Over the past year, Kiripost’s team of professional journalists has covered stories of Cambodia’s entrepreneurs, founders, and prominent people. To highlight some of the most celebrated Cambodians in business – those who have risen the rank from zero to one – Kiripost has selected five businessmen and women to showcase on this list for 2022.
Rice entrepreneur Lay Chhun Hour has transformed his parents' small business into an award-winning multi-million-dollar enterprise. When Lay Chhun Hour started as a rice entrepreneur, he knew little about the sector but went on to transform his parents’ small business into a multi-million-dollar enterprise.
Chhun Hour, 40, also known as Andy, is the CEO of City Rice Import and Export Co,. LTD, which he co-founded in 2012. Andy estimates that his company’s assets are today valued at $15 million. Last year, export sales sat at $60 million.
“What I learnt is integrity, it's important, the reputation in doing business with local partners, buyers and all stakeholders working with us. I am honest, and when I do things, I help people around us grow so people support us."
Keat Aphivath hasn’t let being a single mum get in the way of launching a series of businesses. The 36-year-old CEO shares the highs and lows of being her own boss.
Originally hailing from Battambang province and born to an average family of four, Aphivath set foot for the first time in the capital, Phnom Penh, in 2002 to pursue higher education at two universities – Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), and Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) – at the same time.
“When I start any business, I don’t do it just for the sake of having a business. If I start a business, I have to make sure it runs well before I move to the next one,” she said.
“Every business has problems. What we must do as an entrepreneur is be fully committed to the business and fully engaged in it.”
The co-founder of Sastra Film reveals how she chased her dreams to see her business evolve from husband-and-wife dream team to a leading Cambodian film production company with 100 staff.
Having harbored a passion for the film industry from a young age, Bun Channimol has battled through hardships to secure success as the cofounder of Sastra Film. Since co-founding the film production company in 2014 with her husband Kheng Pytou Kethya, Channimol, 33, has persevered in a tough industry to see the business grow to employ about 100 staff.
“Sastra Films is very different now. Before I was the one who did everything. I was the writer, producer, and sometimes even the video editor and the stylist. I was doing almost everything by myself with my husband. If we compare it to house construction, it is like we were building every part by ourselves. We had no staff. Currently, we have about 100 staff and we have all the equipment we need, which we never thought we could afford.”
Determined Thaung Thyda has overcome a swathe of challenges to successfully transform the small salt business her family has run for generations into an international organization supplying salt across the globe.
Growing up in a salt-producing family on a small island of Kampot province, Thaung Thyda has faced plenty of challenges working in the industry. In a bid to bolster business while promoting Cambodian products and inspiring other local salt producers, in 2016, Thyda decided to transform her family’s sea salt farm into THAUNG Enterprise.
Since then, the company has climbed the ladder to become an essential salt supplier in the country and beyond, thanks to the high-quality products it produces.
“We are now playing an essential role as the main salt supplier in the country as almost 40 percent of the entire consumption is being supplied by THAUNG Enterprise. We also export our products abroad including Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and some countries in Europe.”
An award-winning start-up is hoping to transform Cambodia’s healthcare sector and offer Cambodians safe access to drugs.
Pharmacist and entrepreneur, Chea Vireak, is modernizing Cambodia’s healthcare sector through digital technology in hoping it can bring more affordable and safe medicines for millions. To accomplish his startup’s mission, the pharmacist by education and profession focuses on one thing: building a platform for pharmacies to give millions of Cambodians access to safe drugs.
The platform developed by the health tech start-up is more than just a digital or mobile health app.
“What frustrates me the most is that most pharmacies are still practicing traditionally using pen and paper. This is one of the main reasons why PillTech exists.”