Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Want to improve your business? Hire a woman.

Women in business are more assertive, more persuasive and have a stronger need to get things done - according to this Caliper study, guys, we're doomed.

It wasn't that long ago that people were predicting the demise of the male sex, declaring that we're no more than sperm receptacles and that even then, this function could be replaced by test tubes.

To add more fuel to fire, this study now says that women are as good, if not better business leaders than men. Someone should send a copy of this report to PAS party members who seem to think that only plain-looking women are fit to enter the working world.

Technorati tags: women, Malaysia, business

Monday, May 29, 2006

Malaysia taking the mickey out of Singapore with Disney Park?

So once again there is talk of a mega theme park in Johor (here and here) - and this time round it's none other than a Disney.

Coincidentally it will be sited at Bandar Nusajaya (whose initials conspiracy theorists won't fail to point out spell "B.N.") a township developed by UEM World (government-linked).

Once upon a time, before the great Asian Currency Crisis, I remember people talked about Universal Studios setting up shop in our southern state but today, they have decided to move to Singapore as part of our neighbour's new Casino initiatives.

So why has this piece of news been pitched as yet another show of one-upmanship between Singapore and Malaysia? I think that if this development pulls through, tourism to both countries would increase dramatically. Johor could tap off Singapore's superior air hub and Singapore in turn would benefit from the increased traffic.

You might want to start looking for investors for that souvenir manufacturing plant in Pontian you've been dreaming of all your life.

technorati: Singapore, Malaysia, Disney

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ramlyburger grows up

It's always nice to read about genuine SME success stories, especially those that have prospered without resorting to rent-seeking or patronage. Ramly Burger, our very own homegrown burger brand, is one such company.

Perservering in the face of intense competition from fast food juggernauts like McD's and KFC, Ramly has always held true to its USP of serving great tasting burgers at roadside stalls and has resisted opening up mega fast food chains like its larger competitors. According to this BT story, namesake founder Ramli Mokni started this concept when several jobless youths came to see him to ask for a chance to enter the burger market!

When asked what was the reason for his success, he replies rather humbly "Our burgers are not only good, but filling, and at half the price of burgers sold at fancy fast-food outlets. Maybe that's why we are getting even more customers these days."

Hopefully he'll continue to do what he does well and not decide overnight to start manufacturing cellphones like what a somewhat misguided automobile assembler is doing.

Well done Ramly!

Tags: burger, fast-food, Malaysia,SME

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

UBS: leading Malaysian SME accounting software swallowed up by Sage

UBS, the country's no.1 local accounting software provider, has been swallowed up by British financial software giant Sage Plc via its wholly owned Singapore subsidiary, Sage Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd.

Though clunky and sporting an aging DOS-derived interface, UBS accounting packages have over the course of the past 10 years, become quite a household name among Malaysian SMEs. Most local accounting students would have studied and learned how to use it thanks to the two founding members' clever idea of giving it away free to educational institutions.

Their overseas ventures, especially their foray into China, were not very successful and so faced with a future confined to just their home market, key family members have decided that the time is right to sell.

Interestingly, one of the founding partners, How Teck Sang, had earlier sold off his shares to yet another multinational accounting software provider, MYOB.

MYOB must have felt the RM0.98 per share was a little steep and that's probably why the other founder, Cheah Kean Soon must have decided to sell out to Sage instead (after all, the pound buys more ringgit than the aussie dollar!).

It's a bit of a shame to see a local brand being taken over. Sage may want to keep the name around for a while due to the equity, but eventually, I would imagine they might want to introduce their own Simply Accounting or Accpac products into this market.

Technorati tag: SME, Malaysia, UBS Software,accounting software, SAGE

Friday, May 19, 2006

Intellectual property abuse - now it's lamp posts

Remember my
previous post on the lack of respect for intellectual property in this country?

Well, now copyright issues have hit none other than
Putrajaya Holdings, the concession holder, landowner and master developer of the very important sounding 'Federal Government Administrative Capital of Putrajaya'.

And of all things, they are being sued over the design of lampposts! British company, DW Windsor Ltd says that its lamppost designs have been reproduced by Putrajaya Holdings and five other contractors.

Like what I said before - very few people in this country, including government linked organisations, have much respect for intellectual property. And for as long as they continue to disregard such rights, our hopes for a growing knowledge economy appear to be in jeopardy.
Technorati tags: Intellectual property, Malaysia, Putrajaya

Monday, May 08, 2006

Blogging setback - laptop stolen from car boot

I've been quiet these past few days because unfortunately my laptop was stolen from my car boot at Sunway Pyramid last Thursday. Yes, yes I know I shouldn't have left it in my boot etc but I honestly did not think it would happen to me.

The thief twisted my boot lock and somehow must have deactivated the car alarm system. Some of my friends tell me that these criminals have some sort of scanner which can detect batteries or even the CMOS clock on the laptop. I don't know how much of that is fact or urban legend, but I'm really sickened by the incident. I had some personal income tax files in the bag too which though not life-threatening, will be a pain to get replacements for. Sigh. I guess none of us is immune to crime of any sort.

Will be back after I sort this out. Take care

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