Returned

after 4 months living in Yangon

I have been living in Singapore for 7 years. I just come back to Yangon. Yup,I moved back permanently. Most people told me , I made a wrong decision. Yes, I think so.

First month

If you live in Singapore for 7 years, it’s not easy to live in Yangon, again. High living cost, expensive internet and no 24 hours electricity(there is no electricity as of now when I’m writing). I missed the life in Singapore so much. During first month, I always want to go back to Singapore. But, it is already decided, so I told myself, I must survive. In Yangon , government changed but system remains the same. Whatever you want to do, there is no information available. You need to know some people and internal network to work done or otherwise, you need money. House renting price is not cheap, too. Of course, it’s obviously cheaper than Singapore but definitely not cheap for me. I want to do bootstrap startup and it hard to get a decent office space with reasonable rents. Whatever, you need to do with government , it still pretty hard like old time. There is no enough information on website etc.

Second month

Starting the start up ,COMQUAS ,in Yangon. I decided to focus full time on COMQUAS. It really hard to find people. For one thing, I couldn’t believe salaries for senior level. It already high compare to the last year. I can’t hire so many people, too. I want to focus on the products first. If you want to come back and start the start up , please ask around and check regarding the developers salaries first. However, I was lucky and I found some talented people for my start up. We make the Yangon Map Offline within a month. Kudos to my team. I was happy for that project.

Third month

My baby born. It made me change the world that I have seen before. Now, whatever I live for , it is not important anymore. Live together with family is most important things in my life. If I chose to live in Singapore and my son live in Yangon, it’s not right thing. So, I said to myself, I made the right decision. Our company is just focusing on offline map and we were adding new feature in that month. We made some apps update, too. For Yangon Map Offline , we made the social traffic and now it is at 6k active user per month. Not bad at all . I was hoping it will arrive 10k active user per month soon.

Fourth month

Now , I can live without missing life in Singapore and salary. I am just happy to live together with my family. I still need to keep focus on offline map. One problem, though, is there are not not much user report for social traffic. It only have around 20 reported per day. We need to improve some features in the map. I want to make like Google Maps for Yangon. That is one of my dreams. I want to give good products for my city. People deserve it. I believe, we can.

Now

What I understand, now is Yangon is same like before. Some are even getting worse. Surely, it can be improve in next 5 years but not now, not so soon and not so fast. My friends are always asking how is it ? My answer is “survive”. Some of my friends are want to come back and ask me about

“Should I come back ?”

My answer is

“Why you want to come back ? For what ? If you want to come back for yourself, don’t comeback now. Yangon is not welcoming environment that you are expecting, yet unless if you want to come back for your country or city. It’s a good time for helping the Yangon city and our country. We need to do a lot for Yangon. We need to do a lot for country. There are so many problem to solve. Young people are hungry for learning new things. However, there are only few international experience senior around. We need to teach them. We need to train them for the future of our city and eventually, our country. But I repeat, don’t come back for yourself. Government is changing but country is same like before. They can only change so much in this little time. It’s very hard to make business without strong network. Don’t think about consumer products, too. It’s very hard in Yangon. Most of the start-up business are running for B2B (aka agencies). Most of the consumer products dead already, otherwise not making any money.”

Every morning, I said myself , “Survived for one day again. Another day is starting and time to Survive again”. This too shall pass.

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