Saturday, December 13, 2014

I recently upgraded my computer skills

I recently upgraded my computer skills.
I took a course with a local training facility (
Finally, I managed to get this certificate.
I learned a lot, and enjoyed it.

The vast majority of the learning was delivered online.

We are very fortunate in this country, that our Government actually pays for this training. I have had experience with microsoft programmes. However, this course get me a much better overview.
You can buy online courses for about £125.
They are well thought out. Some microsoft tasks are similar in all programmes... Copy, Delete etc and this is repeated in all modules.
I got a little bored at one point and mixed the course with some other learning material.
The video's by Oliver Leamy, were in my opinion very good.
Plus, for a small fee (£5 per course Excel, Powerpoint, Word) a company called screenlesson, give a good selection of mock exams with videos that show you best practice answer for each question.
This gentleman, Sali Kaceli gives a good overview.

I can't claim to be a microsoft genius, but I did learn a lot and enjoyed.
Very worthwhile.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Would I work with Doctor Mahathir?

As anyone who reads this blog knows. I have been championing an educational based initiative since my time at Lotus Engineering Malaysia.
I believe it has merit (obviously). I however need a large well funded institution to fund and support the proposal.
Lotus are presently owned by the Malaysian consortium DRB Hicom.
They own Proton, who in turn own Lotus.
Dr. Mahathir, the ex Malaysian Prime Minister is the Chairman of Proton and Lotus.

Dr M now chairman of Proton and Group Lotus (Malaymailonline)

Dr. Mahathir is controversial. He appears to embrace controversy, and is not afraid to express his opinion.

Let’s have a ‘white’ PM next, says Dr Mahathir over new MAS boss (
Dr Mahathir’s latest gaffe on Bible burning — Koon Yew Yin(
Dr M lauds Umno for keeping Sedition Act, bemoans silence on controversies (

Now speaking as an individual, I can’t say I would necessarily agree with burning bibles, or any other religious book come to that.
However, unlike Dr. Mahathir I was brought up in the “West”. I associate book burning as a prelude to authoritarian rule, quite possibly followed by World domination for the book burners particular brand of religion and political philosophy.
So would I work with Dr. Mahathir?
Well yes. I have a vision. It is based on a combination of industrial expertise, hardware and academic learning delivered online and in the classroom.
Dr. Mahathir is the chairman of my preferred partner. I would not throw the baby out with the bathwater because of fundamental differences of opinion.
Here is a picture of Dr. Mahathir meeting with Hilary Clinton.
Dr. Mahathir appears to be enjoying her company immensely, I am sure the same would apply to me.

Only time will tell.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Times they are a changing

I recently had a conversation with my friend at a hostel in KL.
Whilst supposedly promoting my pet project in Malaysia, I
stayed at RED PALM a lovely hostel in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
I became more than a guest during this time, and mucked in as and when required!
Redpalm painting shower room
Here I am painting the toilet/shower room
Redpalm tilo being artistic
Tilo, a partner in the hostel being highly artistic
Redpalm painting team
The painting team: Naim, John, Herry, Sofie, Siti, Tilo, Fahan
Life is about the journey. You meet some interesting people along the way. I can honestly say this was the case with my REDPALM experience.
I wish them all the very best.
Talking of KL I read today that Tengku Djan and his Proton R3 team won the Sepang 1000km race today (Sunday).
When I’m not painting hostels, Tengku Djan is one of the people I try to get on board for my MUM proposal.

This Djan driving round Sepang in his R3 Proton earlier this year.
Certainly more glamorous than painting and decorating!

