Omuoy Heang is the founder and CEO of Camsolution Technology, a professional software development company in Phnom Penh. She is the Tux Global Institute president, a Japanese funded institute that provides education services in technology and engineering. She is the co-founder of the WeMall, an e-commerce company providing a sustainable e-market for women. Omuoy also co-founded the Tech for Kid to optimize students’ learning and innovation to realize their potential for the job market. She is the winner of the 2019 Cambodia’s Women in Tech Awards. Omuoy was awarded the Technovation 2018 Regional Ambassador of the Year at the Technovation Global World Pitch in San Francisco.
[Below is the highlight of the interview which is edited for clarity]
Q: Hi Omouy!
Q: How are you?
Omuoy: I’m good.
Q: You are occupied with your businesses, including Tech for Kid and Camsolution. How are you going to manage your time for these companies?
Omuoy: Managing time is important. My 100% focus is Camsolution because I am a CEO. Camsolution provides software for other businesses like human resource management systems, sales management systems, and customer management systems to make sure their business is better.
We also create other technology companies to help women in technology and provide the education system for adults and kids, and others. We have key persons for these companies to lead and support the companies to ensure their sustainability, development, and innovations. I mostly spend my time with Camsolution and share some time with other companies. I’m working only with the top leader of each company to manage and operate the companies.
Q: As it’s lots of tasks, how are you going to manage what time to do exercise, having breakfast or so?
Omuoy: I wake up around 6 am. I run or do badminton in the morning. I start work at 7 am. After that, I start to divide my tasks. For instance, I spend the whole morning for Camsolution. I separate time and task to make sure I follow up with each company’s leader. This is how I arrange my time. Allocating time is important. In the evening, I learn Japanese, and at night I learn finance.
Q: How do you allocate your time? Sometimes people cannot manage their time to do that. How can you follow those schedules?
Omuoy: We need to know how to set a clear timeline, such as urgent and important. Second, we need prioritize what day I require myself to focus on what. Sometimes we set our agenda, but we can be flexible based on what is urgent or important. For example, Monday, I focus on Camsolution for the meeting to spend the whole morning for Camsolution. But if there’s any pressing need for Tech for Kids, I will go there first.
Q: You just started another online business, WeMall. You have been in the technology field for many years. Why do you think it is time you should establish an online business?
Omuoy: I have worked on promoting women’s economic empowerment through technology for many years. In November 2019, my friend called me when she visited America. She told me that she could not find Cambodian products online and offline. I told her that we needed to do something about it. I am a problem solver. If I see a problem, I will try to find a way to address it. I commit to delivering a good result.
Then, we made a second call. I told her that we should start e-commerce. It would also help to promote Cambodian products in the market. She was interested in that as well. We wanted to do it. Both of us are working to promote women’s economic empowerment and technology. We can help both women and the economy. So, we decided to create WeMall. Moreover, during this COVID-19, our economy is affected by the pandemic. If we can find a way to promote our product in the local and international markets, it would be good.
Q: I want to ask about Tech for Kid. You co-founded the Tech for Kid. Why did you create it?
Omuoy: I have worked with Technovation, which was a program to promote women’s entrepreneurship. It was a successful program. Through this program, we introduced the world to a new face of Cambodia. We won international awards. Our young people showed their potential and talent on the global platform. Technovation focused on women.
I talked to my co-founder, Lydeth. I wanted to create something for both boys and girls in Cambodia. Then, we started the Tech for Kid. When we talked about the digital economy or Industrial Revolution 4.0, we need to ask ourselves whether or not we have enough resources for that. We don’t have enough resources.
If we recruit teenagers, we see it as challenging because teenagers may have career aspects in mind. If we work with children, it will allow children to learn about technology and innovation. In Japan, young children learn how to code in school. We want to do that in Cambodia. Through Tech for Kid, children brought global awards to Cambodia.
We want to bring Tech for Kid to the regional. We are doing it. We have three important lessons behind the success of Tech for Kid. First, we want to get financial contribution through Tech for Kid, so we create Tech for Kid as a commercial business. We collaborate with other schools to teach children. We use the Tech for Kid’s contribution fees to sponsor needy children who don’t have enough resources to attend school. We also use contribution fee of Tech for Kid for research and development. We also use the fees to support the salary of our team at Tech for Kid. We want to support Technovation as well in the future.
We created Tech for Kid because I have seen human resources’ potential and needs in the innovation and technology sector.
Q: How can children register to study at the Tech for Kid? What are the qualifications?
Omuoy: Children who are interested in technology can register to study at Tech for Kid. They don’t need to be a technician in computer science or other science. Through Tech for Kid, they can understand science to be a digital citizen. If we look at the developed countries, they focus on technology, math, and innovation. I learn from those countries. Instead of criticizing others, I create something. It is also built upon my expertise. I have worked in that field for more than ten years in Cambodia and internationally. We have advisors who support me and give me an advisor. We started at the right time, with the right people, and the right place to be thriving. Tech for Kid has many wonderful stories that have not been seen in Cambodia and this region before.
Q: Can you share those beautiful stories?
Omuoy: In our first year, we received an Asia’s award, cognizing our technology of Smart Assistance Car that reduces traffic accident. Children work with their parents to prototype this product that signals drivers if the drivers are sleepy or the car has any problems.
Q: I want to ask you about Camsolution. What motivated you to establish it?
Omuoy: I established the Camsolution in 2017. Before that, I worked at an Australian bank. The bank used technology to serve its customers. They used technology to speed up their services and reduce stress for their employees. After that, I worked with another international firm in the technology team.
What I learned from my professional career is that the private sector moves in the technology direction. They invest heavily in technology to operate their business and market their business. They transform their businesses into the digital platform. Technology is the back born of the business operation. In Cambodia, the government promotes technology and companies. In the meantime, I have seen that the existing technology business has gaps that make errors. I have heard customers complained about that lot as well. I decided to establish Camsolution to solve this problem.
Q: You are the president of the Tux Global Institute. Why did you take part in this?
Omuoy: I have worked on many Japanese projects through Camsolution. Japanese companies demand a high-quality product. We gain trust and confidence from those Japanese companies. We see that there is a high demand in the technology field. We talk about the digital economy. We talk about the industrial revolution. We talk about artificial intelligence. We don’t have enough resources in this field. I think that we need to train human resources in this field. It can help Cambodians to understand technology. Our workers who work abroad can be technicians, not low-skilled workers. That is the reason to establish Tux Global Institute. I am a president there, yet I don’t get any payment from the institute. I want to contribute to social development. I like this work because it helps our society.
Q: How do you manage and mobilize your team?
Omuoy: Before I talk about the management and mobilize team, I want to talk about trust and honesty. They are a critical component. If we’re going to get a good team member, we must be the person we want to get. When I work with someone, I look at his/her vision, sentiment toward the country and others, and integrity. If they have these qualities, they think about the big thing. We don’t trust people because of two reasons. We know that person, and we don’t trust that person, and we don’t know that person at all. If we want the right person to work with us, we just need to be good ones. If we have different visions, we can still work together but not as a partner in business.
We have a gut feeling. We have worked domestically and internationally. We have met many people. When we first meet someone, we may feel something. I make no judgment. I look at people’s good qualities. People have social media. We can search on social media as well.
Q: What challenges do you face as a female entrepreneur?
Omuoy: I am a married woman. I have a son. I face challenges, and I solve them. In business, I am new to the sector. To progress my business, I need to learn a lot, including managing staff, legal framework, management and operation, and how-to growth the business. I have the right advisors who are in the field for many years. They support me a lot. I keep moving forward.