Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book coming along. Video of a lovely new campus.

Innocence lost in the ice cream forest is coming along.
I am hoping to have it available in the not too distant future. Tilo, my friend and graphic support has personal business to attend to this week. No rush.

This one of the illustrations done by team Werner, Claus and Tilo. I am very happy with the progress. The book will be publication quality. I am sure it will make money for the charity involved. None of the Author/Illustration team will receive any royalties. 100% of received royalties go directly to charity.

I saw this lovely new campus online. It is in Johor. A very good graphic visualisation.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Help with set up. Help with Book Project.

I'd like to thank those who are helping me with the start up of the MUM project. Funding will come.
Plus the book project:
Innocence lost in the ice cream forest

I have chosen a charity. They have accepted the book. The graphics are coming along nicely.
Thanks to Tilo and Claus.
Claus is flying in to visit me today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lotus Genii-capital connection

I have just found a Genii-capital video.
One of the founders is on the Group Lotus board. They own the Lotus F1 racing team.
I recently annoyed them with my webpage!

They appear to have all the tools to make MUM happen.

I hope these guys and girls can see what I see...

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Corporate Social Responsibility project. Innocence lost in the ice cream forest.

The Childrens book I have written "Innocence Lost in the Ice Cream Forest" is ongoing. The text is done. Tilo the graphic guy and his father are not impressed with it. At one point Claus started to rewrite the story on my behalf. I feel they would be happier writing and illustrating their own book.
Claus, Tilo's father is upgrading the illustrations to a level acceptable to Tilo for publication.
I have contacted Samye Ling a Monastery in Scotland. They have a charitable arm about them accepting the files upon completion. They could then publish them and get the royalties.
There are several options. You can go straight on Kindle. Add your details and upload files for pubication as an ebook. This option is free.
Alternatively you can open an account with pubishing distributers. I have targetted 3.

For ebook distribution: http://www.bookbaby.com/
This company will send the book to Sony / Amazon  /others they charge $100 US Dollars and then $19 per year thereafter.

For Paperback distribution I have chosen 2 distributers: These are Print on demand companies.

https://www.createspace.com/  This distributer is owned by Amazon. They ensure Amazon always have copies available for sale. It is $39 USA dollars to join their Pro Plan.
http://www1.lightningsource.com/   These people can distribute to the rest of the Market. $75 USA Dollars set up fee.

An ISBN would be about £12 British pounds.

Samye Ling would need to pay out about £150 pounds to go this route.

I have tried calling my contacts (Samye Ling) Victoria and George on several occasions. I have gotten through on two occasions. No decision has been made. Victoria is happy with the script. She said it was delightful. (Someone likes it!)

I must say, I thought this would be really simple and plain sailing. It hasn't been.

My timing was. Text complete. Two day per illustration plus cover about one month. File conversion to meet the publishers requirements a day or two.
Send to Samye Ling. One day to open account and upload.

Fortuneately, we are all working for free. It would have been nice to have got the book online before the Christmas sales 2011. Tilo said maybe 2012.

Once competed and uploaded it will be interesting to see if it sells. I think it will. Others disagree. Thats life.

I had to change the script on several occasions to make it totally suitable for young children. I approached three charities that are secular and local to me with a view to gifting them the story.
For different reasons they fell by the wayside.
Hopefully Samye Ling will co operate in this venture.

Today, Sunday 13 Nov '11 I read in the Sunday Times. Penguin, are going to put a series of short stories on ebook platforms for between 99p and £1.99p.
The heading for the story was:
 Penguin to boost short story with ebook only series

Here is a small portion of the article:
The low price means the Penguin ebook collection is unlikely to be very profitable...
It goes on to say:
(David Roth-Ey Digital director HarperCollins) He said: "For example, information books, for example a Collins bird guide, could provide very valuable real estate for advertising- in this case potentially a binoculars manufacturer."

I will probably include the "text donation" to SamyeLing info + the graphic company of tilo SAMA SAMA and also a mention of the Motorsports project.

So the charity will generate income (royalty + text donation) and publicity. My project will get publicised as will SAMA SAMA.

Claus the illustrator will send me some of his work today. Baby steps.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

F1 Lotus and Caterham become standalone teams. THEY WILL WORK TOGETHER.

It looks like the two Lotus teams have become their own entities.
Renault is now Lotus. Lotus is now Caterham.
Corporate politics are sadly amusing when viewed from the outside.
Both companies are now owned by Malaysians.
Proton is a Government linked company. It owns Lotus.
Caterham is owned by Tony Fernandes. He has the blessing of Dr. M.
In many ways he could also be described as a Government linked entrepreneur.

Joe Saward, a blogger who I read, has a theory there will be a Group Lotus buyout.
According to Joe this will be Genii lead. They will lead a consortium of Malaysian Government linked Entrepreneurs.
As Proton is a government company the deal must be one that suits the current administration and so the people involved appear to be government-friendly entrepreneurs such as Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar...

Proton have denied this.

In any event it would be nice if any future Educational facility both Caterham and Lotus would be mature enough to work together.

Stranger things have happened.

Motorsport University Malaysia is a misleading title for my proposal. I would like to see physical campuses in Asia America and Europe

9 November 2011. I received an official "Team Lotus" communication.

It states:
Hingham, UK - 9th November 2011

Proton, Group Lotus, 1Malaysia Racing Team and its owner Tony Fernandes are delighted to announce that the legal dispute in the English Courts relating to the "LOTUS" and "TEAM LOTUS" brands has now ended amicably with the parties agreeing settlement terms earlier this month.

The deal also sees a working relationship established between the parties and they will work together on future projects in the automotive field.

I have had a couple of communications (which I haven't yet answered) from Malaysian Educational facilities who are very keen on participating in this.
I know from past experience that several British Universties would also be keen to participate.

Lets see some movement from the Group Lotus and Caterham entities.

I'm ready and waiting.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pay scales for execs going up! Make me an offer I can't refuse! Dream big.

Today, in the Guardian I read that Executive pay is on the rise!

Morally many people will see this as a complete joke.

Some examples of salary. Taken from the Guardian article.

The average bonus payment for FTSE 100 directors stood at £906,044 – a rise of 23% on last year.

Amazingly, I am only asking for £100,000 plus a generous performance related bonus package.

Why so cheap you ask?

Because I believe that my performance will put me and the company up there with the best.

I am not a banker. But I will help set up a sustainable successful long term business.

Make me an offer I can't refuse.

Here is the link to the SKY NEWS video.


Al Jazeera Count the cost interview with Tony Fernandes. About 17 mins in...

Monday, October 24, 2011

CSR project ongoing. No reply after 10 years on MUM proposal.

Last week I sent the copy of my childrens book to a potential charity.
A little history. When I was last in Malaysia, my martial arts teacher asked me to write a childrens book.
Yacob my teacher is an artist and a professional childrens book illustrator.
I wrote an imaginative piece called "The Sensai and Whitey."
Yacob didn't want to illustrate it.
I left it a while. my friend Tilo, a web designer has a father who likes to do cartoons. He did a graphic diary on his Asian holiday. It was good. Tilo put some of his work on his webpage:


doing internet research

His father, Claus has been kind enough to work on my project. Tilo has been overseeing his contribution.

