Khmer Times’ May Kunmakara sits down with Pong Limsan, founder and CEO of First Womentech Asia, the company behind an innovative solution to digitalise healthcare systems. Their healthcare solution, known as Peth Yoeung, is now being used in 97 hospitals and clinics across the country and received the Cambodian Women ICT Entrepreneur Award this year.
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KT: Can you tell us about Peth Yoeung? How does it work?
Ms Limsan: Peth Yoeung has been in beta testing since late 2016 and it has already been installed in 97 public and private hospitals, clinics, and dental clinics.
The programme has been developed with security in mind, so users can rest assured that is safe. The software can be accessed via a URL for cloud storage and via an internet service provider for those that want to set up their own server.
Peth Yoeung is flexible and scalable and will meet the needs of players in the sector. It helps hospital and clinic owners save money while increasing service quality and efficiency through automation. It eliminates the possibility of human error and saves companies time.
KT: Tell us about your journey as a female entrepreneur in Cambodia.
Ms Limsan: First of all, let me say that I think women are not the only ones that face challenges when starting their own business here. I am sure male entrepreneurs also face similar difficulties, such as striving for work-life balance.
Our family is probably not very traditional. It is not like most families in Cambodia. For example, our kids spend all day at school, while my husband and I go to the office. We are all back home in the evening, and we all have dinner together. My husband and I take turns coming home early to spend time with the kids and help them with their homework.
We lead very busy lives. Fortunately, my husband is very conscious of gender equality issues and will always come home earlier to take care of the kids if needed. He wants to see women play a bigger role in Cambodian society, particularly in the technology sector.
My husband and my kids are happy with my career choices and support me in what I am doing. We are taking this journey together. Making sure we spend enough time together is a priority, so we usually book Sundays for family time.
KT: Do you think the government is doing enough to help female entrepreneurs?
Ms Limsan: Yes. The government has been helping female entrepreneurs quite a lot. There are a few different programmes to support female entrepreneurs, such as the Cambodian Women ICT Entrepreneur Award, which we won this year. There is also the Cambodian Women Entrepreneurship Association. These are just a few examples of ways the government is helping us.
KT: The government is focusing on developing a digital economy. How would you describe the current state of the tech industry in Cambodia?
Ms Limsan: The tech sector in our country is still in the early stages of development. The government, the private sector, and NGOs must cooperate more to upskill the labour force and meet the needs of the market. A fund to support tech startups would be the best strategy to boost the sector.
KT: What are your plans for Peth Yoeung in the near future?
Ms Limsan: The next step is to scale up nationwide and be present in more private and public hospitals. Now we started working with Preah Ang Duong Hospital and, if we are successful, we will start working with other public hospitals in the country. We plan to develop new features and tools as users demand them, including fintech, medical and healthcare resources, and telemedicine platforms.