He would definitely be a good ally should he ever decide to support the initiative.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Over the years, I have met and been in contact with several CEO’s regarding my Educational plan.
Whilst none have dismissed the idea out of hand, none have proactively decided to move forward.
Here is an ex CEO of Lotus.
In many respects our starting point is the same. I would have to say Dany is a far better salesman than me!
Dany's recent TOPGEAR interview
TG: What exactly did you see in Lotus? You saw something there deeper even than some of its most partisan fans.
DB: I learned a lot from Ferrari, especially with regards to history. It’s taken 67 years to build what it has. Perhaps I was na├»ve, but I saw similarities. Being pragmatic, you start with the foundations. Maybe the Lotus heritage is not currently present in people’s minds, but at least you don’t have to create everything from scratch – the history is already there! The 007 Esprit. The Ayrton Senna connection. The JPS cars. Seven F1 world championships… All there. Obviously it was more difficult than I thought, but there was so much wonderful heritage… I thought with the right investment and the right people, we should be able to unlock that potential. Look, I’m ambitious. If we wanted to achieve 100 per cent, I would go for 110.
MUM virtual-hardware-track
Today, in the UK there are many good quality educational facilities offering Motorsport based learning.
  • Bolton Institute,
  • Brooklands College,
  • Cranfield University,
  • East Berkshire College,
  • Farnborough College of Technology,
  • Highbury College,
  • Leeds College of Technology,
  • Loughborough University,
  • Myerscough College,
  • University of Central Lancashire.
  • Northbrook College,
  • Oxford Brookes University,

    Football has similar courses…

  • One appears to be somewhat unique!

    UCFB are a Football based University.
    They have now opened their second Campus. Yes, at Wembley Stadium.
    This Football based educational institution is a mirror of the physical campus aspect of my proposal.

    Here are some of the people backing this institute.
    Brian Barwick Burnley Football University
    Alastair Campbell Burnley Football University

    Here is a picture of me trying to get this project off the ground.
    Bernama TV Interview KL

    Any help from people of real influence would be much appreciated!

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    My thoughts on the new Lotus plan... SUV and Sedan

    I read that Proton and Lotus Management have met to discuss the way forward.
    The plan may be to design and build an SUV and a Sedan car.
    The last time Lotus designed a new car, the Evora, it competed with Porsche. Porsche did not notice any impact on its sales. I assume the R&D plus tooling costs for the Evora have not been effectively amortised in the sales.

    So, is this the same thing, design an SUV which competes against Porsche?

    The money for all this R&D will probably come from Malaysia. Certainly not from any profit Lotus makes.

    So who is paying for this?

    The Malaysian Government. Proton will ask for a grant.
    Petronas (Malaysian Government owned).

    These two bodies will ask... "Whats in this for us?"

    Convincing them that this will give long term employment to "Malaysian" engineers and will be highly profitable raising their profile internationally, and locally will be difficult. IMO.

    Both DRB Hicom and Petronas have bona fide Universities, as standalone businesses.

    Petronas has a large Motorsport budget/prescence... You can see where I am going with this!

    If Lotus Styles and designs and new platform or two. Use this R&D work to produce saleable educational modules.

    When the business case is made and successfully implemented, produce saleable "Entreprenuer" educational modules.

    Package the homologation process into saleable educational modules.

    Marketing the products can be modulised and sold as educational products.

    I won't go on. I'm sure you can see where I am going.

    This would be a Unique selling point.

    University students are normally government funded (cheap loans or free) and often spend enough per year of study to pay for a small car.

    So if we said a three or four year spend per pupil would equate to a car sale we wouldn't be to far away.

    In America, Phoenix University has about 1/2 million students.

    If we (yes I want to be part of this) target 1 million clients globally, lets say this would be like selling 250,000 cars per year.

    This global exposure would give Lotus/Proton/Petronas a positive exposure.

    It is potentially, financially sustainable. It is ethical. However, it requires a little bit of "Outside the box" thinking.

    I'm sure the Proton/Lotus board would be more than capable of selling it to "Potential Investors".

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Birthday and Life Purpose.

    Todays my birthday.
    I got a few cards. I phoned my relative in Ireland who has the same birthday. British Superbikes is about to start on Eurosport...
    Life is good.
    I am healthy. I am happy.

    Professionally, I would love to move the MUM project forward.

    As always, I am confident this will happen shortly. In the meantime, I will carry on promoting the project via my webpage, blog and the occasional email.

