Started in July 2017, The Desk is one of Cambodia’s fresher coworking spaces, yet it has quickly built a solid reputation as a space for entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives. Offering individual desks at $60 a month, The Desk provides an affordable working space and all the amenities you’ll ever need, right near to Aeon Mall 1.
With coworking spaces has popping up all over the Kingdom, Geeks in Cambodia sat down with Norith Kim, the co-founder, to find out more about what The Desk brings to an already crowded table.
(The following interview has been edited for clarity, length and flow)
What can you tell us about The Desk?
Norith: The Desk is a coworking space designed to meet the diverse needs of micro businesses, freelancers, home office workers, entrepreneurs, startups, tech workers, writers, designers, and other professionals. From the dedicated desks to private rooms, the meeting room and event space, [we have] ideal spaces for individuals or teams who feel confined or distracted working from their homes. We offer members workshops, networking events, and access to knowledge-sharing communities of experts.
To build a meaningful experience for everyone who goes to The Desk, we dedicated to building a very friendly, supportive, and engaging community.
How did you come up with the idea?
My team had primarily tried to find a small, affordable and productive environment to start our projects, but it’s hard to find. Perhaps, not only my team that faced this kind of situation but also other startups who have a hard time to find their space to work as well.
By running a workspace business that can allocate the working space for my team and at the same also rent to other teams who had similar experiences on finding one, we can get some profit to support our business growth since we are also in the early startup stage.
What were your team working on when you had trouble finding a place?
We looked for an office to set up a cleaning & pest control business. But after putting all efforts in building Coworking Space, we could not run that business. So right now we keep focusing on Coworking Space and will be ready to launch another Commercial Buildings Platform soon.
Norith (1st Row, 3rd from right) with the community at The Desk. Photo courtesy of The Desk.
What are some challenges you faced?
As we did not have much capital investment to build our coworking space at once, we could afford to build the ground floor with several private rooms, team desks, and individuals. To expand our space, the money generated from income is one of the sources used to inject for investment until it grows bigger. Secondly, the coworking industry is also our first business venture, and we found it hard to understand the whole concept of the business, that’s why we had approached many people and attended local and regional coworking conferences in order to engage in the community.
What sets The Desk apart from other spaces in Phnom Penh?
Even though its primary purpose is to provide a high quality and advanced workspace, The Desk also acts as a supportive community zone where members can enjoy working while feeling welcome. Also, we are currently focusing on linking our members with funding institutes as most of them are in the ramp-up stage which they need to scale, hire, improve quality, implement new processes and turn ideas into real live businesses. The dedication of building a strong and interactive community is what makes The Desk special.
We would love the people to remember The Desk as a friendly and engaging community where they are provided more than just a workspace, but where they can extend their network and knowledge through a variety of creative moments and events.
Future plans for The Desk?
For the upcoming plans, we are working to build the Mentorship Program, Accelerator Program, and Startup Showcase Program. We are also planning the second premise for next year as well.
They’re located at #206 Eo, Preah Norodom Blvd, Tonle Bassac, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.