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Title [Day-2] Full-Time MBA Cambodia field trip experience
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Date 2018-06-22 Hit 472

[Talk on the Cambodian Economy]
I could get a general understanding of the economy in Cambodia. Opening up of regulations seemed to encourage foreign investors to invest a lot in Cambodia, but on the other hand, it entailed a concern that Cambodia might end up being too dependent on foreign countries. The Public Works and Transport minister who gave us the presentation was very direct and confident. I look forward to seeing how big a synergy could be created between a fast-growing economy and a progressive leader. 

[Lunch Talk (Social Entrepreneurship)]
Before lunch we had a meeting with the Public Works and Transport minister. It was in a well-cooled area with an air conditioner and people with neat suits welcomed us. However, the story I heard at the lunch place was about the different world from that of the morning. I heard that there are lots of teenagers who are even younger than me wandering the street while some of them are even addicted to drugs. Friends help them in a different way from what I’ve done in my life. They help the teenagers in a genuine way. They provide not just some food or money, but they give them a chance to change their life. They detoxify them, teach them, and help them find what they really want to do. I have given some money to the children on the street. I thought that would help them. However, after this course I realized that just giving money is not the best way to help them.

[Presentation of CEO Thomas from Smart Axiata]
When I arrived at Phnom Penh airport, I bought a local USIM chip. There were several stores selling USIM, including of Smart Axiata. The price of Smart Axiata was twice that of the others. I asked the reason and the clerk said the quality of SMART is much better than the others. I wanted to use better service even though I needed to pay more so I chose SMART. On the other hand, I was curious whether the ‘high quality, high price’ strategy would work in Cambodia which is considered as a developing country. When I met the CEO, my curiosity was resolved. He said that Smart Axiata’s market share is higher than 43%. At this point, I learned again about the importance of quality. 

[Samai Rum Distillery]
Samai is a Rum-producing company established by two guys who love Rum. They came to Cambodia and realized that there was no Rum, so they decided to make it themselves. Listening to their motivation of establishing a company, I could feel that they are doing what they really like. One of those two establishers was an MBA-graduate. I had heard of some cases of SKK alumni establishing their own companies but have never have visited their company. Looking around the company in person, I could get a more vivid feeling. While creating the Rum, they said they had lots of trials and errors. But in the end, they created amazing Rum! In the future, when I try to establish my own company, I should remember their words and keep trying even if I fall a lot.

Written by Shinji Hwang (SKK GSB Full-Time MBA, Class of 2019)
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