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ATW 401 ENTREPRENEURSHIP Semester II Academic Session 2011/2012 Assignment: Understanding The Experiences of Malaysian Entrepreneurs

Why be a pisang when you can be a lovable brand? Lecturer:

Dr. Noor Hazlina Ahmad By

Chuah Wen Xu Goh Chong Mun Khoo Khay Xiang Ng Kin Yung Jocelyn Chai Shwu In

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Contents

1.0

Abstract…………………………………………………………………… 3

2.0

Introduction……………………………………………………………….. 4 2.1

Company Profile………………………………………………….. 4

3.0

Business Background……………………………………………………... 7

4.0

Perception of Business Success…………………………………………... 9

5.0

Competencies of the Entrepreneur………………………………………... 11

6.0

Learning and Training Issues……………………………………………... 14

7.0

Business Environment……………………………………………………. 16

8.0

Guidance to Future Entrepreneurs………………………………………... 18

9.0

Conclusion………………………………………………………………... 21

10.0

References………………………………………………………………… 23

11.0

Appendix………………………………………………………………….. 24 11.1

Assignment Guidelines…………………………………………… 24

11.2

Photo with the Entrepreneur……………………………………… 28

11.3

Interview Conversation…………………………………………… 29

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Branded Means Wanted

1.0 Abstract

To become entrepreneur is not an easy stuff. It is not only about learning theories from the text book but also through experience sharing by the entrepreneur.

Through the interview, we studied about:

The business background of the entrepreneur;

The Brand Conceptualist in Malaysia;

Perceived meaning of success of an entrepreneur;

Learning and training issues of the business;

Business environment; and

Suggestions and advice for future entrepreneur.

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Branded Means Wanted

2.0 Introduction

2.1

Company Profile

Peopalove is a Brand Conceptualist. The company brings brands to life with great ideas through the unique branding formula to differentiate, build and focus them. For more than a decade, they have shaped many great brands to communicate well with their customersâ€&#x; target audiences so that they are constantly branded, wanted and loved.

The Believe Peopalove believes that a brand is more than just packaging; it is the soul of a product or service. Building great brands require great ideas, great minds, a great family of people, great partnership, great vision, and most of all, great love. It is a journey that takes a lifetime of passion and it is very important to start the journey rightly branded, right from the start. The future of a brand can be shaped when you have the right brand system with the right people.

Peopalove build brands that people will remember. They build brands that people can feel and love, they build brands that people choose to share with family and friends. They go beyond asking the customers what they thought. They watch how the people behave with their brand and then shape it to make them fall in love with it. They will identify that unique and profitable brand gap for their customer, and position the brand so that their customer will own the heart and mind share of the target audience. All with the ultimate aim for the customer to become a brand leader.

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Peopalove’s Expertise Peopalove is driven with commitment and dedication to see the brands that they build rise to the very top, through expertise that has been refined with love and experience.

Holistic Brand Conceptualization Creating a brand involves more than just a change of outlook. Every aspect of the brand has to be taken into consideration, analyzed, strategized and executed correctly, to create uniqueness in the total brand experience. Peopalove serving their customer from brand identity to:

Brand image;

Brand protection;

Brand positioning;

Brand promotion;

Brand distribution; and

Brand alignment.

Peopalove always ensure holistic brand conceptualization for great brands. Branded Vision 3B’s Peopalove branded vision are as below:

Branded Locally,

Branded in Asia,

Branded Globally.

Peopalove‟s vision to differentiate, build and focus on local SME brands to become branded and wanted brands in the local market, in Asia and eventually throughout the world.

With holistic branding, Peopalove will guide SME brands to become brands that are branded, wanted and loved at their home ground. Peopalove will continue to take on the challenges to grow these SME brands to gain branded position in Asian markets and eventually, to become branded global brands in the world.

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Branded Mission 9B’s Peopalove branded mission with 9B‟s are stated as below:1. Branded Team – equipped with RIGHTitude and focused skills, our branded team produces world class brands for every client through passion, commitment and pride that we place in our branding works. 2. Branded Mindset – cultivating a positive and practice mindset where we blend optimism with practicality and creativity, we create strategic branding concepts to brand SMEs everywhere. 3. Branded Experience – for more than a decade, our brandfolio of helping many local SME brands penetrate the international market has been proven through both our walk and talk in branding. 4. Branded System – from brand identity to brand image, brand protection, brand positioning, brand promotion, brand distribution and brand alignment, our branded system creates wanted brands for clients. 5. Branded Solution – through brand differentiation, brand building and brand focusing as well as our fresh, unique and practical branding approach, we gain reputable status for providing strategic branding solutions. 6. Branded Partnership – in excellence, we provide value added services and benefits through our branded partnerships with clients, vendors, government sector, associates and more. 7. Branded Clientele – We are committed to our clients in working together as branding partners to generate brand ideas, grow their brands, as well as to persevere through challenges together in making branding dreams come true. 8. Brand Results – achieving branded and wanted results throughout our team as we build branded products, services, retails, corporate and more, we enhance the values of brands through our love for branding. 9. Branded K-Generation – we continuously seek to create a k-generation whose lives are enriched through ROI, employment opportunities, brand education and more rewards.

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Branded Means Wanted

3.0 Business Background

The entrepreneur, Mr. Wesley Chuah has been involved in design and advertising since he was 15 years old. Like his peers, he used to work in several supermarket and departmental store. Mr. Wesley Chuah later move on to the design and advertising industry, by taking part in window display and small advertising company in Wisma Central and this served as a stepping stone for his later career. Although he has been involving in this industry since 15 years old, but Peopalove has just started in the year 1997, when the global economic was in crisis.

His business is now located in Penang island and Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, with 30 over employees assisting him.

Motivation is always an incentive or encouragement for entrepreneur to start their own business. Mr. Wesley Chuah was a waiter and involved in restaurant business before he become a manager. His talent and experience in small advertising company allows him to get a job as graphic designer and illustrator. He later moved in to Saatchi & Saatchi and work on TV commercial, shooting, conceptualizing, brand developing and strategizing business. The multiple experiences, understanding and expertise give him an extra incentive and motivation to be an entrepreneur. Besides experiences and expertise, an entrepreneurâ€&#x;s passion in building a brand is also very important. According to Mr. Wesley Chuah, he would be super rich now if he started a business, instead of being an entrepreneur. He wanted to be super wealthy by building a brand of his own, which is Peopalove.

Mr. Wesley Chuah proved being an entrepreneur does not need a successful or rich family background. He himself did not come from a rich background, and he does not have a family and friends from business. He worked very hard and started everything from scratch. Besides,

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reading does help Mr. Wesley Chuah a lot. He reads books that tell about ideas, intellectual properties, brand management, Zig Ziglar‟s motivational books and some global company‟s books. The reason why reading helps a lot is because entrepreneur can learn more from books than what can be learnt from school, and it helps us to be a more complete person, in terms of mentality and personality.

Mr. Wesley Chuah set up Peopalove in the year 1997, having started with from his bedroom, and expanded to a shop lot, with just 10 people working together from early morning to the late middle night. But soon he realizes that crazy working hours are not the right way to achieve growth because people need to grow organically. His efforts from a small bedroom expanding into today‟s strength are one good thing for today young entrepreneur to learn from. Mr. Wesley Chuah emphasized a lot on consistency and patience.

At the same time, Mr. Wesley Chuah also realizes that his employees need to have the right maturity to prevent the company from breaking or falling apart.