It is my intention to publish this book and give the royalties to Charity.

So as to avoid any revenue coming to me, I have requested the charities open a Kindle account. They can upload the file. The revenue will go directly into their account.

Firstly, I was going to put the book with a local (Basildon Essex UK) charity. They were totally happy to accomodate me.
However, without going into details, I felt very uncomfortable with their constant political waffle.
I decided against using them. I then went to my local Citizens Advice Bureau. I used to work there. They were between managers and did not seem interested.

I then went to a local Hospice. They were very professional, and ethical. I was impressed. However, they did not feel comfortable opening into a contract with Kindle/Amazon.

They did however tell me that they would not be associated with a book that used the term "Whitey" as it could be misconstrued. Political correctness was important.

The first book was about Whitey, his mum (Sensai) and his sisters. Some hugging and kissing took place.

At this point I rewrote the book so that nothing can be misconstrued. It was an interesting process. I feel that Yacob would illustrate this version. He wanted to put it forward for the Malaysian education board for schools.

My new illustration team were less impressed! They, without asking me came up with their own storyline and illustrations!

It caused a little friction, and for a while I thought the book was still born!

My latest charity is not secular. I am sorry for this. However, I hope that any money generated is used for the good of everyone, not just fellow travellers in their belief system.

A few weeks ago I sent a letter to some Lotus contacts, making them aware I have written an Open Letter to Dr. Mahathir.

Dr. Mahathir is adviser to Proton/Lotus and Petronas.


It's been ten years since I first annoyed Lotus management with this proposal. Their inertia is amazing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lotus Evora sales. Caterham Engineering Centre. My Project.

The last few days have been filled with reports of Group Lotus being sold to Genii, strongly denied by Proton.
Parallel to this there have been articles on the companies car sales.

In the UK, Lotus sales are struggling, with just 272 cars registered in the first eight months of 2011, compared with 358 in the same period last year. That’s 24 per cent down in an overall market that’s down six per cent.

Another article by Richard Hammond.

This is the new 2012 Lotus Evora S, which the company says has 143 ­improvements. Is it wise to ’fess up to this?
I would imagine that if you had bought one of the earlier cars you’d be pretty miffed that Lotus had found 143 things it felt it had to change for the next version.

These days, a £62,450 sports car has some pretty tough competition.

Finally I read.


The perfect City trader's car: it's flashy and unreliable...

The first thing you should do when you collect your complimentary Lotus Evora for a stylish weekend away is this: check the train timetable. And pack light, you'll be carrying the luggage home.

At least that's how it was for me. Twice.

It's just bad luck that a nearly new supercar should conk out two weekends running - statistically unlikely, you might say - but no one I asked who knows about cars seemed that surprised. (The first loan was a gift. The second loan an apology for the first. The third will be, I hope, of an entirely different car.)

Lotus is struggling.

Oh well I'm sure they can always get some Engineering work.

Speaking of which, Caterham have opened their car design centre on the Hethel Campus. I mentioned this yesterday in my blog.

I wonder if they will allow non descript OEM's to use their name with abandon in order to get work?


Caterham are opening a Technical area in the Hethel Engineering Centre!
I wonder where they think they will get their engineering staff from!
Here is a portion of the article:

“The new shareholders are committed to investing in an exciting range of global products over the next 10 years,” he added.
The new firm will also work for external automotive and aerospace companies.
The company’s new sports cars will be inspired by what it describes at the “lightweight, minimalist philosophy” of Caterham’s famous cult sports car the Seven. It will draw on the technology and materials of the group’s Team Lotus Formula One and Caterham Team AirAsia GP2 motorsport operations.
Mr Shute. who will be head of road cars, said creating the next iconic Caterham was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“The core principles and ambitions of CTI have enabled us to attract some of the brightest and most respected talents in their fields.”
Caterham Cars’ chief executive, Ansar Ali, said: “To meet the challenge, we knew we needed to invest in a new operation that would have the scope, experience and vision to deliver.”

One of the campuses for my proposal is the Hethel Engineering Centre. So it would mean that Group Lotus Engineering Plus Caterham Engineering and a UNI would all inhabit the same geographical space!

Isn't life grand!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My childrens book is moving along. Hethel Engineering Centre to be Caterham Tech base.

The graphics for my Childrens book are nearing completion. I was going to donate the book to a local Hospice. It depends on whether they are prepared to open an Amazon/Kindle account for me to deposit the book in. They would then automatically receive the royalties.
If not, I have another charity in mind.
Check my webpage under CSR. When it is completed I will put the details in there.
This is probably going to be the cover illustration.
The Title:                        
 Innocence lost in the ice cream forest.


Caterham are opening a Technical area in the Hethel Engineering Centre!

I wonder where they think they will get their engineering staff from!

Here is a portion of the article:
“The new shareholders are committed to investing in an exciting range of global products over the next 10 years,” he added.
The new firm will also work for external automotive and aerospace companies.

The company’s new sports cars will be inspired by what it describes at the “lightweight, minimalist philosophy” of Caterham’s famous cult sports car the Seven. It will draw on the technology and materials of the group’s Team Lotus Formula One and Caterham Team AirAsia GP2 motorsport operations.

Mr Shute. who will be head of road cars, said creating the next iconic Caterham was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.

“The core principles and ambitions of CTI have enabled us to attract some of the brightest and most respected talents in their fields.”
Caterham Cars’ chief executive, Ansar Ali, said: “To meet the challenge, we knew we needed to invest in a new operation that would have the scope, experience and vision to deliver.”

On my plan, I have put the Hethel Engineering Centre down as a possible campus for the proposed University.

This can still happen. If Caterham and Group Lotus can work together I think that is great!

From a hardware perspective, Caterham products would be great trainers for students, who will I'm sure aspire to own them, and later in life maybe move onto an expensive Lotus.

Tony Fernandes Airlines fly to California, Malaysia, and the UK (not Norfolk presently...). So there is a lot of positive synergy there.

Great stuff!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Silverstone Circuit open up a school. Sunday Times 9th October 2011 pg 11

The Conservative government are encouraging reform of schools. These schools are government recognised.
One such school has opened in Siverstone racing circuit.
A few quotes from the Sunday Times aricle (online subscription required).

Silverstone university technical college, sponsored by Northampton University and Tresham college, is part of a group of new vocational schools promoted by Lord Baker, the former Tory education secretary. They are intended to provide technical and vocational training alongside a core curriculum for teenagers who are not well suited to academic study.

In England if your a failure academically, you become a trades person, (if you are lucky) hence the last statement.
There is an old saying:
 In England if you are an Engineer they call you a Mechanic, in Germany they call you a Doctor.

Anyway, it looks more and more favourable for the Motorsport University proposal.

Formula One teams are considered to be potential employers of some of these students.

Another small portion of the Times article:

The Silversone college could also provide technicians for local F1 companies that have previously complained about the difficulty of finding skilled workers in Britain.

The time they are a changing... or at least they appear to be!

Here is the link to the BBC video on this new initiative.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bob Lutz is advising an electric truck company plus GM,Lotus and others. Albert Lam on FOX TV.

I see Bob Lutz is advising another company.
Via Truck company have got him onboard.
Their plan. Taken fron Jalopnik.

