Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tun Mahathir interview on meet the boss TV

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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.

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