    This time next year, I hope to be heading up a successful and sustainable corporate entity.


    As its my birthday. I thought I would share my Life purpose according to renowned Author Dan Millman who wrote 'Way of the peaceful warrior'

    Those on the 29/11 life path are here to combine creative energy with higher principles and integrity, finding ways to apply their creativity in service of others, aligned with higher wisdom. Such higher wisdom is revealed by spiritual laws, especially the laws 29/11s are here to live and learn. All 29/11s, along with other double 1s, have tremendous creative potential. But because their primary life purpose represents a kind of mountain to climb, they may not feel as creative as others who aren’t working 1 energy and who have few pressing issues or obstacles in that arena. Some 29/11s are still “stuck” working the 2 or 9 issues that precede the 11, which may block their awareness of the abundant energy available to them. Many 29/11s are extremely creative, but they have trouble handling the energy. Before 29/11s can open the floodgates of their inborn creative potential, they have to find themselves — their center, identity, balance, and boundaries. 29/11s display extraordinary potential; when they face their issues with awareness and commitment, they are among the most creative people on the planet. The energy of 2 entails a form of cooperation with others, and 29/11s are born to support humanity in ways both large and small. Whether businesspeople or healers, construction workers or hairdressers, mail clerks or athletes, they have the potential to bring the spark of creativity to life through their work, their hobbies, or their family life.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Picture Post. CSR Book and educational project latest.

    My project has a CSR charity book.
    All royalty payments go directly to ROKPA

    The initial draft of the book was written in Red Palm hostel. Sofie (originally from Alor Star) and Tilo (Leipzig) were both associated with Red Palm. Here we are in the Pavillion, KL.
    Tilo's dad Claus did the illustrations for the book.
    Here we are celebrating Tilos wedding to Curtney (in Leipzig).
    To read the story behind the story please click Here.

    My most recent attempt to get the project off the ground was a letter to the new Chairman of Proton.
    Here I am shaking his hand at ASLI Automotive conference in 2010. Tun Mahathir was the Keynote speaker.
    I presented my project on stage with his Son, and Tengku Mahaleel.
    I am happy to say, I have lost some weight since this photo!
    I'm off later, to attend a spin class. My local GYM4ALL gave me a free membership, they were so impressed with my efforts.

    I still have the upmost confidence that the MUM project will kick off sooner rather than later.

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    The importance of King Makers.

    CEO's... How do they get their jobs?
    Good question!
    Contacts, Experience (track record), academic qualifications...

    If the position is an academic one, then academic qualifications are very important. I volunteered in a local college, and some of the employees had kept records of all their qualifications since leaving school.

    In my experience, Fords as a permanent employee, and a few contract houses servicing General Motors, SEAT (VW), Lotus (Proton), and Mercedes Benz. I have found that all three have a bearing, however, having someone backing you is most important.

    You often see teams of Management ( Premier League Managers take their team, Number two, goalkeeeping coach etc) moving together.

    I recently wrote a blog about Geely buying Emerald Automotive. Many of the CEO's team have worked with him previously in Lotus/Hawtal Whiting.

    This is not unusual. Stick with people you know (and trust). Or sometimes, better the devil you know!

    When you look to get funding, a prospective funder will always ask to see the Management team, and its (money making) track record. Obviously, they will also want to look at the business plan!

    Me, I have a vision, I know who I want to partner with. Presently, I am a bit of a lone ranger with no funding. I need a backer, with influence, who will trust me to get the right team when the project kicks off.

    Any influencial 'King makers' out there who wants to take a risk on me?  I would like to think so. And with the right support, I feel their decision will be vindicated.

    Lastly, I have a CSR branch to my plan. Thanks to a few friends and family, I have published a Childrens book. All royalty payments go to charity.

    To buy the book and read the story behind the story, please click this link:

    Two of my book team, Sue, who's commendation appears on the back cover is fighting an ongoing battle with MS, and Dee my friend and Yoga teacher is slowly recovering from a bad fall. My very best wishes go out to both of them.