According to its web site, Via Motors is "a new kind of car company. We build electric version (E-REV) of your favorite trucks and SUVs."

Yes, a "new kind of car company" that makes electric vehicles out of other automakers' cars. Huh. Sounds sort of like Tesla Motors — except, if the images on their web site are correct, they're making electrics out of GM pickups, vans and SUVs rather than Lotus sports cars.

Well, if it worked for Elon Musk...

Albert Lam of Detroit Motors does a similar thing with Protons.


If you go into this site you will see Proton make customised Gen 2 vehicles for Detroit Electric.

Albert Lam was head of Lotus Engineering .

I suppose Bob can use his influence to get a similar deal for his latest company with GM.

No R&D cost for BIW. Wait and see if the Truck is a reliable seller, then stick your electric drive train in and off you go.

Sometimes its not what you know, but who you know.

Good Luck to Bob.

If as one of Lotuses many advisers he'd like to give my proposal his thumbs up, please feel free. Sadly, I don't have the budget to pay for the endorsement!

By the way, I spent several hours with Albert in KL talking to him about the project when he was head of Lotus Engineering.

No Luck. But thanks for the time Albert.

I have just read that Bob has joint Current Motor Amps as an advisor as well. A Michigan based electric scooter manufacturer. Go Bob!

Monday, October 3, 2011

CSR I am getting a book Published... I hope!

This is the proposed title page.
The Title will be Innocence lost in the Ice Cream forest.
My graphics guy is my friend Tilo's dad. We have a lot of misunderstandings. Lets see if we can complete the project. Tilo will get the files prepared for Kindle. A local hospice (http://www.stlukeshospice.com/) is the likely receipient of any royalties.
I want everyone to buy a copy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm meeting Angel Investor tonight. Lotus plan to use Hethel Engineering Centre as Research Centre

I'm off to St Albans (outside London,UK) today. They are having a talk by Angel investors. The founder of Angelsden.co.uk. has asked me to meet him afterwards.
I'm not sure I'm ready for funding yet. I look forward to chatting to him and another Angel Mandy who have asked to meet me outside of the actual talk.
I see that Group Lotus are hopeful of getting more government (UK) money.
EDP24 have written the following.

The Hethel Engineering Centre would also be at the heart of the vision, becoming the firm’s centre of applied research.

This fits in with my plan.

I have a contact in a business school. Apparently there are lecturers who want to put their names to my proposal. Have to see how that pans out.

Apparently, Johor Circuit is not for sale. I can work around that. Singapore might be better equipped for what I want to do. The Campus could be in the edu hub in Johor with working arrangements with the local circuits.

One step at a time...

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Today I checked out Linkedin. My brochure was a subject of most discussed on Linkedin a few weeks ago.
I looked up some old names.
I see Doug Chester is at Lotus. Doug last saw me outside a gym in KL and said "Hello you fat bastard." Previously I was supposed to meet him in a bar after work. I arrived at about 5pm and waited till 10pm. Apparently he turned up at 10.30pm. No apology. A pretty important person.
Another person I saw was Dave Fryatt. Dave was a pretty young detailer in Trafford house. He works for Doug I assume.
My old boss at QED is still there I would think. He emailed me daily and phoned me weekly when I was in Lotus. He was desperate to get a job. QED went bankrupt. I put in several recs to employ him, but Kevin (General Manager) was not in need of his services.
John (my direct boss for a time at Lotus) hired him after I had been laid off. John appears to be his hero. They have similar lives outside of work. Each to his own.
I stayed with Mick (in KL) for a couple of weeks at his request, and couldn't wait to get away.
There is another expat who I had a constant problem with. Again he was close friends with John. He could just go to John, and he could do whatever he liked. I don't miss him at all!
So I have to say, I have no-one in Lotus Malaysia who I would call a close personal friend. They are corporate relationships. Each man for himself.
I will return shortly. Of that I'm sure.
This project is bigger than any individual. It will be a success. It will make a positive difference to peoples lives, and will be a financial success. Thats enough for me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today I googled Motorsport University Malaysia

Today, I google Motorsport University Malaysia, My site came up fourth on the list when I got to Uni... so that is good.
Above my site when I clicked Motorsport University was this site!

It appears to be a Swiss Uni. I am not sure of it's accreditation. It offers online learning.

When I first mooted this idea in 2001 only Cranfield offered specific Motorsport courses at Masters level.

Dave Taitt and Glyn Owen were working in parallel to me. Dave Taitt now chairs the Hethel Engineering Centre.
My immediate management in Malaysia showed no interest in persuing this. In fact just before I left a rather rotund and egotistical member of the management team berated me for about half an hour in front of a local member of staff.
To this day, I have not succeeded in convincing Group Lotus that this is a good idea. Shame!
Once again, I read Joe Saward today.
Here is a portion of his article on McLaren.

McLaren powers ahead of new technical centre
September 16, 2011 by joesaward

It will also accommodate spaces for teaching and training, which will enable McLaren to play a significant role in developing new and advanced technical engineering skills in partnership with local schools and colleges.

I have to think that one day soon (It's been a decade!) the people at Group will forget their ego's and embrace a very sensible and financially viable idea. (Even if it is a little outside the box.)

As a CSR project I have written a Childrens book, it is presently being graphically enhanced. The royalties will go to a local (Basildon, Essex) charity.

The Title will be:
Innocence lost in the Ice Cream Forest.

It will be available on Kindle.
Buy a copy it is going to a very good cause...
More on that when it is completed.
Enjoy the weekend

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Green Technology. Online Learning. Sport...

Today, I read a Joe Saward blog on green technolgy in F1.

Why F1 is heading hybrid
August 31, 2011 by joesaward

There are already some hybrid technology in F1, with Williams’s relationships with Porsche and Jaguar and the new link between Team Lotus and General Electric seems to be heading down the same path. And even Ferrari, which is not in favour of electric cars, is putting KERS into its latest models.

The times are changing – and F1 needs to keep up.

Green technology is a growing field (sorry about that). Enviromentmental agency's abound. Lawyers specialise in environmental law.

The site I have identified in the USA has permission to be turned into a solar farm, obviously the site has the potential for track and academic studies as well.



Honda Proving Grounds | For Sale
What a lovely synergy!

CB Ellis still have the site for sale.

I have had some interesting feedback in recent weeks. The UK has a free research centre I have utilised!

Mark my researcher recently sent me this site to check.


Statistically since year 2000, internet usage has grown 480.4 %

30.2 % of the worlds population has internet access.

360,985,492 people had internet access in year 2000 today that figure is 2,095,006,005

This why I feel that online study is so important. It crosses borders. It makes the revenue stream potentially huge.

My dad spends about £ 55 on Sky TV, a subscription service that delivers programming over the internet and Satellite.

Why does he pay so much? He has two tv's... loves sports... and likes the Gold channel that shows old programming. Fortuneately he can afford it!

Thats about £600 per year for a subscription.

Interestingly, you can study online for £3000 and get a degree. So over three years, this is only £400 per year more than my dad spends on SKY!

I would expect the on Campus portion of the learning experience to be far more expensive.

I must say that Phoenix University in the states charge far more than this for full online degrees.

