The week that was 10-12th August 2016
Bali – Singapore – Jakarta – Singapore, Weekend 13-14 August 2016
This was a very short working week as I took a long weekend off courtesy of Singapore’s 51st National Day celebrations on Tuesday. Alex and I had decided to go for a getaway break in Bali to recharge our batteries and escape the high energy pace of our daily work in Singapore and exchange that for a beautiful and quiet little hideaway villa in Bali. You only realise how much you need it when you actually do it! Beach walks, sunsets, pool side relaxing and lovely dinners allowed us to reset and actually spent some time together! On return I straight away caught a flight out to Jakarta for a long overdue meetings with one of my project clients and spent Thursday and Friday catching up with my team and other project matters and following up on all SILE related matters with time slowly running out!
This meeting involved the very, very top boss and because of our conflicting schedules this meeting had been in the making for several months! Near meeting confirmations, last minutes cancellations, re-scheduled flights, it was all part of this, but it finally did happen to the relief and satisfaction of the whole team. In order to move forward, I needed to personally present the lighting design to the boss to get approval and sign off for the rest of the team to proceed. A carefully crafted presentation made sure all basis were covered and all questions addressed, leaving us all with smiles and a boss happy to proceed :). The venue will be unique in Jakarta as it will be the first ever integrated theatre style TV Studio, with full TV recording/ Broadcast facilities while having an interior that has the flexibility to be fitted as a theatre for plays as well as hosting famous games, reality and variety shows such as Idols Indonesia, Master Chef Indonesia, Dance and Fashion Shows; it is all possible. With the desire to be “the best” there is also a commitment required to go for the best in terms of quality and performance and that was probably the hardest challenge considering the general Asian mentality (no disrespect meant) to go “cheap” whenever possible. I think we have managed to strike a good balance to value engineer where it is possible and keep up the high quality standards where it matters. The client has been very respectful and follow up on key recommendations to level the floor, higher the ceiling above the stage and removing the air-conditioning where critical lighting had to be installed. With the sign off we will now move into final procurement and on our recommendation prepare some visual mock ups to assure that the money will be well spent. Target to finish this project before the end of the year.
KLD Office Jakarta
I took the opportunity to visit our KLD team in Jakarta as well as generally the crazy traffic jams in Jakarta prohibits me to actually go to our office which is in South East Jakarta. It took me one and a half hours to and the same back, so you can imagine that I normally prefer to go directly to our meetings. In fact of my roughly 10 hours in Jakarta, I spent half of it in the car moving from airport to office, to my meeting and back to airport! It was great to catch up with the team however and literally worth the extra mile. After all they represent my company and being able to give them a pep talk and share our company values and how we are doing is important, never better then to hear it straight from the boss :). We are working on some training programs in Singapore and look forward to have some of our key staff over to further grow the company. Thanks KLD Jakarta team, your work and efforts are greatly appreciated!
The value of manufacturer networking events.
On Thursday I decided to attend a manufacturer organised product promotion and networking event since I happened to be “in town”. Many of these events I miss because of my travelling. The location also looked idyllic (I had never been at the sky deck of Ion Orchard Tower, which offered beautiful 360 degree views of the city and its sunset when I arrived. The event however was disappointing and left me wondering what kind of marketing strategy was followed. Obviously this kind of events are not for charity and in the long run for the manufacturer this is for building partnerships with specifiers and potential clients. Sponsoring overseas visitors from nearby countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia to attend the Singapore event makes sense but then you somehow would expect to take more advantage of everyone’s presence with a capturing display of innovative products and some eye catching displays that are intriguing enough for you to want to know more. While I arrived a bit later due to a prior meeting, by the time I arrived, the (as I understand short) presentation was over. I only found a small product display tucked away in a corner, but without any attendance or explication. I caught up for a chat with the CEO for Asia and some of their local reps, but otherwise the attendance was pretty low, with little people of my interest. I left after half an hour. Without any disrespect to the manufacturer which I like and use in several of my projects, but the event was without any excitement and the real purpose of the event escaped me. Just serving food and drinks cannot have been the idea behind it? I would have loved to get a bit more emphasis and interaction in regards to the theme of the night, branded as “Digital night”. Perhaps I missed it…
Copy the copiers.
Finally I want to leave you with a story I read on one of the social media sites. China has long been branded as a market were copying successful products is the order of the day. It is an image that is stuck to Chinese manufacturing and a difficult one to shake off. The truth is that over the years China have become original manufacturers in their own right more and more and some of their products are real innovations and of good quality and performance. I have blogged about this before. The story that caught my eye was that of a Chinese manufacturer that was contemplating suing an overseas company for infringing copyright by copying their product! Hey, hey, the world upside down! I guess a case of calling the kettle black?
Enjoy your weekend…