Get Complimentary COVID-19 Insurance Coverage with AmBank Credit Cards

In view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, AmBank has collaborated with AXXESS in a campaign exclusively for AmBank Credit Card customers to enjoy complimentary COVID-19 insurance coverage. The campaign will run until 31 December 2021. 

The AmBank AXXESS COVID-19 Insurance programme covers both Hospitalisation Benefit and Death Benefit for a period of six (6) months which commences from the date of certificate issuance. The cardholder will also receive a RM1,000 cash relief, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19. Whereas, in the unfortunate event that the cardholder passes away due to COVID-19 or death due to accident, a cash relief of RM10,000 will be credited into the account of the nominated beneficiary or estate.

AmBank Cardholders are required to enrol at www.ambank.com.my/AC19 in order to participate for this benefit. Cardholders are only required to spend a minimum of RM3,300 on retail purchases within three (3) months from the date of certificate issuance to enjoy the complimentary COVID-19 coverage. In the event cardholders do not meet the spending requirement, a one-time insurance premium of RM36 will be charged to the cardholder’s Credit Card account for the insurance. Terms and conditions apply. 

For more information visit www.ambank.com.my/AC19

Not an AmBank Credit Cardholder? Sign up for one now at www.ambank.com.my/AGR and get additional RM150 cashback.

Something fishy: What these six Malaysian seafood produce sellers have in common

It can be hard to tell the difference between seafood supplier brands when most of the products look the same. — Pixabay pic

* This article is brought to you by Henry Goh & Co.

PETALING JAYA, April 26 — Feeling hungry for a bite of the sea?

You’re not the only one as several homegrown suppliers have popped up in recent years to meet the growing demand for fresh seafood in Malaysia.

Many of these brands also saw a boom during the Covid-19 movement control order with more people opting to do their grocery shopping online instead of going to the wet market in person.

As the seafood supplier market expands, companies need to establish a unique identity as it can get tricky differentiating brands that offer such similar products.

Check out our list of six Malaysian seafood produce sellers to find out what they have in common and how they’re setting themselves apart from the competition.

Art of Salmó and My Fishman

Both brands use ocean-inspired illustrations for their logos. — Pictures via Facebook/artofsalmo and Facebook/myfishman.my

Like many seafood supplier brands, Art of Salmó and My Fishman both feature blue colour palettes and fish illustrations on their logos.

In the midst of this, My Fishman’s logo stands out by highlighting another important aspect of their supply chain: the fisherman.

Art of Salmó also differentiates itself by specialising in one type of fish, the fjord trout, which it imports directly from Norway, while My Fishman offers a variety of seasonal catches sourced from local fishermen.

GL Marine and Long Seng Enterprise

Much like Long Seng Enterprise, GL Marine brands itself as a one-stop-shop when it comes to frozen goods. — Screengrab via GL Marine website

GL Marine and Long Seng Enterprise have similar-looking websites in addition to presenting themselves as one-stop shops for frozen seafood. Both brands also sell processed food in addition to their usual offerings.

Long Seng Enterprise highlights its fresh seafood in addition to its frozen range. — Screengrab via Long Seng website

In this case, GL Marine sets itself apart by focusing solely on its range of frozen food, which also includes meat, poultry, and lamb.

Meanwhile, Long Seng Enterprise is known for its catalogue consisting of both fresh and frozen food.

Maison Oishi and Senri Malaysia

These brands often pop up when you’re on the hunt for fresh seafood to prepare Japanese meals. — Pictures via Facebook/maisonoishi and Facebook/senrimalaysia

Whether you’re craving sushi or grilled fish, Maison Oishi and Senri Malaysia have become the go-to seafood supplier when it comes to making Japanese dishes.

Their product offerings are highly similar with both brands also selling a range of Japanese ingredients such as teriyaki sauce, miso paste, and noodles.

The brands’ distinct logos help draw the line between them as Maison Oishi adopts a more modern font, while Senri Malaysia goes down the more traditional route with calligraphy.


In a market where products look near-identical to each other, it’s crucial to create a strong brand identity that resonates with customers.

Henry Goh & Co is the leading intellectual property (IP) firm in Malaysia with strategic expertise in trademark, patent, industrial design, and copyright protection.