Sadly, we aren't opening for business next week! Maybe next year...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Most discussed Slideshare presentation on Linkedin

This is the most discussed Slideshare presentation on Linkedin today.

It looks good to me. Thanks to Tilo for the graphical assistance!
You might want to checkout my webpage.

I have updated my campus locations to include the USA. Check the Global page on the website.

Here is my older presentation. Feel free to discuss that too!

While your at google John Mansfield under video and see my TV interview!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Birthday time.

Today is my nieces birthday. Congratulations Kate. Mine is on Wednesday the 10th and Siti who is a friend in Malaysia is on the 27th, coincidentally the same day as my brother who is no longer with us.
Today I see an article on the Telegraph website.
It is about the lotus Range extender.
This technology was on show some years ago at the Geneva Motor show.
At present, the downside is that the Emas has a top speed of 60mph, which would mean mixing it with the trucks, but the supercharged version of the engine would address this with a cruising capability of 70-75mph.
I must say I hope the Emas city car can do at tad more than that top end.
At the show the Lotus guy who showed me the engine said that this was the technology that would save Lotus!
This was in Mike Kimberleys time.
I never convinced Mike to support THE MOTORSPORT UNIVERSTY CONCEPT.
Hopefully over time I can convince the new management team.
This concept is really the way forward for Lotus.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Open University in England charge £5000 per academic year

The BBC ran an article on 20th July 2011.
Open University sets £5,000 tuition fees

When I made my presentation at ASLI I used the figure of approx £1000 per student.
Prices for a formal recognised degree are rising.

Interestingly, the article states that the OU is still the cheap alternative!

The Open University has announced tuition fees of £5,000 per year for the equivalent of a full-time place for students in England from next year.
This will mean that the Open University, which provides degree courses by distance learning, will have among the lowest fees in England.

Vice chancellor Martin Bean promised "high-quality, flexible and great value-for-money education for all".

Assuming most people are only doing half an academic year per calender year this comes to £2.5Billion revenue per year for one million global students at English OU prices.

According to the RHB figures for Proton Holdings

Proton revenue for 2010 was RM 8,232.9 million this is about £1.7 billion

Perhaps these figures are just a bit too much for Proton/Lotus to comprehend.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Business plan approval by Malaysian PM. Ebook for charity funding?

Today I approached my buddy Tilo to get his Dad to illustrate my Kids Book:
His Dad has a unique style. It might work. I have suggested he makes it into an Ebook and add it to his site. www.backpackingasia.com
Download the book and make a charitable contribution at the same time.

The Malaysian PM was in Hethel to visit Group Lotus recently. He gave his approval to their Five year plan.
How about http://motorsportuniversitymalaysia.com/

Dany should share this page in particular: GLOBAL OVERVIEW

Here is a Bloomberg video of Group Lotus and a few experts give their views on its likely success.
I have to say if they incorporated MUM it would definitely work. I am biased though!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Makerbot Video... I like this! BPP Ceo on the BBC

About 17 years ago I was contracted into a General Motors Tech centre in Flint Michigan. One day I passed by a multi head cutter producing a clay version of a door trim.
My thought then was "The end is in sight for clay modellers."

Now, a few grey hairs later we have Makerbot for about a thousand pound sterling.
Here is the video.

If I was in the Design office now, I would definitely buy a couple of these. Virtual is great, but it's so nice to be able to pick something up and feel it and look at it on your desk.

On the BBC yesterday Show me the Money aired episode 32. BPP CEO Carl Lygo appeared on it. It is available online in the UK for the next week.

Private Universities are being accepted into many markets. The Apollo Group (BPP owners) are very successful.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Burnley football College student promo video.

As Burnley FC have got themselves the support and funding to open up a college at their place of business, I thought I would add their promo video to attract students.
Good luck guys!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Those in favour... Please speak up!

Still waiting for the Green light for the project. I had no idea I could be this patient!
It is my hope that Tun Mahathir likes the idea and puts in on the Proton/Petronas table for discussion and financing.
It would be nice to think that my name would appear on the ensuing org chart.
I read on a blog (Lotusbuzz) that the old Group Lotus CEO is in hospital with a lung condition.

My only contact with him was by telephone. It was obvious that many people had spoken to him about me. Mostly in order to ensure that I was not hired!

One thing I would like to clear up. I do not have an axe to grind with anyone associated with the Hethel Engineering Centre. The previous head of engineering Dave Tait was instrumental in setting the centre up. I met the man once and shook his hand. He seemed to be very personable. End of story.

I don't intend to answer any other accusations or libelous statements. I do occasionally wonder what makes some people tick.

I'm sure that Tun Mahathir is his own Man and will see through the BullsDoody and make up his own mind.

It would be nice if those who see merit in this would speak up.

Once again for those of you who cannot envisage this, here is a link to the SkySports video on the Burnley football college... 'Why has nobody thought of it before?'   -Brian Barwick FA Chief Executive 2005 - 2008

Formula1.com has an article on how a former F1 in schools student got a job at Red Bull F1 team. Adrian Newey is a patron of F1inschools. It reads like an adfomercial.
Here's the link: A dream realised - from F1 in Schools to Red Bull Racing

I read on the forums that Tony Fernandes was interested in buying Group Lotus at one point, pre Dany Bahar I imagine. I attended an ASLI Auto conference with Alex Yoong a couple of years ago. Alex told me he had met a Lotus Engineering Man on a plane who had suggested he do some work with Lotus Engineering Malaysia (Part of Group Lotus).
Alex now does Driver development for Team Lotus...
Here is his boss on CNN:

Monday, June 13, 2011

NAZA (Partners in Team Lotus) open Automotive college.

On the weekend, I emailed decision makers in Proton/Petronas and shared the following links:
http://bcove.me/4g0rrpsp  SKYSports News

This video shows several high level people talk of their revolutionary Football College in Burnley.
It is worth viewing. I wish I could get like minded people to work with me.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13730531   BBC Audio Link

Maybe now that someone has actually done this, albeit in Football, some forward thinkers in Proton and Petronas will see the light.

The partners of Tony Fernandes are (NAZA) made some educational news too...

NAZA a car assembly and sales company in Malaysia, whose name you see emblazoned on the Team Lotus car are opening an Automotive college.
Here is the Bernama Link to the story.

Help, Naza To Jointly Establish Automotive College

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) -- Help International Corporation Bhd and Naza Education Sdn Bhd have set up a joint venture company, Symphony Haven Sdn Bhd, to establish and operate a college that specialises in offering courses in automotive and transportation management.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia Friday, Help International Corporation said the focus would initially be in Malaysia with a view to expanding to Asean countries.

"The establishment of this automotive college is part of Help's diversification plans to offer technical and vocational training for the nation," it added.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Burnley University opens for business. If Football can do it... Why can't Motorsports?

UK university to offer only football business degrees -BBC Audio file link.
Today Sky sports (UK) showed an interview with Brian Barwick, the former FA chief asking him why no-one else has ever thought of this!
Sky Sports News Video link
He seemed to be quite proud that he and his partners were such ground breaking thinkers.
Burnley is charging £6000 per year for it's services. The degrees will be transferrable to other disciplines outside of football.
Sounds good to me!
Another site http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/  Has the following quote:

Brendan Flood, who sits on the board of directors at Burnley FC, is one of the chief investors in the new project, and he has put together a high profile board of advisors.

