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  • Writer's pictureSovanpidor Ham

Growing a Family Business GenZ Style: Chakriya’s Story

Updated: May 22, 2023

Published on Sep 24, 2021

We often come across frequent comparisons in the media between two generations of people: Millennials and GenZ. These comparisons highlight the differences in communication, thinking, and overall lifestyle between the two. When it comes to bringing these two generations together in the workplace, it can be quite a challenge. The outcome can either be a disaster or a great success. Chakriya, a twenty-year-old Cambodian daughter from a family of farmers, has experienced the latter.

Born and raised in Kampong Cham province, Chakriya comes from a family with a long history of relying on agriculture for their livelihood. Growing up, she was always encouraged to study hard and strive to "get away from this farm life." Farming was a challenging endeavor for her family, and her parents wanted to provide her with better educational opportunities. Several decades ago, her parents expanded their business to include fruit and vegetable cultivation, as well as beekeeping on their farm in Koh Soten, Kampong Cham. Chakriya always had the desire to contribute to the growth of the family business, but she never had the opportunity to do so due to a lack of access to essential business skills training or mentorship.

Two years ago, Chakriya moved to Phnom Penh to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in Food Science and Technology. Being in the city provided her with opportunities to explore her interests and engage in activities she loved, all while keeping her family in mind. During her journey, she actively volunteered and participated in social projects, some of which utilized social media platforms to connect with and engage new audiences. Prior to learning about InSTEDD's training, an innovative pilot project in collaboration with DAI's Digital Asia Accelerator, a USAID-funded initiative, Chakriya and her friend managed a Facebook Page for a digital book charity campaign that successfully collected over 3,000 books for the community. This experience further sparked her interest in communications and the social media landscape.

As Chakriya delved into working with various social media platforms during the charity campaign, she discovered the ideal way to support her family's business. She chose to focus on her family's honey business, which is operated by her dad and uncle, as she learned that they were looking to expand their online presence in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Although her uncle had already created a Facebook Page called "Red Bee" earlier in the year, it had not effectively boosted sales or fostered customer engagement online. Initially, Chakriya expressed her lack of confidence in managing a Facebook page for business purposes, despite her experience in handling campaigns and pages for charitable causes. The challenge became apparent when she agreed to assume responsibility for her uncle's page. Recognizing the need for guidance, she was determined to seek support.

In March 2021, Chakriya discovered the announcement on Facebook about the InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia's "SMEs/MSMEs Digital Upskill Program," and she promptly submitted her application. Upon being selected, she dedicated two days to attend training sessions focused on digital marketing, storytelling, and online safety. Following the training, she actively engaged in weekly one-on-one coaching sessions.

Due to a Covid-19 outbreak, all training and mentoring sessions were conducted online using platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, and occasionally through phone calls.

After the sessions, Chakriya reflected on the valuable lessons she learned from the course, with the most useful one being how to identify stories and content ideas and transform them into engaging visuals using open resources like Canva, which was introduced to her during the course. Chakriya found Canva to be a simple yet highly effective tool and continues to use it in managing the Red Bee page even after completing the training.

After the coaching sessions with InSTEDD's coach, Pidor, Chakriya expressed, "I had never considered those storytelling ideas before we started working together." She mentioned that one aspect that stood out about InSTEDD's program was the high level of motivation provided through the training and coaching, which kept her inspired and motivated to continue.

Throughout the training, Chakriya kept her family informed about her plan to expand the business using an online platform. She maintained close communication with them, obtaining raw social media material for refinement. Presently, the Red Bee Facebook page is more active and creative than ever before. With a hint of excitement in her voice, Chakriya stated, "I have received significant engagement from the public that I had never experienced before. We have also received some orders."

Before the training, Chakriya had minimal engagement on her Facebook page. However, after applying the lessons learned, she has gained approximately 40-50 new followers, and the number continues to increase.

Chakriya and her parents have found a great balance: she takes care of the digital presence, while they focus on cultivating excellent products.

This is an example of her content before and after joining the training.

Before the training

After the Training

In the future, Chakriya plans to balance her schooling and work life while keeping the Red Bee page active and producing regular content. She aims to apply the lessons from the InSTEDD training and her experience with community-focused social media campaigns to continuously boost her family's business. Chakriya is proud to be the daughter of a farming family and a smart GenZ citizen who effectively utilizes digital tools to advance her family's business.

Only time will reveal the extent of their online journey and its potential for growth.



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