Member's Success stories

Munkhnasan Narmandakh, Chairwoman at Monpolymet Group

How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

I spent my adolescence years trying to help my mother form our family business in the midst of Mongolia’s change from communism to free market economy. My mother was a geological engineer and with a handful of other geologists she formed a small startup company and explored alluvial mining deposits. Education was important for me, so I went to the USA as an exchange student when I was 15 and finished high school, college and grad schools there. The American family I stayed with helped me tremendously in those years for shaping my life. I then came back to Mongolia to work at the Central Bank as an economist after college. After finishing my master’s degree at the George Washington University, I got accepted to work at the World Bank in Washington DC. With great passion I also wanted to learn how to help alleviate my country’s poverty and this was a great place to gain experience working as an economist in its Poverty Reduction department. However, I realized that I can have more direct impact on poverty through business, so I rejoined the family business and started working on new projects that can have impact on the country’s economic diversification, create hundreds and thousands of jobs, and introduce modern technological innovations. A brave decision was made for building the country’s biggest cement plant, which utilizes modern technological innovations including a waste-heat-recovery system that produces electricity from waste hot gas from the plant, water treatment system that recycles 90% of household and industrial waste waters, 4-5 times less water usage than that of wet method, and twice as less fuel consumption. The plants created over 700 new jobs with a prominent role in regional infrastructure development. For nearby communities we built railway stations, water wells, installed fiber optic cables, removed trash that had accumulated for years thus spreading contagious dise89ase and as per our core mission we focused on environmental rehabilitation.

What are the principles you mostly adhere to in the business?

I learnt that kindness is not the worst principle in business. Being kind to the environment, to the community, to the employees can help shape great corporations with sustainable future. Of course, businesses face challenges every day but I look at them as opportunities for better change rather than problems. I focus on being responsible, accountable and always at the top of your efficiency from myself and as well as my teams. I believe that businesses fail when the management think they’re successful therefore, being agile is important especially in these day and age.

What was the shortcoming that was the most challenging for you in the business?

As a very small, land locked emerging market economy, businesses struggle with scaling up. The geopolitical tensions and underdeveloped infrastructure are slowing down our effort to increase exports. Finding project financing for private sector large scale projects has been challenging given the low country rating due to economic and political instability.

After all this success, what do you struggle with now?

The stability and attractiveness of Mongolia’s business and legal environment, which remains as obstacle, is crucial for our ability to attract foreign investment and strategic companies with know-how. Government of Mongolia has been introducing laws to promote direct investment and tax incentives with mixed results such as Foreign Investment Law passed in 2012 and Investment law passed in 2013. However, investors and companies are still cannot take advantage of such tax incentives due to inconsistencies of investment laws with general taxation laws. The average length of Mongolian governments since 90’ is less than two years, thus policy decisions lack longevity unfortunately at private sectors’ loss.

What is the latest business achievement you would like to highlight right now?

With Moncement project we achieved our goal in building Mongolia’s first Waste Heat Recovery System for power generation. This and with numerous other environmental and operational stewardships, Moncement was awarded the Sustainability Award for Best Social and Environmental practice by EBRD – the first time from Mongolia chosen from 200 projects worldwide.

 

Ch. Munkhbat, President and Executive Director of SouthGobi Sands LLC

AmCham is pleased to feature an interview with Mr. Ch. Munkhbat, President and Executive Director of SouthGobi Sands LLC

How did you get where you are today, and who or what helped you along the way?

I have taken on over 27 years of senior roles in different organizations: a Japanese NGO, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, international publicly listed companies, and state organizations in Mongolia.  Managing operations in different fields and jurisdictions, I have gained wonderful management experience, and knowledge about working people and financial issues.  I trained a micro credit program in Bangladesh by Grameen Bank and got great experience in fieldwork. Managing a public company is very challenging work. Companies should be open, transparent, and accountable, as well uphold the integrity of its shareholders.

What are the principles you adhere to in business?

I believe that responsibility, respect, teamwork, and integrity are the most important principles. Also, accountability, being honest, commitment, and contributing to the company's sustainable development.

What shortcoming has been the most challenging for you in business?

Bureaucracy, a lack of professionally trained central and local government staff, a lack of stability and professionalism; trying to reduce the lists of official permissions.

After all of this success, what do you struggle with now?

For the coal business, I think the most important thing is change in the old methods of management, and to change the government and the public's perceptions of the coal industry.  It is important to have a greater level of transparency, to have high integrity and ethical standards. It is still quite hard to do distinguish between private and public companies.

What is the most recent business achievement you would like to highlight right now?

Mongolian youth can fulfill international standards for technique and management. We provide our employees, who can manage and repair high-quality heavy machinery, with these skills. Our company has exported 4.5 million tons of coal to China. We were recognized by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mining Magazine as the best company in Mongolia in 2017.

 

Oybek Khalilov, CEO at Tenger Insurance and AmCham Vice Chairman

This time AmCham is pleased to host Mr. Oybek Khalilov, CEO at Tenger Insurance and AmCham Vice Chairman, to tell us a little bit more about his life principles and share the secretes of his business success. 


How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

Knowledge comes with experience: for over 20 years I have taken senior roles in the world’s leading insurance organization - American International Group, Inc. Managing AIG operations in a different countries and jurisdictions I have gained invaluable professional experience and an in-depth knowledge of property, casualty, and financial insurance products.  In 1995 joined American International Group as CEO of political risk insurance JV and spent four years at AIG in London. And later, I was in charge of AIG general insurance operations in Central Asia and Caucasus from 2000 to 2015. I’ve learned a lot from both peers in the AIG as well as from leading players and regulators of local insurance markets.

What are the principles you mostly adhere to in the business?

I believe professionalism and integrity are the most important principles. Professionalism, being versatile and skilled in all business areas, effective networking and communication, leading by example is essential. I highly appreciate integrity and always trying to share good governance practice and high ethical standards to affect those around me positively.

What was the shortcoming that was the most challenging for you in the business?

Lack of relevant market intelligence, ambiguous legal and regulatory environment, changes in political environment, lack of professionally trained local staff: in the insurance industry key local staff have been working for many years in banking industry but do not have adequate insurance professional training and always at a loss when dealing with unexpected issues and resilient to changes. As my personal goal I will probably say establishing benchmark insurance operation and become an Employer of the choice in the local financial market, so it is more about our talent, to leave best professional team behind me when I leave the country.

After all this success, what do you struggle with now?

For insurance business I think the most important is improvements in insurance culture, so once people will get used to buy insurance and not only compulsory insurance. And as for general business environment I think it is important to have a greater level of transparency, to have high integrity and ethical standards, it is still quite hard to do civilized business in the current environment.

What is the latest business achievement you would like to highlight right now?

Tenger Insurance is still considered the Best insurance company in Mongolia by many, especially due to our best in class risk management practices, reinsurance reliability and claims efficiency proven by a large-scale fire loss recovery of Gobi Cashmere factory paid within 3 days.  Continued low loss ratio and low acquisition cost resulted in improved combined ratio of 92.3%, making Tenger Insurance the most profitable insurer in 2017.   Forecasted growth in retail segment due to online sales platform and tailored product development would differentiate Tenger Insurance on the local market in the upcoming year. We are glad to be recognized by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Finance Magazine as the Best Insurer in Mongolia in 2017.

Contact AmCham Mongolia
Address: 8F, Naiman Zovkhis ("Eznis") Building 21 Seoul Street
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Phone: (976) 70003437
Email: info@amcham.mn

© 2018 American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia