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Young Entrepreneur Wants to Bring Tech Efficiency to Cambodian Businesses


Sok Sopheakmonkol, Co-Founder and CEO of Codingate,​ discusses “the Benefits of Technology To Improve Cambodian​ Businesses” with host Sophat Soeung on VOA Khmer’s Hello VOA “New Voices” radio call-in show Monday, April 17, 2017. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)

Even as Cambodian users adapt quickly to new technology, many of the country's small and medium-size businesses have yet to learn to integrate technology into their daily operations.

Integrating technology into your business operation can improve staff management, customer targeting, accounting, and communication with authorities, says Sok Sopheakmonkol, CEO of Codingate, a Cambodia-based company providing technology solutions.

The 27-year-old tech entrepreneur told Hello VOA’s “New Voices” program on Monday that the use of technology has become vital for the operation of any successful company in Cambodia.

“Using technology will help you save money and increase the efficiency in marketing and other strategies to grow your business,” he said.

The increased use of the Internet and smartphones in Cambodia has not only helped created a nascent technology sector but has also pushed non-tech businesses to slowly adapt to more tech-savvy consumers. An Asia Foundation study found that nearly half of Cambodia’s population now have access to the Internet, mostly through their smartphones.

But even as users adapt quickly to new technology, many of the nearly 40,000 small and medium-size businesses have yet to learn to integrate technology into their daily operations.

FILE: A group of youth look at the new website about Khmer Rouge on smartphone. (Photo: Ouch Makara/Documentation Center of Cambodia)

FILE: A group of youth look at the new website about Khmer Rouge on smartphone. (Photo: Ouch Makara/Documentation Center of Cambodia)



Sok Sopheakmonkol, who was recently profiled in Forbes Magazine’s annual list of entrepreneurs under 30 in Asia, said that even entrepreneurs who understand the importance of technology do not generally like to invest in technology in their operational budget.

He said this is due to the fact that they don’t place the same value on software compared to hardware.

“They dare to spend money on expensive hardware like computers and servers but if they need to spend on software services, they are more hesitant. I think they also need to understand that software is equally important ... and should be budgeted in their operation, so they can set up the software or technology to benefit their businesses.”

A team member works at Codingate office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 3, 2017. (Sophat Soeung/VOA Khmer)

A team member works at Codingate office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 3, 2017. (Sophat Soeung/VOA Khmer)

As an example, Sopheakmonkol says modern software technology can be used to market products to targeted customers, the precision of which does not exist in traditional forms of marketing.

“For example, if we are selling clothes for young people, but when we market it we only reach older or much younger consumers, they are not our target customers. That means we have wasted both time and money.”

The Codingate CEO says that with the growth of e-commerce in Cambodia, more businesses will turn to technology. He says if an entrepreneur were to start a sports store today, besides marking on Facebook, he or she would likely also have to build a parallel online store.

“They can build it as an e-commerce website where they can showcase their offline products on the online store so that consumers can view them online, order online, and pay online.”

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