THANOS magazine

Mongolia | January 22, 2024

At a Crossroads
where tradition meets modernity

We are talking to Mrs. Munkhzaya Mendbayar, CEO of "Ulaanbaatar Buyan" LLC and "New Cemetery" LLC, who is leading the way in advancing and modernizing the funeral industry in Mongolia. She is also involved in redeveloping old cemeteries, keeping them up to date with the changing needs and expectations of the community. Mrs. Mendbayar represents the next generation of leaders in the funeral industry, committed to taking it to new heights and ensuring its continued development.

Katarzyna Supa: Could you please share your insights on the evolving landscape of the funeral industry in Mongolia, given your extensive experience in the field?

Munkhzaya Mendbayar: The funeral industry in Mongolia has undergone significant changes in recent years, reflecting shifts in cultural norms, urbanization, and environmental considerations. Traditionally, state-run entities primarily provided funeral services, but there has been a notable transition towards private companies, driven by a growing demand for more personalized and diverse funeral services. There are more than 40 privately owned funeral companies in Mongolia.
The funeral market in Mongolia comprises a mix of state-owned cemeteries permitting land usage to private companies. This diversity has introduced innovation and competition, providing consumers with a more comprehensive range of options. The first cemetery facility was established in 2004. Cremation has been gaining popularity, particularly in urban areas. The cremation rate currently stands at 7.6%, reflecting a shift towards more environmentally friendly practices. Due to the availability of the facilities, the cremation rate is high in the capital city.
The availability of burial space, including cemeteries, is a significant concern. The land used for burials has been increased to 96.4 hectares over the past five years. This has prompted discussions about sustainable land use and cemetery management, particularly in urban areas with limited space. In response to the evolving needs of consumers, businesses specializing in funeral products, such as caskets, urns, and related items, have emerged to meet these demands. But they are still catching up to the international standards and trends.

The Mongolian Funeral Association plays a pivotal role in the industry. It is a unifying body that fosters collaboration among stakeholders, including funeral companies and related businesses. The association contributes to establishing industry standards, sharing best practices, and promoting ethical and professional conduct among its members. Its role is essential in upholding the quality and integrity of funeral services and fostering unity within the sector.

  • What are the funeral industry's significant challenges? 
  • What is the funeral culture in Mongolia?
  • What are the main objectives of the "New Cemetery" project?

Read whole article in the winter issue of THANOS magazine
you can read online at pages 16-18

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