Getting brands to stand out from the crowd through IP awareness is one of the firm’s key aims with their clients, local and overseas.

To find out more about Henry Goh & Co and their services, visit their official website.

“企动人心”

■YYC超越集团主席叶志超

每个故事都有大智慧,“企动人心”单元希望与更多企业家及管理者,分享触动人心、启发灵感及商机的故事。

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75亿美元脱售面包店

罗纳德夏奇:大创新始于小观察

当业务还在赚大钱时,你会不会敢敢卖掉?

今天“企动人心”要分享的故事,就是一位善于判断情势的美国企业家,因为他的勇敢放手一搏,最终为企业创造更大价值,并且成功以75亿美元脱手离场。

他,就是潘娜拉面包店(Panera Bread Company)的创始人罗纳德夏奇(Ronald Shaich)。

他一手打造的潘娜拉,被喻为是“烘焙界的星巴克”,到底罗纳德夏奇有多厉害?

本来热衷于政治的罗纳德夏奇,并未想过自己后来会成为企业家。

谈及自己成功之处,他在受访时透露,经营零售业最重要是懂得观察客户的需求;而重点在于,很多客户不会主动说出自己的需求,身为经营者必须自行察言观色、用心“聆听“,方可捉住消费者喜好的变化。

细心观察消费习性的趋势,不但带旺罗纳德夏奇的面包店生意,也让企业在每一次转型都胜券在握、马到功成。

罗纳德夏奇的创业故事始于大学时期,在一次偶然机会下跟同学设立大学福利社,这也是他接触零售业的开始。

老板不买账 他辞职

在哈佛商学院毕业后,他并没有创业,而是进了一间销售奶油饼干(Cookie)的企业打工。由于工作需求,他跑遍全美国,对市场触觉敏感而且嗅出商机。他向公司管理层提出在城镇开设奶油饼干店,无奈却遭拒,也因为这样他决定辞识,回到波士顿(Boston)。

1980年,当年27岁的他,以10万美元的创业资本,开设了第一间奶油饼干店,取名Cookie Jar。

经营不久,罗纳德夏奇就发现店内的客流量都是从中午12 点以后才来。为了争取更多生意量,他找到了一家当地小烘培坊“Au Bon Pain”提供法式面包,每天早上售卖面包。

果然,店里的营业额增加了不少;1981年,他跟Au Bon Pain洽谈合并,把企业壮大。

这里看出罗纳德夏奇的大格局思維,正如他形容自己,从不把自己设定在窄小的目标上。

“像冲浪般,你离海岸已经够远了,然后开始观察将迎来的海浪,并且挑选冲向一个够大的海浪,在浪尖上想尽办法让它带你去到更远、你想要去的地方。”

罗纳德夏奇把已经有获利的Cookie Jar注入Au Bon Pain,取得后者60%股权。尽管Au Bon Pain很有潜能,但营运状况却一片混乱,也没有能力购买新机器使用。

干衣机烘菠菜 够创新

令人津津乐道的是,Au Bon Pain的热销品 “菠菜牛角包”(spinach croissant),当初因为买不起昂贵机器而使用干衣机来烘干菠菜。这个创新的解决方案虽然曾险些闹出人命,但菠菜牛角包无疑是经典创作。

罗纳德夏奇敏锐的市场嗅觉,部份也是源自于他在前台收银的观察。某一天,一位客户來购买法式长棍面包(baguette)时要求切开,并现场拿出在其他店买的火腿和芝士食材夹到面包中吃。

这激发了他的灵感并展开研究,他发现很多城市白领族想要的就是一份方便、新鲜及有营养的午餐。

 这么一个突发其想,让他开拓了一个新商机,为食客在快餐和高档餐厅之间提供多一个选择—三明治餐厅。

Au Bon Pain的“快速慢食” (Fast Casual)概念大受欢迎,业务越做越大,公司在1991年挂牌上市,于1993年分店已经达到250 间。

从波士顿的一间小店到上市挂牌,罗纳德夏奇的野心并没有因为这样而得到满足。他事业上的另一个重大转捩点,就是收购了分店都开在郊区的St. Louis Bread,并把之前的成功经验再重演一次!

