Business is the kind of work that requires a higher level of responsibility and experience than many other professions. Most business men and women in Cambodia, nowadays, are at least middle-aged. Some run their own businesses, while others help with or continue on their parents’ business.
At 19-years-old, Te Senghak plans to be a businessman in the future. He’s began to work as an assistant at his father’s garage.
“A lot of experience is needed for business work, and I’m still young. I need to involve myself with it and learn from it as well,” he said.
I went to Te Senghak’s workplace this weekend, located southwest of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, 669 MHH Sell and Buy Cars. When I arrived, the first thing I saw were a lot of modern and hybrid cars in their garage. In his office, Te Senghak was surrounded with a laptop computer, file folders, a printer and tons of paper. One of the things I noticed immediately was that he had a bed and a closet in the office.
I took the opportunity to ask him some questions about his work at the garage.
After Te Senghak’s parents noticed that he was a hard-working person, he told me, they believed in his abilities and encouraged him to work in their family-run business. He first started about a year ago.
At that time, Te Senghak would spend most of his time after class at the garage. Sometimes, he would stay for the whole day waiting for customers. “Before, I usually slept in the office and looked after the shop while my father was busy,” he said. He added that although he hasn’t had to sleep in the office recently, he still has to come to work early in the morning and stay until evening. After work, he heads straight to class.
Now, Te Senghak is a second-year student majoring in business and management at Panassatra University of Cambodia. He chose this major because his parents want him to help continue running their business.
During the work-day, Te Senghak encounters a lot of new challenges. “When customers come to buy a car, they look at me and think ‘he’s just a young guy’, so they pass by me without even asking the price of the car,” he said.
To overcome the problem, Te Senghak said, “I try my best to persuade my customers. They need to have confidence in me. I can do this by explaining to the customer about the different types of cars, and what the right prices are”.
Even on a difficult day, Te Senghak finds satisfaction through his work. “I’m really happy when I can sell a lot of cars,” he said. He added that there are benefits to the work, such as learning about business, putting it into practice and gaining experience.
In the future, Te Senghak plans to continue to help and run the family business. “I will try to open another type of car shop, as my father wishes,” he said.