Saturday, December 29, 2012

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary

I have a high Growth Emotional Need. It is typical me to buy so many books because I might think that I can benefits from the content. However, I hardly finish reading book because of so many reasons (or excuses). Yesterday, I bought a book - a biography of Malaysian tycoon, the only bumiputera that makes into the list of top 10 riches man in Malaysia (according to Forbes) for more than a decades. He ranked no. 6 in Malaysia and no. 344 of riches man in the world from the latest Forbes list. This book really interest me and for the first time I managed to read the whole book, cover-to-cover in less than 18 hours.

This book really reveal how Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar started the trading business after skipped his SPM examination because the family could not afford to pay for the examination fees. He is really a genius in doing business and there are some strategies that he used which most of people wont. He did not become rich overnight. He really did it step-by-step from a sole-proprietorship. He has his own principle of doing business since the beginning of his venture.
"It was based on the idea that every business needs two key figures who must work together to succeed: one to run the business, another to manage the finances."
He never do business by his own and always have a partner that will complement. And this principle is true if you look at other giant corporations in the world, most of them started by 2 co-founders.

He went to ups and downs especially during the economic crisis where he lost almost 80% of his net worth.
"The Asian Economic Crisis of 1997 came down hard on me. I was hit by the economic downturn, and it was made worse because I refused to relinquish my own companies as well as those acquired as a bumiputera to settle my debts. It was a question of pride, and I struggled to maintain the dignity of the Malays by not letting go especially of strategic assets. And this cost me RM2.4 billion."
He puts his interest aside and always think about other people, especially the Malays, the country and the less fortunate.  There are a lot of moves that he did which is not financially strategic, but in order maintain the equity of the bumiputera and protecting the assets. He did not trade stocks and make profits when the price when up. But he holds it and add value so that the price will go up which will benefits the other stakeholders.

Syed Mokhtar has a magic touch, even in heavily diversified industries, he always take over the companies that is sick and turn it around to make the companies run in profit. He has done this over-and-over again especially on the 3 corporations that he took over starting from the MMC, PERNAS and DRB-Hicom. He made many of strategic moves which was not advised by his financial advisor, but he made the decision when he look at it as a whole group benefits, instead of only financial aspect. And this move is actually proven in the long run. It is interesting to see the Proton next moves after DRB-Hicom took over. And I wonder what will happened if he took over Malaysian Airlines.

Ali Alabbar once asked: "Your business is so huge, so why are you working so hard?"
Syed Mokhtar answered: "We all need to be strong and successful so we have the ability to help other."
Being a philanthropist, he contribute so much and just enjoyed to do so.
"Whenever I do charity, my heart moves. It is not about corporate social responsibility. It is about caring, something that comes from the heart. My wish is that people with money will help those less fortunate so that the world is more just and fair to all." 
All and all, I felt truly inspired to achieve more success with the leadership, humility and achievement shown by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar after reading this book.

When was the last time you feel inspired?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marrying at the age of 25

When I give talk about Law of Attraction, I will always give an example of my marriage. When I was 17 or 16, I always made a claim that I am going to marry at the age of 25. While I set the target, I never have any candidate for my future wife in my mind. Why 25? I am not sure, but I justify; because our prophet get married when he was 25. And I am sure that is the best age to fit marriage, at least for male. 

My wedding in June 2007
Guess what happened when I turn 25? I got married. And at that time, most of my friend was not married yet while some percentage married earlier than me. It does not mean good or bad, but the point is, the Law of Attraction work. 

Recently we have a chit-chat with my good friends, Syazly, Jack (Safwan) and BHN participant from Indonesia, Wahyu about marriage. Than I recall back one of my conversation with 1 of my friend. Back then, I was 18 or 19 year-old. I told my friend, Azmil, we should get married at 25 while his opinion 30 should be better. Then I started to argue my point. 

"If we get married at 25, the next year we got our first child. And the first child married at 25, most probability we will be having our first grandchildren at the age of 52. If we got married at 30 and our first child married also at the age of 30, most probably by the age of 62 only we will have the chance to see our first grandchildren. And that assume that the baby born the next year after marriage. And by then, we will be too old and we might not able to see the 5th or 6th grandchildren."

I still remember the reply from Azmil "It's ok if they don't meet me, as long as they know that their grandfather is a Rockstar." (Azmil is our drummer at that time, and he is really talented when it comes to music. And btw, Azmil married at the age of 25, almost the same date with me).

But as I recall the story, it gives some impact to our conversation, especially to Safwan. He started to realize that he needs to prepare on getting married from now. 

While there is no right and wrong answer to this. It depends on every individual value. Some really appreciate their next generation as they are going to continue our legacy. Some might think that they need to achieve 'something' first before getting married. Some might think that it is better to be matured enough before getting married. If the marriage fails, then there is no point of getting marry at early age. However, my advise is to look things at broader perspective and consider the long term impact to us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Butterflies and Hurricanes

Songs can motivate people. Especially when the lyrics gives some meaning. Different people likes different kind of song, and we need to respect that.

This song provide very good lyrics:

Change everything you are, and everything you were
Your number has been called

Fight the battle has begun, revenge will surely come
Your hardtime are ahead

Best You've got to be the best, you've got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard
Your time is now!
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