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Cambodian-Chinese Entrepreneurship in Phnom Penh: Results from Preliminary Findings. Michiel Verver Phnom Penh, 25 March 2011. Presentation outline. Background of the research Interview topics Preliminary findings Patterns throughout the interviews Examples
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Cambodian-Chinese Entrepreneurship in Phnom Penh: Results from Preliminary Findings
Phnom Penh, 25 March 2011
“The problem is that my parents don't want to discuss the situation with anyone that is an outsider, they don’t want to spend money, and they keep doing everything themselves. Seriously, if you don't consider the physical tiredness of running that business, we're very efficient. We run the whole factory with just three people [himself, his father, and brother in law], up to micromanagement, every day. We have no structure whatsoever. They've been doing it for 20 years, it's entrenched in their way of business. I have all these ideas in my head on how to structure the company, but they think I need more practical experience. They used to wake up at 5 o’clock every morning and they want me to do the same thing. But I just don't think it's efficient, and besides, it's stupid if you earn so much money to wake up at 5 o'clock…
… I am now working on a system to keep track of everything; the prices of our products, what we sell to different retailers and customers, whether we get the correct amount when supplies come in, see if people are not cheating us. Before, my parents had no clue. They paid for the same thing twice and they would never even know. But it’s sort of working now. My parents now start to ask me; ‘how much do I own this person?’ or ‘how much does this material cost?’ I am becoming a computer on which they can click and then the information comes out. It's getting better, they're more receptive because they've seen some results.”
Prominent Cambodian-Chinese business woman who is in trade, real estate, hotels, and infrastructure development. Was a child during the Khmer Rouge, and although she learned some Teochew from her mother, she was never able to study Chinese properly. In the mid 1980s, she started importing goods in cooperation with a Singaporean-Chinese. She has since done business with Japanese, Malaysians and Europeans.
Whereas her Teochew background was still relevant in regional trade during the 1980s and early 90s, since Cambodia started to open up she has done business with Westerners and other Asian countries.
She is now starting to learn Mandarin so she can better get along with business people from mainland China that come to invest in Cambodia.