毅然售业务 往前看

 St. Louis Bread店面主打宽敞空间,罗纳德夏奇把面包店打造成人们的“第三空间”,即除了家里和办公室之外,可以逗留的另一个地方,客户可以选择在这里见面聊天、开会、面试等。

在St. Louis Bread易名潘娜拉面包店后,罗纳德夏奇把业务发展推向另一个高峰。

到了1998年,潘娜拉的分店已经从19间变成150间,因为几乎每一幢主要办公大楼都希望有一间这类“第三空间”面包店。

但当初也因为要把业务重心专注在潘娜拉,罗纳德夏奇在经历一番董事局纷争后,于1999年把Au Bon Pain 脱售给一家私募基金公司。

试问谁会敢在好景的时候,把赚钱的生意卖掉? 这里反映的是罗纳德夏奇的眼光、远见 、胆识及魄力。

他表示,Au Bon Pain是他一手培育成长的企业,他也很爱这间公司,但是身为企业家,他必须往前看。

他也反覆问自己:“为何我们要这么做?我们如何确保这样不会犯错?我们该如何小心维护?怎样做才是对的方式?”

在做出这个艰辛的决定时,面对着5000位员工,他深深感到这个重大决定的背后,正影响着全体员工未来家庭生计、银行贷款、孩子教育费及前途等。

无论如何,火力全开发展潘娜拉后,罗纳德夏奇后来创造的神话也是令人刮目的。

危机时期扩张 股价飙 

到了2000年金融风暴期间,潘娜拉业务不但没有受影响,甚至是以每3天开一间新店的速度扩张,公司股价从3美元急飙到 315美元!这等于150倍的成长。

罗纳德夏奇说,在危机时期扩张的成功秘笈,是因为采用逆向操作的思维。危机爆发前,同行都在通过举债大量扩展,但房产成本都很高。

跟股神华伦巴菲特在危机时才出手的道理一样,罗纳德夏奇也在这个良机才进场大收割,投入原本准备好的资源,无论房产成本还是建造成本,都比之前便宜了20%。

反观在好景时大事扩张的同行,因为销售表现下滑、盈亏表的压力,必须极力压低成本。

从1997到2017年的辉煌20年里,潘娜拉成为最佳表现的餐饮股,为股东创造了86倍的回酬。

2017年,潘娜拉面包店以75亿美元脱售给JAB控股公司,罗纳德夏奇也于同年辞去总裁职位。JAB控股公司后来也购入Au Bon Pain,使两个品牌又重新回归到同一集团下。

3大启示:

  1. 从身边的小观察发掘出决定性的创新,因为细心观察消所以精准判断情势,使每一次转型都胜券在握。
  2. 采用逆向操作思维,在危机时期扩张,不错失因危机而衍生的商机。
  3. 从Cookie Jar到Au Bon Pain再到潘娜拉,一家企业从小做到大,需要很多的时间、经历很多改变,每一个转变都是危机与商机并存,因此创业者要看的是长远利益。

Uncle Jet’s Fishing Journey 1: New investor investing into your company? Yay or Nay?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Uncle Jet’s Fishing Journey is all about business, entrepreneurship, share investment and personal finance. Through Newswav, Uncle Jet hopes to share and learn together with all readers, creating a more financial-literate Malaysia together.

Journey 1: New Investor investing into your company? Yay or Nay?

Whether your company is currently (a) idealisation stage (b) startup (c) traditional growth stage company (d) matured company looking for exit, you will always encounter opportunities for third party investor to invest in your company.

If you are at idealisation stage, looking for your friends/families to invest in your idea. Make sure the expectations are set clearly in the beginning. If your partner is merely investing as a passive shareholder, don’t be upset when he/she is not contributing to the growth of the company while you are working your head off, sacrificing your social time, family time and health. If you are expected to run the show alone, make sure the compensation package is agreed in the first place, and built into the cost structure. You could also structure some form of sweat equity upon achieving certain KPIs.

Most of these friend/family funded companies will not have a Shareholder Agreement. When thing turns sour, remember not to do anything harmful to a friend/family/investor who trusted you in the beginning. You are responsible for your investor. If you have to resort to buying your investor out, make sure he/she will get his fair share of upside (if the company is doing well).

A good reputation goes a long way.

For most startups, the valuations are normally based on future prospects, rather than actual profitability.

