Geeks in Cambodia Geeks in Cambodia Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:29:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Winner of Cambodia’s first Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament unveiled Mon, 06 Jul 2020 10:26:28 +0000 Phearun Chhorn The winning team, consisting of five members, was awarded 60,000,000 riels or 15,000 USD and Realme ... More]]> Following one month of fierce competition, Angkor PUBG emerged victorious in the Kingdom’s largest e-Sport event, Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament, initiated by Cambodia’s leading mobile telecommunications provider Smart Axiata and endorsed by the E-Sports Federation of Cambodia.

The winning team, consisting of five members, was awarded 60,000,000 riels or 15,000 USD and Realme 6 phones.

“The competition was a thrilling experience for me and my team. We usually play for fun but to compete with others as a group live on Facebook, that involves a lot of anticipation and excitement. My team showcased our chemistry and team spirit in counter attack and defense; that led us to be the champions and we are delighted to have joined this tournament,” said Laysrun, member of Angkor PUBG.

Members of Angkor PUBG accepting the Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament Cup

Members of Angkor PUBG accepting the Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament Cup

From an initial pool of more than 300 registered teams, the final 20 teams battled for a share of 120,000,000 riels (30,000 USD) and Realme 6 smartphones pool prize, however only players from the ten winning squads were selected.

Supported by Tencent Games, a Chinese internet and technology company, and Realme, a Chinese Smartphone manufacturer, the Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament will allow local gamers to win prizes and a chance to engage, corporate and create a community.

Thomas Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Axiata, said that he is thrilled to announce the winner of Cambodia’s largest Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament.

“I would like to congratulate team Angkor PUBG on winning the first ever Smart PUBG Mobile Tournament. We at Smart will continue to bring more diverse digital lifestyle propositions for our customers, including introducing more initiatives in the field of e-Sports. We are thrilled that so many young Cambodians formed teams as well as joined the tournament, and we are hoping to see even more participation at our future events.”

Smart is determined to further advance leadership in digital entertainment in Cambodia and bring the latest technology innovation and more diverse digital entertainment to its customers.

According to a Global Games Market report by Newzoo, mobile gaming is expected to generate revenues of $95.4 billion in 2020 and account for almost half of the entire games market.

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Second batch of Smart’s 1 million USD COVID 19 relief fund granted to five local institutions Wed, 01 Jul 2020 08:33:19 +0000 Phearun Chhorn “This group of beneficiaries were primarily chosen ... More]]> Smart Axiata announced on Sunday that five new recipients have been selected for the second round of funding from its 1 million USD Covid 19 Fund, including Save the Children, East Meets West Foundation, Bayon Education and Development, Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia and Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

“This group of beneficiaries were primarily chosen after taking heed of various calls to support rural society who may not be able to fully leverage the online education initiatives by the Royal Government, and also the much-needed targeted support for the startup community as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are greatly impacted from this crisis,” Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata said.

Covid-19 Relief Fund EN (2)

So far, more than half of the Fund has been committed to 9 initiatives which focus on support in ICT for education, social distancing, crisis management and personal hygiene.

The second batch of the initiatives that were approved by the multi-stakeholder Evaluation Committee included:

1. Guided virtual learning program targeting school children at 15 remote communities in Kampong Cham by Save the Children;

2. Personal hygiene awareness program including ‘mobile tap solutions’ at 5 provinces by East Meets West Foundation;

3. Online vocational training for vulnerable dropouts at Siem Reap by Bayon Education and Development;

4. Access to Finance Program for MSMEs by Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia; and

5. Online Startup Resiliency awareness program by Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

Since the government delayed a plan to re-open school until November, the Fund will play a crucial role in a remote education initiative led by Save the Children, where the NGO implements virtual learning programs for children in remote communities in Kampong Cham.

Mr. Hundt added “We hope to discover more high impact projects that address Cambodia’s urgent needs although we have observed a tapered trend in COVID-19 cases here. None of us knows when the crisis will end, but we can in solidarity help rebuild our economy and get through this together!”

]]> 0 SHE INVESTMENTS JOINS Youth Business International and Google to respond to Covid-19 crisis Fri, 26 Jun 2020 09:00:20 +0000 Veronika Janouchova The program, led by Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by will support micro, small and medium businesses to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

SHE Investments has been confirmed as YBI’s delivery partner for Cambodia, and over the next 5 months will work with a project team to develop and deliver digital literacy training and support for Khmer women entrepreneurs struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of COVID-19, and Cambodia is already struggling with a significant loss in exports and tourism, which contributes to around 25% of the country’s economy.

