Cambodia Investment Review

Rising Giants e93: Ley Kamthong Discusses 10x Customer Growth & Regional Expansion Plans For CheckinMe

Rising Giants e93: Ley Kamthong Discusses 10x Customer Growth & Regional Expansion Plans For CheckinMe

Cambodia Investment Review

On episode 93 of the Rising Giants Podcast, Ley Kamthong CEO and co-founder of CheckinMe, unraveled his extraordinary journey, which began in rural Cambodia and led him to helm a successful tech startup as well as the startups ambitious 10x customer growth and regional expansion plans. The discussion took place at the Choice Accelerator co-working space in BKK3, Phnom Penh with co-hosts Max Thornton and Dom Kalousek. CheckinMe is a SaaS business that automates the workplace via a attendance recoding solution through QR code mobile technology.

Read more: Rising Giants e92 – Lida Loem Discusses Women Empowerment and the Entrepreneurial Journey

Ley opened the conversation detailing he was born in rural Cambodia, and attended Norton University, where he was deeply inspired by computer science, particularly algorithms. Post-graduation, he joined the Phnom Penh International Airport team, granting him access to international events and exposure to global tech advancements.

Ley Kamthong CEO and co-founder of CheckinMe.

“After my local education I moved to India where I witnessed the transformative power of technology driven by smart phones. In 2015, Cambodia hadn’t yet experienced the fintech and digital revolution that has occurred over the past 8 years since. This at the time fueled my drive to bring about similar changes in my country,” Ley explained.

‘Best Tech Start-Up’ by the Ministry of Posts and Telecoms

After attempting a budding start-up venture in the education sector, Ley moved to Japan, further expanding his knowledge and skills. His time in Japan, coupled with his stint as IT Manager for Cellcard back in Cambodia, afforded him the opportunity to connect with developers, investors, and businesspeople. These experiences eventually led to the successful launch of PAPA Deliver’ in 2019, a delivery aggregator platform, and CheckinMe, for which he has received numerous awards, including ‘Best Tech Start-Up’ by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Discussing the difference between the tech sectors of India, Japan, and Cambodia, Ley commented, “In Cambodia, the start-up ecosystem was in its infancy when compared to India. However, upon returning to Cambodia, I was able to learn from the initial start-up founders in Phnom Penh. Japan, on the other hand, offered high-tech infrastructure and a deep contrast with Cambodia’s tech scene, allowing me to identify where improvements could be made back home.”

Ley Kamthong CEO and co-founder of CheckinMe.

When asked about the motivation to dive into e-commerce, Ley highlighted the story of a restaurant owner struggling with staff attendance and punctuality. Identifying this as a recurring issue across many businesses in Cambodia, he saw an opportunity to leverage technology to offer a solution, and thus, CheckinMe was born. The solution has since expanded beyond the F&B and retail sectors to include hospitals, accounting firms, and more.

“In addition to addressing attendance issues, we’re developing features to assist with productivity. For example, we’ve recently added the holiday request and OT approvals through our app. We’re also exploring ways to monitor staff outside the office,” added Ley.

The process of onboarding clients has also evolved significantly. From taking 3 to 5 days initially, 2022 CheckinMe can onboard a client within 2 hours. However, now Ley is executing the instant onboarding, with the introduction of a self-onboarding feature for tech-savy users via a free trial through their payment gateway.

Growing the paid customer base from 1,000 to 10,000

When asked about team-building challenges, Ley stated, “Building and leading a team can be challenging. However, in Cambodia, we believe in leading by example. My co-founders and I focus on setting the right examples and investing in career development for our younger team members.”

Addressing operational costs in a SaaS business, Ley noted, “Maintaining a transparent dialogue with our investors is key. Our operational expenses don’t change drastically with an increase in clients, as we leverage automated technology to a great extent.”

Ley Kamthong CEO and co-founder of CheckinMe.

Ley’s future vision includes incorporating AI into CheckinMe to stay competitive. “We aim to apply AI to better help our customers in the next 3 to 5 years,” he shared. His expansion plans include growing the paid customer base in Cambodia from 1,000 to 10,000 over the next three years, expanding into Thailand and Indonesia in 2024, and continuously improving and adding new features to CheckinMe’s services.

The podcast ended on a personal note with Ley sharing his daily rituals, preferences, and his major influences like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. His best advice for entrepreneurs was twofold, “Don’t find customers for your products, instead build products for your customers want and ensure you have mentors or advisors for different parts of your business and personal growth.”

Listen to the full podcast here.

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