Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crazy over Online Business

The ball started rolling with the participation of eBay's talk last week. This week, we attended another talk by Google entitled "Grow Your Business Using The Internet With Google". Again, the talk was organised by SME Corporation Malaysia whose sole idea is to help Small and Medium Enterprises growing their business and moving sales across national boundary via e-Commerce.

Though e-Commerce has been introduced since God-knows-when, it's still considered at a low penetration level in Malaysia. However, statistics have shown a healthy increase as the year goes by and Malaysian businessmen/businesswomen are turning more towards the Internet in search for more businesses and to internationalise their businesses. This is good in helping local businesses to become more known internationally and putting our brands in the international market.

Not getting caught losing out in this electronic commerce business, our company is also exploring this frontier and will be slowly but actively moving towards B2B & B2C. It's about time we look into this. Hence, this 2 weeks I have been actively attending these talks by Google, eBay & PayPal along with my wonderful GM and Director.

The Google talk was held on Wednesday 27/1 at Matrade Building as well but this time was at the 20th floor where SME Corp's office is located at. Personally, I think Matrade building is really an oversized but underutilised building. So much of unused floor space for this building. It has a East Wing and a West Wing as well. The centre foyer makes me feel like being at the lobby of a hotel's lounge or the centre of a shopping mall where they always run weekend activities or bazaar sales :-)

This time the talk is of a smaller scale with less attendees compared to the eBay talk. A smaller, compact crowd of less than 100. Hehe, this time no freebies or early bird door gift. A Mr Han-son Toh presented talk on Google's AdWords programme. For those of you who's not familiar with Adwords, you can refer to this link for better understanding. Click here.

After the half day talk, I was entasked to create a Adwords account for my company. It was simple to create an account and currently, there's a stimulus package offered by Google to open an Adwords account. You will get a RM200 credit to your Adwords account. So, go grab it now for those of you who are interested in this programme !

I have also created my eBay account and what have I been selling ? I love novels and have been buying novels like nobody's business. My collection of novels are getting bigger and bigger and I have been running out of storage space. Hence, I have to let go some of my prized collection to make way for newer books. Hence, I have been putting some of my novels up on sale on eBay. Last year, I donated some of my novels to Malaysian Kidney Foundation during their charity fund raising for kidney patients. That gave me an opportunity to do some charity work as well as spring-cleaning my book cabinet. If my novels garner not much interest on the Web, I may keep them for another charity event again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

E-Commerce with EBay and PayPal


2 days ago, I attended a business presentation by e-Bay and Paypal organised by Matrade. Though it was a business presentation, I would say that it was really a FUN business presentation.

The day started off with guests’ arrival at 9.30am. The venue was at Matrade Building itself. It was my first visit to Matrade. I did not bring along my camera as this is a formal event, not a Blogger session. Me and Angie (my GM) being 2 early arrival got ourselves early bird freebie. It was a set of USBs (phone line, USB mouse, USB hub, USB ear phone etc). It was a really cool and handle gadget set. Love it very much. Thanks PayPal !!


Ebat-bookletsDoor gifts - calendar and folders from PayPal

P1210613 eBay folder with presentation notes

Then, we got to know that this was actually a MOU signing and seminar between SME Corp with eBay and Paypal. While waiting for the arrivals of the guests, we were treated with video interviews of successful eBay sellers. These guys and gals are really cool. We have a young entrepreneur from Hong Kong whose passion for remote control cars and toy cars made him started his business from his home to a warehouse of toys and collectibles. He even managed to sell one of the cars he was trading at 800% !! Then, we have another guy from Singapore who sold Indian almond tree leaves to aquarium fishes’ breeders. Hey, we’re talking about dead leaves which are found abundance dropping from Indian almond trees. Who can ever imagined that dead tree leaves can be a hot selling item ?? Apparently, the leaves lower the ph level in the water, enabling fishes to breed better. ( Male Fish  to Female Fish  : Honey, I’m in the mood.. The atmosphere is good, the water taste OK, not too acidic, not too alcaline. Let’s go behind the rocks and make babies )

While waiting for for the VIPs to arrive, eBay lighten up the day and uplift the mood of the guests with Q&As that comes with prizes.

