a place where friends become family and you learn more than just book knowledge be sure to join Bangkok School of Management. You can achieve your goals if you work hard but you can reach your goal faster if you work smart with BSM.