Friday, February 26, 2010

A quick and dirty business plan

I have just sat down and done a very quick cost plan for the facility:
Johor FIA approved circuit

I have used pounds sterling and used a factor of five where necessary to convert from ringitts.

I am using this blog in place of a napkin for sketching purposes... (Like most important ideas, the McLaren F1 was conceived on the back of a napkin. )

Petronas spent 30million over five years to productionise and race their WSB (Foggy Petronas). So it is possible to build a bike from scratch and enter it in WSB for this amount. I will use this as my engineering budget figure.

Torque (read previous post) quotes 2million ringgit to upgrade Johor circuit = 400,000 pounds. For simplicity I will assume they are being conservative. I will use a figure of 1 million pounds.

The circuit has been rundown for years expect the worst.

New Buildings workshops classrooms equipment etc. Hethel Engineering Centre cost just over 5 million it is having a 2.4 million extension.

Lets say 8 million for buildings and equipment. Plus 2 million for upgrades as necessary.

Group Lotus let the Hethel Engineering Centre have the land for a nominal sum. We cannot expect the same.

How much is a run down circuit? We'll pull a figure out of the sky 10 million. (This figure is an unknown to me... it may be much higher... or if we were gifted the circuit much lower!))

If we run the equivalent of two 30 million projects over 10 years = 60million  (We can spend this with some of our potential partners Yamaha motogp/Group lotus/Lotus F1/ Mercedes GP/ Redbull Drift...

We'll say Utilities, security and maintainence 1 million per annum = 10million

Our team of academic partners will study our real world projects. They will split them into modular curriculums. Lets say this process adds 10% to the project costs = 6 million.

Lets add 6 million for media/multi media support.

Building accomodation for oversea and non local guests/students 6 million.

This comes to 103 million over ten years. Lets say 100 million. 10 million per year for one campus.

At the end of ten years we would own the circuit and campus.

My plan calls for a second campus in Shanghai.

Lets just use the same 100 million figure. At the end of ten years we would not own the Shanghai facility.

So 2 campuses for 10 years 200 million expenditure = 20 million per year average

Ignoring income from campus based students, at the end of ten years we would hope to have 1 million online students, as per the Limkokwing projection.

One full year study at Malaysian OU prices = circa 5 thousand ringgit = 1 thousand pounds

Our ten year goal is to attract 1 million online students:
     One thousand times one million = 1 billion pounds
Lets say many people take only one two or three modules. 
     Lets half the 1 billion pounds = 500,000,000 pounds

 We'll say each individual virtual student takes an average of 10 hours @40 pound an hour of marking and mentoring... 10 times 40 = 400 pounds per student
So lets say on average, a virtual student costs 400 pounds to mark and mentor.

The 20 million a year will be a standing cost. With one million students the standing cost will be 20 per student.

With 100,000 students the standing cost would be 200 per student add 400 to mark and mentor. and each student costs 600 to educate and mentor = 6,000,000 outgoing
   100,000 times 500 average course fee =
5,000,000 incoming

With 200,000 students the standing cost would be 100 per student add 400 to mark and mentor. and each student costs 500 to educate and mentor = 10,000,000 outgoing
200,000 times 500 average course fee =
10,000,000 incoming

So to break even using this formula we need 200,000 online students paying an average of 500 pounds per year.

Theoretically, 1,000,000 students = 420 per student times 1,000,000 = 420,000, 000 outgoing
                                    1,000,000 students paying 500 on average  = 500,000,000 incoming

One million online students gives us a gross gain of 80,000,000 pounds sterling per year.

My goal would be to break even after 5 years.
10 years would see us achieve one million online students.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Duke of York visits Hethel Engineering centre and Lotus F1

I have arrived in KL. Already my buddy and sometimes co conspirator Herry has told me to get some figures together in order to promote my project.

Talking of which... Arsenal football club are selling a business case book through their educational partner the London Metropolitan business school. Financially, Arsenal are always held up as being fiscally responsible.
Arsenal educational material

Maybe Tony Fernandes will let students share his business plan for West Ham, and make comparisons with LotusF1 and AirAsia... I diversify!

Herry and Tilo have an ongoing  project, I participate in from time to time. They have assisted me in my graphic presentations plus my password protected webpage video.

Whilst I have been adding to Air Asia's bottom line the Duke of York visited the Hethel Engineering centre. Group Lotus donated the land for this from their own campus and are partners in the project.
Whilst in the area the Duke also popped in to see the Lotus F1 team in Hingham.
The Duke of York with Tony Fernandes

I borrowed the pic from the EDP24
Maybe the Duke could suggest a working relationship between LotusF1 and the Hethel Engineering Centre.
Group lotus already partner the hethel Engineering Centre...
This is a quote from EDP24 article on the centre proposed expansion:

Construction work is under way on a £2.4m extension to the engineering centre at Hethel to make space for 11 new start-up businesses.

The centre has helped establish a series of new companies - particularly in advanced and low carbon manufacturing - since it first opened in 2006.

The article goes on to say...

Ann Steward, portfolio holder for economic development at Norfolk County Council - which helped fund the creation of Hethel in 2006 with Eeda and South Norfolk Council - added: "Since we opened it four years ago, Hethel has really made a name for itself as one of the best centres in the country for supporting innovation in engineering and manufacturing.

Well I'm happy that Tony Fernandes has had the Duke of York and Dr Mahathir visiting in the last couple of days.
Maybe Dr Mahathir popped into the Hethel Engineering Centre too...
Banner of Hethel Engineering Centre partners

I think that Proton/Lotus donating land too, and partnering an educational centre in Norfolk is laudable.
Obviously, the Duke of York thinks so too!
I can see why Proton and Lotus got involved in this. I suppose signing the land over didn't cost anything. The local government were supportive.

Proton don't own the circuit in Johor. The Iskandar region, whilst encouraging investment in the region are probably waiting for investors to approach them.

It would be interesting to know what kind of a deal Lotus/Proton and their major shareholder Petronas could get on the Johor circuit?

The Motorsport University Malaysia banner could then read:

Proton: Group Lotus: Petronas: Iskandar Development Region: Cranfield University: UTM : LotusF1: Mercedes-GP Petronas Formula one team : AirAsia : itunes student hostels : Backpacking Asia (Foreign students will want to explore) : Maxis : BBC Open University: Bernama TV :

Just a thought

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm off to Malaysia on Wednesday. Maybe I'll bump into Tun!

I'm flying to Malaysia on Wednesday with Air Asia. Yesterday Tun Mahathir officially opened the Lotus F1 corporate HQ.
I gave Sufi his PA a hardcopy of my Slideshare presentation, and he has been made aware of my project. He has not however corresponded with me!
I'm sure he must have flown Air Asia, maybe I'll bump into him in Stansted Airport...
Tun does the honours

For those of you who don't know Tun is the ex PM of Malaysia.

I have a gut feeling that the time is right for this project to take off.

Group Lotus are showing off their green credentials in Geneva.

Hybrid drivetrain designed and developed by Lotus Engineering

I pinched the photo from

The last time I went to the Geneva Motor show it was to meet former Group Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley. He was called away to a meeting with Proton. I did meet some of his team and gave them my presentation.

Later on I did get to speak to Mike on the phone. He is an interesting person.

I am presently annoying the new Group Lotus CEO and his Motorsport manager. (Among others!)

I would love it if Tun Mahathir would use his role as Proton/Petronas adviser to promote the project.

This is the hardcopy I gave to Sufi for Tun.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Johor Circuit Singaporeans and FederationD

Yesterday, I wrote to LHT:) on the FederationD website. FederationD is a website for 'Drifters'. These are not vagrants necessarily, rather people interested in driving cars sideways around circuits!
FederationD logo

They are hoping to build a track, possibly in Johor for this purpose!
As you know, I have proposed using the Johor track for my Motorsport University. Up until now I haven't approached the circuit per se. When I approached the SepangF1 circuit initially, I was in the employ of Group Lotus. Whilst the circuit was very interested at that time, Group Lotus management weren't very supportive!
I see no reason to go through the whole process again, only to find that various key people sit on their hands, frightened of making a decision (Which amounts to making a decision!).
I have found a Singaporean magazine 'Torque' that has spoken to the circuit. They are encouraging Singaporeans to buy the circuit.

Singaporeans are very entrepeneurial. I'm sure they could make a success of it.

The Torque article says they spoke to the circuit management. I quote from the article here:

It was after a visit to the J Circuit last month that I suddenly had a brainwave.

Instead of waiting for the arrival of the Changi Motorsports Hub (CMH), someone or 'someones' should buy over the circuit and thoroughly renovate it.

I spoke to the circuit manager and he said that "it's going to cost about RM$2 million" to make it almost 'new'.

For all of you forex newbies, that's slightly more than 800,000 Singapore dollars. That's all?

This is 0.4% of the estimated cost to build the CMH i.e. the CMH costs 250 times more.

There is NO way that the CMH is going to be 250 times or for that matter, 25 times, better than a newly-refurbished J Circuit.

As I am proposing adding a University the 250 times figure might only be 100 times! And Johor circuit would compare very favourably with Changi (Maybe not 25 times better!)

For those interested. Here is my early slideshare presentation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tony Fernanades leaves more questions than answers!

Today I read the autocar article on the web.
Lotus F1 to stay in Norfolk
It would appear that most of the design work is done by 'Toyota' in Cologne.
Toyota having been the employer of present Litespeed/Lotus director.
The design will for the moment remain in Europe. It will not in the near future move to Malaysia.
I quote from the autocar article here:
Although the team is based at Hingham, much of the design of Lotus’s T127 has been undertaken in Cologne, Germany. Many of Lotus’s staff have been appointed from Toyota, which closed down its F1 operation late last year.
I then read another aricle in entitled Lotus F3 unlikely
Tony went on to talk about his training plans...
Similarly, when I looked at [taking over] West Ham [football club], the thing I liked about them most was the academy, so we are putting a lot of effort into the development side of the team."

This led me to leave a comment on the crash site...
It is interesting to see that Tony is not moving the project to Malaysia in the near future.
Most of the design is done in Cologne by the 'Toyota' team. What are they doing in Norfolk? Is it a corporate headquarters, whilst Cologne is the technical centre?
Where does Tony intend to set up his training centre? Cologne? Norfolk? Malaysia?
John Mansfield Motorsport University Malaysia strategist

I thought I'd stick my TV interview on today...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tony Fernandes and Paul Fletcher... great minds think alike!

I read Tony Fernanades interview in Autosport today.
In it he states that his F1 project is receiving funding from Proton car company...
Q. Proton is putting money into the project now?

TF: Yes they are. And obviously they will have some technological spin-offs and hopefully they can use our platform to show the world... obviously they have had some maybe not so positive experiences on some television programmes, and I think they could possibly use being in F1 to show they make world class cars as well. So it's a technological collaboration, there is money behind it as well, but the main drive will be to improve Lotus.


He goes on to say...

Q. This team obviously grew out of the Litespeed Formula 3 team that was considering building it's own chassis. Could we see a Lotus F3 chassis in the coming years?

TF: We had two or three developmental teams and it shows again our seriousness about this that we had put money behind Fairuz in the Renault series and we will assist Litespeed as well. Both of those teams will be development teams for us...
We have put a substantial budget behind that because it is very important to not only develop future drivers but to develop engineers and know-how, and commercial-world know-how in running a Formula 1 team.

I would like to say that this mirrors the opinion of Paul Fletcher MBE Founder and Managing Partner StadiArena.
Paul and Tony think alike... Smart Guys!

"We want to open a football university — the first ever in this country. There are plenty of places where you can study football itself but nowhere where you can learn about the financial, commercial and social aspects of the game, from advertising and pitch technology to the business side.

(Please read my previous entry)

He (Tony) finishes this answer by saying...

My experience at Air Asia, one of the first things I did when we made some money, was to build an academy and we trained our own pilots and engineers etc and we invested a lot of money. When I looked at West Ham the thing I liked about them most was the academy. So we are putting a lot of effort into the development side of the team.

Driver development for Lotus F1 is under Alex Yoong. Proton Head of Racing is Tengku Djan. They have both worked for A1 Team Malaysia. Djan has raced for Proton and Petronas, and is currently involved in 'Drifting'.

My advice is read my proposal. Talk to Petronas about the synergies between your wants and needs and theirs.
I don't think Paul or Tony are stupid!
Below is a slideshare version of my proposal.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Burnley Football club to open first Football University

Burnley Football club have announced plans to open the first Football University.
HRH the Prince of Wales visited Turf Moor on Friday the 5th of February 2010, and gave his royal approval to the plans!
I'm glad that Burnley appear to have some creative thinkers in their management team.
You can view some photo's here, and read the official Burnley football club article.

The project is being undertaken by StadiArena headed up by Paul Fletcher- MBE
Paul Fletcher MBE Founder and Managing Partner StadiArena

Paul is quoted as saying in the official Burnley football club article:
"If you dare to dream, dream big and this is not just about Burnley football club, this is about the whole town of Burnley and potentially leaving a massive legacy brought on by the promotion to the Premier league."

