This paper highlights the potential Cambodian pioneers who have built businesses based on innovative and creative ideas, with the aim of fostering innovation and entrepreneurial skills among Cambodians to advance the agricultural sector.
About Kirirom Food Production (KFP)
Driven by her family’s passion for agriculture, Ms. Chhorn Dalis, the founder of KFP, established a mango processing factory in Phnom Penh. The company transforms mangoes into value-added dried products, extending their shelf life up to two years.
By sourcing 80% of its mangoes from local farmers, KFP directly contributes to reducing food waste and empowering local farmers. Their commitment to sustainability extends to their production process, where they utilize mango skins and seeds for composting and recycling water to conserve resources.
A Commitment to Quality and Market Expansion
Currently, KFP exports 95% of its products to international markets, with the remaining 5% sold domestically. Recognizing the mango’s untapped potential, the company is considering expanding its product line to include mango purée and juice, further utilizing the available mangoes and catering to a wider range of consumer preferences.
Overcoming Challenges Through Continuous Learning and Innovation
The early years of KFP were marked by several challenges, including limited technical expertise, limited market access, and a small team. To tackle this challenge, they proactively recruited young graduates equipped with food processing expertise, sought the guidance of consultants, and sought market opportunities by establishing an online presence. As their customer base expanded and their knowledge deepened through ongoing interactions, they continuously refined their mango processing and business management strategies.
Reaping the Rewards of Perseverance and Sustainability
The fourth and fifth years marked a turning point for KFP. With the support of the consultants and a rapidly expanding customer base, the company was able to achieve remarkable success. Their dedication to quality and sustainability has enabled them to compete effectively with larger companies, generating monthly sales of $900,000 worth of dried mangoes while minimizing waste throughout the process.
Message to the Young Entrepreneurs
Prioritizing value creation is essential for any business, but it is equally crucial to conduct thorough research on what business you want to do, adopt innovative ideas, and pursue continuous improvement. Financial resources are equally important, so ensure you have enough capital to mitigate potential losses. Ms. Dalis advises, “Always be prepared for the difficulties that you will face when doing business”.