Cambodia is still one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia. The locals do not have the same level of education as people from more developed countries do, many have never attended school, but they strive to do their best and are eager to learn and improve. That was the aim of Ken Oishi and Kristin Holdø Hansen, a Norwegian couple who opened Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in 2007. Ken was born in Oslo, made the project possible and is the financial investor and the sponsor of the company; Kristin was born in Sandefjord (Norway) and is the educator and the sustainability advisor at Soria Moria. Both of them have years of experience in the hospitality industry, as well as in business development, management and corporate finance. Ken is half Japanese and half Norwegian, so he has always had interest in Asian cultures and peoples: while establishing his company in Cambodia, he wanted to help the Siem Reap community believe in a better future. The case of Sokha Sam, the General Manager at Soria Moria, can be taken as a model for the ones who want to write a different story of their lives. Sokha is a Cambodian woman who comes from a very poor family: after she graduated in high school, she looked for a job and she applied to several positions. One day, she had an interview at 9 am in the morning, she made a good impression even if she could not speak English, and she was hired and ready to work at 12 pm the same day. She first worked as a dishwasher at Kristin’s first guesthouse; then, she was moved to the kitchen and later on promoted in the present front-office position at Soria Moria.
Business Website: http://thesoriamoria.com/
Year Founded: 2007
Number of Employees: 11-50