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Branded Means Wanted

4.0 Perception of Business Success

Mr. Wesley Chuah‟s business is quite a success; given there are several partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). Due to the passion and the great insight from Mr. Wesley Chuah, Peopalove has been focusing on SME since 15 years ago. Sinma Jewelry is one of the SME that Peopalove approached with. They rebuild Sinma into better brand, and attracted Middle East entrepreneur to take their franchise. Peopalove help SoxWorld to expand its market into China. Rebuilding of a brand and re-conceptualization of a brand was what Mr. Wesley Chuah and his team do.

Entrepreneurs do not always satisfy with what he has on his own hand. As for him, he did not limit his own field on branding and he wishes to teach the younger generation about branding. So, his plan of starting up his own branding college was planned; at least not for now. According to Mr. Wesley Chuah, he wishes to open a branding college in another 3-5 years‟ time with 20 years of solid foundation. Mr. Wesley Chuah argued that, there is no single real competitor in his field, when he came back from London in 1997. It would be great for him, for not being complacent, if there is a competitor. Competition can prevent them from being complacent but yet they are still working hard even there is no real single competitor in their field. They even worked from morning to 12am the next day. This is how hard they worked. Mr. Wesley Chuah did not claim himself as “successful” in this business, but he claimed “people stick with you, when you are doing a fantastic job”, and the fact is, Pallas proved that I am doing the right job, by sticking with Peopalove for almost 10 years. For him, partnership is more important than his clients. Although he did not claim he is successful, but he did told us how to be successful. Based on his past experiences with his clients, he told us not to be a stingy person. You can always be stingy in business, but not in branding. To build a brand, we have to position our brand into the people to spread the brand, the entrepreneur said. He

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wants to be a success in the next 5 years, and when he does, he wants to do animation movie and expand into branding college. All these reflect his entrepreneurial passion.

Mr. Wesley Chuah measures his success in the business, by using a success differentiation among competitors. He distinguishes between a fight and differentiation. “You have to understand who you are fighting. If you know how to differentiate yourself then the fight will be much easier because the fight is not about the competitor. There is no fight there if you know how to differentiate. If you know how to differentiate, you don‟t need to fight anyone. If you don‟t know how to differentiate then you will have to fight”. Self differentiation makes Peopalove a different brand from the rest. Just try to imagine, when Steve Jobs enter the market and he does not need to fight to be the market leader. “Make love to the customer, like a Romeo, when the customer loves you, they will buy your products and support your brand” quoted Mr. Wesley Chuah. Differentiation makes Apple Inc. a different brand from its direct competitors in the same field, and they do not need to fight to be a top brand. Apple Inc. is able to differentiate itself because Apple Inc. did a good job in branding, and thus is able to avoid the fight against its competitor. So in the real situation of the entrepreneur, he did make a differentiation by doing a branding, instead of making advertisement and designing.

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Branded Means Wanted

5.0 Competencies of the Entrepreneur

Peopalove does not do pitching. Pitching was defined by the entrepreneur, Mr. Wesley Chuah as a company that does all the design, the strategies and plans and then shows everything to its clients. Peopalove daily routines or activities are to approach its clients and then does the analysis on how to improve its client brand positioning. Peopalove will only come out with the costing, plans and strategies once the client agrees on the analysis done earlier. Mr. Wesley Chuah also reiterated that his company only presents their ideas once to their client whereby no changes can be made to that idea and they have been doing that for the past 15 years. Some of Peopaloveâ€&#x;s clients include the notable Pallas, Sinma, SoxWorld, Wardrobe and Allianze University College of Medical Sciences.

Peopalove emphasizes on brand positioning. Mr. Wesley Chuah added that many Malaysian companies do not know the true meaning of an advertising company. Many Malaysian advertising companies only do promotional campaign and they do not even do brand positioning. Advertising without brand positioning will not increase brand value according to Mr. Wesley Chuah.

At first, Peopalove is only involved in designing brochure and some printing as not many Malaysian companies understand the significance of brand positioning. As time passes, Peopaloveâ€&#x;s clients start to understand the effect of brand positioning and Peopalove started to get jobs from Sinma, SoxWorld, Vista, Wardrobe, Lewre and many more over the years. Peopalove decided to focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) for now as its target market segment, as this segment needs serious branding to help them grow into becoming corporate brands.

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Mr. Wesley Chuah stated the importance of job related skills and abilities. He further explained that some companies do not have the necessary skills and abilities but just the business mind of making money. For a brand or company to be successful, it needs the right people. The right people means that colleagues that are positive, strong and persistence. They have to sustain on what they believe in. Mr. Wesley Chuah also added that branding needs consistency. A brand without consistency will not go far. Most Malaysian companies do not practice brand consistency unlike their foreign counterparts such as Starbucks, McDonald, and BMW. Mr. Wesley Chuah added that branding is neither an entertainment nor a business. Branding needs consistency and it is like building relationship with the consumer. Branding must be very exciting, very creative, very flexible, and very lovable and it must be something that people wants to talk about all the time. For advertising, people will talk about it and stop. So branding is a very unique tool if someone knows how to use it. Take Milo as an example, when Milo first started, it is connected to sports, until today it is still connected to sports. However, many Malaysian brands do not practice consistency. Branding is also about differentiation and not about which company offers the cheapest price. Mr. Wesley Chuah also stated that his long term goal is to be a branding guru and he intends to achieve it through making medium sized company into a global brand.

Mr. Wesley Chuah acknowledged that he is lucky to have really good people with him and this is the reason that Studeo Grafix was later rebranded to become Peopalove. Peopalove means people and love. In business, plan will not necessarily come accordingly, it probably comes about 50% or 60% of the original plan. As time passes by, Mr. Wesley Chuah made quite a several people that joined him at early stage to become partners. Peopalove is driven by partnership and this is also one of the reasons Studeo Grafix has been rebranded to become Peopalove.

Mr. Wesley Chuah came back from London to Penang to start up Peopalove because he was told that “if you are good in branding, you should go find a place that looks like a jungle and nobody know what is branding, and prove to yourself that you can sell it to these people that need branding.” Subsequently, Peopalove managed to convince SEC to adopt its ideas and this is where “XIN XIN” was rebranded to SEC. Now, SEC shop layout and its electrical appliances display and arrangement are arranged in a consistent way and this is how SEC is being differentiated from its competitors.

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Mr. Wesley Chuah is aware of his duty as a CEO and a visionary. He got to lead a team of people that have the same dream as him. He understands the importance of time and has no time to waste on clients that are not committed to his ideas.

Mr. Wesley Chuah also recalls one of its toughest experiences when he was just a student. He came from a very poor family and did not have the financial resources like others to go to college and university. His dream was to get into the Malaysian Institution of Arts after completing his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) but could not find the money. Instead, he went to London with just 70 pounds and even had to resort to sleeping on the street with homeless people to pursue his dream of becoming a brand conceptualist. He came back from London to Malaysia to start his own company back in 1997 where there was an economic turmoil. He faced with an uphill task of convincing his clients about his idea of branding but no one agrees on it because at that time almost all companies are living on a shoestring budget. So, he literally started very small. He bought an Apple Macintosh and hired a graphic designer. Both of them then went around educating their clients about branding.

Peopalove will never be a global company. Peopalove can only be a Penangite company if time is wasted on the wrong client. Peopalove wants to be a global company. Global company does not mean that you got to open offices all over the world. You can be global by having your Headquarters (HQ) in Penang and use the internet to expand globally. Mr. Wesley Chuah noted that in this 21st century, business is a 24/7 game. Many local businessmen do not understand the 24/7 game. They only open their shop from 9pm-6pm. Local businessmen are unaware that they can still run their businesses by using technology, be it a Samsung tablet, an IPhone or a Macintosh. Mr. Wesley Chuah also described how some of his clients wasted his time because they have no real intention to give him the business. They are only interested to get information and this is life. You got to learn what it is, the more you learn the better you become, and Mr. Wesley Chuah took almost 20 over years to do what he is doing now and this has made him to be able to make sharp and decisive decision on issues relating to branding.

