TE Thary and Chea Tongleang are a lucky couple. The owners of the Good Luck Furniture Shop have recently opened a second shop, Good Luck Electrics, in addition to their hotel, also called Good Luck.
“We have lived in Poipet a long time, and we wanted to set up a business for our son and daughter,” Te Thary, 50, says of the couple’s latest business venture.
“Before that, we had a shop selling furniture and everything for the home, and we built this shop to sell electrical equipment.”
Judging by the brand-new electrical goods, including flat-screen TVs, washing machines, kitchen equipment, air-conditioning units and microwaves, business would appear to be good.
About three years ago, the couple took out a loan from ACLEDA Bank for US$100,000.
“When we repaid that loan, we expanded the site and got another loan for $100,000,” Chea Tongleang, 50, says.
“We borrowed that money to expand the site, to buy more equipment to sell and to run our guesthouse and restaurant.”
Although Te Thary says business is growing steadily, she is still looking for further investment to expand their businesses. “Business will grow very well if we have more capital to buy more products, so we can expand and sell more,” she says.
Although the couple buy some equipment from Thailand, their market is in and around Poipet.
“Everything’s good,” Te Thary says.
The couple established the Good Luck Hotel four years ago.
“We decided to set up the hotel because downstairs we had our shop and upstairs we had a room for people to rent,” Te Thary says.
Although some foreign tourists stay at the hotel, most of their custom is from Khmers staying a night en route to Bangkok.
“The foreigners stay here before they go to Siem Reap,” Chea Tong-leang says.
The continuing success of this industrious couple is dependent on a peaceful resolution of the current border dispute.
“If the situation between Thailand and Cambodia is good, there are a lot of travellers coming through and our business is good,” Te Thary says.
“But if they have a conflict again, then nobody will travel and business will not be so good.
“If Thailand and Cambodia do not have more conflict in the future, more people will be interested in visiting Poipet.”
INTERPRETER: RANN REUY