Editor’s note: In Cambodia, there is a group of Chinese people who are confident, courageous, and hardworking. They use their own efforts to pursue a happy life and help the local economic and social development. Entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, couriers… They come from all walks of life, but they have the same name- ‘Dream Chaser’. Let us take a look at their dream time and listen to their Cambodian stories.
“Cambodia is my second home and the starting point of my dreams.” From the initial discomfort, to acceptance and then to falling in love with this hot land, Wu Xiaochun, a girl from Jianshui County, Yunnan, took 11 years to complete her dreams.
In September 2008, Wu Xiaochun, who studied Cambodian at Yunnan Nationalities University, and her classmates came to Cambodia to study at Royal University of Phnom Penh. “On the first day, I slept on the floor of a rental house without air-conditioning and fans. I was so hot and sweaty. I was resistant to everything here.”
In this difficult year of adapting, Wu Xiaochun met Huang Fengman, the first “noble man” in Cambodia. This down-to-earth man from Hubei successfully captured her heart, and the two began to date. It was this love affair that made Wu Xiaochun, who did not intend to work in Cambodia, choose to return to the country after graduation.
After graduating in 2010, Wu Xiaochun joined Zhejiang Zhengbang Hydropower Co., Ltd. as a Khmer translator. During this period, she met Lu Yaofu, the second “noble man” in Cambodia. As Wu Xiaochun’s project manager, Lu Yaofu set high standards and strict requirements on her in business, but gave her a lot of care in life. In just two years, Wu Xiaochun not only did a good job of translation, but also mastered basic accounting knowledge.
In January 2011, after Wu Xiaochun married her boyfriend Huang Fengman, under the recommendation of Lu Yaofu, the couple bit the bullet and accepted the first small project that no one else looked up to— a remodeling of factory land in Koh Kong province. “In order to save costs, I really wished to move bricks and pick cement myself.” Due to transportation needs, Wu Xiaochun and her husband took a loan of US$13,000, bought a second-hand pickup truck for US$12,500, and used only the remaining. US$500 as the start-up capital to start their entrepreneurial dream.
After the first project was completed, they made 6000 US dollars in profit. With successful experience, no matter how small the project is or how remote the location is, the husband and wife took it, and they did their best. In one year, the husband and wife earned more than 200,000 US dollars, and they have the first pot of gold to open a company. In May 2013, Wu Xiaochun and his wife formally registered Yunzhifeng Architectural Decoration Co., Ltd. in Cambodia.
With the continuous development of China-Cambodia economic and trade cooperation, the company placed more and more orders and continued to expand the business. In addition to civil construction and decoration, it also began supporting factories. Years of hard work in a foreign country has made Wu Xiaochun particularly fond of nostalgia. Now, whether it is a Yunnan student studying in Cambodia or a Yunnan graduate who is going to set up shop and start a business in Cambodia, they will first talk to Wu Xiaochun. And Wu Xiaochun shares her entrepreneurial experience without reservation, with feasible suggestions.
“There is an old saying in our hometown… ‘One person is blessed and the whole family should share it.’..”
The whole family in Wu Xiaochun’s mind also includes local Cambodian employees. At the peak of the company’s business, the company team had nearly 300 staff, 95% of whom were local residents in Cambodia. “In addition to providing skills training, the company has also formulated a reward mechanism. Employees in difficulties can advance their salary.” Wu Xiaochun told reporters.
Text, translation, editing: Shen Yan
Picture: provided by the respondent
Translation review: Jiang Lige
Review: Zhang Ruogu