Thalias Hospitality

When I started here, I had only done operations work before, but now I am doing so much more and with a much bigger team to supervise than I have ever worked with before

The “University of Malis”, a Rich Learning Ground for our Team

SIN Vannay joined the Malis Siem Reap team four years ago as a restaurant supervisor, and continues to grow and flourish there, learning and doing more than ever before, while also setting a positive example for her young daughters.

When I started here, I had only done operations work before, but now I am doing so much more and with a much bigger team to supervise than I have ever worked with before

Vannay grew up at Roluos near Bakong temple, one of the earliest monuments of the Khmer Empire, just 15 miles away from Siem Reap. There, she grew up alongside her younger brothers and sisters while her parents grew and sold sugar cane juice. Vannay often accompanied her mother on the side of the roads leading towards the temple as she sold the sweet juice to passersby. At six years of age, she joined the local primary school before continuing her high-school education at Wat Svay in Siem Reap. Because of the distance and condition of the roads, she could only return home on the weekends.

And while she has huge ambitions that her own two daughters, aged 13 and 15, might be able to go on to university, that option was not open to her. Vannay left school at 15, and went straight to work at a local hotel. Over the years, she worked with a number of establishments with excellent reputations before finally coming to join us at Malis where she hopes to continue, and continue growing.

“When I started here, I had only done operations work before, but now I am doing so much more and with a much bigger team to supervise than I have ever worked with before too, so I am enjoying it very much. Sometimes I worry that I don’t know how to do what I need to learn, but I always try my best, and I enjoy learning so much,” she says.

In that respect, she has found her experience at Malis to be hugely enriching. “Other companies don’t really care about you learning and growing. They just want you to stay at the same level, and never give any time or encouragement for anything else. But here, we are all pushed to learn as much as we can, and it is very good. And it goes beyond what we learn for ourselves. I had never worked in a place before where as soon as someone learns something new, they share it with everyone else, but that is what happens here because the culture of learning is so strong that we all want everyone to participate in it as much as the company does”.

One of Vannay’s current challenges is getting to grips with computers and with email communications with local tour operators and hotels etc, for bookings for the restaurant. “I had never worked with computers before, so it was all new,” she says, somewhat wide-eyed even thinking about it. But it’s clear that she is relishing the opportunity to learn and do and be more than before, not only out of a strong sense of duty, curiosity and professionalism but also, it seems clear, because this is how she can set an example to her daughters.

“I want them to go to university, but I also need them to learn how to make money before they go,” she says. “It is very hard to find money! And Covid has taught us all how difficult things can get and that we cannot see the future. So I am encouraging them to find ways to earn their living, and to find skills so they can support themselves. I can teach them how to manage money, but they have to make it first”.

For now, she hopes to move up the rankings at Malis, and knows she still has plenty more to learn along the way. “I will learn more and more every day, it makes me very happy”.

Written by Nicky Sullivan

Facebook Comments

You May Also Like

A Celebration of Camembert

“For the most part, I try to be healthy and eat good things, but if you give me a baguette and some Camembert, I’m gonna eat it.” Gwyneth Paltrow. While every day is Cheese Day as far as we’re concerned, it is nonetheless International Cheese Day this March 27, so we thought it would be a great time to talk about one of France’s most iconic, and, of course, most delicious cheeses, the mighty Camembert. It’s also one of France’s most easily recognised cheeses. With its distinctive talcum-white rind shot through with tawny hints of the deliciousness beneath. The squat…
© Akhilesh Sharma

Chopsticks: the Heart of Refined Dining

For a beautifully set table, it’s almost impossible to beat the elegance and simplicity of a pair of chopsticks. Their long, slender arms that, well used, form an extension of our own, give them a refinement the clunkier knife and fork can only dream of. And they have a significantly longer history too. It is thought the chopsticks were first used in China as long as 5,000 years ago, though they were then mainly used as cooking utensils. Their adoption as formal eating instruments came at around 200CE, during the Han Dynasty, when a population explosion created a fuel scarcity…

Bringing Back the Business Lunch!

Business is back in business in Cambodia, which means that the business lunch is back too. But with everyone still keeping an eye on budgets, that doesn’t mean that the kind of breakthroughs that business lunches inspire have to break the bank… Business is coming back to Cambodia, and that means one very important thing (as far as we’re concerned anyway): business Lunches are coming back too. At Topaz and Khéma, we’ve made it our business to make sure that you have everything you need to get through your agenda with colleagues, associates and clients in a refined and serious…
© Chris Karidis

Parlerez Vous Français aves Nous this International Francophonie Day?

The French language is being celebrated this month, presenting an opportunity to get to know one of the most beautiful languages in the world that, for an added bonus, can connect you with millions of people all over that world. Whether they’re French, Cambodian or any of the other nationalities that share this world, the French speakers of Cambodia are part of a 321-million-people-strong global community of people who speak their language. That’s 321 million potentially life-altering encounters, insights, inspirations and connections that are accessible thanks to the extraordinary power of a shared language that can bridge divides across geographies,…

AFD: An enduring commitment to sustainable development in Cambodia

A celebration of 30 years of a cooperation between France and Cambodia that has benefitted both countries in uncountable ways. Last month, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) celebrated 30 years of working in and with Cambodia with a mission to promote structural development, such as water resource management, while supporting the commercial sector taking account of environmental and social standards, such as renewable energies. Senior representatives of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and AFD’s partner institutions attended the celebration held at the Residence of France under the invitation of H.E. Ambassador Jacques Pellet, Mr Rémy Rioux, AFD’s…

Does speaking French ever get you into a pickle?

(“Get into a pickle” = get into a little trouble…) Picking up a language’s idioms is a fantastic way to deepen not only your language skills, but also to deepen your connection with that language’s culture. Food is not simply the fuel that sustains our bodies, it nourishes our minds too, and it also serves as a means though which we communicate our sense of who we are, where we came from, who raised us and how. Language, thought and culture are so entwined that it’s no surprise to find that food is so deeply embedded into everyday language in…