The non-executive board includes Brian Barwick, former chief executive of the Football Association, Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, and Burnley fan and former Downing Street press advisor Alistair Campbell...

"Football involves more than just the game, off the pitch there is the media and marketing, supply chain management, logistics, business and finance and we want the UCFB graduates to leave with transferable skills that they could just as easily take to Mars or Deutsche Bank as a football club," Wilson (chief executive of UCFB) said.

The centre will offer three-year courses, accredited to a leading university:

BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance (three years)

BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing (three years)

BA (Hons) Football Business & Media (three years)

Hopefully, one day I can get some high profile investors to join with me in a Motorsport University.
Obviously, I am hoping to combine physical campuses with online learning to target one million students.
Now that other people have started to do this maybe people will be less sceptical about the idea.
Time will tell. Enjoy the weekend.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Private University in UK starts soon... Not the Motorsport variety!

Is Grayling's New College a New Oxbridge? - Times

I bought the Sunday Times this week it has another couple of articles...

The Univesity proposes to charge £18,000 pounds per year. Private Universities are able to charge whatever they deem appropriate.

Interesting stuff. Education in the UK, like the National Health service is largely under the rule of the government.

As a matter of political principle many people in the UK are opposed to Private Universities.

Obviously, as a former employee of Lotus, when asked to set out a plan for training I immediately thought higher education. Elite but not exclusive.  Elite but inclusive.

Presently, I target One million students. Three physical campuses on three continents.

Hethel/UK/ Europe - Johor / Malaysia / Asia - California /America/ North America

Online access - Globally available, and increasing in its availability and power daily.

Group Lotus with much support from their shareholders are well positioned to do this.

Recently Group Lotus have announced possible layoffs due to the failure to obtain regional funding for Hethel.
Here is a project that was partially funded by the government.

Air Asia Flies to the UK,Malaysia and America (California) so they could also participate if they hugged and made up with Group Lotus. I'd love to use the Lotus 7 cars at the campuses Caterham or Westfield, so there is room for discussion there too.

Tony Fernandes just got another award... he's a Tan Sri now. A Malaysian title. Well done Tony.

A few years ago I was interviewed by Bernama, Astro TV in regard to this project. It's now on Youtube.
I have added it to this post.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lotus lay off 99 people, blamed on UK Government and the Regional Grant Fund

Lotus are to right size the company again!
Job losses imminent at Lotus  - The Manufacturer site.

After missing out on £27.5m in funding from the Government's Regional Growth Fund, Lotus has announced that 99 jobs are to be cut at its plant in Hethel, Norfolk.

Geoffrey Mead, employment partner at Eversheds, explains the current law: "You come across employers who will keep the number of redundancies below 100 to have a period of 30 rather than 90 days. You might say that is a bit sneaky but it is structuring your decisions to comply with legal requirements." He said Lotus could save significant wage costs – “60 days’ pay for up to 99 people” – by doing this.

I am on the outside looking in. I seem to remember Proton writing off all Lotus debts and right sizing the company under the previous CEO...

Now they have loaded the company up with debt and are also right sizing the company again. Dany and his team are certainly different. I have never met any of them. My experience with the previous CEO was a little negative. Plenty of people within Lotus seem to have taken the opportunity to promote themselves at my expense, our telephone conversation was interesting to say the least!

I don't see any out of the box thinking here. Designing and producing cars is what car manufacturers do. Laying off people to increase profit also comes into play, especially at Lotus. Sponsoring an F1 team that is known as Renault is a great deal for Renault who sell them the engines.

As I say I am on the outside looking in. Presently it doesn't look pretty. I'm sure there are plenty at Lotus that say I don't either!

Such is life.

As you know I have identified a campus in California. This campus would serve North America. The estate agent is CB Ellis Richards.

Here one of their UK consultants explains his view of the Regional Grant Fund... Maybe someone at Proton or Lotus should speak to them...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Private Universities UK America and Malaysia

The 3 continents of Asia Europe and America are now served by private Universities in England Malaysia and America.
I have noted that in England there is some negative discussion.
Guardian Article:

Britain is to have its first new private university for more than 30 years, it was announced today...

BPP, which offers business and law degrees at 14 sites across the country, will become a university college with immediate effect.
The move – approved by the universities minister, David Willetts – signals the government's desire to expand the number of profit-making private sector institutions in higher education.
Provided that the institution meets the highest Educational standards I don't see a problem. Malaysia has withdrawn licences from institutions that fail. This is correct.
I see no reason why we can't achieve the required standard set by the various Ministries of higher education.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I have the original Bernama TV interview (John Mansfield) on Youtube.

Tilo, my friend and graphical support person has found the original Bernama TV interview. It is now on Youtube.
The quality is much better than the old version.
Since this interview was shot, I have moved on a little with the concept.
Johor is now the proposed site in Malaysia/Asia.
 Hethel is still the European site.
 California is home to the North American campus.
One million students globally is the target.
 See my open letter to Dr. Mahathir for more details.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hyundai Proving grounds video.

In my open letter to Tun Mahathir, I said we should open up 3 campuses.
One was in California. It is in the same vicinity as the Hyundai facility with similar size. Hyundai spent $50 million to build theirs.
Here is a video of the facility.

Bernama the Malaysian news agency has handed back the TV portion to the Government.
About 5 years ago Bernama TV interviewed me.
Here is that interview. My buddy Tilo has a version of the video that is pristine. I might upload that version shortly.

Obviously since this interview, SepangF1 has been replaced by the Johor circuit.
Lets see what materialises.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Illustrator needed. The BBC do good educational programming.

Last night the BBC showed a very interesting programme:

The BBC make some very good educational products, often in association with the Open University.

This programme featured Team Lotus. Showing F1 applications and their engineering connections.

I have updated my childrens story. It needs an illustrator that can do it justice. Heres the latest version:

The Sensei, a wise and learned woman, addresses her superhero pupils

Superheroes! Are we ready for an adventure?

Yes Mam!

Whitey is lost in the jungle of ice cream cones and chocolate. We must save him!

(Young superheroes sometimes get lost in the forest of ice cream cones on purpose.)

On planet marzipan children had to be very careful not to wander into chocolate lakes, fizzy drink fountains, and most dangerous of all the ice cream cone forest!

This was a dangerous mission… Even the sensei really liked the ice cream and chocolate forest. When she was younger, she too, had got lost in the forest many times.

However, if they wanted Whitey to keep his superpowers they needed to save him and soon.

After 5 days in the forest most superheroes lost their ability to jump large logs and things.

After 10 days they could hardly walk, and their bottoms started to make loud noises!

Each superhero was special. Some could break ice cream cones with one blow.

Others could turn chocolate into broccoli… which is really healthy, and very good for superheroes.

Whitey was only learning to become a superhero and didn’t understand how dangerous the forest of ice cream cones and chocolate could be.

He sat on a chocolate log and ate all the ice cream he could!

Whitey was making the chocolate log creak and his bottom was making funny noises.

Outside the forest Whitey’s superhero family prepared to save him.

Once inside the forest the superheroes had to be focused.

They had to save Whitey from the forest. Luckily the sensei had magic powers.

