Young Cambodian businessman Socheat Taing made an entrepreneurial plunge five years ago.
After distributing imported paper products in the local market, he decided to venture into manufacturing by teaming up with local producers to meet the growing demand in the Kingdom.
The 36-year-old entrepreneur started MG Pacific in 2013 as part-time concern selling mountings for televisions in the capital and provinces, later selling paper products ranging from sheets of A4 to ATM receipts and toilet seat coverings.
In 2015, MG Pacific began producing paper products through contract manufacturing, becoming a private limited company in 2017.
From humble beginnings, the firm now confidently states that it “positively and strongly believes that MG Pacific is going to be a multimillion-capital company within three to five years”.
The company’s aim when founded was to reduce the country’s imports of paper products and at the same time popularise locally made consumer items, which were not getting enough attention back then, Socheat said.
He scaled up his business at the right time when the demand for paper products in Cambodia was rising along with the fast expanding economy, which was then hovering at around seven per cent growth per annum.
The country’s business landscape was changing rapidly and fast moving consumer goods were much in demand from consumers, companies and retailers.
MG Pacific is now involved in producing and distributing a wide range of paper products including wet wipes, soft tissue paper, hand towels, facial tissues and toilet seat coverings under the brand name MG, which come in striking green packaging.
“We initially set up a company to import and supply office paper products to companies and banks. I saw that there was a growing demand for a variety of paper products for daily use, whether in bathrooms or dining rooms.
“Since I understand the technical aspects and the market well, I decided to create my own brand and distribute it in the local market,” Socheat – who is MG Pacific’s managing director – told The Post from his office in Phnom Penh.
With a mission to “provide good quality products and services with ease for everyone”, MG Pacific states it vision as to be the partner of choice for investors.
The company, which started off distributing a tonne of paper products, today supplies some 50 tonnes across the Kingdom to meet flourishing demand.
The demand for the most common paper products among consumers – tissue paper and toilet rolls – is constantly on the rise largely due to growing hygienic awareness, rising disposal incomes and urbanisation.
“When we started, we sold around one tonne a month, but from last year we have been selling between 40 and 50 tonnes every month,” Socheat said.
And as well as building its brand at home, MG Pacific is also making waves abroad.
The company won Country Star of the Year at the Asean Business Awards 2020 at an event held in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on November 30.
While MG Pacific products are locally produced, almost 90 per cent of its raw materials are imported, particularly the rolls of paper, something Socheat said he ultimately has ambitions to change.
“Because Cambodia does not have a factory to convert raw materials into finished products, we import more than 90 per cent of our raw materials from China and Indonesia.
“In fact, Cambodia does have raw materials, such as cassava, but we export them and then they are processed into paper and we import them back.
“I plan to change this inefficient system. I want to build a plant to produce all the paper for our products. I am currently looking for investors,” Socheat said.