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Caterham. Funding a project... Even successful businessmen get this wrong.

    Today, I see that Caterham F1 has been sold.

    I'm not an F1 insider, and I don't know Tony Fernandes. I have worked for Lotus engineering as a contractor in Malaysia.
    I have added a few links and quotes after my thoughts so you can see where I'm coming from.

    Tony is a very successful businessman. I assume he (or a team of professionals) does a business plan before entering a new business. He has access to accountants, and industry professionals.

    IMO, Tony entered F1 in the hope of using it to promote his other business interests. Air Asia is the Ryan Air of Asia, and Tony had shown an interest in becoming involved with Group Lotus (Cars, Engineering services, blah blah).

    In 2010 F1 proposed a cost cap of £40million.

    The cost cap never happened. Tony ended up buying Caterham cars, and renaming his team.

    The cost for all this was high. The return was obviously (at least in F1 terms) disappointing.

    So does this make Tony an incompetent? No, very obviously not. However, Caterham F1 obviously hasn't met his expectations.

    I have annoyed many people with my Motorsport Uni plan. Would it cost a lot?  Would it make money... Yes... and I think so...

    Do I have the track record of Tony?... Absolutely not.

    However, this project has been my baby for many years. I refuse to give up on it. Given the resources, and I'm confident I can deliver.

    My plan has some parallels with Tony's.

    I would like to get involved with Group Lotus. I would like to get involved with Motorsport.

    Instead of using it (Motorsport) as a promotional tool, I would like to use it to support an educational project.

    I was told by many people in Group Lotus that they NEVER make money with 'Training'.

    Maybe they could just become vendors.

    Phoenix University in the USA, presently has about 1/3million students. It has a healthy revenue stream, and is run at a profit. (The polar opposite of Group Lotus)

    The University would have to be ethically run and monitored in order to be approved and its clients able to access government grants. Failure to meet government criteria effectively kills the revenue stream.

    Article about Phoenix University.

    DRB-Hicom now own Lotus. They have an approved University. The are not scared of entering the 'Training' arena.

    This project has the potential to be global. Governments world wide finance and support education.

    I hope that the new Chairman and CEO of Group Lotus look at my proposal with fresh eyes.

    It could be vehicle that drives Lotus and its partners to new commercially sustainable heights.

    I'd like to be a success. I'd like this project to be a success. Given the funding and support, I'm sure that this project can be a real game changer.

    DRB-Hicom should give this serious consideration. Nothing is guaranteed in this life (other than death), but I honestly believe this could be one of the best investments you could make.

    Education is a core business for DRB Hicom.

    The Telegraph (UK) made this statement.

    Fernandes had originally been seeking around £350million, but it is thought that Formula One's slowest team was sold for around one-tenth of that price. Sources suggested that an offer also fell through after the Monaco Grand Prix, when the team were dealt a severe blow by Marussia's ninth place.

     Tony Fernandes

    SKY SPORTS made this statement:

    Back then, they were known as Team Lotus and if Fernandes was already starting to take a dim view of the sport, those feelings would have intensified when he became embroiled in a court battle for the right to use the Lotus name.  
    Rather farcically, two teams bore the Norfolk marque's name in 2011 after Fernandes' plans to buy Lotus outright were thwarted when owners Proton instead appointed Dany Bahar, formerly a marketing boss at Red Bull and Ferrari, to take charge.

    The Guardian wrote:

    After four and a half years on the Formula One grid without a point to their name, and after spending more than £250m on the organisation, Fernandes has sold Caterham to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors.

    In 2009 wrote:

    Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, has revised its budget cap plans for 2010. Teams signing up for the optional cap must limit their spending to £40 million per year (£10 million higher than originally proposed) in exchange for greater technical freedom. This will not include driver salaries or, for 2010 only, engine costs.

    Thirteen teams will be accepted for next year’s championship and all must apply by May 29, 2009, stating whether they wish to compete under the budget cap or not. New constructors will be eligible for a participation fee and assistance with travel expenses from commercial rights holder Formula One Management.