Sensei would dress Whitey's sisters as princesses.

She could magically turn Whitey into a frog.

Frogs hate chocolate and ice cream.

Frogs love princesses!

So that’s what they did. Whitey croaked for joy when he saw them.

Once out of the forest Whitey was kissed by the sensei and returned to his old self.

“And what” asked the Sensei “have we learned from this?”

“Planet marzipan can be a dangerous place for superheroes.” Replied Whitey “but it’s a very safe place for frogs though!”

The Sensei laughed as only Mummies can. “Moderation in all things, is a lesson we must all learn” she said kindly.

They hugged again. "Time for bed" said Sensei.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Open Letter to Dr. Mahathir

I recently wrote to Dr. Mahathir.
As I did not get any confirmation that he has recrived it, I have published it here.

10th May 2011 update:
I have been in contact with Maznah at the Perdana Institute.
Tun Mahathir has now received this letter
Dear Tun Mahathir,

My name is John Mansfield, The rotund gentleman to the left is me.

Tun, I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to view my webpage:


And read through some of my blog entries.

I was fortunate enough to work for Lotus in Malaysia some years ago, and presented a simple paper regarding

Motorsport University along side the then CEO of proton Tengku Mahaleel, and Tun's Son Dato Mokhzani at the ASLI Automotive conference.

Tun, as adviser to both Proton and Petronas, you should be made aware that:

1. The UK government is now encouraging private Universities to set up in the UK.

*BPP own the Phoenix University in America. It has about 1/2 Million online students and makes a very healthy profit.

2. Group Lotus are partners in the Hethel Centre.

The Group Lotus Hethel Site has been approved for upgrades. This could include a trackside campus.

3.There is a site for sale that would make a wonderful campus in North America.


4. The Johor FIA approved circuit is for sale.

We set up physical campuses on three continents. Europe (Hethel) Asia (Johor) and North America (California).

Private Universities are accepted in our chosen countries. We add an online element. Target One million students worldwide.

Lets bring Motorsport technology to the world in an ethical, affordable and profitable way.

Thanks for your time.

Should you wish to meet me, I will make myself available.

John Mansfield
(Tun has my contact details, as have the management at Group Lotus.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All things Lotus lead to Malaysia!

It's official Team Lotus or 1MalaysiaF1 now own Caterham.
Team Lotus is owned by Tony Fernandes and his partners.

I've just posted this comment on the Independent site:
This is great news. Now Team Lotus have an F1 team which feeds into a sports car manufacturer.
Group Lotus must be very jealous!

The Independent also wrote a negative article on the UK coalition governments attempts to encourage private Universities in Britain. I have to say I think a well run Motorsport University would be great! I am a little biased though...

Westfield has entered an agreement with DRB-Hicom to assemble and import their cars... the Lotus 7  replica being the most well known.

Group Lotus is owned by Proton.
Oh well... There is something quintessentially British about Malaysia.

For a country that hardly buys any Lotus cars they certainly are into the brand.

From the Motorsport University perspective Caterham and Westfields allow the students to self assemble and are much cheaper than the real Lotuses coming down the line.

This combined with Team Lotus actually being an F1 team would have a great synergy.

Group Lotus have the finance and political clout to make this happen. They don't appear to have the will.

When I was punting the idea around in KL. Tony Fernandes partners NAZA were often mentioned as bumiputra entrepreneurs who might be interested in the project. Alex Yoong knows all about my plans. He is part of their team. Lets see what transpires.

Interesting times.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BPP (owners of Phoenix University) to take over failing Universities in the UK?Tony Fernandes a Caterham Director!

The ongoing furor over University fees continues in England...
BPP, the owners of the American university Phoenix has been approved to dispense University level education in the UK.
This article was printed by The Mail.
Failing universities face being taken over by private companies

I used Phoenix University a benchmark from a profit point of view when developing a business plan.
They have about half a million students and make a profit of about 13% of turnover. Their fees are much higher than those used in the Malaysian OU for example.
Search this Blog for Phoenix if you want to know more.

Tony Fernandes is a clever boy. He has become a Director of Caterham cars. Good for him.
Now he has a company that can produce sport cars that are affordable with an F1 link.
Sounds familiar!

Tony is not yet in the same position as Group Lotus regarding my plan. Group own an FIA type track in Hethel, which could easily become a campus. He could buy Johor Circuit and the Californian campus, and then enter into negotiations with Snetterton.
Why not?
Group Lotus have known about this proposal in one form or another for nearly a decade. No movement. Sadly.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My old Bernama interview has been uploaded to YOUTUBE

Still waiting for Group Lotus to adopt my proposal.
Google video is shutting down. I have moved the Bernama interview over to Youtube.
This video was done years ago, and my buddy Tilo doctored it so that it could be uploaded easily. The quality took a hit... If only I could get my hands on the original!

As you probably know, I have now changed direction. Johor FIA approved circuit is now my preferred Malaysian site.

Hethel is my preferred European site. Whilst I have identified and informed Group Lotus of my proposed campus in North America.

Should they decide to delve into this they will see that a very good business case can be made for this.

As Group Lotus has failed in it's attempt to get a Regional Development Grant with it's present plan, a new Educational addition to it might well open up the UK Government coffers.

I think it will. We are talking tens of millions of GB Pounds here. Maybe they don't need the money!

Here is a video of a CB Richard Ellis consultant giving an overview of the new Regional Development Grant requirements. CB Richard Ellis are the Estate Agents for the proposed campus in North America.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dany Bahar has his own blog... http://lotusdanybahar.wordpress.com/

I just read some of Dany Bahars new blog. It's OK.
You can't make comments... Otherwise I would be writing to him now!
Hopefully, Dany and the Proton/Group Lotus team read my blog.
Yesterdays entry on the funding they missed out on proves that their plan needs a little tinkering.
They should follow my suggestions.
There is an old saying 'You can bring a horse to water... but you can't make him drink!'

The UK government does not have as much invested in Lotus as Proton and the Malaysian tax payers. If you want their money you need to add something to your proposal.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lotus fail on first round Grant bid with UK government. Dany Bahar to present updated proposal?

Sadly Group Lotus Have failed in their first attempt to gain a £27.5million pound grant from the UK Government.
Taken from  The Manufacturer website

Norfolk car manufacturer Lotus has expressed its dismay at missing out on £27.5m worth of funding through the Regional Growth Fund which it would have used to expand its production facilities and invest in R&D.

The second round – for the remaining £950m – is now open for bids and will close on July 1.

I have posted a business plan of sorts which could be tweaked and improved to dovetail into the present Lotus business plan.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open University Business Plan - March 2011
Then I bet you would get the funding. On an even more positive note, the UK Governemt would also be incentivised to ensure that the educational side of the plan succeeds.

Incidentally. CB Richard Ellis- The company in charge of the sale of the Honda Test facility in California have released a video on the latest round of Regional Growth Funds. Perhaps Dany Bahar might get them involved on a consultancy basis for the next round. They will benefit from Lotus purchasing the California campus.

Group Lotus gave the Hethel Engineering Centre a campus within their campus for the princely sum of £10. The Local government have spent about £8 million on hardware.
I am not sure how successful it has been thus far. An initiative from Group Lotus to up the partnership from an educational standpoint, to allow Motorsport related activities and educational endeavour within their FIA type circuit area may well be looked upon as a welcome addition to the present business plan.

