Five Inspiring Cambodian Founders

Throughout 2022, Kiripost’s team of independent journalists has scoured the nation to find inspiring stories of Cambodian founders. Today, we throw the spotlight on five innovative founders to watch out for.
Five inspiring Cambodian founders
Five inspiring Cambodian founders

Richard Yim: Turning Cambodia Into A Tech-Ready Country

Richard Yim is aiming to revolutionise Cambodia's industries and elevate its global reputation by building high-tech advanced machinery.

Richard Yim. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Richard Yim. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Richard Yim was born in Cambodia and moved to Canada when he was 13-years-old. He graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's of Business Entrepreneurship and Technology. In 2018, he was listed in the ASEAN Top 40 Under 40, and was named Forbes Asia 30 under 30 in 2019.

Back in his own country, in 2019, he founded Quantum Engineering and Manufacturing Company with an engineering team, aiming to build advanced machines in Cambodia.

“They don’t trust our technology products since our country does not have a history of producing high-technology products. Most Cambodian products have a bad reputation, so I want to change the mindset that our country can produce high-quality technology products.”

Richard Yim: How to Secure Quality Investment

Reasmey Daneth: Streetside Korean Fried Chicken Store to Online Wholesale Grocery Platform

Reasmey Daneth, 29, is the CEO and co-founder of Tenbox. Reasmey has gone from founding a streetside Korean fried chicken store as a university student to launching an online grocery platform to serve the nation’s restaurants, mini marts and food stores.

Reasmey Daneth. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Reasmey Daneth. Kiripost/Siv Channa

As a junior university student, Reasmey started selling Korean fried chicken, which became her stepping stone to launch an online wholesale grocery for retail stores, mini marts, and restaurants after spotting a spike in demand during the pandemic.

“We want to connect suppliers with the owners of restaurants. They don’t have to stock. We tackle the suppliers’ problem. There are many problems and impediments, Tenbox won’t have to go to the market to change the sector. Changing something is difficult.”

Phichith Kunthakcheat: The Building Blocks to Secure Angel Investment

Phichith Kunthakcheat talks to Kiripost about how he used his determination to push through hardships to see his digital marketing agency receive the first investment from Cambodian Angel Investors Network.

Phichith Kunthakcheat (Kiripost/Siv Channa)
Phichith Kunthakcheat (Kiripost/Siv Channa)

When Phichith Kunthakcheat was a university student, he started side-hustle work and an internship. Quick-witted, the second-year graphic design student at Zaman University (now Paragon International University) ventured into freelancing design work.

He started to intern at companies in 2013, when he was in his early 20. Curious and creative, he kept developing his skill sets. The young junior often asked his senior staff to give him more work.

“I thought that owning a business at this young age was such pressure. I should not have a headache because I still have much time to enjoy it. But because of my previous experiences I have failed, I still push myself to stand up, so I try to motivate myself.”

Song Saran: Strong Leadership Key to Cope with Crises

Amru Rice CEO Song Saran has overcome multiple hardships to create the company that produces award-winning rice for export he owns today. He shares with Kiripost his struggles to build the business from scratch.

Amru Rice CEO Song Saran. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Amru Rice CEO Song Saran. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Saran, 41, who is also President of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), reflected on how he managed to keep his company alive during Covid and how the honesty and quality of his food, among many other things, have helped him ride through the storms.

“During the crisis, we didn’t panic. If we did, the company would close down. I didn't panic. I lost money, sometimes, I lost millions of dollars but we were still strong, believing that good things would return.”

Chim Poly: Chim Poly is Restyling Cambodia’s Barbershop Experience

A $50 haircut – the most expensive he’d ever received – provided Chim Poly with the inspiration to elevate the barber experience in Cambodia. The result is a chain of vintage-style barbershops that are a cut above the rest.

Chim Poly (right) and Eng Pao pose for a picture at their Kambuja Barbershop. Both entrepreneurs want to elevate barbershop industry in Cambodia. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Chim Poly (right) and Eng Pao pose for a picture at their Kambuja Barbershop. Both entrepreneurs want to elevate barbershop industry in Cambodia. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Chim Poly was pursuing his postgraduate studies in Australia when he experienced one of the most expensive haircuts he’d ever had. Compared to the trims he had in Cambodia, he was impressed. Back home, haircuts weren’t great and places weren’t clean.

It was these personal stories that inspired Poly to found his own barbershop business, elevating the Kingdom’s hairdressing standards.

“I think if we own everything for our own profit, we won’t achieve the goal of bolstering the industry as a whole. Our model is not about profit alone; it’s about improved value in the sector. We want to see each barbershop be of a certain certified standard. When the entire industry is standardized, we will create value for it.”

Five Inspiring Cambodian Entrepreneurs