At this stage, most valuations are crafted based on how much you want to raise in relation to how much equity you are willing to give. IE: if you willing to give out 10% of your equity, in change of RM1m, you are effectively valueing your company at RM10m.

However, this may not add up.

Even if the company may turn profitable in the future, the investor may not be able to reap good returns if the entry valuation is too demanding. If you expect your company to worth RM10m in 5 years, don’t ask your investor to invest at RM10m valuation today. It doesn’t justify for all the risks and hardwork, just to exit at his entry valuation 5 years later.

Most of the exit will be based on profitability ( rather than story telling ), unless you are selling to strategic buyers or your company is a unicorn with billion dollars revenue set to list on NASDAQ (on revenue multiple). The former, generally, knows what to do with your business and how your business can be integrated into the existing business verticals. Even then, the purchase price will also be based on traditional EV/EBITDA or PER ratio (but may be higher than typical financial investors). The latter can be far-fetched and is also proven to be unsustainable.

Don’t be delusional by all the deals happening around you (Company X has raised Y in its series A funding at USD Z valuation), you don’t know the actual details behind. Higher valuations may come with strings attached.

As a startup founder, be realistic with your valuations. Be genuine on your expectations and also be accountable to your projections. Make sure you have proper plan to achieve the promised projections.

If you are unable to attach a valuation to your company, one way to do it is to structure as a convertible loan, where the loan is convertible based on future performance (x% discount on future valuation).

It is pointless to have a good future prospects, without a good business model and cost structure generating cash flow and profitability. Your company is better off surviving on profitability and cash flow as compared to relying on fund raising. What if you are down with 3 months runaway, and your VC who has been supporting your growth strategies stopped funding you. I guarantee you will have sleepless nights, thinking about cutting OPEX, losing your company, your employees losing job, etc.

If you have raised your fund, work towards the projections you promised to your investors while looking closely to your cost budget. You can still grow your company while maintaining a healthy EBITDA! If you have to raise funds, raise it early. It normally takes 6-12 months to close a deal (sourcing, negotiation, due diligence, legal drafting and closing).

If you are the lucky fews, currently preparing to exit your existing established and profitable business, be realistic on your valuations and most importantly, start to adopt an exit mindset.

When you are exiting your business, your buyer will normally require you to stay as a minority founder for atleast 2-3 years (unless it is a strategic buyer). It may be hard because you have been your own boss for your whole life. Suddenly, you are required to do monthly reporting and also reporting to the new shareholders (whose representatives may be younger and less experienced than you).

If you are left with minority stake in the company, respect the exit terms, be genuine and work together with your new shareholder toward the final exit/pay-day on your minority portion.

If you have exited completely, (good job!) respect the exit terms and work on the knowledge transfer while enjoying your big pay day!

Again, a good reputation goes a long way!

Above all, all companies with multiple shareholders should always have a Shareholder Agreement. You can get it at less than RM10k for a simple one. It is essential in protecting the interest as a founder, as well as the minority shareholders. Under normal circumstances, the Shareholder Agreement is practically a piece of paper kept in your drawer. It becomes important when thing turns sour.

A good Shareholder Agreement should always include reserved matters, exit options, pre-emptive rights, right of first refusals, liquidation preference, tag-along, drag-along, priority-rights, veto-rights (if any), etc.

An example: if you and your shareholders are exiting your company, your minority shareholders are comfortable with the exit price, but you, on the other hand, think your company is worth much more. You want to negotiate and you are ready to walk away from the deal if you don’t get the price you want, but your partner wants the current price, without jeopardising the deal on the table. This may result in a potential deadlock. A good Shareholder Agreement can mitigate this.

If you do not existing have an Shareholder Agreement, and if your financial permits, get it done.

If you already have one, I hope that you will never have to bring it out, until you are selling majority of your company for a big buck!

Lim Jet Liang is currently with 5X Capital, a Securities Commission licensed Private Equity Fund based in Malaysia.

Triple Joy for House Buyers

Dreaming of a home in a green lung that’s also next to modern conveniences? Well, dream no more as it is a reality made affordable with Mitraland’s 3xtra Big Deals campaign!

