Young Cambodians Win Inaugural SmartEdu Challenge

As Smart Axiata continue to push the development of Cambodia’s tech and digital sector, last weekend saw the culmination of the first event in their latest endeavour — the SmartEdu University Student Development Programme (USDP).

Coming at the end of an intensive 13-day business leadership bootcamp in Siem Reap where activities sought to improve communication, creativity, and critical thinking skills, the initial 48 university students in this years USDP were whittled down to three teams to compete in the inaugural CEO challenge.

The teams were tasked with thinking of a solution to real problems faced by telecommunications firm Smart, health insurance company AIA, and digital media platform Sabay.

After 48-hours of planning and prototyping, Team Smart’s idea won the approval of the assembled CEOs with their idea to use new and existing digital solutions to reduce low-value calls to customer service hotlines.

Additionally, the eight participants deemed as the top performers during the entire USDP will now spend 2 months on a fully-sponsored work exposure at Axiata Group in Malaysia. Well done everyone!

“SmartEdu USDP prepares Cambodian university students to lead the country’s tech industry into the future and tests their aptitude for learning real-life problem-solving skills. We look forward to further enrich the Kingdom’s ICT sector with these talents and the talents emerging from the next rounds of SmartEdu USDP during the years to come,” said Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt.

SmartEdu USDP was launched in October 2018 by Smart Axiata as part of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. As part of the MoU, Smart committed to invest 1.5 million USD over 3 years into two SmartEdu programs. In addition to the SmartEdu Scholarship Program, SmartEdu USDP will further develop the Kingdom’s top digital and business minds with the tools as well as skills to help drive Cambodia’s tech landscape.

For more information and updates on the SmartEdu programmes, follow Smart’s ‘Smart for Cambodia’ Facebook page at or visit