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Branded Means Wanted

6.0 Learning and Training Issues

The entrepreneur, Mr. Wesley Chuah has both subjective and objective insights regarding to learning and training of his employees. He realizes that a lot of students or young minds nowadays are not studying for what they are really interested in or like but merely because of money seeking in future. In other words, they are just learning whatever they believe in making money. This is really a fallback or shortcoming to our social and themselves. Therefore, he does train his employees or students to believe in the real skills in terms of formal and informal but not to train them merely to believe in making money.

One will eventually change to other industry or job after certain time if one does not study on what he or she likes. This is because this kind of person is very much interested to get involve in idea of making money and does not really concern about which skill he or she is applying with. For example, people who study graphic designing or illustration change their jobs to become sales man, insurance broker, and even direct selling after 3 years or 4 years time.

Besides, Mr. Wesley Chuah has found out that everything that becomes successful in his company is because of having the right people despite of how well the formal training is provided. Having the right people is the greatest assets in an organization rather than just money. One can pay people a lot of money and they may not be the right people you are searching for. He has encountered a lot of job changing by his employees and he changed his system. He altered Peopalove recruitment system by applying life-timer contract to his employees. “If you leave the company, you have to pay back a year salary� quoted Mr. Wesley Chuah. Through life-timer contract, people that who are willing to join you are truly the right people because they do not mind having all these tough and stringent rules.

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By the way, the staffs in this company have also been going through a lot of toughness, hardship and difficult time such as scolding, reprimanding and others. They are trained to be confident, to be quick in respond and so forth. They are also taught to keep on improving themselves and there are a lot of chances available for them to try on new things in order to create greater values for themselves.

Branding company has a lot of strategies going on and there is a lot of thinking cap. This is really a burning hourâ€&#x;s process but there is no other way but to do a lot of researches. Research which is conducted by experts is used to know what is happening in the world and to understand the strategy of different company. Furthermore, there is a lot of data collected from the books, internets and medias as well as communication with experienced people. Besides, external support also plays an important role here. These data help a company to strategize and conceptualize the look and feel whether is the right brand name, the right logo, the right slogan, and so forth.

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Branded Means Wanted

7.0 Business Environment

The entrepreneur, Mr. Wesley Chuah has found out that there are so many types of business model nowadays which majority of businessman would not understand because a typical businessman is to buy and sell. However, a lot of youngsters nowadays are not into trading. Rather, they are in building a brand and in technology business. So, the landscape of business has changed tremendously and people need to adapt to it and try to grow from it.

Mr. Wesley Chuah is not that satisfy with the business environment of Malaysia. This is because he felt that the business environment is not very healthy in Malaysia and majority of the clients is very unethical. “Nobody will pay you on time in Malaysia�, he said. It is always lack of cash on hand and if the business is not moving that well, this is the tough game for you to sustain. The true environment can only be experienced by getting involved in the real battlefield. The real business environment is different from what is taught inside the textbook because sometime businessman can be very cunning. If you ever come out and do anything, you have to be prepared due to uncertainties said Mr. Wesley Chuah.

Undoubtedly, financial support is truly important to succeed a business. However, he had a lot of hard time during 1997. When he came back in 1997, it was turmoil in Malaysia and financial crisis was happening. He went to many banks to get loans but failed and they were telling him all sorts of story said that it is not the right time to do business. Everyone during that time was negative and pessimistic, he kept explaining to others that he was doing branding not business but nobody understood what he was talking about. Therefore, he had to start very small business, basically in his room.

In addition, he also felt that staying around with great people who with skills and competencies is very important to determine the success of a business. Without doing so, you

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would become nothing at the end. For example, David Beckham, a famous footballer who was a player of Manchester United (MU) last time. He was groomed by MU to become the superstar of MU. When he left MU, he becomes a brand of everything but no longer a brand of MU. He is just merely a brand of his own which is nothing compared to MU. Now he is just the superstar of a celebrity.

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Branded Means Wanted

8.0 Guidance to Future Entrepreneurs

Mr. Wesley Chuah, who is a successful entrepreneur, had urged that an entrepreneur should not have a mindset like a businessman. He claimed that if an entrepreneur thinks like a businessman, he or she is far behind from the trend. In opposite, if an entrepreneur thinks what an entrepreneur supposes to be, then he or she definitely would be the first updated. He argued that businessman is only a money hunter. They work and conduct business for the sake of money or for the promising profit return. Furthermore, once they find it difficult to continue in their business, they will give up and divert into other business. They are also smart in looking for “Kang Tao� which means benefits in Hokkien, especially those in Asian country. Entrepreneurs are dream builders, no matter how tough is the situation and they will still aim toward their dreams and overcome the problem. He also said that entrepreneur do not look for deals. Instead, they create their own dream that is special and unique which aspires the world to pursue it. This is one of the lessons that Mr. Wesley Chuah gained during his time in London.

According to the interview, Mr. Wesley Chuah mentioned that an entrepreneur should gain an insight of looking toward the future instead of just enjoying the benefit that they have now. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of the Facebook, he does not do any advertising and it is free to the entire world. The reason he is able to do this because he understands the concept of getting the attraction and attention from the public first and the return of investment comes in later. Once he gets the attraction, that was the time he branded up Facebook and acquired a higher value for it and this eventually transformed him into one of the wealthiest man in the world. However, this transformation does not occur overnight. Mr. Wesley Chuah argued that the greatest thing in a company is the people and among the all love is the greatest. It means if an entrepreneur knows the way to love their customers and

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in return the customers love what are being done for them, then it is the best way to build up a successful and stable business.

Mr. Wesley Chuah suggested in creating a more realistic plan, one must be able to read more about real and current occurring instead of only referring to the textbook. He added that we could refer to the books from Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela. Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos is an ideal example which we can read through. The more we read, the more we gained and along the way we are building up wisdom that enables us to have a deep understanding in people, thing and situations.

The number one characteristic shared by successful entrepreneurs is passion for their business. This passion is typically the stem of the entrepreneurâ€&#x;s belief that the business will positively influence peopleâ€&#x;s lives. Entrepreneurs do not work for the purpose of earning money. They dedicate themselves on rare and unique thing. The only thing they will do is to master it well and this is what the Malaysianâ€&#x;s entrepreneur lack off. Age is not a problem; you can still be a successful entrepreneur when the time you reached 60 years old.

Mr. Wesley Chuah argued that entrepreneurs are different because they are able to face hardship and they see difficulties with optimism. Entrepreneurs need to be optimistic and not pessimistic because they cannot be a negative person. In Peopalove, everyone who is in this organization is a family because they believe in adapting family culture. They care and concern about each other. Whenever there is someone who sick, it is our responsibility to take him or her for consultation and treatment.

Mr. Wesley Chuah realizes that taking good care of the people in the organization is one of the strategies in branding. The increasing number of employee turnover will cost a lot to the organization. For instance, we need to take a couple of months to train up the new employee. If they decided to leave the company, they will leave nothing to us and so we have to bare the loss such as the investment, the software and the salary that previously spent on them.

Entrepreneurs have to be personally involved in running up the business. As a leader, they should exhibit the characteristic such as charismatic and persuasive type. At certain time, entrepreneurs also need to be a strong leader. They are said to be a leader that wear different hats, which mean they have to show different attitude or personality to different type of

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employee in the organization. This is because sometimes as a leader, they need to be firm and stick to their principle even though he or she might be badly addressed by the employee. That is the way entrepreneurs lead people.