61% of businesses in Cambodia are owned and run by women, with the majority being in the micro and informal sector; many of whom will suffer significant losses in 2020 as a result of the economic impact on businesses.

Throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, SHE continued to deliver programs and coaching to women entrepreneurs using online tools, and in doing so realized that there was a significant lack of digital skills amongst many women running enterprises.

“Businesses now need to focus on recovering and rebuilding from this initial economic shock”, says Celia Boyd, co-founder and Managing Director of SHE Investments, Cambodia’s business incubator and accelerator for women in Khmer language, by Khmer women.

“There is a significant gap in digital literacy skills in Cambodia, and those of us supporting entrepreneurs need to re-focus our efforts on building the skills which will enable business owners to adapt their business models, and to be able to access online resources. During COVID we realized that many of the women in our network needed support with digital tools including using computers, smartphones, and ICT tools such as Zoom effectively, and many expressed a wish to improve knowledge and skills in areas such as developing websites, using online functions, and reaching their customers using social media. They also needed additional support to understand managing their finances during and after the crisis, and in adapting to a new economic environment,” she added.

SHE’s Digital Literacy program will be delivered in 2 parts:

1) An intensive Digital Literacy Skills training program for 40 selected women with MSMEs affected by COVID-19. This program will cover topics including Crisis Management, Social Media, Financial Management and Forecasting, Using Smartphones Effectively, and Online search Tools such as Google and free website builders. Participants in this selected program will also receive a free laptop from KOOMPI, Cambodia’s locally made laptop.

2) Video tutorials available for the public, on a range of Digital Literacy topics, designed to help entrepreneurs across Cambodia improve skills in areas such as social media. All videos will be in Khmer language, and developed with a team of local experts.
SHE is excited to build a project team consisting of Khmer entrepreneurs, several of which are SHE graduates themselves. The team includes KOOMPI as the provider of laptops for program participants; Sokneang Nodzak (founder and CEO of Kokopon), Sotheavy AT (founder of “Think Plastic” and “Stay Home”, and social media expert in Cambodia), and 606 Media, a female-founded team of video producers, along with the SHE Investments team. Google employees will also volunteer time to share knowledge and expertise, helping business owners.

Applications for the intensive Digital Literacy Training Program, beginning mid-July 2020, were launched on Friday 12 th June. Applications are open until June 24 th , and women who have been running businesses for more than 6 months (pre-COVID) and who have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply here:


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Facebook launches shopping platform to bring more small businesses online Fri, 19 Jun 2020 07:39:51 +0000 Phearun Chhorn Amid COVID 19 global economic shock, Facebook Shops aim to make shopping seamless ... More]]> Facebook is making a big push into online shopping on its platforms. Earlier this week, the company announced the launch of Facebook Shops, a service that allows small businesses to display and sell their products on Facebook and Instagram, in Cambodia.

Amid COVID 19 global economic shock, Facebook Shops aim to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use Facebook apps to connect with customers.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Facebook, said in a video announcing the product “It’s clear at this point that Covid 19 isn’t just a health emergency. It is also the biggest economic shock we felt in our lifetime…we are uniquely positioned to be a champion of small businesses, what helps them grow and what keeps them healthy.”

Facebook SHOP

People in Cambodia have been using live video on Facebook to showcase products, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, it’s easier to shop for products in real time and sellers, brands and creators will soon be able to tag products from their Facebook Shops or catalogs before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video, so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.

The company is also testing ways to make it easier to earn rewards by enabling businesses to connect to loyalty programs, such using point programs at local cafes with Facebook Business accounts. It would also allow customers to see and keep track of their points and rewards.

Facebooks says it hopes these tools can relieve some of the pressure small businesses in Cambodia are facing right now and help businesses of all sizes prepare for the future.

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Leading a startup team through storms and challenges Wed, 10 Jun 2020 03:01:05 +0000 GeeksInCambodia Leading a startup is comparable to sailing a boat. Before setting sail, it’s important to decide on a path to navigate, ready the ship and select the best possible captain. The captain must ensure the ship is well maintained and fit to sail, checking that weather conditions are safe and that you have the necessary provisions for your journey.

