Visiting South East Asia
( by Tew Bee Lay, Sales Manager )

A Place Full of Legend, Phnom Penh, Combodia

I am assigned to study the market of South East Asia and one of the processes is to have meetings with local people from the industry. My first stop was Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Phnom Penh or translated as “The Hill of Lady Penh” is a place full of legend. The name itself came from a story about an old Lady named Duan Penh, who fished a floating koki tree from the water, and inside the tree were five Buddha statues. Upon the discovery of the divine blessing, she raised a small hill with a shrine to house the statues at the site known as Wat Phnom ('phnom' is Khmer for 'hill.'). This hill later took on the name of the founder, Lady Penh, and the area around it became - Phnom Penh.

Despite their tragic past, Cambodia today is considered relatively stable. Poverty is widespread in this country but there is also progress. From my personal point of view, Phnom Penh has changed from a quiet town to a bustling place since my previous visit, 5 years ago. Traffic jams were an alien term then, but now the central town roads were congested with many new and old vehicles. Motorcyclist and horse-drawn carts shared roads with luxury cars. Modern shops and restaurants peek from between beautiful, if crumbling, examples of French architecture buildings. There are numerous new buildings around the city centre but the

Wat Phnom
MK Ng & his staff

general economy is quite slow. According to Mr. MK Ng, from Hong Kong, who has been staying in Cambodia for more than 10 years, the economic downturn had forced closures of various garment factories due to less demand from the United States.

Visited a few companies around Phnom Penh made me realized that the demand and awareness of Fingerprint Time Attendance and Access Control Systems here is still at its infancy stage. With the current economic slowdown in Cambodia, it would require some time to create the awareness and educational activities in this region for this type of industry.  Presently, there are only a handful of companies doing fingerprint products but as the world economy is recovering, I am optimistic that there will be a gradual demand for fingerprint solutions.

The Land of Traffic Jams, Bangkok, Thailand

From the Place Full of Legend, I flew to the Place full of traffic jams –“Rot Titt”. In travel brochures, Thailand is often portrayed as the 'Land of Smiles'.

The scare of H1N1 flu did not deter people from traveling to Bangkok.  The flight from Phnom Penh to Bangkok was full and I was caught in a traffic jam for more than an hour before I reached the hotel. I booked a room near the Nana BTS station; a place congested with tourists and non-stop traffic jams.   Tourism business is still reasonably good here but due to its political instability, the economy has slowed down.

The hot and humid weather of Bangkok makes my train rides to the potential clients place everyday exhausting. Equipped with some demo units and my computer bag I had to do what I had to do and this was the best way to avoid the terrible Bangkok traffic jams and its cut-throat taxi charges.

CS Retail System’s Office
S & V Communication Service Network’s office


According to the latest news in the local newspaper, the economy of Thailand has survived the recession in the second quarter of the year. Feedback from business community however, voiced a different story. Projects are scarce and not much calls for enquiries, so the truth of the matter is, crisis is not yet over. With a population of 64 million people, Thailand has great potential in creating waves of demand for Time Attendance and Access Control market when the crisis subsides. This industry is not new here but in order to penetrate, we need to have our materials ready in decent Thai language.

Discussions with some of the potential companies make me realize that having unique products would create better value for the brand in this market. FingerTec products have not really “step” into the Thailand market but there is a high hope that with committed resellers, quality products, dedicated marketing efforts, online sales and technical support, 28-month warranty period plus SDK solutions, there is no doubt we would be able to have a breakthrough. It is the beginning of a new challenge.

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