Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big condom trade for Mr "Hollywood"

Big condom trade for Mr "Hollywood"

Big condom trade for Mr "Hollywood"

O M Chhen, better known as "Hollywood" or "Mr Number One", may

be the world's only government accountant-turned condom salesman.

After three years as a Ministry of Industry accountant, he retired his calculator

in favor of a box of condoms, which he sells for Population Services International

(PSI).

Nearly every day and night for the past year, Om Chhen has made the rounds of Phnom

Penh and provinces. His customers are what he calls the "big fish" - brothels,

nightclubs, hotels and pharmacies that buy hundreds of condoms each week.

He does a brisk business, leading a group of five other Khmer sales people to a banner

first year. This month, they announced they had sold four million condoms since December

1994, far exceeding initial sales projections of 1.3 million.

In just an hour and a half one night recently, "Hollywood" sold all of

the 5,000 condoms he loaded into his jeep earlier that evening. He sells a box of

four condoms for 100 riel, and PSI encourages vendors to sell them at an affordable

200 riel. In practise many vendors charge more. Embarrassed customers, they say,

tend to pay more to avoid the anguish of haggling.

One beaming and burly man, Mon Ma No, bought five cartons for his condom stand. Mon

Ma No is a policeman by day, but for the past two years he has moonlighted as a condom

salesman for extra cash. He does a good nightly business, and that night had sold

an entire carton of condoms in a few short hours.

At a nightclub nearby, a security guard bought another five cartons. He said he usually

makes his sales when customers park their cars. As they pull into the club, he tells

them he is selling condoms.

While we talked, the night receptionist of the attached hotel dashed up to Om Chhen

to stock up on condoms. In the few short hours in front of the club, he had sold

another 1,000 condoms.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished