INVEST in Business or Idea

INVEST in Business or Idea

As a serial entrepreneur, I started exploring investments into businesses a short few years ago. Back then my focus was towards the startup setups mainly because of

  1. Our love for pioneering businesses
  2. A way for us to give back to the youth community (funds, experience, network)

Fast forward to December 2016, looking back, we were definitely close to investing in a few startups, in a host of industries…. shoes, fashion, medicine, IT, ecommerce, etc. BUT why have we not thus far?

Few issues come to mind…

  • Fund management
  • Character of the founders/team
  • Sustainability & Scalability // Limited vision

Too often, many operate on a fairy tale basis….all’s well and will continue to be well. A best case assumption is unrealistic. How about a worst case scenario too? Not pleasant to think about but necessary.

Today, we continue to receive invites and pitches countries across the globe and of variety of industries. As investors, we have ourselves matured too. The investments we have made are more matured businesses. Yes, businesses, not ideas. These businesses are at the early stage, primed for growth.

The difference is, these founders/owners have gone thru the heat and is realistic in their approach to business. Investing in a business costs significant higher compared to a startup but the risks are lower. Investments are not just ROI but also risk management. For us, RISK management is priority. Can a startup be likewise? Absolutely!

Many have asked what is it that we are expecting…

  • Character
  • Brave & Creative but a Realist
  • Some appreciation for our funds e.g. utilization
  • Business Model
  • Team is super duper prepared!!!

So, while we have invested in businesses, we are still waiting for the right startup to come knock on our doors. Don’t paint us an ideal picture. Show us the REAL picture.

The PERFECT Boss

The PERFECT Boss

The PERFECT boss. Wauzers! Won’t it be a dream come true (according to the minds of employees).

Wake up! There ain’t no perfect boss(es)….only bosses who think so of themselves. Hey bosses, yeah you….reality is we are all flawed. The matter is the degree of our flaw. In my opinion, bosses who think of themselves as perfect, are likely the most irritable, short tempered, unrealistic, etc. individual.

There is only one ever PERFECT being….past, today and tomorrow. That is our GOD!

So let us all just wake up and stop playing God. We are mere human beings….mortals….flawed from the day we are born. We can minimize our flaws but never be perfect. Bosses, just as you cannot find the perfect employee, neither can you ever be the perfect employer.

“PERFECT” bosses are often identifiable by…

  1. Super high regards of oneself, often characterized by words like “why can’t they be like me”
  2. Employees are somewhat insignificant
  3. Tendency to command instead of communicating
  4. Has sharp tongue (often condemning and critical) and blocked ears (never listens)
  5. Lonely

All said and done, our office need not be a battleground between boss and employees. Our battleground out there….in the marketplace. Our office outta be place of acceptance, motivation, recharging, etc.

Let’s make ALL our days a little better by

  • Accepting each other as we are
  • Focusing on each other’s strength, rather than flaws
  • Communicate Communicate Communicate
  • Employers and employees is a team (don’t deny this). We are a team. Team means each of our strength helps to cover each other’s flaw.

 

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UNexpected Grounds

The single most powerful pattern I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places. (credit: Peter Thiel)

Familiarity breeds complacency….heard of it ya. Perhaps that is why most people fall under the herd mentality. Everyone follows everyone to places where “gold” is supposedly found.

Well, nothing wrong with that but just that these places are gonna be crowded. We need to learn to open our eyes and mind. Be alert to areas/places where it is not crowded. Why bother expanding your resources to fight over a limited pie?

Go Blue Ocean. Avoid a bloodbath with the market.

Exclusivity and Uniqueness is profitable. Go find your “unexpected places”.

The Industry That Nobody Knew…Almost

The Industry That Nobody Knew…Almost

As I am wrapping my thoughts on couple of business matters, my mind is suddenly diverted back to one of business….#forklift parts, thanks to encouraging messages received from friends.

The once upon a time dreaded word to myself…FORKLIFT but which I have humbly learnt to embrace and respect. Most of the time, more common in the past, I would be greeted with looks of disbelief or confusion when I mention forklift. Some know not of forklifts, others think it’s a one company industry, etc etc etc. Basically hardly anybody has any idea or insights into this industry. The lost city of Atlantis is probably better known than forklift. I kid you not.

