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A networking event that wasn’t only about business

It was to be a professional event, a gathering of business stalwarts in Cambodia for networking, but the reception hosted by Aquarii BD Cambodia turned out to be a sociable and enjoyable evening marked with laughter and backslapping.

The cocktail party at Prince Brewing on Friday evening was attended by senior ranked officials from, among others, Phillip Bank, CKHG Consultancy, IPS Cambodia, MBCC, JBAC, Prince Brewing, DFDL, Indochina Research, Kadin Indonesia, Khmer Times, AMCHAM Cambodia, Khmer Enterprise, Meridian, IndoCham, Kocham, RHT Law, Cambodia Investment, and YEAC.

Aquarii guests mingled around, caught up with friends and associates, made new acquaintances and connections, and learned the latest and juiciest market information.

There was, of course, a lot of exchange of name cards.

Lea Morada, Research Director at Indochina Research, said she was at the reception to meet people out to expand their network to different industries.

“We’re hoping that maybe soon in the future, we’ll be able to partner with some of these people here in helping them in their businesses, market-entry, understanding about the Cambodian market, and of course hopefully, to develop friends also.

“Beyond being colleagues, we hope to develop long-term friendships also with the people,” said Morada.

Cynthia Liaw, CEO of Panda Commercial Bank, said, “This is actually a really good event by Aquarii for their partners and friends. And most of the partners are well-established businesses and entrepreneurs in Cambodia. So I find that a networking event like this is very good to link with new friends as well as to catch up with old friends.”

Kim Hyun Tae, the joint CEO of My Work Cambodia said, “At every event, we have the opportunity to meet somebody. It is good for me when I meet people as I get the opportunity to introduce My Work Cambodia. I gave out my name card to over 20 people. So it’s enough for me.”

Michael Tan, CEO and Founder of Aquarii said in his welcoming remarks: “This event was intended to be a small event. We bring together our partners and friends from various business circles to get to know one another, identify areas of synergy, and exchange ideas and views on how they can collaborate on projects.

“This being our first event, and because of requests and expressions of interest from various business contexts for a networking event, we decided to open up the event, make it a bit more open, more inclusive, and make it more social.”

According to Tan, Aquarii is an advisory and consultancy service firm that focuses on business strategies, strategic communication, connecting business, creating opportunities, and building partnerships together.

“This is our inaugural event, but going forward, other than networking events for visiting businesses and investors, we hope that our events will be smaller scale and more focused.”

“It can be small group discussions, it can be closed-door dialogues with key position holders, key office holders, key stakeholders, and subject matter experts so that the interaction can be more productive and the desired outcome can be more effective,” Tan said.

Tan added Aquarii will not discount having industrial events, stating that it all depends on the context and the requirements of the businesses and investors.

When asked about how he thought the event was going, Tan said, “I think I’m having a lot of fun. A lot of the attendees here are quite satisfied and quite happy with the interaction that they’re having. Because all the participants here are from different industries, different sectors, and different backgrounds.”

“In other words, unlike a business chamber, which can be very restrictive by the governance and the constitution of the need to be the collective interest of their members, Aquarii is a private entity. We are able to organize such events so that we can pull in members and people from different sectors and different backgrounds.”

“Because we believe in win-win collaboration and the power of aggregation, which means that the market is actually big enough for everyone, so long as they are prepared to work together,” he said.

He said that what he realized during his four and a half years as an investor in Cambodia, a lot of business entities still choose to isolate themselves and work according to their own area of ​​interest but if they can aggregate their efforts and their subject matter together , they can actually secure more collaborative projects.

  • Tags: Aquarii BD Cambodia, Prince Brewing

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