Nary Ung, of SOMA Group, joined the 2018 ASEAN Young Leaders Programme. The participants' objective was to produce a business plan that would allow the Municipal Government of Jakarta to create a new entity to scale activities in skills development, entrepreneurship creation and employment encouragement. Nary led the Finance Team, charged with developing a financial model to ensure the new organisation's financial sustainability.
What has been one of your key achievements since you joined the ASEAN Young Leaders Programme in 2018?
When I joined the ASEAN programme, I was SOMA’s Deputy CFO. Since then, I’ve been promoted to Group CFO, where I work closely with our Group CEO in overseeing five divisions and twelve subsidiaries in agriculture, infrastructure, education, trading, and real estate.
I’m ready to take on further challenges!
What most excites you in your current role?
One of the Group’s main objectives is to further Cambodia’s Sustainable Development Goals. We achieve this through multiple projects, such as our solar farm, clean water distribution, and promoting education in health science and technology with the University of Puthisatra. I derive my motivation from ensuring that our projects have a positive social impact.
I’m also conscious about fulfilling my employees’ potential. It’s important to look beyond their technical skills and consider their emotional quotient, sensitivities, communication skills and respect.
Lastly, ensuring our projects are sustainable is important for the growth, expansion and reinvestment in our existing companies.
Can you talk a little more about SOMA’s solar farm and clean water distribution? What does SOMA hope to achieve from these projects?
SOMA Energy is moving forward on the installation of a solar farm of 1.5 MW in Kompong Thom to be completed this August. While this is the company’s first solar project, the objective is to expand and construct similar renewable energy projects throughout Cambodia.
The Group recently formed a joint venture with Kobelco Eco Solutions from Japan. This venture led to the creation of SOMA-Kobelco Water Supplies Co. Ltd and the subsequent construction of a new water treatment and distribution plant last November. This plant covers two communes, ten villages and 20,100 people as of 2020. Again, the plan is to expand this to other provinces in the country.
Thanks not just to these projects, but also our other initiatives in education and agriculture and our team’s regular community engagements, I personally feel a strong sense of purpose, responsibility and accountability towards the society I am a part of.