Chann Borima: CEO and Co-Founder of Nham24

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With experience in marketing and an interest in e-commerce and technology, Chann Borima is the CEO and Co-Founder of Nham24, a very well-known food delivery app in Cambodia.

Nham24 is an inspiring, successful story for aspiring entrepreneurs to look up to.

Being the first Cambodian start-up to make food delivery easy, Nham24 has become synonymous with convenience. It was especially popular among young Cambodians during the pandemic. During that time, social distancing and citywide lockdowns prompted the surge in delivery service adoption. Rapid user adoption, which may have taken years to develop, happened overnight. This gave start-ups a glimpse of hope for getting through a tough time. Since 2019, Nham24 has scaled its operations to keep up with growing demand.

Convenience and time-saving drove the adoption of e-commerce among young Cambodians. Many Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) have pivoted their services to meet the growing online demand. 

Across Phnom Penh, motorbike food-delivery riders are delivering meals to the customers’ doorsteps. Nham24 is one among several others who are setting this trend, changing the life of people in the Cambodian capital. 

The Co-Founder behind the food delivery start-up

In 2016, at the age of 42, Borima founded Nham24 along with technology-experts. Borima is a sales and marketing graduate from the National University of Management. He also has a Masters in Business Administration from Charles Sturt University in Australia. Prior to starting up his own business, he worked as a marketing manager in various companies such as Tobacco 555, Coca-Cola, Mfone, and Population Services International, for 20 years.

As a young boy, he always dreamt of opening his own company. He became interested in e-commerce, while attending university. A US website selling books attracted his attention and sparked a fire. Why not have an online shopping website in Cambodia? However, during that time, he lacked financial resources, and the market for the industry was not open yet. 

Just before Borima founded Nham24, he moved to the hospitality industry area in Siem Reap. There, he was introduced to booking.com (an online hotel reservation service) and how it has grown globally. This kicked-off his passion. Not only is Borima married, but he also has 3 children. He explained that this meant he had less time to go out and eat. He became tired of commuting to restaurants far away from his office. He needed the food to come to him, not the other way around. So, he decided to take a chance, leave his full-time job and Nham24 was born.

The key ingredients to start a business in Cambodia

According to Borima, there are two key factors when starting a small business: the passion and the understanding of the market.

“Failure is not an option” was his vision, when starting up Nham24.

He saw that food delivery services were mostly directed to expat communities. There was a big gap in the market: food delivery for Cambodians.

Nham24 has direct competition with a number of delivery start-ups in Cambodia, such as Meal Temple, FoodPanda, Bloc and GrabMart.

Borima’s goal for Nham24 is that it becomes a “Super App in Cambodia”. Today, Nham24 is not only a food delivery app but also offers services like grocery shopping, e-commerce, item delivery and transportation.  He wants this multi-purpose app to be available in various provinces of Cambodia.

Under Borima’s leadership, Nham is supported by Mekong Strategic Partner (MSP) as one of its investors. They provide equity investment and strategic guidance. 

In a recent interview, with a local media outlet, the Cambodian entrepreneur declared that during crises and times of uncertainty, “The lesson is to not wait for others to act. Take your destiny in your own hands. Don’t be afraid to make decisions, and don’t shy away from asking others for help and advice.”