Sim Chankiriroth has more than 17 years of experience in strategy and finance and is also a promising entrepreneur. He is the CEO and Founder of the FinTech startup BanhJi.
He is a faithful supporter of entrepreneurship and serves as vice-president of the Cambodian Young Entrepreneurs Association and other industry councils.
This year, he was selected as one of 2022’s “exceptional people” for a new local programme of a beverage company. He sees the programme as a platform for entrepreneurs to share life experiences, as well as the lessons of their successes and failures. This will help ensure the next generation is aware of some pitfalls of running a business – as well as some shortcuts.
“Another positive of the programme is that it is not a competition. This means there is less pressure and we are all able to come together and talk,” he said.
“I started my first company, an accounting and financial consulting firm, in 2012. The following year, I was able to persuade several investors to back my business. We spent several years preparing our software model, and released it in 2016. It uses financial data to help enterprises find financing without collateral,” he added.
He said he became interested in this industry when he saw the need for sound financial reporting in small and medium enterprises. As an accountant, he knew this challenge was one he wanted to take on.
“My plan was to offer my software for free so I could expand my database and client list as quickly as possible. Thank to my large customer base, I was able to work more closely with banks, which was advantageous to everyone,” he added.
He said that his largest challenge was his own stubbornness. He said it took him some time to accept that there were some changes he needed to make.
“I thought that I was a master strategist! Once I realised the need to be flexible and listen to the ideas of the people around me, the company grew even faster. Another problem with a stubborn adherence to one business model is that it can make a person slow to respond to market trends. Flexibility is key,” he added.
“Before developing a business, you should ask yourself if you are prepared to finance yourself. You should consider where you will get technical, financial and spiritual support if things are difficult. Passion is important, but it is not enough to justify calling yourself a CEO. If possible, I advise people to work within an industry, before they consider establishing a business,” he concluded.
The “exceptional people” programme, produced by a beverage company, aims to celebrate individuals who are very brave, confident and have achieved their dreams. It also seeks to inspire younger Cambodians to pursue excellence.