    Friday, June 6, 2014

    My local garage no longer has any Proton stock.

    As people may know, I worked for Lotus in Malaysia.
    For much of that time I was working on site at Proton's R&D centre. So I was interested to see the garage around the corner from my house has taken down all it's Proton paraphenalia.
    I asked the man in the customer service area what was happening. He said Proton had no stock, and was coy about whether they would be selling any Proton cars in the future.

    I read an aticle that Proton sold just cars in the UK in 2012.

    Last year, Proton reportedly sold just 208 cars in the UK, a poor figure for a mass-market manufacturer and a measure of the challenge faced by the new models.

    Read more: Three new Proton models set for the UK | Carbuyer
    Follow us: @CarbuyerUK on Twitter | CarbuyerUK on Facebook

    Proton still makes cars. It has newer products. They don't appear to be reaching the UK.

    Proton has trouble competing in its home market. It doesn't appear to be competing at all in the UK.

    As I have based my proposal on using DRB-Hicom related hardware, this is not optimal. DRB-Hicom owns Lotus Cars and has agreements in place with Westfield and other manufacturers. So its not the end of the world.

    Proton have a new Chairman, and Lotus have a new CEO. So maybe things will take a turn for the better soon.

    In the meantime, I'm enjoying the great British Summer, and keeping fit. Also, after many years abroad its nice to spend some quality time with my Father, who is now in his 80's.

    Life is good!

    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    Geely buy Emerald Automotive, and sign an agreement with Proton and by extension Lotus.

    I see that Geely and Proton have an agreement in place for co-operation.
    The following is taken from a Bernama article.
    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the national carmaker and Geely were now in discussion stage after signing an agreement of interest on April 22, 2014, witnessed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
    Once again here is a picture of me and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
    Dr. Mahathir is now the Chairman of both Proton and Lotus.
    I periodically, remind Dr. Mahathir of my pet project. I would love to get it off the ground.
    So I need to bring in investors. His assistance would be most appreciated!
    Geely recently bought Emerald Automotive.

    I have met some of their executives. They are ex Lotus employees.
    The head honcho, AndyTempest, was for a period the CEO of Hawtal Whiting, I was introduced to him briefly by a gentleman called Bill Harrison. I knew Bill well from my time at Ford and met him a few times socially out of work. IMO a nice bloke. He was Director of Engineering (HW) at the time.

    I met with both David Tait and Glyn Owen in Malaysia, whilst working for Lotus. David Taitt was there when I left Malaysia. He was invited to my leaving 'Do'. He didn't come as he was under the impression I didn't like him. I have no idea why he would think that.

    Lotus tried to buy Hawtal Whiting when David Taitt was head of Lotus Engineering. Rumour (and that is all it was) had it that by obtaining Hawtal Whiting, Lotus also got Andy Tempest. Andy had previously held a senior position in Lotus.

    Hawtal Whiting was sold to Wagen who have now ceased trading to the best of my knowledge.

    However, Andy, David, Glyn (and Chris Hiett) are all now Geely employees.

    Perhaps they will be working with Lotus again in the future... Who knows? I certainly don't!

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Tun Mahathir, new boss of Lotus and Proton

    I see from the Malaysian press that Lotus and Proton have a new Chairman.

    I met him personally at ASLI Automotive conference 2010.

    I presented my proposal on stage with his Son and Tengku Mahaleel.

    Hopefully, his new appointment will be a plus for Proton and Lotus. It would be nice if he adopted my proposal.
    Both Lotus and Proton need to do something different. My proposal is different. And in my biased opinion it would be highly successful.

    Just what the Doctor ordered so to speak!

    HIRE ME.

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Football and Motorsport are businesses, why study at a functioning ground or circuit?

    The above video features on my webpage.

    UCFB now adverts nationally on SKY sports TV (UK). They obviously have a functioning business with a healthy marketing budget!
    My proposal has a parallel philosophy. However, where UCFB concentrate on the business side of things, I feel Motorsport has the opportunity to teach anything from business to law to engineering to sports science to ...

