While many people are thinking of which majors of study should best match today’s job market demand, Sok Ang, 24, already knew what his career path would be when he finished high school.
Unlike other students who opt for work as accountants, bankers or other private and public institutions, Sok Ang decided to set off on his life’s goals in business.
The third son in the family, Sok Ang has three sisters.
He started selling men’s clothes when he was a first-year student at university. After starting with help and advice from his family, he is now an independent young investor.
Currently a senior student in business administration at Pannastra University, Sok Ang opened his second shop selling ladies’ clothing on Kampuchea Krom Blvd in late 2009 – owing to his earlier success and his family’s support.
The rate of failure in the ladies’ clothing business is high, Sok Ang says.
“I have stumbled on many failures. Market competition and loss of profit are the main challenges.”
So Sok Ang carefully studied what kind of fashions were most popular before he started purchasing items to sell. “I conducted a market survey before I went to import new clothes from abroad,” he said, adding that he always asked the customers what their favourite fashion styles were – especially female customers, as he had found it difficult to import the clothes that fitted their preferences.
Sok Ang reflected that he spent a lot of money on women’s clothes, trying to sell as many styles and colours as possible, but some clothes did not sell, causing him considerable losses.
Always mindful of the hardships he met along the way, Sok Ang knows the key to success in the sales of ladies fashion is not a step-by-step procedure – and is happy to share his recipe for success in tackling problems in the garment trade.
Often he spends his spare time window shopping in order to have the whole view of clothing markets in the city.
“To sell the right clothes to women is difficult, especially if the seller is man like me,” said Sok Ang, “I have to update the clothes in my shop once a month to survive in this fashion world.”
He said that right now, he only had the styles and colours his customers wanted, which is different from the past days of experimentation when he had to aimlessly buy all types.
K-estilo is the name of his new clothing store, which targets both men and women customers.
The name may sound strange in a Cambodian context – but, as he explained, he came up with the name in a foreign language to attract people’s attention.
Yet his ambition in business does not stop there.
“I will soon open another new shop which sells only ladies’ clothes,” he said.