This latest addition to the group’s preschool network is part of MMI’s strategy to accelerate its expansion plans in the region to capitalise on the growing demand for high quality early childhood education in Asia, especially in countries with very large, young, vibrant and upwardly-mobile populations such as Myanmar.
This preschool, to be officially opened today in the affluent Bahan township in the city of Yangon, is the first of a number of MMI preschools being planned in major cities and townships across the country.
The 5,000-sq ft school building sits on a quarter-acre plot with an extensive area for outdoor activities. The school is expected to commence operations in April, with an initial intake of 100 students.
Commenting on the expansion, MMI Chairman and CEO Dr T. Chandroo said, “The opening of our first preschool in Myanmar as part of MMI’s 25th anniversary, underscores our overall aim to accelerate our expansion especially in emerging markets overseas where we will target 20 new pre-schools and teacher training centres in Asia by 2017. As MMI turns 25, we are confident that our unique MMI pedagogy incorporating our brand of early childhood education will help nurture future leaders in Asia. Beyond Myanmar, MMI also has plans to expand to Vietnam by the end of this year.”
Congratulating MMI on the launch of its first preschool in Myanmar, Ms Florence Loh, Centre Director, Yangon, for International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, a government agency that promotes trade and the overseas growth of Singapore companies, said, “The development of human capital is an important area for Myanmar as the country develops. Investments in training and education will contribute to Myanmar’s development of a strong workforce. We are happy to see that in addition to existing partnerships in urban development and hospitality, Singapore companies are now exploring other channels to reach local consumers through modern retail and service offerings.”
MMI’s preschool in Myanmar will be managed by MMI’s local franchisee, Singapore Education Training Academy Co. Ltd (SETA), a 50-50 joint venture between Singapore and Myanmar partners, headed by CEO, Mr Kalimuthu s/o Ponnusamy, a Singaporean, who has extensive experience in pre-school operation.
With an initial investment of US$500,000, the preschool is expected to achieve revenues exceeding US$200,000 in the first year of operations. Revenue is projected to double in the second year.
As part of MMI’s overall Corporate Social Responsibility objectives, the Group has plans to promote literacy among rural areas in Myanmar. MMI has in 2014 donated a mobile library to promote reading among youths in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
Myanmar has a population of approximately 54 million, (Source: World Population Review), with 10% of that population being concentrated in the country's largest city of Yangon with a population of over five million, and is the most important commercial centre. (Source: BBC News).
Yangon is the country’s main center for trade, industry, real estate, media, entertainment and tourism. It accounts for about a fifth of Myanmar’s national economy. According to official statistics for FY2010–2011, the size of the economy of Yangon Region was 8.93 trillion kyats, or 23% of the national GDP. (Source: The Myanmar Times). The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Myanmar was last recorded at US$1,325 in 2011(Source: Trading Economics).
About Modern Montessori International Group (MMI)
Established in 1989, Modern Montessori International is the master franchisee of Modern Montessori International (London) for the the Asia-Pacific region. MMI specializes in the use of Modern Montessori Methodology in both teacher training and preschool education.
MMI has expanded its operations in Singapore and ventured into 14 other countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Egypt, UAE, Kenya, and Nigeria. It currently operates 30 preschools and a teacher training centre in Singapore. The MMI Group has currently has close to 100 preschools and teacher training centres worldwide.
About the Franchisee: Singapore Education & Training Academy Co. Ltd.
Singapore Education & Training Academy Co. Ltd. (SETA) was established in Yangon, Myanmar by a group of Singapore-based professionals and businessmen who aims to deliverSingapore’s high educational standards to emerging markets such as Myanmar. SETA’s Myanmese partner is Mr U Soe Myint.
Through its joint-venture franchise entity, SETA will bring to the people of Yangon a well-established and trusted Singaporean education brand to Myanmar through MMI. SETA has noted the growing demand for foreign education based institutions, as more people in Myanmar are seeking foreign education and employment opportunities abroad.
Going forward, SETA hopes to expand the MMI brand in Myanmar for the pre-school sector by opening more centres throughout Myanmar. SETA also hopes to establish charitable scholarships to be offered to low income families for their pre-school children in the future so that they also can benefit from the MMI Montessori program.More Photographs