I have personally dabbled in other industries and have many a great successful friends in other industries. Coupled that with my personal hands-on experience in the forklift industry, I can and dare say that this industry is not for the faint hearted. It has to be for the most ‘stubborn’ and hardcore of characters. Forklift industry contributes in so many ways to various other industries, e.g. Port, warehousing, mills, etc and the economy as a whole and yet it’s almost invisible. I credit that to the culture of the industry that is inward looking, super low profile, unchanging and hardcore entrenched in tradition (diplomatic reference to resistance towards change).

From my day one in this industry back in 2002 and even till today, #EGAN has been religiously diligently preaching change to players within and beyond the industry. Proudly said, we are seeing the tangible fruits of our labour….invites to talk about this industry, the industry is better known, media highlights, etc. My industry peers are true warriors without doubt and without nerves of steel, one will be likened to being finger flicked by superman….yeah, flicked out of this world. Change is not a word or practise warmly welcomed but it is my hope that #EGAN can be the lighthouse to this industry, to encourage and show our peers that change is good. It will lift the industry, collectively, from good to great!

Today I stand proud proclaiming I am from the forklift industry and what a great industry it is.

So there you go folks…my humble brief thoughts. Now back to work. LOL

MILESTONE Moment

MILESTONE Moment

Life is a journey. Life is a series of problems and challenges. Life is ever evolving.

 

Yesterday I celebrated a new #milestone. The birth of #SparePartsAsia, a joint venture between Philippines and Malaysia, a hybrid of tech and conventional business. SparePartsAsia or more affectionately known as SPA, is a true AEC brand (ASEAN Economic Community). SPA  was conceived in the minds of her founders only late 2015 but by yesterday, 4 August 2016 she was birthed.

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A new Asia icon is born! http://www.fb.com/sparepartsasia

Yesterday myself and Nes (one of my partners) had the privilege of introducing and presenting SPA to an awesome audience. The fact that some folks are showing interest in this brand even before our presentation is a tremendous encouragement and endorsement of our new baby.

All the hard work behind the scenes to make this dream come true has birthed this brand. Now the real harder work awaits!

Years ago, in my entrepreneurial journey, if I was told that I would be achieving a series of milestones, including this latest SPA, I would have given the person a weird look. But today, as I celebrate, I give thanks to the one who makes it possible – my Lord Jesus. By His favor and anointing, it was made possible. And to the person closest to me, my wife who saw the potential in me even before I saw it. Last but not least, to my amazing partners Nes/Jojy/Wilson, thank you for your trust and faith in me, and for the amazing teamwork we are blessed with.

So, what’s next? Keep a lookout for SPA. Asia, we are here!

Come visit us… SparePartsAsia

FORKLIFT Has a Voice

FORKLIFT Has a Voice

Once upon a time…..well a few years ago to be exact, the forklift industry was almost unheard of. Nobody knew, nobody cared. As founder of #EGAN, we took it upon ourselves the mission to give our industry a voice. Simply because forklift or forklift parts is such a vibrant industry and known worldwide but unknown in our motherland.

Today we are proud to see the tangible results of our efforts. From the time we received our first entrepreneurship award in 2013 (one of the judges said thank you for telling us the industry’s story), we have a presence and voice thru a variety of media apperance (TV, newspapers, magazines, etc) and we have grown in voice and stature. The marketplace and community in general is beginning to take notice of this industry.

Today we are even invited by one of Malaysia’s upcoming and promiment learning institutions to talk about EGAN, forklift industry and of course entrepreneurship.

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My next message is…. #WATCHUSFLY

“To God Be All The Glory”

TechShake

Mikshake it is not. Today I had the privilege to be interviewed by 2 amazing young people, who incidentally are the founders of a startup too.

This interview was interesting for 3 reasons:

  1. The interview was done via SKYPE as interviewers are in Philippines while I am in Malaysia
  2. Interview was a story for a media called Techshake, based in Philippines. Techshake specializes in searching out good startups in the South East Asia region and featuring them
  3. Am experienced being interviewed for an established business but this is the first (fingers crossed more to come) as the owner of a startup
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Millionaire Dollar smiles. Great attitudes

The interview was overall very light hearted but serious sharings, covering topics ranging from

  • Stories about our new startup SparePartsAsia aka SPA
  • Why SPA
  • Experience as an entreprenur
  • Challenges and Failures
  • Advice to new entrepreneurs
  • Special rituals as an enrepreneur
  • etc etc etc

As the saying goes, when you are enjoying yourself, time flies. The entire interview took a little more than 50minutes but was indeed a productive time spent.

I wish Fatima and Paolo the very best in their entrepreneurship journey. If you cannot remember anything about our conversation, just remember this #CHARACTER. Build a character that would enhance your success and more importantly contain your success.