Old hometown, new perspectives

Despite having spent more than two-thirds of his life overseas, Thet Lin Win, better known to his friends as Sonny, always knew in his heart that he would one day return to his hometown of Yangon in Myanmar.

The opportunity arose just as Myanmar was beginning to open its doors to foreign investment. Sonny, who was then based in New Zealand, seized the opportunity to join as a supervisor of F&B operations at Sedona Hotel Yangon under Keppel Land Hospitality Management.

Regarded as a land of o pportunity, Myanmar continues to evolve into an increasingly bustling tourist destination. Sonny has since widened his horizons and strengthened his capabilities. He is now an Executive with Keppel Land Myanmar’s Investment division and is currently involved in the Company’s expansion in the country through Phase Two of Sedona Hotel Yangon.

Sonny counts himself blessed to have had the opportunity to grow up in Christchurch, New Zealand, and London, UK, where he completed his secondary school education and ‘A’ levels. After graduation, he returned to New Zealand where he worked in the hospitality industry alongside colleagues from all over the world, soaking in a myriad of experiences and cultures. Sonny shared, “Even though New zealand and Myanmar are very different countries, the fundamentals I picked up in New Zealand are highly relevant to my current work.

“Returning to Yangon and working with Keppel Land has presented me great opportunities for further learning and professional growth.” He feels strongly that his immersion in radically different environments has contributed significantly to his personal development.

“Living in different countries since an early age has trained me to be more adaptable to different working environments. I enjoy the challenge of analysing issues from different perspectives, and I find myself equally comfortable viewing things through the local lens as well as a foreign one. This is certainly an asset to my work,” he said.

During his 25 years away from Myanmar, Sonny’s love for his homeland never diminished. In fact, he literally fell in love again on return with Eain Si, who is now his wife. “My wife has taught me that one must never forget his roots. That is why I came back, even though I spent most of my life in western countries. I have emerged stronger because of her.”