    Initially, when I presented the proposal, setting up a campus at a working track, I thought the possibility of being first was a selling point (silly me!).

    Now that someone else has started doing it in football, and appear to be succeeding! Perhaps people will see that I am not a complete nutter!

    I am not an accountant, however, if you can achieve high numbers of online clients mixed in with you on campus clients I am sure it can work financially.

    I don't have figures for a break even point, nor initial funding requirements (sure to be high) however, a long established USA online learning institute (Phoenix) has about 1/2 million students, and has a turnover in the billions. It has on occasion operated on above 10% profit margins. Its clients can afford its fee's because the (USA) government will supply loans for its courses.

    I am sure this is the case in many countries. Obviously, this means you have to be a real University based in the country obtaining the student grants.

    As campuses are track based at physical locations this in itself requires investment.

    However, there are companies out there with Motorsport divisions, producing sports cars who have education as part of their "core" businesses.

    They could potentially benefit greatly from this.

    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    3D Houses in China and 3D Cars in America... Interesting times!

    I saw an article on the BBC today.
    They are producing 3D houses in China. $5,000 per detached house.

     I took this image from this webpage.

    My brother used to teach bricklaying in a local college. He may well have found this technology threatening!

    This link also had an article on 3D cars! What a bonus... President Obama makes a brief appearance on the video. Presently he is in Asia (Malaysia as I write) trying to improve trade relations.
    I have added the video on an upcoming shared open design competition for a 3D car.

    As design software becomes easier to use and production methods easier to execute Car design and industrial design will make huge leaps forward.

    When I lived in Detroit, I would often cycle around to the Center for Creative Studies. This is a World renowned institution. I often had a sneek look through the windows!
    Here is a video of their car design area. It looks very similar to real Design studio's.
    It won't be long before the clay models are 3D produced!

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    My comment on Dr. M's Proton Blog (Chedet)

    Hello Tun,
    I see that Proton still creates a lot of debate. Producing cars is a high investment/risk industry. Many countries steer well clear. Others make a commitment. The Malaysian Government has obviously decided to enter the market. Many will think this is a vanity project. As they feel they are directly or indirectly paying for it, they quite understandably feel they have a right to criticise.
    That is to be expected.
    I have worked in Proton, albeit on behalf of Lotus, I found the people to be welcoming and helpful. Commercially, it is difficult for a small Company to compete in a very global market. Proton has always struggled outside of Malaysia. It is not a Global brand.
    How to address that?
    Find a partner that can give you the exposure. It would be better yet if R&D costs could be shared. You can do this with Vendors and other OEM’s.
    Additionally, as DRB Hicom now have education as one of there ‘Core’ businesses (as does Petronas) perhaps a global educational project that utilises Proton/Lotus hardware on geographically diverse campuses could be a profitable and effective way to promote the brand.
    As you may know, I have such a proposal.
    Proton has a Motorsport Division, I know Djan and presented with his Dad at ASLI 2010. Lotus and Petronas have Motorsport budgets.
    Exploit your intellectual property. Share it in an ethical and commercially sustainable manner. Upgrade your profile locally and internationally. Improve your bottom line.
    It makes sense. Do Proton a favour support this proposal. It will be a positive step forward.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    John Mansfield

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    Albert Lam's vision of the future.

    I just saw the above video on Bloomberg. It was taken on the Detroit Electric stand in Shanghai.
    Albert is the CEO of Detroit Electric.

     Albert Lam was kind enough to give me over an hour of his time when he was in charge of Lotus engineering.

    Albert was a good listener, and very polite.

    He said 'Show me a revenue stream and I will bring investors.'
    Albert, obviously did not see a revenue stream.

    Good luck to Albert on this new venture. His business plan makes sense to him.

     I still believe in the Educational venture I put forward. It is more than just a 'Noble idea'. It has the potential to be profitable.

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    Holy moly. The Clergy are in the happiest profession!

