J-Sat Group is a Japanese training and job-placement company with 5 business lines. It runs a business consultancy, a recruitment agency for Japanese companies in Myanmar including a job-placement company in Japan, a training institute, a film business providing information for the Japanese market on travel in Myanmar, and a school for the blind run as a social enterprise on a full cost- recovery model. As the company aims to achieve greater social impact, it is considering integrating these business lines around an inclusive business model.
Job placement is the key area of expertise for an inclusive business. J-Sat selects about 1,000 students from about 25,000 applicants a year, trains them for Japanese investors in Myanmar and then places them. The training costs of about $5,600 are covered 50% by the employing companies and the rest from the students.
J-SAT convinces Japanese companies to pay half the cost of training by highlighting services after placement and by underlining the social impact in Myanmar. Students are not required to make upfront payments but instead pay back tuition after placement in small monthly instalments of about 6% of earnings. Students receive further coaching after they are placed. About one-quarter of the students come from families with incomes less than MMK180,000 ($125) per month, and 40% are from low-income families with monthly family incomes of less than MMK 370,000 ($160). About one-third are from middle-income families. The company is looking for new models to scale and is looking for technical assistance.
J-SAT introduces ways to reduce costs to the poor and increase profitability of the training model by relocating parts of the business to cheaper areas of Myanmar and using more technology for language training.
It also cross-subsidises the training from higher profitable parts. It is also looking at subsidies from Japanese foundations, exploring results-based public procurement opportunities in Myanmar; and expanding
the reach of training and job placement from to 5,000 by 2022. Inclusive business certification and branding, and support through public procurement – as proposed under the policy framework – would help the
company place more youth with low-income background – and especially women – in the Japanese market.