Being an entrepreneur is very different compare to a businessman. Mr. Wesley Chuah realized businessmen are trickier. For examples, they can be nice to you or laugh along with you when doing a business, but at the back they might be backstabbing on you. Mr. Wesley Chuah added that entrepreneurs especially Malaysian entrepreneurs should read more regarding global entrepreneurship to gain a bigger insight of the world.

Lastly, Mr. Wesley Chuah said that entrepreneurship is all about building up the community. It is about helping up each other even though there is no return. He added even an entrepreneur that is highly rank in that particular field, he or she will still lend a big hand to bring up the new bunch of youngster in the business field. This is what differentiates an entrepreneur from a businessman.

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Branded Means Wanted

9.0 Conclusion

Mr. Wesley Chuah start up his business because of his passion and his skills in 1997. With 15 years experiences as Brand Conceptualist, he has 30 over teammates with same mission working in Peopalove. He emphasizes on building foundation before start-up any business. For example, he are master in graphic design, TV commercial, shooting, conceptualizing, brand developing and strategizing business. He builds his foundation years over years to make sure he will be success in one day.

Mr. Wesley Chuah said that entrepreneurs should not always satisfy with what he has on his own hand. This is because if satisfy with current situation, they will not going to move to another stage, which means they not going to improve anymore. As for him, he always looks for the chances to breakthrough in his own field but out of his own limits. He did not claim himself as successful in this business, but he claimed “people stick with you, when you are doing a fantastic job”, and the fact is, Pallas proved that I am doing the right job, by sticking with Peopalove for almost 10 years. For him, partnership is more important than client. He tends to build a relationship with client as partnership due to in his perception, he feel that the important of being partnership can create a better roles responsible than just a client. Mr. Wesley emphasizes on differentiation. He said, “if you know how to differentiate, you don’t need to fight anyone. If you don’t know how to differentiate, then you will have to fight.” He strategizes all clients with a unique brand positioning and makes them stand out in that particular of field.

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In term of the competencies of the entrepreneur, he does not do any pitching in getting business. He only customize for those who are serious in branding. To increase the firmâ€&#x;s competencies, he always provides training to increase job related skills and abilities.

The entrepreneur, Mr. Wesley Chuah has both subjective and objective insights regarding to learning and training of his employees. He realizes that a lot of students or young minds nowadays are not studying for what they are really interested in or like but merely because of money seeking in future. In other words, they are just learning whatever they believe in making money. This is really a fallback or shortcoming to our social and themselves. Therefore, he does train his employees or students to believe in the real skills in terms of formal and informal but not to train them merely to believe in making money.

He also felt that staying around with great people who with skills and competencies is very important to determine the success of a business. Without doing so, you would become nothing at the end. For example, David Beckham, a famous footballer who was a player of Manchester United (MU) last time. He was groomed by MU to become the superstar of MU. When he left MU, he becomes a brand of everything but no longer a brand of MU. He is just merely a brand of his own which is nothing compared to MU. Now he is just the superstar of a celebrity.

Last but not least, to be an entrepreneur, we must build up our foundation and willing to unlearn and relearn. Always keep on the latest trends will allowed us to see the chances and opportunities. Only with mastering the foundation, then will be available to compete and stand out with the market.

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Branded Means Wanted

10.0 References

Peopalove Official Website, http://www.peopalove.com

Peopalove Branding Official Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/peopalove.branding

Peopalove Recruitment Portal, http://www.peopalove.com/joinus

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Branded Means Wanted

11.0 Appendix

11.1

Assignment Guidelines

School of Management Semester II, Academic Session 2011/2012 ATW401 - ENTREPRENEURSHIP ASSIGNMENT TITLE OF RESEARCH PROJECT: “UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCES OF MALAYSIAN ENTREPRENEURS”

YOUR TASK: [1] Form a group of 4 or 5 members [2] Each group is required to interview an entrepreneur (a person who runs his/her own business) [3] Use the interview protocol given as a guideline for the interview [4] Each group is required to prepare a report based on the interview conducted [5] The report should include the followings:  Abstract  Introduction – Background information of the entrepreneur being interviewed  Body – Sections that provide all the answers to the interview questions  Conclusion  References (if any)

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RESEARCH PROJECT: UNDERSTANDING ENTREPRENEURS’ EXPERIENCES PERSONAL AND FIRM INFORMATION Part 1: Personal information

Current age:

Place of Birth:

Gender:

Male / Female (Please underline)

Years in current company:

Position in current company:

Education/Qualifications/Training:

Previous occupation:

Part 2: Firm information Firm Location: Year of the company: No of employees: (Full time and part time) Nature of business:

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INTERVIEW PROTOCOL Section 1: Business background

Objective

1. How long have you been in this business? 2. How many employees do you have so far? 3. What motivates you to start your own business? 4. Do you inherit this business from your family or your own initiative? 5. How many times (if any) have you attempted to set up own business?

To obtain background and demographic data

Section 2: Perceived meaning of success

Objective

1. How do you consider your current business achievement? 2. Are you satisfied with what you have achieved? 3. Do you consider yourself as successful in this business? 4. How do you measure success in business?

To understand entrepreneurs’ perception of business success

Section 3: Competencies related to managing own firms

Objective

1. How do you run your business?

To identify behaviours that reflect competencies

Probes:  What are your daily routines or activities?  What are the areas that you pay attention to most in business?  How do you allocate your time on the business?  What are the major responsibilities in managing your business? 2. How was your firm being further developed since starting up? 3. What are the characteristics, abilities, and skills required to succeed in your position? 4. How have things changed over time? 5. What sort of things has been done to cope with the changes? 6. What sort of plan do you make? 7. Could you describe the toughest experience in business? 8. How do you face the challenges during hard times? 9. What have you learnt from the incident? Section 4: Learning and Training Issues

Objective

To understand the 1. What is your opinion on the value of formal training? 2. To what extend is support from others including experts, entrepreneurs’ view of formal training and mentors, and trainers important for your business? external support.

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Section 5: Business Environment

Objective

1. How far do you think the environment can affect the success/failure of a business (e.g., economic condition, government policy)

To understand the relevance of external pressure in determining business success.

2. To what extent do you think financial support (from government and/or financial institutions) is important to success of your business? 3. Is business success/failure due to external factors or mainly due to lack of skills and competencies among entrepreneurs? Your opinion? Section 6: Final comment

Objective

1. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start his To obtain more or her own business? information on the competencies required to lead a successful venture

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11.2

Photo with the Entrepreneur

(From left) Khoo Khay Xiang, Chuah Wen Xu, Wesley Chuah (The Founder & CEO of Peopalove), Goh Chong Mun, Ng Kin Yung

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11.3

Interview Conversation

Wesley: I was basically involved in design and advertising since I was 15 years old. I used to work in several supermarket, departmental store, window display and small advertising company in Wisma Central in order to make some money. [With hand gesture] I came from a very poor family and I didn‟t have a chance like you all guys to go to college and university. I wanted to go to Malaysian Institution of Arts after my SPM but I couldn‟t find the money. In order to explore myself to college and university, so I went to London with just 70 pounds and slept on the street with homeless people. Later on I became a waiter and I was involved in restaurant business until I became a manager. [Pause and smile] Finally, I went to look for jobs because I am good in designing as graphic designer and illustrator and finally I got into 2 companies that specialize in designing from brochures to CD covers to pamphlets to posters and so forth, so I did a lot of work and I like it. [Tone increasing at the end] Eventually my boss asks me to work at Saatchi & Saatchi which I have no clue who they are. Finally I got into it and start helping out in TV commercial, shooting,

conceptualizing, brand developing, directing, and

strategizing businesses and so forth. [Pause and change sitting posture]

