Sandi Sein Thein | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2017
Charting the future of public relations

2017 Innovator 25 AP - Sandi Sein TheinThe Innovator 25:

Sandi Sein Thein

Chief Executive Officer 

Digital Kaway  
Yangon

“When it comes to innovation, ignorance is never bliss”

Sandi Sein Thien is the CEO and cofounder of Digital Kaway, a Myanmar-based digital marketing agency providing social media management, content marketing and social listening services. As a marketer with experience in Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar, she also started the local chapter of Geek Girls, a ‘women in tech’ community with more than 1,000 members that organize regular meetups. As an active advocate of women's rights, Sandi Sein Thien also conducts the "GeekGirls Workshop Tour" to help instruct Burmese women in basic digital and social media skills.

How do you define innovation?
It is the action of making difference with limited resources that we have in the given situation.  

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
In 2014, I like Coca Cola’s campaign of Delivering Happiness Coke from Sky to City workers in Singapore. Speaking of the last 12 months, just very recently, I am liking Netflix’s campaign ‘Netflix is a joke’. 

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
Coca Cola & Samsaung

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Every time we craft/create marketing campaigns that they are satisfied in the end, is the moment of " Innovative" that I consider :) 

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Planning & analytics / audience engagement.

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
More innovative than other marketing disciplines.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Influencer relations / ground relations with public. 

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?
CMO

Who is your mentor and why?
I don’t have a particular mentor that I meet regularly and get consultation. But there are some people who are quite interested in my development and give some good advices anytime I need. On the other hand, I read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ as my bible. Because I can relate to some of the issues she mentioned in her book.

How do you find inspiration?
Mostly I find my inspiration in very simple ways like seeing a normal girl doing her studies, or workers in the streets doing their jobs for a living. And sometimes I get major inspiration from our competitors’ excellent work. 

What is your advice for people seeking to bring new ideas and ways of doing things to their organizations?
Just like devices, we need to update ourselves time to time to add new stuff. And I would say to keep learning, observing the field you are in. Especially when it comes to innovation — ignorance is never bliss.

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?
Singapore.

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Sunset. Because it says no matter how your day has been hard, there always is a beautiful ending.