In a perfect world, you would easily reach your destination following a set path. In reality, there are forces outside of our control that could ruin any well thought-out plan, like encountering a deadly storm, hitting an iceberg, or sailing off-course and running out of supplies. The unforgiving sea can turn any capable captain into a lost sailor battling the elements in a relentless storm, with a broken boat and a demoralized crew.

That is precisely what entrepreneurs face everyday.

Leading a startup through a wave of disruptions and uncertainties, adapting strategies and motivating team members

Facing hardships as a team creates more resilience and perseverance. Startup teams can learn to work better together and deal with problems as they arise. As a leader, your role is to create enabling conditions that will allow your team to flourish.

“What matters most to collaboration is not the personalities, attitudes, or behavioral styles of team members. Instead, what teams need to thrive are certain ‘enabling conditions’.” – HBR’s Secret to Great Teamwork.

In this article, we look into four main factors surrounding great teamwork and a few helpful tips,as to how startup leaders can create the best environment for their teams.

On Team Culture

The collective values, beliefs and behaviors of a team define its culture. Culture often reflects the team’s vision , it enables its members to perform at their best to reach collective goals. Startup leaders should think of how the culture will be shaped early, when the team is still small. This will help hire individuals that fit the collective..Culture also sets boundaries on acceptable behaviour within the team, so that a certain level of professionalism and respect are maintained.

For example Chevron is a car company displaying an excellent example of strong team culture. They strive to enhance team betterment the ‘Chevron Way’. This is not mere posturing as the business back up employee care with fitness centers, massages, personal trainers and encouragement of wellbeing practices.

When discussing culture, we believe it’s more important to bring up a list of don’ts rather than do’s.

The Absence of Trust

In ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’, Patrick Lencioni muses that the absence of trust is the core problematic value upon which a successful team cannot blossom.

“Absence of trust is the foundation of all dysfunctions. And the root of it is the inability and unwillingness of employees to be vulnerable and open to each other. Teams which share personal insights and experiences always show better results!”

Knowing you aren’t trusted is extremely damaging to self esteem, morale and motivation. If an employer needs to mollycoddle an individual through their tasks then perhaps they shouldn’t have hired that individual, or at least their assigned tasks should be revisited. Trust is the foundation of great teamwork. It is acknowledging that even though your team might make bad mistakes, trust gives your team hope and strengthens collaboration.

Compromising Core Values

As a leader, you should lead by example. Core values set a certain expectation on desired behaviors in the team, and they are the enabling factors that allow team members to respect each other and work better. Core values are made to live by; you cannot compromise and think people won’t notice. If you compromise on key values, your team loses trust in you and the organization. For example, if your team’s core value is putting customer’s needs first, but you create aggressive sales processes that force people to fall into the funnel without any empathy for their needs, you send a message that sales are more important than anything else.

Tracking by Hours

This model makes sense if you are in manufacturing. But if you are a startup team of knowledge workers, not only does this model not work, but it is draining. A person could be spending 9 hours a day in the office and achieve close to nothing compared to someone who gets to decide their own office hours. This is all about giving your team the autonomy to manage their own time. Productivity should be measured by progress and results, rather than by hours. Try giving your team flexible work hours, or allowing them to do remote work, and setting OKRs for them to achieve. Your team will thank you for making their lives easier.

On Communications

Great communication is the backbone of great teamwork. Teams that keep each other updated often work better, achieve more, and experience less confusion. There are multiple ways leaders can enhance team communications.

Allow Asynchronous Communications

We live in a busy world with an expectation for instant gratification. With the advancement of technology, patience has faded and we have come to expect instant responses, both to queries and with software solutions. Yet, this distracts us from doing deep work and focusing on our craft. Leaders can aid that by allowing asynchronous communication – i.e. communicating without expecting an immediate response. For example, we shouldn’t guilt team members for not being online and available 24/7; It’s healthy to turn off notifications while focusing on a task. Everyone should have access to physical spaces for deep work without distractions.

Adopting the Right Tools

How many tools are you using for teamwork at the moment? We’d guess five or six! That could be emails, messenger groups, spreadsheets and documents, file drives, and perhaps those cluttered sticky notes and to-do-lists. When there are too many tools to work with, communications often get messy. To avoid getting lost in chaotic file management, we recommend keeping everything streamlined to three or less platforms. Our suggestion is to use a single, powerful, project management tool to keep track of everything. These often include real-time messenger features and even the option to include external parties.

