Friday, January 24, 2020
As a young man, my dad was a hawker, and his specialty was char-kuey teow, the ubiquitous dish that was a hawker stable. He built a reputation for his generosity and impeccable customer service. Often, he would ask customers if the portion was sufficient, and since most of his...
Many of us would have heard the most famous quote of US president John F Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". He said it against a backdrop of a divided country - when partisanism was at its...

Order Amidst Chaos

I have never looked forward to going to India on business. Yet, every trip has been interesting, to say the least. The country is one of great contrast. On one hand you have the incessant car honkings, arid air and a heavily bureaucratic government; while on the other, you...
My mom has a favourite vegetable seller in the local market. The stall owner is a gregarious lady who is friend to almost everyone in the neighbourhood. More importantly, she’s well known to throw in goodies when you buy from her – usually cheaper items such as spring onion...

Doing Business in a VUCA World

If you think the world has gone upside down, rest assured you are not alone. The world has indeed changed in many ways since a short decade ago. It is a lot more uncertain and much more complex. The world’s leading consultants, who are masters in coming with acronyms,...

Making Things to Last

My mobile phone, which is a little over a year old, will not start. That’s the third time in the past one month. I would have sent it back to the manufacturer, and give them a piece of my mind – but, the warranty has conveniently just expired –...

Reaping What We Sow

“For whatever you sow, that will you reap” (Galatians 6:7-8) "According to the seed that’s sown, so is the fruit you reap there from” (Samyutta Nikaya) The saying ‘reaping what you sow’ may sounds so cliched or even biblical that many of us think no more of it than a motivational figure of...

Who’s Calling the Shot?

Tony Soprana, in the hit television series ‘The Sopranos’ famously said, “I'm the motherfuckin' fuckin' one who calls the shots!”. While I don’t condone the vulgarity, it’s a sign of our times that very few of our leaders are able to say the same. There used to be a time...
Humans and machines are steadily growing more and more alike and the tourism industry is one area where so-called chatbots are springing up to improve customer communication. While it's unlikely that any of us will be romantically involved with these primitive digital travel agents, you may soon prefer them...
In an emotional speech to the Parliament recently, Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong asked fellow Singaporeans to give him and his government more time to deliver on their electoral promises. “… every country has its own challenges, and we should not always believe that the grass is greener on the...

Lessons From MH370

It is very rare that Malaysia headlines international channels for weeks on end. That's exactly what happened the past few weeks for a very unfortunate reason. We are all saddened by the misadventure of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The senseless loss of lives hurts, and it hurt more for...

The Glory of Entrepreneurship

I grew up in a family where entrepreneurship is shunned and something to be ashamed of. My elder brothers flung their exams and were forced to apprentice with various contractors, and started their businesses when opportunity so dictates. And for many years they eked out a living that bothers...

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