Birth: 27 May 1960
Source of wealth: KMD Group of Companies
Address: No 174-182, Pansodan Rd (Middle Block), Kyauktada Tsp, YANGON
Thaung Tin is a former vice-minister of Myanmar’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and currently serving as a vice-president of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), vice-chairman of Myanmar Info-Tech Corporation and chairman of KMD Group of Companies. He established KMD Group of Company in 1986, which today has a branch in Singapore.
“Businessmen will eventually realise the importance of data. Then, computer technicians and the people who sell computers will get more job opportunities. I think as soon as the people in Myanmar realise the importance of computers, they will not hesitate to buy one, but, it will take time to reach to that stage.”
Thaung Tin was born in Mandalay, the eldest of the sons among six siblings. In 1977. He progressed to Yangon Institute of Technology and, alongside his studies at university, was also working for the Radio Technology Promotion Association, led by Dr. Win Tin at the time. On graduation in 1983 (BE Electronics), he wanted to attend the Masters course, but unfortunately there was no Masters course for his major. He chose instead to apply for a Masters Degree in Computer Science and continued working as a daily wage worker in one of Myanmar’s government organisations and as a maintenance engineer in the computer department from 1984-1988. He married Tin Tin Aye, while studying for the Masters Degree. He bought a computer to work on his final thesis and taught his relatives how to use it. This was the start of his computer trainings. He graduated with an M.Sc (Computer Science) from University of Computer Studies, Yangon in 1988.
At that time, it was not easy for people to learn how to use computers. So, Thaung Tin decided to become a computer teacher. In 1986, he started a computer training centre together with his wife – a small training center in the residential area. It was moderately successful and he decided to devote himself in computer trainings when Myanmar economy changed in 1990 and computer education looked sustainable for future IT ages. He quit his position as Head of Department in the University of Computer Studies and worked for his friend’s computer sales venture which was partnered with a foreign company. After three months, he faced some difficulties and returned to his computer training job.
Thaung Tin worked as an assistant lecturer in Yangon Computer University from 1987 to 1989 and Department Head in University of Computer Studies, Yangon and Yangon Institute of technology from 1989 to 1990. He obtained the qualifications of Certified Novell Administrator and IBM Server Administrator in 1995, the qualification of Computer Security Incidents Response in 2004 and the qualifications of PPP in Engineering Economy at Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education in 2015.
Thaung Tin named his computer training centre “KMD”. He later moved the centre to the downtown area. Even when he established his company, he continued as “KMD”. The business started in 1986 and reached its 32nd anniversary in 2018. Thaung Tin is regarded as the founder of the very first computer training center in Myanmar and he is currently operating 143 training centers nationwide. In recognition of the UN standard Global 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the company joined the UN Global Compact on 7 May, 2012. KMD has been an active member of the UN Global Compact for over six years.
The company has joined hands with the Ministry of Education and international schools, providing diploma courses, computer related diploma courses, business related training and software accounting courses. His education partners include NCC Education, University of Greenwich, SQA, LCCI, Microsoft, Huawei and City Guilds.
Later, KMD expanded its business into computer distribution and the technology sector with retail sales, distribution, enterprise solution, KMD Institute, KMD OEM and system integration. Earlier, companies had to purchase computers and related products from foreign markets and redistribute them to local buyers. KMD also succeeded in gaining authorised dealership status from international companies and has connected with international IT companies to launch its own brand of computers. He set up be.inc in 2014 and has been distributing two-in-one PCs, UltraBooks, Mini PCs, performance PCs and easy books (Clampshell) under the brand name “be”.
After the 2010 election, Thaung Tin served as a deputy minister in Ministry of Transport and Communication from 27 August 2012 to 30 March 2016. To reduce the price of mobile phones and make them more affordable to more people, he participated in the Mobile Revolution in Myanmar and stimulated international IT companies to expand their business in Myanmar. Thaung Tin won the second prize for outstanding award of technology, awarded by the Government of Myanmar.
Other responsibilities have included: serving as a vice-president of Yangon Institute of Technology, Radio and Electronic Technology Promotion Team; patron of Myanmar Computer Federation; as chairman of Myanmar Computer Emergency Response Team and Myanmar Computer Professionals Association; as a representative of various Expert Groups; as honorable professor of the University of Defense (since its first batch); and the President of HRD Working Group, ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Minister Meeting. Currently, he is working as a vice-president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), vice-chairman of Myanmar Info-Tech Corporation and chairman of KMD Group of Companies.