This super-savers campaign by Mitraland Group is for its projects in Klang South and Melawati. The campaign offers:

1xtra deal: flash rebates for limited units for a limited time only

2xtra deal: free 12 months of maintenance fee and pay nothing up to 12 months after booking* 

3xtra deal: savings from the Home Ownership Campaign 2020 (HOC 2020)

Under HOC 2020, buyers enjoy full stamp duty exemption on the Instrument of Transfer for properties up to RM1 million, and a partial stamp duty exemption (3%) for those priced between RM1 million to RM2.5 million. HOC 2020 guarantees you a 10% discount off the purchasing price. On top of that, the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) has been slashed even further to 1.75% – this means a lower loan interest rate!

Upperville @ Melawati gives you the best of both worlds – greenery and convenience – being merely 15km from KL City Centre. It sits next to Mitraland’s award winning 16 Quartz development with the majestic Klang Gates Quartz Ridge (a proposed UNESCO Heritage site) as its backdrop. 

Low density within an exclusive and mature neighbourhood, Upperville has easy access to 4 highways and top amenities (hospitals, international schools, malls and LRT) within 10km. From RM2,700 a month, each 1,050 sq ft unit comes with 3 spacious bedrooms and 2 parking lots!  

Gravit8 @ Klang South on the other hand offers a self-contained community with residences, retail and office components. Its FREEHOLD condominium units are nestled within an iconic 8-acre Lakepark. Convenience stores and restaurants are just a short stroll away. 

Residents of Gravit8 are spoiled by a 3-acre facility deck. Its swimming pool offers the best sunset view in Klang South, a multipurpose hall, gymnasium, games room and more. From RM2,000 a month, units are available from 2+1 Bed onwards and ranging from 871 sq ft to 1,237 sq ft. 

As a fully integrated development, Gravit8 is also super connected. Located along the Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS) and close to the Federal Highway, it can be accessed via over 7 highways. 

Keen buyers should take action now as the campaign is for a limited number of units within a limited period only. And the cherry on the icing: 10-gram gold bars* are up for grabs in the month of November!

For more details, visit https://www.mitraland.com.my/extra-deals 

* Terms and Conditions apply

Meet Kanger: On Track To Be The World’s Largest Bamboo Producer

Listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, Kanger International Berhad (KANGER, 0170) is on track to becoming the world’s largest producer of bamboo products. They have recently collaborated with the local government of Jingzhou, Hunan Province in China, and together, they have launched a new high-tech bamboo processing plant, as well as a new R&D centre. This has given the already experienced Kanger a huge boost, who has been involved in the bamboo processing business over the past 16 years.

Strengthening capabilities as an integrated upstream and downstream bamboo producer

Along with the relocation of their main bamboo processing plant, Kanger entered a Public Private Partnership arrangement on a 70:30 basis with the local Jingzhou Government to develop a new bamboo processing plant and R&D centre that adopts the latest modern processing methods capable of processing raw bamboo into a wide variety of products. The new plant was built at a total investment cost of CNY200 million (RM121 million).

Kanger Executive Director, Mr. Kuah Choon Ching stated, “Armed with the support from our strategic partner, the local government of Jingzhou, we are in a strong position to significantly upscale our bamboo processing business to become one of the world’s largest integrated bamboo producers in the world with both upstream (plantation) and downstream (processing, manufacturing and distribution) capabilities.”

Mr. Kuah also noted the major advantage of relocating their bamboo plant to Jingzhou would be the ready availability of raw bamboo in the region. The partnership would inject a bamboo plantation concession totalling an estimated 20,833 acres over three phases. By being less reliant on external supply sources in producing bamboo products, this would prevent them from facing problems such as supply shortages and sudden price hikes which could have material effects on the cost of raw material and profitability. 

Under phase one, a surrounding area of approximately 6,000 acres of fully mature bamboo has been made available. Under phase one alone, a surrounding area of approximately 6,000 acres of fully mature bamboo has been made available. The Group estimates that it will take up to three years to utilize all of the ready-to-harvest raw bamboo that is processed into bamboo flooring, furniture and building materials. It is expected to potentially generate a total revenue of CNY 800 million (RM486 million) over the three year period. This is based on the average selling price of bamboo flooring which typically ranges between CNY300 to CNY500 per square meter (m2).  In addition, as Kanger does not need to purchase raw bamboo from external sources, this translates to a cost savings of more than CNY 300 million (RM182 million) for the equivalent amount of raw bamboo available.

