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Our3Q – Soria Moria, Cambodia

Samnieng – manager of the Soria Moria – Hotel which for 51% belongs to the employees, who after one year of work become also owners. Soria Moria supports many local NGOs and social enterprises, organizes trainings and education opportunities for their workers and cares about the environment.


Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?

Soria Moria’s biggest success of is our program for employee education. We put a lot of attention in training them and we can see the results. Their work improved, at the beginning some of them couldn’t read and write or didn’t know how to work with customers. Among our workers there are farmers who never went to school, but thanks to our system everybody learns. Other hotels don’t do that, they just hire educated staff. In fact, some of the workers, after gaining experience in Soria Moria, found better job in other places and we are proud of that.


Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?

From the business point of view the biggest challenge is competition. Besides being a social enterprise, we are just a normal business; competition and market is the same for us as for other hotels. We are the first choice only for a small number of travelers, who want to support our project. Most of them don’t care. They just want to stay in a nice hotel. And the number of nice hotels in Siem Reap is very high. Another challenge is more internal. Some employees don’t really see what we are doing in the project. They don’t understand the ownership idea; often they just wait for income, profits, without being able to think bigger, from the owner position.


Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?

Training and set up sessions. We need to work regularly with our staff, explain them what it means running the business, that we need to care about improving the service, about development. We need them to understand, to participate. To think not only about their own income, but also how to cut down the cost of the hotel and still improve the quality. They have to feel owners. This is our big goal. To improve our business side we need to make our customers happy so they come again or introduce us to friends. We have to cooperate with other agencies, especially tour agencies. Those two things are the most important. We don’t really want to get grants. It’s quite hard to get grant and it doesn’t feel good when we get money to run, we try our best to earn our own money for what we are doing.


Would you like to add something more?

One of the most interesting things in our hotel is the ownership. 51% of hotel belongs to its employees. We have special formula to calculate it. Employee has to work one year, after that time he/she gets ownership. The percent of ownership is calculated base on three factors: how long somebody works, what is his/her responsibility and what is his/her salary. They don’t have to pay for ownership, but they also can’t sell it. When they leave the job their part is going to somebody else. Another important thing is that we support several other social enterprises and NGOs from the city, for example by giving them space to sell their products. We are also involved in several programs, for example Child Safe. What is more, we care about environment and generally make all our decisions as responsible as possible.


The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.


Siem Reap, Cambodia, 10th December, 2015

ID: 015/100


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