It was in the early hours in the morning as the rest of the world was still asleep. A crew of men fired up their engine, let loose the ropes from the dock, and set out to the open sea to collect fresh new catches from fishing vessels stationed hours away from the shore. Awaiting their returns were Touch Mov and her son, who were preparing their vendor store for another busy day at the fish market.
A 20-year veteran in the marine fishery business, Touch Mov has turned the tides for her family, from a humble beginning as a traditional fisherman to a well-known marine fishery entrepreneur and one of the biggest seafood wholesalers in Koh Kong. She is one of the many successful Amret Women Entrepreneur.
Q1: Tell us about what you do as a marine fishery entrepreneur
Currently, I own two medium-sized fishing vessels which are specially designed to harvest shrimps and crabs. Along with 20 contracted commercial fishing vessels at my disposal, I manage to distribute more than one ton of fresh seafood every day to the domestic market. I sell a mix of crabs, shrimps, squids, and all kinds of domestic marine products to customers all over the country, ranging from local traders, middlemen, retail stores, restaurants, and even commercial processors who import marine products from neighboring countries.
Q2: What factors contributed to the success of your business?
Variety, availability, and quality of my products! Everything comes from the local water — all fresh and new, all the time, in the best possible state.
Normally, the fishing vessels would set out for fishing assignments 30-45 days at a time during the dry season and up to 6 months during the wet season, but we don’t wait for their return. To ensure that the products are of the best possible quality, my husband and his crews would set out to sea every morning to retrieve fresh new catches from our vessels as well as those we contract with.
As soon as they arrive at the fish market, we would immediately package them and deliver them to our clients across the country. All that remains would be sold at a retail price to the local traders, and later on at a discounted rate if they aren’t sold out before noon. We want everything fresh and new, so we don’t stock the products for the next day.
Q3: Could you give us a short overview of how you became an entrepreneur?
It’s a long process that takes a lot of patience and perseverance. My journey to become an entrepreneur began more than two decades ago when I was just a traditional Fisherwoman relyingon small catches to support my family. Later on, I started to trade crabs and sea snails for extra income, which eventually provided me the funds to invest in my future business venture years later.
My first breakthrough opportunity came in 2015, during which a majority of commercial fishing vessels in Thailand were out of action due to the government’s marine fishery restrictions. Many vessels were available at the cut-price, so I took this golden opportunity to purchase my first commercial fishing vessel, which led me to the path of entrepreneurship.
With my husband commissioning the fishing boat, I focused on starting a small fishery business with a particular emphasis on the freshness and quality of my products. My business grew significantly in no time through word-of-mouth, to the point where I could not meet the orders. I purchased another medium-sized fishing boat and contracted with local fishing vessels to ensure that the supply was readily available every day to support the customers. At one point, the average daily orders reached over two tones, but it dropped significantly to only one ton when the pandemic hit the Kingdom. Hopefully, things will get better next year so that I can follow through with the plan to expand my business.
Q4: What is your advice for young women who wish to be successful in business?
Business success doesn’t come overnight. It all comes down to you and what you believe in. It’s the sum of small efforts repeated every day, which requires a lot of perseverance and patience. Make the most of what you have and always strive for being better with each passing day. And always be on the lookout for opportunities. Success will come after you!