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Ath Sokuntheary and Teav Ly Eang are aspiring youngsters working in management positions with international banks in Cambodia. Management Insider talked to them about the challenges of working to international standards and their vision of good management.



Ath Sokuntheary, 29, was born in Cambodia and moved to the US with her family at the age of 11. After returning in 2010, she worked with Pannasastra University and Canadia Bank before taking the position as director of transactions banking and home loans at ANZ Royal four months ago.


What is the appeal of working for an international bank?
In international banks, there are established infrastructures and processes. Moreover, ANZ has a very good training and development programme and this is what I was looking for. I wanted to be exposed to other markets. I think, to be successful in any role, you have to experience other markets.

What are the essential requirements for your position?
In my opinion, there are three requirements: Firstly, you have to have passion – you have to be passionate about the role and the business itself. Next, you need to be insightful when making decisions. You have to use forward thinking to get a sense of the outlook for your strategies. Lastly, as a manager, I need strong interpersonal skills. Each day brings many different tasks, making communication with stakeholders, both internally and externally, crucial.

What has working for ANZ taught you?
I have learned how to stay on top of things, how to empower a team that has different sets of personalities, and how to work under tight pressure and back-to-back deadlines. I also participated in two workshops, one about coaching skills and one about the “seven habits of highly effective people.” Each of these workshops was organised by ANZ and ran over two full days.

You have an important position at ANZ. How do you manage to always perform to your full capacity?
First, I believe it is important to have good planning. I review my to-do-list every day. Also, I maintain sight of the big picture: for every task that I do, it is important to understand what is the key objective and which outcome I want to get out of it. Secondly, you have to like what you do, to be committed and to follow through the task until you achieve the result that you set for yourself.



Teav Ly Eang, 26, has been a sales and branch manager for Crédit Mutuel Kampuchea (CMK) for more than three years. Prior to that, he was a hotel manager.



Why did you decide to work for an international company?
It was a combination of choice and a chance opportunity. Having been an intern in France, I was quite aware of the French commercial system at an international level; enjoying that experience led me to choose this sector. But CMK chose me too: I had the opportunity to meet the director a couple of times, then one day he invited me to a job interview.

What are the essential requirements for your position?
For this job, you need to be dynamic, very organised, and a good team player. You also need to know how to plan, how to manage a team, how to be diplomatic…. It is important to always have new ideas and to know your competitors. You have to remain open to everyone’s concerns: customers and staff.

What has working for CMK taught you?
I have learned a lot about finance and the banking sector. I have also learned to be more professional in my work and to respect the processes, which are stricter here. Working in a hotel and working in a bank are totally different. I have also learned how to work with expatriates.

You have an important position at CmK. How do you manage to always perform to your full capacity?
Even in a high position, we cannot be on the top all the time…. That’s why it is really important for me to respect people I work with and give them value. Then, I can lean on them later if I need.

What do you do in your free time?
Besides work, I love spending time with my friends, Cambodian and expatriates. We talk a lot. I also like meeting new people. I do some sport, and I like to ride my motorbike in some small villages outside the city. I also MC events and do volunteer work with some NGOs.

What is the most important thing in your professional life?
Respecting and listening to everybody is essential for me. I have been a grassroots worker and I didn’t like my boss’ attitude at times. Today, I manage 60 people and I try to avoid the mistakes my former boss made. I give value and respect to people, and then I am also respected.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I will probably be running my own business.


Words and Photographs by Pierre-Yves Devroute