Paul sounds like a smart bloke to me! He goes on to say:

"We want to open a football university — the first ever in this country. There are plenty of places where you can study football itself but nowhere where you can learn about the financial, commercial and social aspects of the game, from advertising and pitch technology to the business side.

Has this guy been reading my blog?? Then he said...

"It is almost impossible to make money from a football stadium as you're only using it once a fortnight, a Stadi-Arena gives you the opportunity to use a stand every night of the week.

The Motorsport University project remains a proposal.
I've attached my slideshare version of the Motorsport University Malaysia web page:

I may add this latest development to my webpage in the future. I would certainly appreciate it if someone with a little authority would help me champion this. Sadly, I don't appear to be getting my vision across as well as I would like!

I would like to mention that Lotus partner an educational institution on their Hethel site. It was set up by an ex Lotus executive David Taitt.
It is called the Hethel Engineering Centre
David Taitt ex Director of Lotus Engineering

I would hope that Group Lotus could draw on some of their expertise in this field when considering my proposal.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Petronas contributes 45% of Malaysian Government revenue and has new CEO

Just to carry on with the Petronas influenced blogs of late. Petronas has a new CEO as of 10 February 2010.

Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas- New Petronas CEO (pic borrowed from the Star)

I found the Star article interesting for two reasons.

Datuk Shamsul has not received an email from me giving him an overview of Motorsport University Malaysia.

It would be really nice if he reviewed one of my slideshare presentations!
This is a slideshare version of my webpage. On the webpage the video is password protected. Should Datuk Shamsul require it, I would be happy to help him!

Secondly, the Star article states:
It (Petronas) contributes 45% of government revenue. Last year, Petronas reported RM52.5bil in profit on revenue of RM264.2bil, making it Malaysia’s most profitable company.

“And it is something of an irony that Petronas’ international debt ratings are slightly higher than the Malaysian sovereign,’’ the report said.

No wonder Alex Yoong of LotusF1 was so upset when Petronas decided that MercedesGP would get their F1 sponsorship budget!

Motorsport University Malaysia in my view represents a project that has long term sustainability, and would be happy to partner both teams,plus others in research, development, driver training... It ticks all the boxes, and should the long term goal of ONE MILLION virtual students be attained should and could rank in the same league as any International acclaimed University.
Datuk Shamsul has the opportunity to make his mark upon Petronas almost immediately! Datuk, please check out the Motorsport University Malaysia proposal!
Should you wish to donate the 150 FP1 motorbikes sitting in Basildon,Essex I'm sure they would be very welcome as part of your Motorsport University Malaysia funding package... A win win for everyone!
When you think of Oxford do you think Morris Minor or University?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Basildon Essex is home to FP1 (Foggy Petronas) production bikes!

This weeks Motorcycle news (UK) has a double paged article on the Petronas production motorbike, the FP1.
Foggy Petronas FP1

It was designed and manufactured by MSXI based in Basildon,Essex. This is actually very close to where I live in the UK.
MSXI set up initially in Pitsea, also near my home over a Barclays bank branch. Shelley Jackson, a recruiter now based in Norfolk, was an early representative.
I quote from the article:
'The business that produced the first batch has since changed hands,but the bikes are still there, now in the possession Arrk R&D, which also retains key MSXI staff who worked on the FPI.'
The article goes on to say...
In fact, the FP1 did go on sale in 2005- but only one dealership, in Malaysia called Naza Bikers Dream- where a pair were still for sale in 2009 for £31,433 each ...
Auction House, Bonhams values them at about £15-25,000 as they are so rare. In January 2003 75 road bikes were built by MSXI in July 2003 a second batch passes homologation (Doesn't say how many). The article quotes a former MSXI employee,Tony White as saying ' It was a great project to work onthat culminated in the build of 150 great bikes-'The final paragraph goes on to state:
So keen are they (Petronas) to distance themselves from the abortive project do they appear to be, even the rights to the intellectual property in the bikes have been assigned to an apparently unrelated firm- the mysterious Isle of Man- registered Brumby Corporation.
I found this article interesting. I would have loved to get these bikes for Motorsport University Malaysia. The Math data would have been interesting to use. The whole history could be used as a lesson in risk management and the Motorsport business.

Petronas are hugely successful in Oil and Gas. They are however heavily involved in both education and Motorsport. Whilst we all love to brag about our successes, it is often from our failure that we learn the most!