Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hi, Do You Exchange.. Carpark Tickets?

Was walking towards the basement, heading towards the car park machine. There was a group of people surrounding the machine.. well, that's quite a normal sight. Just that, instead of paying, their eyes were gazing around. Hmmm... Anyway, people can be weird, so let's just do my thing. 

Headed towards one of the self pay car park machines, and then suddenly I heard footsteps behind.. which sounded like a hurry one. 

"Excuse me...".

"Errr.. ya?" me getting into 'self defence' mode to the thought of a sales person approaching for a donation. 

"Can we, exchange parking tickets?" 

"Huh?" thinking I heard wrongly. 

"Oh u see, we want coupons which are later (ie enter the carpark later) than ours.. cos we are working here". 

Oh, then I got it. You see, some malls have this ruling where the first ___ hours is only RM__ (in 1 Utama's case - it's RM1 for first 6 hours). But every hour after that, the rates are charged by the hour. 

So, it does make sense for those employees parking for a full day in the mall, to continue to swap carpark tickets to 'maintain' in the 6 hour bracket.

Out of my daze, I gave her my ticket though it was only a 10 minutes difference from hers.. Well, at least it saves her a bit of time there.. and that she & her friends search for the next 'victim' has most likely to go on for the day.. 

As for me, that's another first experience living in the Klang Valley!

Do you exchange carpark tickets too?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1Malaysia U Make Me So Headache

Yes, that's life of an entrepreneur. But today, I'm sharing one of the headache things an entrepreneur faces here in 1Malaysia. 

I'm planning to create an e commerce mall, expanding beyond books.. and the first thing that comes to my mind is to get the name of the mall..

Now, here in this 1Malaysia land, I need to find one name that appeals to the 3 biggest markets - the English speaking people, the Malay speaking people, and the Chinese speaking people. 

Aihh.. here we go again... If I'm in Japan, all I need is a Japanese name using Japanese characters. Or if I'm in China, all I need is a Chinese name. But here in Malaysia, some names I proposed will either be So Melayu... or So Cheena or even So Foreign! And that is a BIG No-No!

So my first solution.. how about a name that is a combination of 2 languages or 2 words from the same language but when combined, becomes a new word... here are some examples I found (tell me if it's too one race bounded):
Solaris = So Laris
Sri Hartamas = Sri Harta Emas
Alamanda = Alam Anda

I kinda like the word Solaris, sounds So Cool. And yes, I like to use the word 'so' or even 'mas' too. But are there any other words that can go with these (that is suitable for a mall)?

Think as much as I can, I still can't think of 2 words that can be Malaysian enough and that appeals to the 1Malaysia people.. yet having an international feeling to it. Hmm... 

Then something strike my mind.. maybe a Chinese name like our politicians can be it? These are Malaysian names.. so ain't it  suppose appeal to all?
How bout or (after all, we have Lim Kok Wing University right?). 

And here we go again & again.. I'm still clueless on the suitable name.. 

Oh 1 Malaysia... u sure make me So Headache!

*Do u have any names to suggest?

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Am Quah. Hang Quah (Nama Saya Quah. Hang Quah)

Well, the idea of using a Malay nick came about recently. Not for any other reason, but for a reason that in this land of 1Malaysia, each race or should I say each different language speaking crowd has different things that touches their heartstrings.

I've mentioned this over & over again - in my blog, and also as conversation topics to most close friends.

I can't help it.. for I'm a lil drained with this, as having a business here, one really has to do so many things to cover the country. And that takes a lot for a small start up!

Apart from different taglines & other aesthetics, there is also the product range, pricing and many other factors to take into consideration for each language speaking crowd. Now this is important, and one has to gauge well before doing anything.. but then, mistakes do happen, right?

Just like what happened to one event we participated recently. We had expected a 50-50 or even 60-40 Chinese-Malay crowd, hence we went to search high & low for some Mandarin books!

But what turned out eventually is a 20-80 Chinese-Malay crowd.. Alamak! The books were not the right mix! Well the only comfort we have in this is that even the bigger brands made the same error as us too! (they brought in wrong products & wrong campaigns).. so yeah, we were not alone..!

Anyway, as much as I whine, but hey, like most entrepreneurs, these are challenges to overcome... and being in beloved Malaysia, and working to establish my company here first, I have to do, what Malaysians do...!

Let's face it, the Malay speaking market is the biggest here. Period.

To establish one's brand here, we have to tap into this - and it doesn't matter what race we come from. If we want the mass, we got to get into that market (now before I continue, this is by no means about being racist. I'm just saying this from a business point of view).

So while my biz started off with the English speaking crowd in mind, we are now opening up to the Malay speaking crowd (we now have Malay books).. and later on, yes, the Mandarin speaking crowd too (which is the 2nd majority language - no, it's not English, mind you). That means, a huge variety of books in all languages...! (and lots of work behind I must say!).

