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Reaching Myanmar’s 60 million people (Startup Asia preview)

Rita Nguyen, founder and CEO of Squar, is on the right in red.

Rita Nguyen, founder and CEO of Squar, is on the right in red.

Building a startup is never easy regardless of what market it’s in. There will always be challenges – and the best thing any startup can do is to be prepared. When it comes to Asia, Myanmar is not one of the best options because of the many barriers in the country.

Myanmar, which is opening up in the past couple of years, is trying to improve the infrastructure, but still it’s in its very early days. The internet penetration remains the lowest in the region and only seven percent of people own a smartphone.

Aside from the technology barriers, there are also cultural aspects. Not a lot of the people speak English in the country and there’s not been much business activity in the past decade. That leads to challenges in hiring the right talent and attracting new users.

(See also: 4 things you must know when building a tech startup in Myanmar)

Getting first-hand answers

Given these scenarios, how can a startup or company enter the country? Are any homegrown tech startups emerging at this point?

To get answers to all those points, our upcoming Startup Asia Singapore event on May 7 and 8 will feature a keynote speech by Rita Nguyen, the founder and CEO of Myanmar’s homegrown social network, Squar. The fact that Squar is taking off debunks the impossibilities in this market. Rita will be explaining in her keynote how that can happen in the nation’s budding startup ecosystem – from the perspective of a startup founder who is going through it all right now.

We encourage questions from readers for Rita. Prior to the event, you can submit questions on this form for the best chance of getting a query in. Or on the day of that keynote, on May 7, we welcome questions via Twitter on the #startupasia hashtag.

Get Startup Asia Singapore tickets here. There’s a 10 percent early bird discount until April 24 with the EarlyBirdApril code.

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