I have no doubt that Lotus can get any and all Educational certification required.

The hardware side would then feed into the online side of education. TV programming could be produced as is now the case with Open University. Online courses could be run etc.

Group Lotus can then buy a North American Campus and  the Johor Circuit in Malaysia.

You then have Europe, Asia, and North America covered from a hardware campus perspective.
Add the virtual campus... and voila!

Go for it Dany. In the short you will get the £27.5 million loan. In the long term you will have the foundation for a long term sustainable business.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Group Lotus get their financing in Place. Good. Now a Motorsport University makes even more sense!

Dany Bahar has been given the money to turn Lotus into a money making entity.
Now dovetail the University proposal into your plans.
Upgrade Hethel with students in mind. Consider the needs of the disabled in any structure you build.
Take the time to look at my proposal. Give it your approval stamp.
Then the additional funding to buy the Johor campus (price unknown), the (two) North American campuses will materialise. Less than 4 million for the real estate.
Once an educational unit under the group Lotus banner materialises, you will be fighting off international institutions of high repute who would like to participate, and lend their name and expertise to the venture.
Believe me. The four wheeled side of the business is only the tip of the iceberg as far as potential is concerned.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Burnley Football club to open University...

Oh well. The F1 in Sepang was good. Lotus Renault got their second podium in two races. Well done.
Proton and Genii are set to work closer together.
Genii being venture capitalists can certainly help with new ideas and concepts.
Talking of which!
Burnley Football cub are opening their University in September.

A portion of the Lancashire Telegraph article:

BURNLEY FC’s dream to create the country’s first ‘university of football’ is to become a reality in a major boost for the town...

Bosses at the University and College of Football Business (UCFB), which offers three-year degrees accredited by a university in the south of England, said they hope to have capacity for 1,000 students within a few years...

Gordon Birtwistle, Burnley MP, said: “I believe that this will be the only one of its kind in the world. It is an inspirational idea that will have such a positive impact on the town.
“The club has done it all on its own and to see it come to fruition is an amazing feat of achievement.”

The courses offered will all be BA (Hons) degrees in Football Business and Finance, Football Business and Marketing and Football Business and Media, and all will be over three years.

Philip Wilson, chief executive of UCFB, said: “Football involves more than just the game, off the pitch there is the media and marketing, supply chain management, logistics, business and finance and we want the UCFB graduates to leave with transferable skills that they could just as easily take to Mars or Deutsche Bank as a football club.
Mr Wilson said the college would be advertised via UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Nice to see someone else can think outside the box. I wonder if Genii would find something like this interesting.

Lotus plus Genii with a little Proton Motorsport thrown in... add a few World renowned educational institutions (Lotus Renault are based in Oxford) you get the idea.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Good Luck to all the Lotus participants in Sepang! Private university in England owned by Phoenix?

This weekend in Malaysia they have two Lotuses and one Malaysian backed Mercedes team. Hopefully, they will get someone on the podium!
Whilst in malaysia I have studied a little Martial arts. One of my teachers Sifu Wong has a son who normally competes in GT racing in Japan. He is good, according to his father. Claudio Berro might want to take a look at him for Lotus. I'm sure Alex knows about him.

I have just read an article in the Guardian about the first new private University in England.
In the comments they say it is owned by Phoenix University.
I used their financials to sell the idea to Lotus.
Interesting times!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Proton and Lotus Renault Management in Malaysia for the F1 Grand prix

I see that the Renault team have had a Proton plant trip (Shah Alam) and that the Lotus Rnault management team are in town (Kuala Lumpur). Pic borrowed from Paul Tan

I sincerely hope this talented team take the time to discuss the MUM project.
It dovetails nicely into their plans domestically in both Malaysia and Hethel.
Hethel has been approved for updates and expansion.

 It's global reach also ticks the correct boxes for established and developing markets.
Financially it works (in theory).
Lets do it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tun Mahathir interview on meet the boss TV

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Tun Mahathir is both adviser to Petronas and Proton/Group Lotus. As such his views are of interest to me.

Here are a few quotes from the interview.

Tun Mahathir:             Well I used to say that when you are short to be noticed you stand on a soap box.  So for me the Petronas Twin Towers is my soap box, so to speak because then I can be tall and be seen.  So you have to do something that is out of the ordinary so that people will notice you.  When I started as Prime Minister, Malaysia was quite unknown.  People keep on asking, “Where is that?  Where is that?”  So in order to be noticed we have to do certain things that will strike people as something radical and unexpected and because of that they notice

Tun Mahathir: Well one of the things that people must learn is that when going into business the cost you sold much more than what you pretty because there will be pillars. There’ll be a lot of shortcomings and you have to overcome them. It takes a long time before you can really get things running smoothly. So unless you have deep pockets you shouldn’t try to go into things that you really do not have enough knowledge about. But this is a government entity and it’s the government’s policy to introduce industries, heaving industries. We know we took a risk. There have been failures among the projects but there have also been successes.

Tun Mahathir: You have to know where you are going. You have to set a target for yourself and you have to know the environment. You have to have knowledge and you have to learn the skills, the technology or the way of doing things, of managing as it are. There are lots of knowledge input inside a business.

Me (John Mansfield): I have to think that this OU proposal would meet with Tun Mahathir's approval.

It is out of the ordinary. The world will take notice.

There are achieveable targets. Phoenix University has a half a million students on one continent. Why cant we target one million globally?

The project needs deep pockets. Petronas could help here on many levels. They have a private University. They have a huge Motorsport related budget... Why not marry the two?

Proton and Lotus produce design and manufacture cars. They both have motorsport divisions.
If Petronas can pump money into Mercedes and Yamaha projects, why not into this?

Tun, your adviser to both companies. Do the right thing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open University Business Plan - March 2011

1. Content

1. Content

2. Executive Summary

3. Business Concept and Strategy

4. Organization and Management

5. Revenue Streams

6. Market Analysis

7. Competitor Analysis

8. Market Strategy

9. Risk Assessment

10. Financial Forecast

2. Executive Summary


Knowledge economy.

First world economy.

Three phrases we hear often.

Why? Because we all aspire to be the best we can.

When I worked at Lotus it was a matter of pride that we were considered cutting edge.

My view point is that we should capitalise on that.


By leveraging our technology capabilities with a certificated educational body or bodies and package that capability into saleable modules accessible globally online.

I intend to lead this project.

My background is automotive. I have worked in design for many blue chip automotive companies in Europe, Asia and North America.

I am the Senior Adviser at Backpacking Asia. I have tapped into their expertise periodically, particularly when producing videos and presentations. I consider them part of my team.

In addition I am on the board of a UK media company.

I have identified 4 (four) campuses.


Hethel Engineering centre in combination with the Group lotus Campus.


Johor FIA approved Circuit

North America:

An oval circuit between Ann Arbor and Lansing – For sale $350,000

The Honda test facility California – For sale $3,000,000+

I would expect to be hired by the funding conglomerate on a £100,000 basic annual salary, with an extensive executive package in place.

My team would be my choice chosen by me after funding is in place. Trust me I will employ capable people.

