UMG: A Bright Future Based on a History
Since 1998, UMG has established itself as one of
Myanmar’s leading companies. Its 51 local branches
plus 10 oversea branches and over 3000 employees
work across a multitude of sectors – including distribution,
education, entertainment, financial services,
food, healthcare , property and infrastructure development,
resources and mining, and telecommunications
and information technology – excelling in all of them.
Headquartered in Yangon, UMG started as a distributor,
providing heavy machinery and spare parts to
construction sites, factories and workshops, and
quickly established itself as a national leader with over
50% of the market share. To this day, distribution still is
UMG’s core business.
Facing the need for more qualified personnel, the
company got involved in training and education.
"We always faced difficulties finding talent, so we
decided in 2003 to create our own training center,"
says UMG’s CEO, Mr. Kiwi Aliwarga. "We train our
people on a daily basis, and we believe in knowledge
In 2013, a decade after opening its training center, the
group opened UMG College, which focuses on
academic subjects and personal development. The
college, which delivers BTEC qualifications in Civil,
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering as well as other
internationally recognized diplomas, is part of UMG’s
commitment to helping the people of Myanmar.
"Hope is important, and economic
measurements should come from the
confidence business people have in the
country right now—and we are indeed
KIWI ALIWARGA, CEO of UMG
“I do not put too much emphasis on the macroeconomics,
the size of the GDP, the income of the country,"
Mr. Aliwarga says. “I will put more emphasis on the
people’s livelihood, which is not only economic. I refer
here to religion, better relationships, environment, and
The future is looking bright for Myanmar, as the
country opens itself to the rest of the world. In the past
five years, several noteworthy Burmese companies
have expanded outside of the country, becoming
regional leaders in the process. Meanwhile, the
government has undertaken reforms to improve the
investment climate and the ease of doing business.
“Hope is important, and economic measurements
should come from the confidence business people
have in the country right now—and we are indeed
confident," says UMG’s CEO. “After half a century under
military rule, we see investment coming in and the
country opening up, but it will take more time."
But it’s more than just investment that has been
coming into the country since it started opening up. In
2012, an estimated one million tourists visited the
country—a number which rose to three million in 2015
and is expected to rise to seven million by 2020.
According to Mr. Aliwarga, tourism will be a significant
source of income for both UMG and Myanmar as a
“If we take into consideration leisure opportunities,
food, hotels and low-cost transport I think in this sector,
Myanmar can really shine," he says. “We have remarkable
locations and a good young generation that are
focused on this industry."
The ambitious and visionary CEO hopes to make UMG
a billion-dollar company by 2020—and it’s already