I managed to win myself a PayPal t-shirt during the Q&A session. Yahoo !!

PayPal-shirts  Win 1, free 1

The event started around 10.00am with the arrivals of the VIPs from the respective companies, opening speeches, signing of MOUs and photo sessions. After that, we had presentation by eBay and Paypal, They gave the guests some good insights on their website traffic, how much sales were churned out annually from their sites and some demographics of their site visitors/sellers & buyers. All very informative data. We were all encouraged to open an account with eBay and Paypal. Paypal is one of the most secured payment method on the Net. Your personal data are very safe and monitored round-the-clock by specialists to prevent hackers from stealing the info. UPS, eBay’s official business partner for courier also came up to the stage to present its serivces. We have some Net selling specialists who also talked on their experiences selling on eBay.

The session ended with some exciting moment as all the guests were eligible for a lucky draw session. Know what’s the grand prize ??

Hold your breath and (drum rolls !! ) It’s a

MacBook !! The 2 other prizes are iTouch. I really wanted a new laptop as I have just sold off mine last week. I can make use with a new laptop now. Then, I don’t need to go around hunting for a new laptop.

It was no fairy tale ending here, sob sob!! The grand prize went to a Chinese girl in her 20s. Congrats whoever you are ! Still sulking ….

No body leaves this seminar empty handed. At the end of the day ( around 2pm ) everyone went home with more goodies. We were all given a goodie bag with eBay round collar t-shirt, pens & key chain.

Ebay-shirt a free eBay t-shirt for all the guests of the day


more goodies from eBay



the bag that stores all the goodies from eBay, yippee !!

Everyone went home smiling, hehe! Yeah right! I think 1 girl will be grinning all her way home.

Next week, we’ll be attending another session organised by SME Corp as well. It’s called “Enhancing Business with Google”. I can’t wait to learn more about this. Maybe I should do some spring cleaning now and see what I can find from under/behind/on top of my cupboards/bed and sell them on eBay. One Man’s Trash can be another Man’s treasure ! haha!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Confession of A Slacker


Confession : I have not been hitting the gym for more than 2 months !! Gosh !!

When you’re past your 30s, you will feel that all the parts in your body are slowing down. The engine especially. Going up a few floors by staircase used to be just a snap of the fingers. Nowadays, you just can’t lie to yourself anymore. The deep breathing and panting after climbing 2 floors of staircase tells it all. I used to go for games of badminton with friends and colleagues until less and less people can make it for the badminton session. We stopped booking the badminton court after a couple of months.

Almost everyday I am giving myself excuse not to go to the gym :-

1. My gym buddy is always away on outstation assignment

2. By the time my wife reaches home, it’s usually passed 6.30pm and it’s too late to go to the gym.

3. I’m too exhausted from office work

and the list goes on and on…

But, if you think of it, who in his/her right mind would prefer exercise to longer hour of sleep ? This is very true especially for urbanites like us who stays in the Klang Valley. Some of us drive almost more than 1 hour to get to office and back. The endless traffic jams are giving everyone on the road nightmares. So, in the end of the day, do you still have mood for gym? Who doesn’t want a hot bod like this ? Oh, by the way, this is not my physique (definitely not, LOL !!) 


In the time of our forefathers, lifestyle diseases cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer – are seldom heard of. People are up in the field all days toiling over the paddy fields, growing fruits/vege to sell and struggling to put food on the table for the family. Who would have so much money to live luxury lifestyle eating high cholesterol food ? Even when lard is part of their daily lives, these fats are usually burnt off while doing hard labour. Hence, you can see leaner adults in earlier days.

