HINRICH SCHOLARSHIPDe La Salle University
Master of Business Administration, Class of 2013
CURRENT EMPLOYMENTFounder and Managing Director
SEB Enterprise Builder, Battamban, Cambodia
“A Hinrich scholar learns to listen. Then responds in meaningful ways.”
For Rotha Chhoem, success is to accomplish a goal. It is to keep a value in place, whether in terms of academics, career or family.
What makes success complete for him is a clear emphasis on the value system that one holds dear. His fresh and balanced perspective lends equal importance to personal as well as professional growth.
Inspiring role model
Rotha holds a bachelor’s degree in Management at Battambang University in Cambodia. He strived hard to gain work experience as an Agriculture Value Chain Officer to facilitate market linkages between the farming community and buyers of agricultural products. “I have seen so much poverty that I feel education is the only way to change things,” Rotha said.
“I also had a burning desire to bring Cambodian products into global markets and see them appreciated for their high quality and intrinsic value. That prompted me to enrich myself with required knowledge skills to bring this dream to life.”
Opportunities to learn and grow
In 2011, the Hinrich Foundation awarded Rotha the Hinrich Global Trade Leader scholarship to study an MBA at De La Salle University-Manila. After graduating in 2013, he worked at the Hinrich Foundation to lead the Export Assistance Program Cambodia, where he worked closely with other HF alumni until 2015.
Rotha (right) manning the Hinrich Foundation booth with fellow Cambodia alumni Sophal Bun (left) and Sophorn Huy (center) at the Global Sources Export Trade Show in Hong Kong, April 2015.
“It was my first job where I was engaging with people from different countries. I cherished those days because during that time, I learned to listen more and then respond in meaningful ways. It was when I learned to support my team in planning and training, and honed my marketing skills to help Cambodia small and medium companies to get export orders.”
In 2016, Rotha returned to Battambang University to work as Marketing Manager. He promoted the university’s academic program to encourage parents to send their children for higher studies. In many ways, he felt that advocating education at the community level was the right way for creating impact. He also used his two years at the university to promote business concepts, social media awareness and entrepreneurial mindset among young students.
Rotha (seated) conducted a Hinrich Foundation Alumni Association (HFAA) professional development workshop on Communication for Success held January 2018 at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center. Fellow Cambodia alumni attended the event. Standing from left to right: Tola Ean, Pheana Sopheak, Sophorn Huy, Leanghort Sok and Sophal Bun.
In 2019, Hong Kong-based B2B online platform Global Sources offered Rotha a position as a Business Consultant to oversee the Cambodia operations. Rotha enjoys his role of supporting Cambodia suppliers and producers to connect with global buyers.
Rotha’s heart lies in driving development for the people of his country. “I want Cambodia to move from a developing economy to a developed economy.” Rotha said. “I think I’ve been able to make headway into my dream of changing the Cambodia business landscape by pursuing a career in export trade with Global Sources. Through this role, we are able to help create more jobs for the underprivileged and use local resources native to Cambodia.”
Rotha wishes to continue providing trainings and workshops for suppliers to develop their skills in export sales, digital marketing, business planning and product development.