I see funding coming from the Group Lotus owners. Petronas are major share holders. They have an extensive interest in Motorsport. They sponsor Mercedes in F1 and Yamaha in Moto GP. They are very active in Malaysia.

Proton produce production cars and have a Rally team. Tengku Djan, who I would like as a team member is a well known Drift champion.

Group Lotus is in F1 Indy car and many other motorsport activities.

Petronas, in addition have a fully functional private University in Malaysia. When the oil runs out this proposal could have them morph into a world leader in Online Education.

The combination of real world corporations joining hands in a global educational venture should not be underestimated.

3. Business Concept and Strategy

The concept is simple:

Group Lotus develops two engines for their sports car range:

Certified Educational institutions are brought on board to participate in the development.

The Design and marketing process is documented and modulated.

Saleable modules are then approved for sale as educational commodities by the board of Higher education.

These Modules now have educational value.

They are sold online to markets where they are recognised and approved.

3.1. SWOT Analysis


Using the Lotus Brand is a definite plus. Having the funding in place using the financial and educational backing of Petronas is paramount, at least in the early years.

Proton and Group Lotus have a long term plan to participate in Motorsport while actively developing new products which lend themselves to educational modules.

Petronas can participate in Motorsport as more than just sponsors.

3.1.2. Weaknesses

Historically, corporations look on ‘Training’ as a loss making enterprise. This attitude is disastrous.

As yet funding is not in place. A large sum is needed to buy the campuses and upgrade them.

Educational partners will need paying before we sell any products. Presently the funding is not in place.

3.1.3 Opportunities

Phoenix University in North America has approximately half a million students. It operates in a developed market.

This proposal covers North America Europe and Asia. I see the established markets being important. The developing markets in Asia are the most interesting in terms of growth.

One million online students is in my opinion an achievable goal.

3.2.4. Threats

Ferrari . Mercedes. BMW.

All of these companies have the same potential to enter this market.

4. Organization and Management

I would enter Group Lotus as an executive. I would hire from within and without as appropriate. Getting top people will not be a problem.

I have never met an educational entity that did not show an interest in participating in a project like this.

5. Revenue Streams

Using Phoenix University as a benchmark.

One million students = £ 4billion pounds per year (approx)

Using Malaysia OU student fees:

One million students =£ 1 billion pounds per year (approx)

Globally, it would not be unrealistic to expect £2 billion pounds per year revenue from one million students.

A 10% profit margin would give you £200,000,000 pounds per year profit.

I would hope to achieve this within ten years.

This does not include the positive effects this global exposure will have on Proton, Group Lotus, Petronas on their sales of cars and lubricants.

Additionally, I have not included merchandising etc.

6. Market Analysis

The online educational market is well established in America. Phoenix University has half a million students.

Britain has an Open University which partners with the BBC.

Malaysia has several OU facilities.

The online market for education is growing. The internet is everywhere. It is becoming more accessible daily. Online payment is easy.

In the Developing markets Qatar and Malaysia have western University campuses. This trend seems set to continue.

Group Lotus is well known brand globally. This project will bring it and our partners into contact with a paying global audience.

7. Competitor Analysis

Presently, OEM’s have not ventured into education as a core business.

Educational suppliers are more likely to come onboard as partners, as opposed to competitors.

Once we are successful there will be others eyeing the market.

8. Marketing Strategy

Promote Education through Motorsport. On a more rudimentary level F1inschools already does this.

This project will target a more adult audience. We offer a University quality product, which has a tangible value to the student.

Dany Bahar is the Marketing man for Lotus. I would defer to him on the marketing possibilities. Marketing could and should be tide into our partners needs.

9.1. Risk Management Plan

Risk can be a real problem. Banks get greedy and ignore it. The consequences are there for all to see in the global economy. Japan is presently suffering greatly from a tsunami. There is a real possibility of nuclear radiation spreading across the region.

Risk needs to be addressed.

Here is a very simple overview of risk.

Negligible Risk:

Operational performance of a specific area of the business would not be materially affected.

Low Risk

Slight inconvenience / difficulty in operational performance of a specific area of the


Medium Risk

Operational performance of the business would be compromised to the extent that revised

planning would be required to overcome difficulties experienced by a specific area of the


Very high Risk

Operational performance of a specific area of the business would be severely affected with the

business unable to meet a major portion of its obligations and liabilities.

Extreme Risk

The business would be rendered dysfunctional.

With this plan there are several risks:

Initially the cost of set up needs to be covered. As the process of buying the campuses and bringing the educational partners onboard has not begun we are looking at open ended finance.

The possibility of governments preventing the use of the internet for educational purposes is real. Having the courses approved by the appropriate governmental bodies is paramount. Non approval is not an option.

The product needs to be of good quality. This is paramount.

The product should be accessible by handheld devices, accessible globally.

A world war would render most of these devices unusable. Countries falling out with each other and refusing to allow their citizens access to our product is an ongoing risk.

Our products would be non political in nature. Engineering, Marketing, Sport psychology, Law are not political or religious.

The chances of people losing interest in improving themselves by education are very low.


Other OEMs entering the arena: Near future Low Risk/Medium Log Term High Risk


The Likely hood of our partners becoming complacent and dropping their standards should be monitored constantly- Medium risk

The ability to sell online is becoming easier day by day – Negligible Risk


Marketing should be done in tandem with Proton/Lotus/ Petronas.

Motorsport events can and should be utilised. Dealerships should advertise us visually.

Our corporate partners should include us in their marketing.

Over time word of mouth should cement our reputation.


Political instability globally affecting our markets – Low Risk our products are non political/religious.

Virtual learning affected by World War – Could affect ability to sell online –Low (I hope)

Global Economic Downturn-Medium Risk- Our products are competitively priced. We offer a good product. We might even have an upturn in sales during a global recession.

Human Resources

Constantly monitor our employees. Professional development of employees should be under constantly review.

Take customer feedback on lecturers seriously.

Complaints –High Risk.

Deal with complaints promptly. Find root cause :-Lecturer/course/student/other and have procedures in place to deal with the problem.

Key staff recruitment and retention:

Good working environment and rewards. People should be proud to work for us. They should rewarded according to their abilities appropriately.

10. Finance

Shortfall of cash:- Presently a problem. Petronas have the financial clout to alleviate this problem.

A law suit: Possible: We have race cars and workshops on our campuses. Health and safety are issues. Legal documents need to be signed by clients when involved in high risk activities.

10. Financial Forecast

10.1. Revenue

One Million students using Phoenix University figures approx £4 billion pounds a year.

One Million students using OU Malaysia fees: Approx £ 1 billion pounds per year.

10.2. Expenses

Presently I have 4 proposed campuses:


Hethel Engineering centre in conjunction with Group Lotus campus. Cost negotiable.


Johor FIA approved circuit:

Cost Unknown.

North America:

Oval Circuit Michigan between AnnArbor and Lansing $350,000 USA

Honda Test facility California $3,000,000+

Variable expenses:

Costs for staff and educational partners/suppliers unknown at present.

Income/Profit Loss

Initially start up costs will be in the millions.

After ten years profits should be in the Billions and profits in the hundreds of millions:

Example : £2 billion revenue. 10% profit margin.

Profit: £200,000,000