Well, one thing at a time heh.. So why not start with a different nick for the Malay speaking market?

Yes, I am Quah. Hang Quah. (Nama saya Quah. Hang Quah.. or should I say Ape cer? Saya Hang Quah).

Okey tak? Kalau okey, kata ok, kalau tak okey pun, cakap je.. jangan malu malu ataupun segan :D

*As for the Mandarin speaking crowd, maybe I'll use my Mandarin name next?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh Gimme A Break

I remember clearly how the past 2 years has been such 'honeymoon' years for me.. traveling to a fair bit of places all around Asia & even to Frankfurt!

But 2010 is different.. Im now based in homely Pea Jay (PJ), and have an office & team to take care of. Gone are the days of being a freelancer. That means gone too are the days of having to travel as and when I liked.

Well, the only travel I've done this year is to Bangkok - which wasnt a holiday at all. We were so busy with the Bangkok Book Fair, though my teammate & myself did managed to take some nights off trying some good Thai food & night scene. But that's about there.

The other travel I did - well, errr.. visiting Singapore! I went back to the lion city for friend's birthday & weddings.. and recently for the Singapore book fair too. All the while, my time there is short.. and I hardly went out! In any case, I don't think I need to jalan jalan Singapura - having stayed there a good 8 years..

So counting my last holiday to Cherating was a good 7 months back, Im already aching for a break today.. a desire to travel, to break that routine, take a rest from the busy & heavy workload as an entrepreneur.. and just get some inspiration (I always do when I travel).

Ive thought of Taiwan for a while now.. but it's not worth going for 3 days & 2 nights only. So Im thinking of somewhere else.. something I can do over the weekend with just 1 off week day. And that's gonna happen soon - finally!

Now, can u guess where will it be? :D

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Cool Duets

There's quite a few rather 'recent' songs that I quite like.. interestingly, many of them are duets!

The first one that made me like instantly is Hua Sha (Jay Chou & Cindy Yen). Listened to this while driving, and found it just so cool. Simply love the arrangment..! (btw it sure helps for it has a good dose of the very talented Jay Chou in it!)

Then of course, there is the ever popular duet by Boys Like Girls & Taylor Swift. Though not an instant like for me, but the over & over again airplay finally made me feel for this song. It is after all a very cool arrangment & uplifting song.

Then came this song: Man Man by Rachel Liang & Wang Zheng Liang. Similar to Hua Sha, I instantly liked it.. and yes, this was the top top song for me for a very long time..!

And finally, the song which I shared previously, sung by Filipino singers - Christian Bautisa & Sarah Geronimo: Please Be Careful With My Heart.

I guess there's just something about duets that make me tick! I wonder what duet will be up next..! :D

What about u.. do u have a favourite duet?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Hey You, Strawberry Generation!

I have been in touch with people born in the years of 1981 - 1991 quite a fair bit. Yeah, the Y Generation people.. or also known as the Strawberry Generation (Cǎoméi zú)!

Huh, strawberry gen? Yeah, that was my reaction too when I was told about these generation being named after quite a pretty & at many times sexy fruit. But that's not what it really means..

Well, yeah, they can act cute & all, but really, this strawberry generation are those who bruise easily (hurt easily), are extremely pampered & sheltered.. and are so self centred.

These maybe acceptable if they only mingle with the other strawberries, but the problem arise when they have to interact with others from different age groups. And the problem is more apparent when they are in employment.

While it is good to care for one's ownself, I notice that this generation can be so into themselves - where they do the things they like, pleasing no one else but just themselves, not even caring for their teammates or the company.

Their work are wishy washy, incomplete, even though much has been told on what needs to be done (and the rest to use one's heart & brains!).

To some of these strawberries, rules to them are not only to be bent, but also broken.. they don't listen.. and worst of all, some of them are rude to the extend of demanding - even on rights which are not meant to be given, until they are proven worthy of.

I've even encountered one strawberry who thinks that she is so highly capable when beneath her lies a very shallow & hollow person.. one in her own world! Yet, the things she demands makes as if she's the most qualified person not only in her batch, but one of the best say, in Malaysia! (seriously, like real like that!)

Though I am too from this mushy squashy generation, but I think some of us set the standards apart. In fact, there are many good ones out there as well - some way younger but have also achieved so much. If only the bulk of these strawberries can learn from the rest & prove that they too are one generation to be remembered apart from their oh too cutesy antics!

*This post is specially dedicated to the 2 bruised strawberries who I've encountered with.. which I think should be 'squashed' and made into strawberry juice! For the rest straweberries, please buck up.. or ur going into the blender too!