Reduce Unnecessary Meetings

Scattered work and poor communication leads to a demand for more meetings, to sort the chaos out and leads to loss of productivity By improving organization and communication, you’ll not only reduce further unnecessary meetings. More often than not, it’s more effective to update progress or information through a central hub/collaboration tool. However, if there is really a need for physical meeting, you can make it more productive by defining an outcome, setting an agenda, and ensuring it starts and finishes on time.

On Leadership

We can’t talk about teamwork without putting an emphasis on the importance of effective leadership. If communication is the backbone of great teamwork, leadership is the heart. Leaders pump energy and vision to team members.

Make Decisions

As a leader, you make a lot of decisions everyday, and the worst thing you can do is to not make any.. In a startup environment where many things are fast-paced, it’s important that you make quick decisions and learn from them. It’s inevitable to make bad decisions, and it’s okay to be vulnerable and lean on your team for support.

Leader as a Coach

There are many different leadership styles out there that we can apply in different situations, but in startups, leaders should have the ability to mentor. Being a coach means being a grounding influence that empowers the team to solve problems. In a culture built on trust, leaders communicate goals clearly and put faith in their team to tackle the problems competently. Effective leaders ask key questions to develop critical thinking in their team and offer support when needed. Remember the key difference between a leader and a ‘boss’, is the ability to lead, empower and support rather than purely bark orders and oversee. The effective leader will develop team members to lofty heights whereby they’ll gain the skills to lead themselves.

Embrace Failing

Create an environment that allows for team members to take risks, and learn from any potential failures or mistakes. By using ‘black-box’ thinking, team members can improve processes and continue to grow and develop. An effective leader will have to risk such potential failings when making decisions, and team members should be granted that opportunity too. Learning from your mistakes is an integral part of growing that is difficult to replicate.

Don’t Avoid Conflicts

Conflicts and confrontation can be useful. A leader may feel the need to keep the peace, but that doesn’t mean stifling creative conversation. Team members should be given the platform to debate opposing ideas and viewpoints, and fight for what they believe to be best. The leader’s role should be to ensure that the forum to do this is both healthy and respectful, so that conflicts are productive and constructive.

On Goals

Teamwork is about a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. Teams work better together when they know what they are working towards. Leaders can amplify that by:

Setting Priority and Objectives and Key Results (OKRS)

Setting a clear priority is crucial for teamwork. For a startup, the first and foremost priority should be getting the basics right. If you’re selling a product, you should make sure it delivers its promise before you advertise it. We often consider the minimum viable product, i.e. what is the least we could do to effectively meet our goal.

It’s better to have one clear priority than having five or six met halfway. Once you set your priority with a realistically achievable timeline, your team can start defining OKRs – Objectives and Key Results. Objectives are the goals to be achieved, while Key Results are the measurement values of those objectives that you’d deem a success.

For example, if you’re launching an App, perhaps you’d consider 5000 downloads in the first month to be a success. Or, 300 subscriptions to your newsletter.

This helps organize the work your team does around a common goal – in this case, achieving the set priority. Defining objectives for tasks helps align everyone with the same priority; it positions the startup as one that focuses on outcomes.

Drive, Mission and Purpose

Our generation is driven by the need to contribute to a greater cause. Not only do we strive to find jobs that challenge us but we seek jobs that contain meaning and connect us to a bigger purpose. In order to attract and maintain talent, a leader’s role is to convey their vision with enriching purpose. That way, your team feels fulfilled knowing that their work is making a significant difference. Leaders must ask themselves how they are impactful beyond profits and how does their organisation contribute to greater good and frequently remind their people. They must use the reason as an anchor for all strategies and decision-making, model desired behaviors for teams, and empower them to act.


Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about caring for those you are in charge of.” – Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why”.

It’s clearly apparent that effective leadership requires a great deal of consideration for many aspects of team management. Through strong communication structures, trusting teams and defined vision, it’s possible to navigate through the toughest situations. Much like the sailing boat in the storm, a solid team can face the greatest challenges as a unit to combat failings with contingency plans and revised learning.

This article is a partnership with Bloo, a project management software that helps teams stay organised and work better together. Teams that use Bloo improve their collaboration and work process; They report having more clarity over their work progress as everything is in one place. Bloo has a 14-day free trial and a supportive team behind to help you get started – Visit them:

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