So the differences in Malaysian environment in Malaysia whether is advertising or design is concerned.. erm.. People are very interested to start a business but a lot of time they don‟t have the skill behind it. They don‟t have the skill, for example the advertising; they don‟t have the advertising skill but they have the business mind because they want to make money from advertising. But that is to me is a fallback and a negative part of it because we don‟t train our student or we don‟t train our young minds or talents to believe in that skill but we cannot train them like believe in making money. That is really a fallback. [With hand gesture] Because when you guys grow up, you are not studying because you like it but just studying for because you want to make money. Eventually, you would change industry after certain time. [Pause] I seen people who study graphic designing, who study illustrator, who study 3D designing, along the ways after 3 years or 4 years they change their jobs to become sales man, insurance broker, and many others could be

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even direct selling. [With a sarcastic smiley] I think the reason being is they begin with the thing they don‟t really interesting in like graphic designer or advertising rep or whatever they study, they will very much involve in idea of making money. [Pause and take a deep breath] So I wasn‟t taught this kind of guidance or teaching to become rich in what I do, but I was taught to become a specialist and eventually my skill would give me very high value that I can become very wealthy. [Grinning] It took almost 20 over years to do what I am doing now and has made me very sharply in my decision making of creating brand for company. [Drink water in small sips]

When I came back in 1997, it was turmoil in our country and crisis was happening, I went to many banks and they were telling me all sorts of story, telling me this is not a right time to do business, everyone was negative and pessimistic. [With hand gesture] I was telling them that I am not doing business, I am doing something different which is not a business but it is a brand. Nobody understood what I was talking about in 1997. So I had to literally start very small, I started in my room, I bought a Macintosh, I hired 1 graphic designer to start with me, and I go out educating my client about branding. Normally my clients are very much interested to get us to design brochures and advertising campaign.

[With smile] Most

Malaysians do promotional campaign and they thought that is advertising which they not even do positioning. So what I did was explaining to the client that keeps on doing that you won‟t increase brand value, eventually people don‟t understand what actually you want to do. You may be able to position a promotion, everybody know how to do promotion but you have to understand how to brand your company or your brand to have a value just like a person you need to brand yourself to a certain time and certain degree of value for yourself then people will start paying you more. You can‟t expect people to pay you immediately high price. It doesn‟t work like that. [High tone and confident] My client start to understand and start to pick up that what is the difference between advertising and designing, they start giving me job and I got small small client, for example like Modesto, [With hand gesture] a club that came to Penang and it is the 1st one to date with us, then we went in to do Motorola, Crest Ultrasonic, hotels, cafes. But then I found I wasn‟t that focus. I was doing everybody and this is not right. And I say to myself, I wouldn‟t want to do that, I would like to focus and then we choose to focus on

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SME (Small Medium Enterprises) which they are not start up and they are not the big boys but the medium boys where they already show some success in their business but now they have to jump to become a bigger boy so they need to understand what is branding and differentiate themselves. [Nodding his head]

So we saw Sinma Costume Jewelry as a potential. We went in and revamp Sinma and they overnight became a success, become something by a brand, and then the Middle East entrepreneur came to see them and wanted to take franchise. They signed up with the Middle East investors and had in 100 franchise contracts went out to the Middle East which is brilliant. And then we have SoxWorld came into us, they are the only biggest socks provider in all over the Malaysia and they want to have differentiation, a better look and feel and better system, so we told them how to do it and we got the contract and we revamped the entire SoxWorld a brand for Malaysia, then they grew and expand to China.

[Pause and recalling] Then we have Pallas who kind of like lost position in the shoe, so call canvas shoe industry because I grew up wearing Pallas shoes as well (school shoes) but they lost touch with the community, with people they thought Pallas is a dying brand. Then we were called in and we did a brand analysis and we found out Pallas had a very good foundation to build camber shoes because Pallas is the one that actually doing OEM for Converse.[Surprising] Unfortunately, they do not know how to build their own brand. That is a sad part. We told them that 90% of the shoes they showed us on the wall to discontinue it because they were selling taichi shoes, and selling those Indonesian site contractors cheap shoes, I told them that this is rubbish and throw it away. We chose a set of canvas shoes then we asked them to redesign their canvas shoes and we re-conceptualized the branding of it. It triggers the entire industry and they had a new life to the brand. They went to the industry and had the road shows calling all dealers to attend and we did a repricing for them and it was a sold out. Totally sold out. [High tone and big wide grin] Pallas been with us for 10 years, so if you do a fantastic job, people stick with you. You become sticky, you know? But having said that sometime you can do a fantastic job for certain brand and you know that there are typical China men, they do not want to grow, and they just want to play the price.. erm.. [Seal up his lip] tactic kinds of games, sometime we have to pull out. Not necessary all the time that

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you have to grow long-term with a client then only become successful. I don‟t agree with that because my kind of plan tells is more like a partnership rather than client. Sometimes you go into partnership is like a husband and wife. You have to find the right wife and she has to find a right husband, so there is a long-term commitment. So if you found the wrong girlfriend, and I advice don‟t marry her. Don‟t force yourself to marry a client. So we have a lot of experiences with client and I find that the client in Malaysia is very different, extremely different. If you look at Penang itself, most of the clients is categorized as “giamsiap” (stingy). If you really young people and you want to come out then build brands rather than doing business, you have to stop having that mindset of “giamsiap”. If you giamsiap, you can‟t even like us create a pisang duster and giving away to people. Because the mentality of the China man boss will ask if when we not selling this, why we need to do this. They won‟t understand. By doing that actually you are building a brand. I am not selling to u all guys, I am positioning. Positioning a brand doesn‟t mean like you sell to everyone but you trying get everyone be able to remember the brand and help you spread the brand to any other people. [Pause and change sitting posture] Facebook doesn‟t do advertising, it is free but how did it make money? If you find a China man to invest in Facebook, it is a failure. It would never ever become successful today. But because investors in New York understand how to invest a company that do not require return of investment for the next 10 years and still will keep on investing optimistically because they know the concept behind it is to get the so call traction first. Once you get traction, you would then be able to brand up and get a higher value for it and then return on investment will come in later not immediately. [With hand gesture] There are so many types of business model nowadays which majority so call Penangites, China man, businessman would not understand because a typical businessman is to buy and sell, there is called trading and a lot of youngsters are not in the trading nowadays. They are into building a brand and all the technology business and so forth, so the landscape of business has changed tremendously and people have to grow from it. Having seen all this, I didn‟t come from this kind of background. I came from a background which is very difficult and I don‟t have family and friend that are in business. I literally learn everything from sketch. Having work in advertising company doesn‟t mean I learn

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everything but I had to buy books and I read a lot of books not like textbooks you read in school but the books that tell you about ideas, intellectual properties, brand management... erm.. [Seal up his lip] management itself like Peter Drucker books, motivational books like Zig Ziglar that help a lot, Robin Sharma you know… [With hand gesture] All these books help you to understand more about many many companies globally. You cannot do branding or advertising or any business and think like a businessman. If you think like a businessman, you are outdated. If you think like an entrepreneur, you would be updated. [Confident] The reason is the businessman is only money hunter, they only hunt for money. [Take a breath] For entrepreneurs, they don‟t hunt for anything, they are dream builders, they build dreams. No matter how difficult they go through, they will overcome it. Businessmen once they get the toughest side of the wall, they will back off and go into other business. [Laughing] They always look out for “kangtao” that is businessman in Asia. But I learn in London is you don‟t look for deals, you create your dreams. You build something that is so differentiated the world wants it. This is why I came back from London and started in Penang because I was told that if you damn good in branding, you should go find a place that looks like a jungle and nobody know what is branding, and prove to yourself that you can sell it to these people that need branding.

