By KHINE KYAW
“We are now actively cooperating with 27 authorised dealers in Myanmar, and will cooperate with an additional 34 dealers in the near future,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Nation on Wednesday. “By 2024, we will be cooperating with at least 84 authorised dealers. This means we aim to expand our distribution network by more than three times than the existing portfolio.”
The firm mainly aims to improve the sales of power tillers and diesel engines under the brand KubotaPem. Chalermchai is confident that the firm will enjoy stronger growth in Myanmar.
“This market is really important to us. We place special attention on Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, as they are all agriculture-based countries. We see a bright potential in these countries,” he said.
Chalermchai said the firm would focus on the mass market rather than supplying its machinery to enterprises. Though the firm is yet to be involved in any of the government projects in Myanmar, he foresees room for cooperation when the opportunity comes.
“Our aim is to ensure the best quality in all the machinery we import to this market. We foresee a higher demand for power tillers and diesel engines here. We are here to fulfil the needs of this market,” he said.
The company has been in Myanmar since 2011, and has expanded its distribution network throughout the nation in cooperation with local dealers who know the market well. Having manufactured diesel engines and power tillers for nearly four decades, the firm recently developed the ZT engine Pro model by adding a turning signal to enhance safety when customers use the engine as transport.
Chalermchai said the firm aims to achieve at least 50 per cent of the market in Myanmar over the next 12 months. It expects to triple the growth in sales of its power tillers as well as sell at least 10,000 diesel engines in Myanmar within a year. The revenue is expected to increase further, as the firm projects to sell 50,000 to 80,000 diesel engines over the next five years.
“In terms of our sales revenue in Myanmar, we have been growing at between 15 and 20 per cent on a monthly basis since the past few years,” Chalermchai said.
The firm has more than 6,000 customers in Myanmar that are using Kubota machinery on their farms. In order to ensure the effective use of the machinery, the firm has been carrying out awareness-raising activities on the ground every month.
“Our aim is to facilitate farmers for mutual benefits. We systematically train our dealers and customers on how to effectively use our products,” he said.
“The majority of Myanmar farmers know a lot about the strengths of our machinery. We specialise in agricultural machinery with the aim for the customers to have efficient products to use in farming and other applications.”
He said farmers can reduce the number of workers as well as other costs to a large extent by utilising the machinery.
“What makes our diesel engine different from the others in the market is that our life span is longer. It can be used for up to 10 years. We can guarantee our diesel engine is more durable and saves more fuel to help farmers save more money in the long term,” he said.
Chalermchai said the firm wants to play a role in bringing “smart farming” products to Myanmar, particularly in the production of rice, corn and sugarcane.