Interview: Rahul Anand, Co-Founder of CamboTicket

As Cambodia’s first online bus booking platform, CamboTicket has been through much progress since we last spoke to Rahul Anand, co-founder of CamboTicket. With a series of different local bus operators and a fluid booking system, CamboTicket caters to both locals and tourists.

CamboTicket has since been featured in Forbes, the Financial Times, e27, the Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily.

We got in touch with Rahul for updates on CamboTicket’s progress, as well as how his business has changed after the acquisition.

This interview has been edited for length, clarity and flow.

How has the progress of CamboTicket been so far?

Despite the challenges of being a pioneer in our domain, that is the e-commerce and online travel ticketing in the Kingdom and the region, we have had some very exciting traction over the last few months. When we started the business about two years ago, we had the choice between cutting corners and focusing on growth or setting up proper processes and systems and being prepared for long-term albeit steady growth. We are in this business for the long-term and hence the choice for us was easy and that’s why we chose the latter approach. In summary, the progress has been very exciting and rewarding so far although we have a long way to go and we are all hard at work to improve our service and offer greater value to our stakeholders.

What milestones have CamboTicket achieved?

We are now recognised amongst one of the handful of promising technology startups emanating not just from Cambodia, but also from the Mekong region. We have established a firm footprint in the transport segment of travel ticketing and that is most fulfilling. We are not only catering to Cambodia, but we have a presence and network across Thailand, Vietnam and Laos as well.

Now that CamboTicket is able to serve our customers for all their transportation needs across the region, we are now working on adding more services to our platform and these would be launched imminently.

Are there any new challenges CamboTicket is facing? If so, what are they?

There are no new challenges per se. The biggest challenge is to be able to remain meaningful and offer value to our users and that is a never-ending endeavor for any business. The routine operational and logistical challenges are part of the game and we, as a team, love those hurdles as they keep us on our toes and help us constantly improve.

How has being featured in Forbes Asia Under 30 impacted you and your business?

The recent recognitions like being featured on the Forbes list and in the Financial Times have been tremendous morale boosters for the team and validation of the strength of our business model. This also gives us greater visibility in the market and lends credibility to our business in the eyes of users who may not be familiar with CamboTicket or are hesitating to transact with businesses from the region due to legacy trust issues.

How has being incubated by SEA Ventures impacted your business?

SEA Ventures allows us to capitalise on the firm’s network and resources and allows us access to dedicated mentors from a wide range of backgrounds. This has been extremely helpful for us to constantly refine our business and remain focused on adding value for our users.

What were some of your key takeaways from the incubation?

We believe that the biggest takeaway was the fact that one needs to remain confident in and committed to one’s ideas despite challenges and hurdles, and to constantly learn from others and improvise.

What are your upcoming plans for CamboTicket?

We are working on some amazing projects and are hard at work to implement them for our users. Stay tuned for the launch of some exciting new initiatives.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in Cambodia?

Having grown from zero members (barring us co-founders) to a growing team that spreads across 3 cities, I must say that the future of entrepreneurship in Cambodia is very promising. The youth here is very enterprising and given a little bit of impetus and mentorship, they can do as well if not better than their peers in any other country.

The only word of advice I have for the youth is to dream big and then take massive action to implement those dreams. And never stop learning.