Now if you are wasting your time with the wrong client, you going to be a Penangite company as well. We don‟t want that. We want to be a global company. [Pause while taking breathe] Global company need not says that you got to be everywhere in the world that‟s means you got to open offices all over the world. It doesn‟t work like that. You can be global by having your HQ in Penang and use the internet to expand globally. This is the 24th century, 21st century businesses. It is a 24/7 games. You know which a lot of local businessmen that do not understand the 24/7 game. They only open shop from 9-6pm or 9-5pm you know. They don‟t understand after that what do you do from it. [Shaking his head] Can you operate from Iphone? Could you operate from Samsung tablet or can you operate even from a macintosh? They don‟t understand that. So, we are trying to get to that level. Having said all these, going back to how you know we prolong our business. It is difficult. Having started with just you know, a set up in a bedroom, 1 graphic designer and then two graphic designer and then we expand to a shop lot in Anson

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Road, having about 10 people at the beginning of it, we were like anyone else. We want to grow very fast. You know. We want to grow and grow and grow and we even went like two shifts. You know, you have to understand growth is not for you to chase you know. It has to grow organically. You have to make sure the people have the right maturity you know. Because if the people don‟t have the right maturity, they will fall you know and it will break the company. Erm, [Seal up his lip] one thing that I am lucky is I am lucky to have really good people with me. [Big wide smiley] That‟s why when we first started our company, it is called Studeo Grafix. You know and later on we rebrand it to become Peopalove. So, along the way, we have found out that everything that becomes successful in my company is because of having the right people. [Pause and drink water in small sips] You know. Having the right people is the greatest assets that you can find rather than just money. Money, you can‟t do the same thing like having the right people. You know. You can pay people a lot of money and they may not be the right people. Because along the way, you know if somebody else offers them just slightly higher salary of RM300, they will change job. You know, that‟s not right people. We have encountered a lot of that and we change our system. We change our system by applying a life-timer contract. We have a life-timer contract in our company. If you guys want to work for us, you have to sign life-timer contract. If you leave the company, you have to pay back 1 year salary. It is a much differentiated game-changing kind of system. You know. That shows to you that these people that join us is really truly right people because they don‟t even mind having all these tough kind of strict rules. [Smiley] Ah, that‟s why it makes a lot of difference having these sorts of people with us. Aikim (manager) is one of them, She started with me after she graduated. She got her master, she could have worked with USM, she could have worked with any big uni (university) and just teaches people and she gets more money than I pay her. But, she decided to join us because there‟s you know chemistry between me and her and the company and she stick around through the hardship. Really really difficult time, there were a lot of scolding on her. You know, she got to really, you know to grow really quickly. It‟s no longer just a student. You know, you guys just walk in and addressing the CEO and you are very quiet, [Snarling] you know, that‟s not the way to do it. You got to have confidence. If you don‟t have confidence, then nobody believes you. [Pause] So, I have to teach her about confidence. I got to teach her how to become a

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conceptual writer. I got to teach her everything because she doesn‟t know all these. Okay, at first she joined us as a persuasion executive which she got to go out and get sales but when she goes out and sees the client, you know, she freaked out, She felt like they are like sharks, they are very manipulative, seriously. When you do sales it is different when you do indoor. You know, indoor you are more protective, very hibernate kind of concept and she wanted to change her job. So , I put her under conceptual writing which is she got no clue on what is conceptual writing but I thought you know, maybe give her a try you know, she probably can write. You know, sometimes in business right, you might think your plan will come accordingly, it won‟t. It probably comes about 50%, 60%. [With hand gesture] With her situation, it is very different you know it is just like it was meant to be. You know she studied biology okay and ended up in a branding company and become a conceptual writer and now I already made her a partner. So I made quite a several people that joined me at early stage to become partner. Our company is driven by partnership. The reason why we changed from Studeo Grafix to become Peopalove is because we love two things all these while you know. In business we learnt the greatest thing in a company is the people and the mighty of all greatest is the love and if you got love and you got people and you know how to love them and they know how to love what they do. You never end the game if you understand my point of view. If you look at Manchester united, it is about the people, and it‟s about the love of the game that‟s about it. 11 men kicking balls and then win a lot of cups and then make a lot of money and then make it into a worldwide brand. It‟s unbelievable just kicking balls. You don‟t even need to start a company to have 1000 people to make a difference. You just need to have 11 great guys. [Grin and confident] You know, and a super great coach, you know, and when you see David Bechkam left them and David Bechkam becomes a brand of everything. David Bechkam is no longer a brand of MU but a brand of its own which is nothing compared to MU because he was groomed up by MU to become the superstar of MU. Now he is no longer the superstar of anything. He is just the superstar of a celebrity which is nothing. You know, so what I am trying to tell you is if you don‟t stay around with all the great guys, you become nothing eventually. If you want a successful brand or a successful business, you need to stick around with the right people. [Pause] You need to be positive, you need to be strong, you know, you need to be very secure to do the same thing again and again and again to

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sustain what you believe in it and that create consistency. Branding need consistency. [High tone] If you want to brand something and you don‟t have consistency. You are not going to go far. You can go to Starbucks, you see consistency, you can go to McDonald, you see consistency right, you can go to BMW, you see consistency, [Nodding his head] you can go to Proton, you cannot see consistency. [Laughing] YA, you can go to Ayamas, you see no consistency. Okay, you go to any Malaysia brand, majority is no consistency. That‟s why I need to come back here and do this. I am still young, so I can try my best to look for medium sized company and try my best to brand them, if out of 30 years there is 3 become global brand, I made myself a guru. That‟s what it is. [Big wide grin] To become a guru is not the beginning or at the middle. It is not even at the end. There is no end. It is at the flow of it. How do you flow it until forever. You know, that‟s what we are doing. That‟s why we cannot quit. You know, it has been 15 years. Our plan maybe after 18 years, we going to start our branding college, we will have our branding talk show, we will have our animation, we will have our retail, we will have our beverages we will have lot of stuffs that we are going to do. And the reason why it will takes us 18 or 20 years then to start all these is to get our team ready first. Foundation is everything in all businesses. Foundation is not 5 years, 7 years, and 10 years. 20 years is foundation. If you cannot make a strong 20 years, forget about it. You will be crushed because there are so many competitors and do we see any competitor in our market? [High tone with hand gesture] We literally don‟t see any competitors. Why? Because I came back in 1997, there is no one doing branding? Yea, most of the people in Penang are only doing designing. Till today, there is not doing advertising. Advertising, majority of them are in KL (Kuala Lumpur) and the KL boys that are doing advertising are the multinationals that understands what is advertising, the rest of the boys are not doing advertising. They are just doing redesigning. You know, so, for us to do branding, it is very complicated business so the so called local companies start to rebrand themselves and say we are no longer advertising, we are now doing branding. Well, that‟s called copycat. You can copy somebody if you know what they are doing but you don‟t know what they are doing and then you rebrand yourself to become branding (company). It is a disaster for you because when the client thought you are doing branding, they call you and you go in and then you don‟t know what is branding, people will laugh at you and eventually your company will be destroyed. So, we

