“Whether you want to do well in politics or excel in business, you need a strong media strategy,” Khek Khamrath, chairwoman of Blue Media, says.
As a teenager, Ms Khemrath, who always enjoyed reading books, volunteered for a local organisation. As part of her placement, she started making documentaries, which she says changed her life and set her on the path to become the chairman of Blue Media, a broadcasting and media production company that boasts strong ties to top government officials.
“I graduated with a major on documentary production. I chose this major because I liked reading books. After graduation, I produced documentaries on topics like the Khmer Rouge, as well as other political subjects,” Ms Khemrath says.
She decided to work on media when she realised there was high demand for media consulting and documentary production services in the country’s public, private and non-profit sectors.
“I studied media as a volunteer at the National Television Station. I studied abroad for some time, and when I came back, I saw clearly that most Cambodians did not have a habit of reading or watching documentaries.
“I saw an opportunity. I realised that if I could develop my filmmaking skills, I could easily find clients,” she says.
Ms Khamrath is the sole owner of Blue Media, a company with more than 60 employees, all of them Cambodian.
The company is divided into three departments, she explains. One deals with the private sectors, another with non-profits, and the remaining one with the government.
Beginning with a team of just five people more than a decade ago, Blue Media officially formalised its operations in 2014, when it registered with the Ministry of Commerce.
“Our work with the government is very successful, which lead some people to conclude that we only work with government officials. Actually, we work with all types of clients,” Ms Khemrath says.
Expanding into PR and consulting
Blue Media’s aims to provide a one-stop service for all media needs, producing advertisements, documentaries, conducting research, as well as doing public relations work and marketing.
“I specialise is PR and I am also a consultant. For instance, I advise institutions on their PR and marketing strategies, and I can provide them with a full suite of marketing solutions.”
Blue Media now has more than 80 contracts with the government and the private sector.
“There is great potential in Cambodia’s media sector. Business, NGO and government leaders strongly demand media and public relations services, and they come to us when they need an effective media solution,” Ms Khemrath says.
“Our goal is to provide a complete media package. We can help you make your brand famous, whether you are a government agency or a private business.”
With a 100 percent local team, Blue Media has expanded fast in recent years.
“I am not worried about the competition out there,” Ms Khemrath says. “Our success is based on good work and on word of mouth. Our clients always recommend us to other companies in their network.”
A leading businesswoman
It is rare to see a woman at the helm of a dynamic and rapidly growing company in Cambodia, a country where cultural norms dictate that women stay home. Ms Khemrath defies those norms.
“It is true that female entrepreneurs face many challenges in Cambodia. However, I never saw my gender as an obstacle. I believe that we can achieve what we set out to do if we put in the work,” Ms Khemrath says.
“My vision for Blue Media is for it to become more than a regular media agency,” she says. “I want people to understand the importance of PR and of having good ties with media outlets. When people understand this, they become much more successful.”