    I just read an intersting article on the BBC.
    Vicar or publican - which jobs make you happy?

    Top five jobs

    • Clergy
    • Chief executive/senior official
    • Agriculture/horticulture proprietor
    • Company secretary
    • Quality assurance
    This article asks which professions are the 'Happiest'
    They list 274.
    First is Clergy - Rabbi Priest Imman Monk Nun etc.
    Second was Chief executive!

    Having spent time as a resident in a Monastery, I can understand the first listing
    However, whilst I have been on the Board of Directors and a Board adviser, I can't claim to have any first hand experience the second most 'Happy' profession.

    One day maybe... I like being happy!

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    DRB Hicom changing management... All's Well That Ends Well.

    Firstly, my condolences to the friends and relatives of people on the recent Malaysian Airways flight that disappeared on its way to China. I have a friend who was on the earlier MAS flight to Bejing. It is big news here in the UK.
    My day to day life goes on... From a corporate point of view, I am looking at things from a distance. I am not an insider so to speak.
    As I am sure you are aware I write this blog about a proposal that uses Motorsport as a lever to teach.
    As such I read articles on DRB Hicom as they own Proton and Group Lotus, and have a sales and development agreement with Westfield.
    I have seen recent reports that DRB Hicom have recently lost an executive was deputy CEO for Proton. Datuk Lukman is on the left. DRB Hicom also owns it's own private University.

    Supposedly, he was hand picked by the Proton Adviser Dr. Mahathir. It was rumoured Dr. M had resigned his adviser role in a huff. This has since been denied.

    This article by Paul Tan covers it.

    How does this affect my proposal? Well if Dr. Mahathir were to throw his weight behind it, as Adviser to Proton it would obviously enhance my chances of success.

    It has been a long time since I suggested this proposal (I was working in Lotus Malaysia) and from day one, I thought this proposal would work. At the time I received little support from my Management. In fact they were so impressed they closed the training dept!

    Did this worry me? Not at all. I'm in for the long haul. I ran the London Marathon 20 years ago. I set a target for weight loss and fitness last year, and have hit my targets.

    I realised when I proposed this project, it was different from anything Lotus Engineering had done previously. I knew it would be a long bumpy road to approval. It has been!

    All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare.  The Bard certainly got that right.

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Proton looking for RM 3 billion funding (about 1/2 billion pounds)

    The Malaysian paper The Star has a couple af articles about Proton asking the Malaysian Government and the Malaysian national oil company Petronas for funding to develop new products.
    It makes interesting reading.

    I have on many occasions approached both companies Proton (owned by DRB Hicom) and Petronas for help in making my proposal a reality.

    Up until now it has not materialised.

    I think that now DRB Hicom have publicly stated that they intend to make 'Education' (ICAM) a core business, Petronas already has a fully fledge University under its ownership, and both have multiple Motorsport divisions and in the case of Petronas sponsorship of Mercedes F1 team. the official title of Mercedes is Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.

    Lotus, the car company based in the UK are owned by DRB Hicom. Westfield cars have a development and sales agreement with DRB Hicom. Proton has a Motorsport team R3 and Proton also support an international Rally team.

    Whilst Petronas may feel that funding for product development should come directly from the Government, it may be open to an educational partnership based around Motorsports.

    Proton (DRB Hicom) obviously talks to Petronas.

    How about looking at my proposal? I'm sure both parties would have much to gain!

    Both are looking having a global presence. Both are looking to make 'Education' one of their core businesses. Both have Motorsport as part of their businesses.

    On a personal note... It would be nice if they could find a position for me in their business plan.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    The future is upon us. 3D printing is becoming far more accessible.

    I went my local ASDA (Walmart) a few days ago. They were doing a promo for their new 3D printing product. I was intrigued.
    I watched the ASDA marketing video. One of the viewers asked what hardware they were using.