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don‟t really have any competitors. It will be great if there is a competitor. [Nodding his head] A competitor will make you not complacent and we don‟t want to be complacent. You know, but we have been working very hard for the past 15 years because people pass here and see that the light is still going on 12 o‟clock at night. They know that something is going on. [Pause and take a breath] So, we are not complacent. If our branding company becomes very successful in the next probably 5 years, we still want to do animation, we want to make animation movie, it is not under Peopalove, it is a different company but it is from the group of people that expands into other other things. [Big wide smiley] To become a businessman, I would say not everyone can do it but majority of people can do it. You guys can leave school and then just start a new business, register, buy and sell, go to China buy and sell. Everybody can do it nowadays, Okay, to build a brand, there is a lot of strategy going on, there is a lot of thinking cap, there is a lot of burning hours, there is a lot of long hours. There is no other way because you need to do a lot of research, you need to know what is happening in the world and go through lot things like that. Research you know, to understand the strategy of different different company. [With hand gesture] After u had taken all so called data from the internet and medias, and talking to people and reading books and then you have to sit down and strategize then you got to have days to think about it. Once u found the right ingredients, the cooking ingredient, you then have to conceptualize the look and feel whether is the right brand name, the right logo, the right slogan, the right colour, the right shape, you know, you have to think very deep. You have to understand who you are fighting. If you know how to differentiate yourself then the fight will be much easier because the fight is not about the competitor. [Wide smiley] There is no fight there if you know how to differentiate. If you know how to differentiate, you don‟t need to fight anyone. If you don‟t know how to differentiate then you will have to fight. Okay, fight means you have to be in a commodity business, to be cheaper, so that is a fight, there is a fight going on. But when Steve Jobs come in to the market with Iphone he doesn‟t need to fight with anybody. You know what he was doing? He was a Romeo. He was making love with the customer. He don‟t fight. He just knows that I am going to make sure that I make love with all the people that is going to buy my brand. So, he makes people love his brand. That is not fighting. [High pitch] Fighting means I put Samsung out there, I put Nokia out there, I put Sony Ericsson out there. [With

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hand gesture] Three of them will fight for customer. Four of you guys go out and you see a damn hot girl and four of you go fight for her that is a fight. Okay, but if one of you is the smart one, you say “I am not going to fight for this girl” look for another girl. I am going to look damn hot, okay I am going to change my image, I am going to dress confidently, I am going to speak so well, I am going to win her and three of them would not even know how to win this girl because they don‟t speak well, they don‟t dress well, they don‟t have a clue. So, you have no clue how to get to that girl, it could be him, three of you have no clue, that is how you do branding, Business is outdated. I am not interested to do business. If I do business, I will be super rich by now seriously, super super rich. I am not like poor now but I am not super rich but you won‟t do that. I want take some time to build a brand because I am not looking to be super super rich. I am looking to become mega mega mega rich. [Big wide smiley] Super rich is outdated. You know, you want to be mega rich. You can become like Mark Zuckerberg. We don‟t do pitching. You know what‟s pitching? If you do business advertising and designing, you have to pitch, that means you have to do all your design, go to a company and show first, show everything you know? We don‟t do that! We go in, and do analysis, and tell them that Hey! This problem of yours has to be solved in this way, we are professional, and then they agree, then we come out with the costing, how much is required to do this, transformation, and then they agree, then we cop sign everything they start paying us we start doing the business. And after everything that we have done from the brand name, with the logo, to the advertising, to the website, everything we show them, at One time, no changes, for 15 years we‟ve been doing this, means I show it to you, it‟s not whether you like it or not, you have to listen to our strategy, it is the right strategy then you apply, whether we show to Sinma, to SoxWorld, to Palas, its only one time. [Pause and grin] There is a local guy, they go and show one time two times three times four times, forever! [High pitch] But sometime to client said we don‟t have the budget, so they take this thing, they give it to the cheaper design company and ask them to copy, so it‟s cheaper to do that. You know? [Pause] And on top of that, you go out there and you do a job, they sign a quotation, business people huh, and then you expect them to follow the quotation and pay you on time right? Nobody pays you on time! [Frustrate and anger] In Malaysia! You have to beg, worse than a beggar,

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you have to beg to businessman and pay you the money, and they make you beg for months, for years, and worst, they don‟t even pay you! You have to stop begging, you have to sue, you have to hire to best lawyers to sue them, and worse than that, the court is slow, they are not doing their job, it take another 5 years to complete your case, you are here forking your money, you are waiting for the court and the court is not coming back, your business is not moving that well, this is the tough game, the whole business environment is cork up in Malaysia, [In anger] so you guys are studying the textbook, the textbook is very nice, the guy that teach you, your lecturer, they have never been in a REAL Battlefield! You know? You ask, „‟Sir, pernah buat ah?‟‟ „‟belumlah‟‟ how they know? Is all from books, so when you go in the real business environment, is different, you even give a call to a businessman, sometime businessman can be very cunning, okay? So that‟s why, we want to tell you if you ever come out and do anything, you got to be prepared.

Now come to the nice part, not every businessman are bad, they are good one as well, but they are only a handful, so if you go pray a lot, then you meet a handful good business people, if you don‟t pray, you go under the worse one, they will made an appointment with you, and they never turn up, somebody else turn up, the manager turns up, and you waste your time talking to the manager, because the manager just want to get information, they don‟t have the real intention to give, they don‟t have the real intention to give you the business, but that‟s life, you have to learn what it is, the more you learn the better you become, and it took us years to actually learn what it is to get there you know. [Change sitting posture]

You can make a lot of plans, but your plans have got to be realistic, and you know how to be realistic? [Curiosity expression] Read more real stuff than textbook, you got to read like Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela and even sometime the business you can still read, because sometime you will eventually start to have a lot of knowledge, and you will then later on starting to get wisdom, you need to have wisdom, to really ROCK, otherwise you won‟t understand what you are doing on. I recommend you to read Zappos, Zappos sells shoe online and they make billions. [Smiley]

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Passionate. If you really want to be successful, if you really dream to become somebody, you got to have passion. You cannot go out there and chase money, if you go out and chase money, you will change job forever! [High pitch] When you are 40, people ask what you specialize you will say you are specialize in everything, you are Jack of all trade, but Jackass, and most Malaysian are like that, most Malaysian are Jack of everything, you know? If you are master of something, you are a Pro man! [Nodding his head] One day you will make it. You know 60 plus years old, don‟t worry about the age, I am not saying to you that you got to be poor, I am saying to you that if you are planning well, I think in this day and age, you will make it, the internet is there, the twitter is there, everything is there, it is not a harder life actually. It is people who complain it‟s hard to do a business, because the business is outdated, you know? [Pause] Entrepreneur is the one who gets updated, so you need to learn to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are different, entrepreneurs can face hardship, and entrepreneurs see difficulties as optimism. You need to be optimistic, you cannot be a pessimistic, and you cannot be a negative person. [Nodding his head] So all my people here is my family, we love them, we make them into part of our family, because we believe in family culture. So if anyone in here is sick, we will bring them to see specialist for checkup and all that. That is one of the strategy, the strategy in brands, [Smiley] because you need to take care of people, if you don‟t have the right people, you keep on changing, people will lose a lot of money, because you hire people, you trained them 6 months, maybe 8th month or 10th month they cabut, you lose everything you in invest, you lose on the investment, on the software, the hardware, the salary, it‟s a lot of money, you have to make some business to recoup the salary, 3 of them is already how much? [Frustrate and in high tone] You have to really been practical in running your organization, and you have to be very charismatic and persuasive kind of leader, and at same time, people will like you, and at the same time, you have to be a strong leader, sometime you have to be the bad guy to really tell people off, you can‟t expect everyday you want to be just a nice guy, sometime you have to tell people off, because certain people cannot do certain things, certain people can do what you are asking, and certain people don‟t want to do what you are ask them to do, so you have to be the bad guy to tell this bad guy off! So you really got to wear different hats, you have to wear different hats

