Koung Soritha, CEO of Ocean Technology, at her office in Phnom Penh last week.
Koung Soritha, CEO of Ocean Technology, at her office in Phnom Penh last week. Pha Lina

Tech supplier charts path with GPS

Sales of technology products are soaring in Cambodia as companies and individuals pursue the latest gadgets and innovations to facilitate their daily activities. The Post’s Cheng Sokhorng spoke to Koung Sorita, CEO of Ocean Technology Co Ltd and one of 10 outstanding Cambodian women entrepreneurs to receive an award at the Asean Women’s Business Conference in Manila last week.

What made you decide to start Ocean Technology?
I started as a businesswoman working in the technology sector in 2010 after I got married and discussed with my husband about the new opportunities in a growing and sustainable market. Together we came up with the idea of starting a company that sells GPS (Global Positioning System) technology for tracking systems and fleet management for trucking companies.

How has your company grown?
The business started with an initial investment of about $20,000 and operated out of a small flat house. At first it was a bit difficult to build trust with our clients as we were newcomers and consumers had limited knowledge of technology, especially GPS. However, because of my passion and confidence about the high-quality imported GPS products we provided I slowly built up my market. I started with just a few staff and have since upgraded to a big space and more than 15 staff, all qualified and with tech experience.

What are the commercial applications of GPS?
The quality GPS products that we sell monitor the security of motor vehicles including cars, container trucks and trucks that haul fuel. We also have different price options for our products, maintenance services and data storage options for tracking movements. Our clients can check online to track the vehicles and save the history of their locations and movements.

The technology we sell is compatible with both Android and iOS systems, and can be accessed by computer as well. As long as our clients have access to the internet, they can check the locations of their vehicles through our licensed partnership with Google maps.

What are your most popular GPS applications and how are they being used in Cambodia?
Most of our clients are looking to be able to trust that they are not at risk of being cheated or stolen from, especially when tracking fuel shipments. The GPS tracking helps them to manage and control many things including speed, alerts of location, real-time movements and start-and-stop engine reports.

What map do you use for your products and applications and how frequently is it updated?
Because we have a licence to operate from Google, the map that clients use is generally continuously being updated by the company to show the clearest and most accurate points. Google handles all the satellite mapping technology.

Who is your target customer?
Our main target customers are businesses and organisations that have a fleet of vehicles. Despite Ocean’s modest beginning, the company has established itself as a credible partner for customers from various walks of life. We have both individual and corporate clients such as Lucky Group, DKSH and Royal Group, as well as local and international organisations such as the Asia Foundation, Oxfam, UNDP and various embassies. Recently, we established a business partnership with a company in Belarus.

Have government regulations or restrictions on GPS technology had any effect on your operations?
There are no government regulations or restrictions on the use of GPS systems, but we want to cooperate with the government in order to control the security and speed of driving, especially a collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation. It could be very beneficial to society to use GPS technology to control the speed of trucks and vehicles in order to prevent road accidents.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.