Zin is 31 years old, married with a four-year-old son. She graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering and with her degree she got a job in a computer shop. During her five years working there, she learned everything she could about buying, selling and running a shop. As a result she understands computers and how to service them.
Running her own shop has always been her ambition. “I had already planned to open a computer shop when I graduated. I saw there wasn’t much competition and knew I could make a business work.”
To date, she has had three shops in different locations to make the best of the surrounding demand. Her most recent shop has been open for two months in another new location in Hlaing Thor Yar township in Myanmar that offers her a more middle-class clientele who are interested in buying mobile phones as well as laptops.
She has taken out two loans from VisionFund. Her first was in March 2018 for 2m Myanmar Kyat (US$1,257) which she used to purchase 11 computers from Singapore. She quickly sold her stock charging an additional 20% on the cost price.
With her second loan was of 5m MK (US$3,142) she bought a wider variety of Japanese branded computers and external hard drives.
Most of her clients purchase the computers for office use, either for company or personal use and she provides a six-month warranty on all computers sold.
Laptops are her biggest sellers and make her the most profit. She has also created a Facebook page to sell to different parts of the country expanding her client base. She explains, “I sell at a lower price than my competitors and provide a six-month warranty, that’s why people buy from me.”
“I have a reputation of selling at the lowest price, so I will keep to the standard mark up of 20%.”
Generally her monthly profit is 2m MK (US$1257), but if demand is high, she can make 3m MK (US$1,885).
She wants to buy more laptops – and extend her warranty to three years. To meet the needs of her expanding Chinese clientele she will learn to speak Chinese with lessons from the language school close to her shop.
She is also looking to expand her business further and is interested in participating in the Small and Growing Business training that VisionFund offers to learn more about how she can grow her business. She explains, ‘I don’t really need the loan money now as I can easily repay the interest and I like the regular repayment schedule but I do want to have access to bigger loans.“