Even in China, going back 20 years you will hardly see fat people. Nowadays, single child policy and better live have lead to parents having the opportunity to pamper their child more. You can only have 1 child to shower all your love to. Bring him/her to the fast food joints which are growing by 1 outlet per day in this eastern part of the world. Introduce the kids to more fried food and fast food. Those yummy golden french fries never fail to attract attention of the adults or children.

Back home and nearer to us, many applaud our Goverment’s decision to stop subsidizing sugar. It’s really a shocker that we Malaysian consume about 21 teaspoons of sugar daily. We’re talking about the sugar that is found in our daily beverages and food that we take in. Diabetic is one of the top killer in Malaysia now.

Hence, no matter how busy we are, if we don’t really have time to exercise, at least take some leisure walk daily or take the opportunity to exercise over the weekends. A 45 minutes leisure walk is said to be equivalent to 15 minutes of jogging. You burn the same amount of calories by taking 45 minutes of brisk walk. Even doing chores like washing your car can help burn some excess calories in your body.

Realising my increasingly wider spare tire, I really need to exercise more and get into better shape. Maybe, chasing after my daughter and baby-sitting her is not such a bad idea after all. There’s an opportunity to burn calories there :-)

Saturday, January 2, 2010



HAPPE NEW YEAR !! Wishing everyone a very happy 2010 !

Every year, you’ll read of people making new resolutions when they welcome the new year. A beginning of another 365 days to live in (of course, unless it’s a leap year, you have 366 days). It’s also a time to reflect what have you achieved in the previous year. It’s like a personal appraisal if you see it from another perspective.

Personally, I don’t get into making resolutions mainly because I seldom remember what I have resoluted to do every year. This year is the same. However, I do have a new challenge to kick start my year.

I just got a call today from the maid agency – Philimore; that my Cambodian maid will be ready for pick up by tomorrow – Sunday 3rd January. Having a maid at home is a new challenge for me as well as my family. We have decided to get a maid to help out my parents in taking care of Clarisse as well as helping to do some house work. As my parents are moving into late 50 and early 60, having a domestic helper around the house would certainly be a welcome addition to the family. I hope I won’t have much trouble with maid issue as with the stories we hear/read very often maid problems.

As me and my wife have decided to get a Cambodian maid, we know that language will be the biggest barrier to start with. Cambodian maids do not have much schooling. Most of them hardly complete 6 years of primary education due to their country being less developed and years of political turmoil during Pol Pot’s regime. Most of the maid’s parents are either deceased or working as farmers back in Cambodia.

To overcome our language barrier, I have combed through Internet looking for sites giving lessons on Cambodian language but I have not much luck. I have also scouted book stores for Cambodian language book. I have searched MPH 1 Utama & Seremban 2 branches, Borders Berjaya Time Square and Tropicana City Mall branches as well as Popular Book Store at 1 Utama & Seremban 2. Due to Khmer or Cambodian language a less popular language in Asian compared to Thai, Japanese or Vietnamese, I have problem looking for a Cambodian language book. Finally, after about 1 month of visiting various book stores, I finally found a Cambodian-English language book from MPH Mid Valley branch. It’s a pocket size English-Cambodian in the first half of the book and Cambodian-English makes up the balance of the guide book. It cost me RM68 ( approximately USD20.00 ) for a book about 1 inch thick. The book is published by Tuttle Publishing For me, I think this is a good guide book as it starts off with a brief intro on Cambodia and its language before moving into daily used words, arranged in alphabetical order in English. It also has a section on the days of the week and months of the year in Cambodian language. I think this book will be a good start for me to learn some basic Cambodian language to help me communicate with the maid. It will also be a good guide for the maid to learn English. So, for the next few days/week/months, this book will be our daily essential in communication. Hopefully, this will be a smooth start for me for year 2010 and I don’t face much issue with my new maid who will join my family tomorrow. Fingers crossed…