    Someone said 'Zprinter by Zcorp.'
    I looked it up and came across the following video. Its about an hour. However, it does look like affordable scanning and printing is upon us. This technology is a great addition to design software.
    Companies already scan competitors products and add them to their math date, altering them to fit their requirements.
    The technology is not new per se... however, it is now reaching a point where good quality equipment is becoming affordable.
    I would love to see this in the classroom.

    The sales guy showed a scanner (about $500 USA) which fits and syncs with an ipad. A professional level printer costs between $5000 and $10,000. Not cheap per se, but I'm sure if you have the student numbers I envisage, I feel a good business case could be made.
    Students can work remotely, and send the data. A model can be made and posted. For students on campus it would be a case of waiting for the model to be completed and just picking it up.
    Designing something virtually and then being able to have it physically in a short time period is great!
    In my opinion this the future.

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Ten years ahead of my time! DRB Hicom, I am ready and available!

    From my last post you can see that the University concept was a bit ahead of its time. Particularly when pitched at the Lotus management of the time.
    Now Lotus is owned by DRB Hicom. They look at education as a core business.
    Great. They are obviously as a group more open to my proposal.
    Now is the time to implement my proposal. With or without me!
    In the last year I have lost about 25% of my body weight... 5 stone ( about 32 kilo).
    So today, I have ordered a new suit off the peg!
    M&S have a sale. So I am buying one.

    A year ago this would not have been possible.
    Many thanks to Lee and Jade at GYM4ALL. They have led most of the classes that I have participated in.
    I highly recommend them!
    I am now back to the size I was when I originally made the proposal!
    I have enjoyed the last ten years.
    I have presented at the Asian Leadership Institue, been an Advisor to the board of a Media company,
    written a Childrens Book ... Innocence lost in the Ice cream forest...
    volunteered at my local Citizens Advice Centre... and presented my project to, and met various VIP's.

    Have I enjoyed it. Most certainly.
    Have I worked in the Automotive industry in the last ten years? No.
    Have I missed it? No.
    However, now is a good time to return to the mainstream.
    There are people who have a positive view of me. This balanced out by those who have a negative view of me.
    Please take the time to view my blogs and webpage, and make up your own mind!

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    DRB Hicom to make education a core business

    Picture taken from STAR newspaper article:
    I nterestingly, the CEO of DRB Hicom, who own Lotus and Proton, with a design/manufacturing agreement with Westfield cars, may be entering education as a "Core" business.
    Here is a quote from the article:
    Khamil said the education sector is already a huge industry by itself, and this could be the company’s next core business, after it obtained its university status in the next 12 months. The group also received a RM28mil grant from the Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) to set up the college.
    This could be a very workable business. DRB Hicom have hardware to make my proposal a reality... It would be very nice if they give me the opportunity to participate in this.

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    A Picture paints a thousand words

    I have just been browsing some of the graphics I have used in my blog. Sadly, I do not have a reference as to where they originated and their validity!
    Never mind!!
    When I first started on this proposal, I was based in Malaysia, among other things I was tasked with coming up with a training plan. This plan was supposed to be commercially viable.
    In practice if we ran a Catia course with 15 students for a week, we broke even.
    So running physical classes would be OK. Potentially we could run courses and cover costs.
    However, if we were to be unique and run our courses at a working circuit, and combine it with online training we could potentially be profitable... Not a concept that is normally associated with Lotus.
    I received no tangible support. It was 2000 I suppose and people were not sure if this would work.
    Phoenix University in America now serves about 1/2 million online students in America.
    Today mobile online devices are everywhere. People all over the globe have access to what I am now writing...

    Universities all over the globe use online learning. Some are government owned, others are private.
    Most students can get loans to pay the University fees. Governments encourage their citizens to learn useful skills.


    So in my opinion combining 'Unique' campuses with top notch hardware and sharing the knowledge online globally could result in one million online students, using Phoenix University as a bench mark.

    How many students do you need to break even? Not known.

    Phoenix made over ten percent profit on revenue for 1/2 million students.

    This is only servicing the USA. My plan would be global. This would not only have the potential to be a viable business, it would also give our partners, backers and hardware suppliers global exposure.

    Makes sense to me!