Chy Sila: From Tour Guide to CEO of Sabay Digital Corporation


Sabay Digital Corporation

Sabay Digital Corporation is one of the best digital media and entertainment companies in Cambodia.

Chy Sila, CEO of Sabay Digital Corporation, has had an entrepreneurial and self-development mindset from a young age. He started business in his early 20s and now is the CEO and founder of many business operations including Sabay Digital Group, Yinkok Food Corp, Sabay MVP, and Major Platinum Cineplex. His latest venture is Kirisu Dairy Farm, a $10 million investment with technology from Israel. 

Born in Kampot province in 1974, Sila completed his diploma at Santhormuk High School in Phnom Penh before majoring in architecture studies at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA). He dropped out of university at 18 and started working to earn money and acquire new skills. 

At a young age, he wanted to become a lawyer as he was very interested in this field, but he wanted to avoid reading books. He then decided to go to RUFA as his family was of artistic origin. His dad, aunt, and uncle were artists, and his mom was one of the very rare journalists in the 1990s.

His first job was as a tour guide and then he moved to an advertising agency. In 1997, he started his own business with only $500. The business sold gaming CDs. Sila’s company grew during the late 1990s and early 2000s until he decided to move his focus from pirated CDs to fast food. In 2007, he began investing in Cambodia’s then-growing digital business and launched Sabay, a media company. He also serves on the board of Cambodia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC).

Talking to a large audience of students during the BarCamp Asean Tech conference at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia in 2019, Sila said that he saw digital business as an opportunity in Cambodia, a country that is still developing in the right direction. He said that the major challenges of doing business in Cambodia are first and foremost the human resources in the digital workforce (deep learning). In terms of challenges during the pandemic, Sila sees this as an opportunity to grow and develop and to do some reflection.

Sila said he believes that digital media will definitely overtake traditional media and that there are a lot of opportunities in this sector. He also pointed out that the future is in technology, Artificial Intelligence, big data, and Industry 4.0.

When asked about work ethic and advice, Sila said that young Cambodians who want to become successful entrepreneurs, have to work hard, make the right decisions, and put in twice the effort they put into working for other people.

Sila’s life vision is to bring happiness (Sabay) and positive change to society. This is how he got his name for his company. He believes that bringing happiness to youth is the same as bringing positive change in society.