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different time to lead people. You can‟t everyday hope that every day is a nice day. [Pause and grin] So being an entrepreneur is very different, you don‟t want be an entrepreneur and cunning, you want to be straight forward and tell people the truth. Businessman are more cunning, businessman can smile at you laugh at you and be nice to you, but at the back they are saying something about you, you don‟t want to be that, because that‟s businessman, and majority of people don‟t say this, when you go to business school, people don‟t say this. People think businessman is very nice; I used to think businessmen are angels. Finally I came back from London, start doing business for 5 years in Malaysia, I discovered businessmen are devils. [Pause] So I said I don‟t want to the businessman, I really want to be an entrepreneur, seriously. So you have to really opened up your mind and read a lot about so called, global entrepreneurship rather than say that, that is an entrepreneur in Asia on Malaysia, very rare, most Malaysians are businessmen. And those rich kids there‟s been groom by their granddad or their dad, they are also very aggressive young businessman, which I don‟t like it, I feel that entrepreneurship is really different. Entrepreneurship is all about building the community. [Pause with smiley] If 4 of you ever become very successful, you have another bunch of youngster come like you guys, help them, if you are filthy rich, help them to grow their business. You know very rare in our business environment. Nobody help anybody, and everybody is, if they want to help, they would sign your quotation and then not pay you for bloody months or years, that is the basic help only, but they don‟t want to do that, they don‟t even honor that, or some of them make you do all your work and start asking you „‟Ei give me 40% discount‟‟. Business is bad, they talk a lot of rubbish, and you must close your company you know what I mean? So you have to learn entrepreneur is different from business. [Big wide grin] [Pause] Any other questions? I said a lot to you but not in sequence ya.

WX :

Why did you choose banana as your brand? [Polite manner]

Wesley : [Hand on the fore head and thinking] When we started, our slogan was „‟Branded Means Wanted‟‟; again this goes back to government, our governments have all this so called policies, but the policies are not consistent. You go to different state they have all different kind of rules, it‟s crazy. Malaysia really, they can never call it 1Malaysia cause they have so many rules, how to call it 1Malaysia? So I started

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and I want to put up „‟Branded Means Wanted‟‟ as our slogan. We submit and then they came back and said the council doesn‟t approve it. Because „‟Branded Means Wanted‟‟ if you put advertising, it‟s in English, you can‟t put in English, you put in Malay. And in Malay the translation, is not catchy, is „‟Jenama yang Terkemuka”, who the hell will remember Studeo Grafix “Jenama yang Terkemuka”. [High tone and in frustrate] So we have problem, big problem. So I said, we have to reconceptualize. And then we use Bahasa Pasar, Bahasa Baku, can you use „‟Brandlah‟‟. So I called up my Malay friend and I said hey bro listen, I want to do this, but this sentence is very unique, I want to say „‟Brandlah Pisang Anda‟‟ does it make sense to you? And he said yes it does because he was in London as well. [Pause] But the thing is he said why want to do that why you want to mix, like love it English. I said that‟s what Malaysia is all about. I said yeah that‟s a good idea, I said look I will do it. So I put „‟Brandlah Pisang Anda” because pisang is very catchy. If you put a pisang out there, you put an apple, you put nanas, pisang stands up more. [Excited] So I put a pisang there because is very provocative as well. So I was trained in London when I do things it must have provocativeness, it must provoke a little bit, that‟s what advertising, rule is all about. So I put a pisang out there and I put „‟Brandlah Pisang Anda‟‟ and I know that I don‟t want to target multinational or anyone else except SME. But to SME when they see this, they must know Hey it‟s talking to you. So we put there, Why Be a Pisang when you can be a brand. Why Be a Pisang means pisang is a commodity, it‟s like you‟re telling aunties and uncles when they go to market they buy Sunkist, they don‟t buy orange you know. Sunksit is a brand, so I said yeah Why Be a Pisang can be a brand, so we did that and there are a lot of good respond. We just put up one billboard; it‟s a lot of good response. That‟s how you start branding it. [Wide smiley] But, if it‟s any people who do this Ad, by now they would have change it and they would come out a lot of different stuffs already. [Pause] With branding you have to have consistency means branding is not an entertainment, it is not a business, it is a brand relationship. So the consistency and building the association with the consumer, the relationship starts building it up. So as you keep on saying this „‟Pisang‟‟ ‟Pisang‟‟ ‟Pisang‟‟ for 15 years, [Nodding his head] it doesn‟t mean that you gonna say „‟Ah it‟s boring‟‟. Unless you make it into advertisement that is supposed to entertain people, then it becomes boring. But our strategy is not to entertain people, our strategy is to tell people that this is what we can do for your

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brand, and we have to keep on saying on the same thing, so we keep on putting out for years, and people start liking it and now loving it. [With hand gesture] So there are people even going to Peopalove Facebook and they start asking for the pisang duster. [Grinning] But what they could do with it, all sorts of things. Maybe tonight you guys go back, you might do something nasty I don‟t know okay. But as far as we concern is, it is something that you can make people love your brand, that‟s why it‟s call Peopalove. If let say you put, iPhone here and then you put my brand here you see people love, it becomes a sentence „people love iPhone‟, and it is a very unique brand. But you can‟t put BMW and iPhone there, [High pitch] and become “BMW iPhone”, it doesn‟t mean anything! So this is what it is, branding must be very exciting it must be very creative, it must be very flexible, it must be very lovable , it must be something that people wants to talk about all the time. So that‟s branding! But if you just do advertising, people will talk about it and stop, and when we do a branding, people will talk about it talk about it, it doesn‟t stop. So branding is a very unique tools, you must know how to use it, you don‟t know how to use it, nobody talks about it. You don‟t need a big building to do branding. You can start anything, you can start it from a website, from a van, if you know how to do it, then it become a brand. And branding is consistency; whatever you say must be consistent. That means you started today 22 years old and when you are 42 years old, you are still saying at the same thing, and then it becomes a brand. By the time you are 42 years old you keep on changing everything, people will be forgetful. [With hand gesture] Like Milo when it first started, it is connected to sports, until today it is connected to sports, „‟minum milo jadi sihat‟‟, but the truth is can you become sihat dan kuat is no guarantee right? [Grinning] You just drink it and then it is milo. It‟s strange, Malaysia have all this kind of colors, Indian color is purple red is Chinese. [With hand gesture] When we first started we put green for our Studeo Grafix, a lot of people thought it was a Malay company, it‟s a crazy thing but I change it, because I make it so funky, and then later people just realize is not a Malay company, it just a color. Color can become synonymous as race as well. [A wide grin] So you do branding you need to do all this research, and I‟m not afraid to let people to say this is a Malay color because I‟m not selling a product, I‟m selling a service and it is not as difficult as a product because if you put a product, it‟s difficult, it‟s a lot of people and stuff involved, shipping and printing involved. [Pause and touching his chin] So the minute you have anything

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is not right, you have to change everything. But when its service is a little bit different, you can shape it to become funky and all that. So you have to understand, building a brand, you must do something very differentiated, whether is a pisang, or mascot or whether is an icon, you must somehow find differentiation that to show the differences between competitor and you, rather than you tell the competitor or tell you consumer that my product is cheaper. Most of the Asia game is my product is cheaper, you can give cheaper today and somebody can give cheaper, the minute you keep going down, you are killing yourself and each other and you „‟chap lap‟‟, [High tone] so be very careful in that. [Nodding his head]

WX:

Thank you for your time and awesome sharing with us, we hope that we got the chances to learn from you in the future again.

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ATW 401 Entrepreneurship - Peopalove  

ATW 401 Entrepreneurship Project Paper - Peopalove School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia