Does your business have an issue that you just cannot resolve? Or do you think your business can achieve more? Do you ever wonder how bigger and more experienced companies have succeeded? Many of us have most definitely given thought to these questions. Unfortunately, a majority of Lao SMEs either do not have the money to hire a professional business consultant or, in the case we do, there is simply no local consultant available with the required knowledge and experience.
Look no further: PUM can help.
What is PUM?
PUM is a non-profit organisation established in in 1978 by the Dutch employers’ federation VNO-NCW, with financial support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 1978, they have assisted over 40,000 organisations world-wide.
The PUM network includes some 3,000 senior experts who are available to share their knowledge on a one-on-one basis for free either through short-term and repetitive advisory missions, or through online coaching activities. These experts have been sent to many different countries around the world, including Laos, to lend a hand and help businesses and entrepreneurs grow and improve their businesses.
Why not invite a PUM Senior Expert to help you?
The magic word here is invite. When you invite a PUM expert to your country, you only have to pay for his/her board, lodging, interpreter costs (if necessary) and local transportation costs. PUM pays for the expert’s airplane ticket, insurance, visa costs, admin and other expenses. If you should request a follow-up mission you may be asked to contribute to those costs as well.
A PUM consultation mission normally takes two weeks. During this period, a PUM senior expert will work with you intimately and leave practical recommendations for you to follow up. Once she/he has returned home, the expert shall support you remotely with the implementation of the recommendations, via email or conference-call.
What fields/industries does PUM cover?
PUM has experts for the following sectors:
Agriculture & Horticulture
Arts, Crafts, Product Design, Culture, Sport & Mass Media
Building, Construction & Trade
Banking & Insurance
Chemical & Synthetic Materials
Food & Beverages Production
Government Services & Unions
Energy, Water, Waste and Environment/CSR
Electro Technical Industry & Engineering
Paper & Packaging
Printing, Cross-Media & Publishing
Tourism, Hotels & Catering
Transport & Logistics
Textile & Leather
Vocational Education & Training
Wood Trade & Timber Processing
Recent Missions of PUM in Laos
The identity of Lao businesses that have chosen to work with PUM are kept confidential. One example of a recent successful mission is Kualao Restaurant, the owner (Mrs. Dalaphone Pholsena) of which was kind enough to share her experience:
“I think one of the best things about the PUM experience was that it gave us fresh insight into the inner workings of our own business that we otherwise would not have had. Our expert was able to notice both large and even the minutest of problems. We had issues across a host of fields and he was able to provide extremely useful recommendations that, when implemented, would not only increase our bottom line but also improve the efficiency of our restaurant. I just know that we’re going to have a great year, this year! To be very honest, when I first read his curriculum vitae, I was a bit skeptical and nervous to be hosting such an intelligent, worldly and experienced expert. But when he arrived, I found him to be patient, understanding and quite down-to-earth. The staff had a great time working with him,” states Pholsena.
How to apply?
For interested businesses, please contact an official PUM country representative.
For Vientiane Capital, please contact Aditta Kittikhoun.
For Paksé, please contact Chris Mulder.
For Luang Prabang: please contact Yoxa Dahm.
Once your application is approved, PUM will send a volunteer senior expert to your business straight from Holland.
Alternatively, one can visit the PUM website for more information.
A lao version of the article can be found here.