While a relative newcomer on the Cambodian banking scene, Prince Bank already has numerous firsts under its belt and has received several awards.
Headquartered in Phnom Penh, the dynamic bank started off as a private microfinance institution in 2015, before receiving a commercial banking licence from the National Bank of Cambodia just three years later.
Here Honn Sorachna, Prince Bank’s chief executive officer, discusses future plans and recent achievements.
Perhaps most astonishing of all Prince Bank’s qualities is the sheer speed at which the bank is developing, including being the first bank to launch Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards less than two years after becoming a commercial bank, and the first bank to open 19 branches and roll out 32 self-service terminals in 12 months across the country. How have you been able to successfully develop in such a short space of time?
These remarkable achievements have been possible thanks to the bank’s clear strategic vision, our shareholders’ commitments, the board’s consistent support, the guidance and support of the regulator and the hard work of our management team and staff.
The shareholders and board have made the necessary resources available and believed in the long-term investments so that the bank can differentiate itself from the rest in the industry. Obviously, the sheer speed and growth magnitude compete for the resources available and require the careful allocation of resources and prioritisation of work.
In this context, my colleagues have worked tirelessly day and night to implement numerous projects while delivering business results at the same time to ensure that we have an adequate foundation for further growth.
Without committed and competent staff, we would not have gotten where we are today. Furthermore, our business partners and customers have been supportive in our growth journey.
In short, it is all about the hard work and support extended to the bank by our different stakeholders.
One notable stand-out feature of the bank is the considerable amount you have invested in staff training and development programmes. Why do you consider this area of human resources so important?
As I mentioned earlier, people are our most important asset and underpin our ability to develop and grow our business operations.
For us to be able to continue our momentum and differentiate ourselves further from the rest in this increasingly competitive industry, we need to attract more talent and develop our people further.
Therefore, the bank has consciously and proactively invested in the training and development of our staff, ranging from in-class activities to online training, project assignments as well as on-the-job training and coaching.
While the bank needs more and more productive human resources, we also understand clearly that our people need a favourable environment and continuous support for their professional development.
In this sense, our investment in training and development programmes are aimed at fulfilling both the organisation’s and the employees’ need for growth.
Many of the bank’s projects with regards to corporate social responsibility (CSR) are connected to improving education in Cambodia. Why do you value educational projects so highly?
At Prince Bank, we consider corporate social responsibility part of our business activities, believing in “corporate citizenship” in which giving back to the community helps us to sustain our business. Supporting education is, indeed, a key component in our CSR work that also covers health, culture, environment and sports.
As regards our support for educational projects, we strongly believe that in order to build a good and developed society, it all starts from the ground level and the number of well-educated people in that society. In other words, it is the foundation for development and growth for the future. Investing for the future is investing in education, and we are therefore keen on getting involved in this area.
What is the most satisfying aspect of being a banking leader at Prince Bank? And what do you consider to be your biggest challenge over the next 12 to 18 months?
Seeing Prince Bank as a local institution growing well and fast with our people developing is very satisfying for me as chief executive officer.
I am proud of Prince Bank becoming the fastest growing digital bank in the country over a short period of time.
In particular, I am thrilled by the international recognition that Prince Bank has earned, including “Asia’s Top 100 Best Employer Brands for 2019”, “Cambodia’s Best Employer Brands for 2020” and “Global Best Employer Brands for 2020” by the Employer Branding Institute, World HRD Congress and Stars of the Industry Group.
And now I am even more excited by the bank winning the “Best Commercial Bank Cambodia 2020” award from International Banker. Looking to the next 12 to 18 months, I feel the greatest challenge will be how to resume our growth momentum post-Covid-19.
Every business and country has been severely affected by the pandemic. Preparing ourselves for recovery and subsequently growth at the pace we have had is key to leapfrogging ahead of other players.
However, this is a big hurdle, which we will have to strategically overcome.
This is an extract from a www.internationalbanker.com article.