Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Big Business Of Singapore

My dear "quitter" schoolmate from downunder  emailed me this. I do not know the source but share I must.   Here goes:

New Towkay wrote to Business Consultant Ah Beng enquiring what to do with his father's business handed down to him.

Dear Ah Beng

My father just handed over his business to me, and I want to follow his example and run it like a typical family-owned Chinese business.  Can teach me how to do it properly? Thank you.

Reply: Dear New Towkay

Eh, not say I say what, but running a classic Chinese fambly business is si beh chia lat one. It's a time-honoured tradition and you cannot anyhow play-play. But you're lucky. Recently, donno why also, but got a lot of people call me and say they are now working for a fambly business (some funny company called Tummy Sick Holdings or something) and want to know how to do things swee-swee. Because of the demand, I am going to write a book. But because you ask so nicely, I give you some basic ideas. But make sure when my book is published, you faster go buy it, okay? Otherwise I will send some of my kah kia to come 'visit' you. Okay.

First thing is you are very the lucky to have have a powderful daddy who owned this business to pass down to you, otherwise chin kang kor one. Nowsaday very hard to start a company because of unfair competition by all these other fambly-owned businesses. (To everybody else who don't have such fambly connections, you all better faster give up and start looking for jobs in Australia .)

First thing first, you must take care of your daddy - give him a title like 'Sifu' or, in MBA language, 'mentor'. Oso, don't forget to reward the stooge your father put in place to run the company before you came of age. Maybe can give him your daddy's former title, but make sure he only gets the title and none of the perks that came with it. Cannot boh tua boh suay, corright not?

Now to the business - very important this one. You must make sure that you control the money, because cash is king, what. That's why in Chinese restaurants, a fambly member always sits at the cash register. So, not only must you be the CEO, you must be in charge of finance as well, i.e. the CFO.

For exampur (and exampur only, ah) if the business is a country, become the Prime Minister AND Finance Minister. You can put the loyal old ah pek who warm the seat for you a member of the board (maybe can make him 'Chairman') but make sure he knows his limits. You must also staff his team with your kaki lang. Also make sure the Board only makes suggestions and recommendations, but you make final decision. To make things easier, put your wife in charge of all the diversified fambly holding companies, with control over the subsidiaries as well as the investments in other companies.

If you are a classic Chinese businessman, your wife is probably not a very good manager or maybe she a bit suay and lose a lot of money before, or like to anyhow buy nonsense. So you must have lots of yes-men and sar-kah tzuas in your company. These people will be there to take the blame when she cock up. Also she can take the credit and be promoted whenever they get things right. If you got a younger brother, put him in charge of the largest subsidiary, the fambly cash-cow that makes the profits for your enterprise.

Again, you must not forget your father. He should be the grand Chairman of the secret company that actually controls all the assets, invested offshore, or deposited in secret banking accounts worldwide. Important, hor: under no circumstances must you make the operations of this company known to your shareholders. Pick auditors and accountants who are loyal to you.

Maybe you got a former jaga? Make him the 'guardian' of these assets. He should be loyal enough. If not, you can always slap the mama bugger. If skarly other independent directors question the value of the sets, tell them they must wait long-long because it will take many, many man-years to calculate.

Then retire them quietly. Maybe post them to head your Patpong branch. As for security, you must have the cooperation of a trusted gang to do your dirty work. Like 'Band of Brothers' but in your case, the brothers must be the 'blood'-type. These people will help you sng seow and do enforcement with chao kah people. But must also keep up with the times. Bicycle chains, breaking peoples' legs, hanging pigs heads on their doors etc. are a bit the old-fashioned oreddy. Nowsaday, all bullying and intimidation is done through the legal process, for exampur, by suing your enemies for defamation or something and bankrupting them. More sheebilised and cleaner than having blood and dead bodies all over the place. So make sure you also got a team of lawyers that are loyal to you.

Maybe you are lucky, and your fambly also own a law firm, better still. But what happens if the other side also got lawyers? No problem. Just make sure you have judges on your side.

The best is if you got an old fambly friend who is a senior judge. If your father knew his business, he early-early oreddy take care of that. As for the police, dun worry. Go find a relative, for exampur, an uncle who used to work with the force, is good enough. You also need other security people but give them a respectable title, call them a 'department' like International Services Department (ISD) or something, and adopt modern marketing techniques for developing trust and cooperation with business partners or competitors like the use of high-tech surveillance and air-conditioning for example. You can sabo competitors by labeling them as 'Communists', but just be careful you don't do that with the mainland Chinese, OK? They dun like it. People who used to work for you in these security departments can also hepchu do your PR work by working for you in the newspapers or TV stations, so instead of reporting TO you, they can report good things FOR you.

Remember, 'PR' are the first two letters of the word 'propaganda'. Well, this is only a short summary of what should already be done. As for what happens next, you must buy my book to find out more. But you can take some tips from me. Keep to the basics. Drugs are good business, just call it 'pharmaceuticals' and you are all set for the 21st century. Don't forget other traditional samseng activities like gambling, which is always profitable, so big projects like starting a casino, should also be on the top of your list of priorities. One final word of advice - your fambly business may already have some established big customers and trading partners, like some really big-shot towkays, and you must not do anything to sabo those relationships.

If some of these partners are already in some kind of dispute, for example, one big firm threatening a smaller spin-off and competitor for being too 'independent' or donno what, you MUST NOT take sides. Stay far, far away. Don'tch even visit the smaller company, even if it's for 'personal' reasons. Otherwise you will be hantam by both parties, they will call you all sorts of CB names and then you really kena sai.

So, congratulations, you have arrived. Don't forget to pay yourself a good salary - a million dollars at least, so I can get a good 'cut' for future advice on your business.


Seriously, with the recent loss, will Towkay now consult Ah Beng to teach him how to get all the sai out of the way of AIM. If sai sticks until 2016, very chialat. Even yes-men and sar-kah tzuas will find it difficult to unAIM.


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