EMPLOYEE INTERVIEW AT PLUSES FINANCIAL

Ma Mra Theingi Zan is one of the Senior Credit Analysts working at Pluses financial. In this interview, she took us through the journey of what it’s like to be working at Pluses Financial, explained what Pluses Financial does and what her job involves.

About Pluses Financial

Simply put, we do Contract Financing which is providing necessary working capital to medium-sized companies that has a valid contract and purchasing order (P.O). We’re different from most financing options in a way that there’s no need for collateral to get a working capital loan.
Professionals in the banking and finance industry would recognize Pluses Financial as a non-collateral Contract Financing option.
For the clients, applying for financing is a very simple process. The required documents such as P.Os and contracts are what is already in use to carry out their business operations. Second benefit is the ability to have the confidence and trust that we understand their business and the industry they’re working in, as we perform proper research, either through desk research or through several meetings with them. Thirdly, although this might be a relatively new financing option for some businesses, after working with us once, the clients can familiarize easily with our process which makes it very convenient for them for the next time working with us. For employees, teamwork is valued a lot at Pluses Financial. No work is done alone. But that doesn’t mean that you will be doing your colleagues’ work on top of your own job. It means that everybody is ready to input their advices and support on certain work-related difficulties that the other team member is having.
It would be striving for excellence as a team. For example, let’s say I prepared a presentation with the best of my effort, but my teammates would be willing to input on how to improve it further, from their own different perspectives. So, the final solution would be comprehensive as it is the product of diverse brainpowers.

Working at Pluses Financial

I work mostly in Operations. As a Senior Credit Analyst, my workload usually involves meeting with clients, analyzing data and risks, preparing for presentations, having brainstorming discussions with the team and the other follow up work activities after the decision to reject or disburse. The type of assignment and workload is different for every project, and for a lot of the times, we work on multiple projects at a time.
There really are quite a few. One example that pop up in my mind right now is when one of my colleagues needed some assistance while writing an Accounting SOP. So, she discussed it with the Chairman and he suggested if I could help on it since I have some accounting experience. While I was assisting her, even though I’m no expert on the matter, my colleague showed appreciation for my knowledge, took into account my suggestions, and give feedback on why they would or wouldn’t work. That boosted my confidence, in knowing that what I was contributing was indeed useful for her work. So, I learnt from her to show appreciation and give useful feedback to my colleagues when they help me.
I wanted to say our brainstorming sessions but since it’s our routine work, I cannot really think of one moment that stands out. But I remember on my first day at work, I saw our Finance Controller and the Executive Manager from the Chairman’s office were performing some of the work that I mentioned earlier. For me, that was a mark that everyone at the office is ready to jump in to perform when needed, and that they don’t limit their learning according to their specialization of work.
Most of the time in the workplace, we can feel like arr nar dal but that is not allowed in our workplace. It’s especially important because of the nature of work that we are involved in. For example, even one decimal point or one kyat is carefully checked for, since multiple one kyat could add up to millions. Another simple example is that we have a logo placement system for outgoing letters and internal ones. So we can describe which letter is for what through the document code or just by the placement of the logo. We are mindful of even small details like that. So in any case, Ya Bar Dae is forbidden. If unclear about something, we always ask and never assume.
There are a lot of employee etiquettes that I like at Pluses but what I really appreciate is our phone etiquette in the office. Our office has an open floor plan and it doesn’t have the biggest space. So the sounds can travel quite well between the different work stations. The etiquette we have is that the personal calls are not allowed within the office area. The calls are encouraged to cut short or be taken to another place. Since we have this rule, we get the benefit of avoiding unnecessary voices which could divert our attention while working.

Another one is being professional. What I mean by that is being able to compartmentalize our personal life and work life, and maintaining our mood to be professional. For instance, as soon as we step into the office, we try to interact and communicate without the influence of whatever mood that was caused by our personal matters before office time.
The values, brand and reputation of an organization can be accessed through its culture. So I think it’s very important. And for me personally, I’ve always wanted to work in an organization that is trusted by the clients and one that I can be proud of.
At Pluses, the way we interact and the way we do business are guided by our culture and professionalism. Of course, as a young organization, our culture is still being built and I have my own flaws in adhering to all of the mindsets but we are constantly improving.
When we access a project, we are not aiming to give a financial solution regardless of the business profit of the client as long as our services is used. For example, if a project seems that there would be few profit left after the client repaid the loan together with interest, we would discard it and kindly point them towards another solution. We always try to find the solution that is beneficial for both our clients and us.
Regarding the project, we always have the chance to discuss with the Chairman, CFO and our Seniors. They would let us in on which the strategy is being used and which direction a project is going. Plus, everyone in the team knows what each of the member is working on.
Regarding internal communication, we address each other informally through our first names instead of the work titles. But of course, we do use the proper Burmese honorifics to be respectful.
As we have initiated a first-of-its-kind financial product in Myanmar, we needed to develop our own SOPs including The Information and Document Management System. Our management decided to develop the system in-house. So we did cross-functional team brainstorming meetings every week. Our aim was to design and develop a system that allows the authorized person to remotely access the file and information without consuming a lot of time for searching and screening.

Building the system was a new experience for almost everyone in our team. All of us were committed to the project although they have other routine tasks and assignments. I was responsible to draw the document sharing flow structure, the first version of which was improved by everyone’s feedback. We also hired an external consultant for one full day technical training and workshop to design and use it.

In the end, we managed to build a fully functional Documents and Information Management System and all of our aims were met by team effort. This successful outcome was particularly timely as well because the advantages from the system enable us to overcome the work-related restraints of this covid-19 pandemic.
It would depend on the position. Overall though, it’s fundamental to have an ability to work in teams; you have to be ready to assist your colleagues in the work matters and you also have to be able to professionally ask for help when you need it. Second thing is to continuously be learning, not only from the different projects but also by not limiting your learning according to your specialization. Lastly, there should be an attitude to welcome challenging work situations since we will be working with different clients and with multiple projects at a time.
Even though you would be working on multiple projects at a time, there’s no need to feel pressurized since you will be surrounded with teammates each of whom is ready to help and work together with you to the success of the project.
If you want to work professionally and with proper SOPs, policies and guidelines, please consider joining and growing together with us at Pluses Financial.