Attractive industry prospects

Market research estimates that the value of the global bamboo market stood at USD 68.8 billion in 2018, which experts expect to continue growing in the coming years. Worldwide, bamboo is quickly building a reputation as a sustainable building material source and a “greener” substitute for wood-based products.

In addition, bamboo can also be processed into bamboo fibre to be used in clothing materials as well as bamboo charcoal that can be added into food products to remove body toxins. Bamboo for medicinal purposes is gaining popularity as it offers health benefits that aid in digestion, spiritual healing, promote mental alertness, and can be used to treat depression and respiratory diseases, among others.

Moving forward, the Group will focus not only on manufacturing of bamboo products but also processing of bamboo related foodstuff and bamboo eco-tourism. This will attract more tourists to Jingzhou and encourage the setting up of more bamboo related businesses amongst the villagers.

Future plans to build a resilient business model

Import and sale of lamination flooring products from Germany

In 2018, the Group secured the exclusive distributorship in China for the “CLASSEN” brand of laminated hardwood flooring from Classen GmbH, Germany. Coupled with the rising brand acceptance of “CLASSEN” in China, Kanger was recently presented with the Excellence Award for Best Supplier to the Chinese Bed & Breakfast Industry at the 2019 International B&B Industry Development Forum and the 2019-2020 “Illustrious Brand” award by the China Renovation & Construction Alliance. Sales of “CLASSEN” products have proved to be a good source of revenue to the Group whilst it scaled down its production of in-house bamboo products to make way for the relocation exercise of the bamboo plant.

• Large distribution network to support sale of in-house and third party products

To enhance the distribution network of the Group’s in-house as well as third party products, they signed distributorships with third party dealers across China. Currently, the Group has established a large distribution network which comprises of more than 100 dealer stores across China.

The Group is also working closely with its dealers in implementing effective Online-to-Offline marketing and delivery channels, via a number of online platforms, including JD.com, Alibaba’s Taobao, and WeChat. To grow the export market, Kanger will be opening new international showrooms throughout Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America.

• Secured long-term recurring lease rental income

The relocation of the bamboo processing and manufacturing operations from Ganzhou to Jingzhou freed up land for the Group to embark on commercial property development for long-term rental income. The land where the previous plant was located, Kanger has constructed two commercial buildings with a total net lettable area of 683,777 sq. ft. The Group has signed 10-year agreements to lease these buildings for RM11.1 million a year.

One of the buildings is a purpose-built 6-storey “AutoCity”, it is an integrated complex, enabling customers to view and buy cars, accessories and automotive parts from major brands. Car buyers will also be able to enjoy comprehensive after-sales, financing, and auto insurance services there.

The second building is a 19-storey hotel leased to Ganzhou Fuying Kaili Hotel Management Co. Ltd, the operator of Kyriad Marvelous Hotel, an international business hotel brand under the Louvre Hotel Group. With a total of 2,653 hotels across 54 countries worldwide, Louvre Hotel Group is the second largest hotel group in Europe and fifth largest in the world.

• Plans to establish new revenue streams in Malaysia

Backed by a healthy operating cash flow generated by its China operations, the Group has set its sights on establishing new revenue streams in Malaysia. Kanger recently purchased a parcel of land measuring 5.5 acres in Kuala Selangor for RM6.8 million. They are actively looking out for strategic opportunities with attractive prospects for the Group to invest in.

Commitment in delivering long-term shareholder value

Mr. Kuah Choon Ching (柯俊敬) concluded, “With the commencement of our new high-tech bamboo processing plant in the fourth quarter of 2020, our financial performance in the coming year will be significantly enhanced by the contributions from the production and sale of our in-house bamboo products.”

“Looking ahead, we are confident that demand for bamboo will see exponential growth driven by its increasing use as a sustainable material for construction and rising consumer awareness on the benefits of bamboo. In addition, the R&D centre at the new bamboo processing plant will be utilised to pursue opportunities with regards to modern bamboo products and uses.”

“Meanwhile, our business is also enhanced by the lease income from our two commercial properties which will provide recurring income to the Group, thus enhancing our income visibility.”