Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dr. Mahathir resigns from Proton and Lotus...

Dr. Mahathir (Picture below with me[John Mansfield]) has resigned as Proton and Lotus Chairman

The good Doctor is the former PM of Malaysia. He founded Proton. He has also resigned from other posts.
He is 91. This is not necessarily the reason he has resigned. He has an ongoing issue with the present PM. It has been suggested that this might be the reason for his resignation.

DRB Hicom own Proton and Lotus. They (Proton and Lotus) have a poor Commercial track record. Both need investment. Obviously, they could go under the wing of an established OEM. Historically, this has been attempted, but always failed.

 Normally, the Government gives them (Proton) grants.

In one of his recent post on his Chedet blog, Dr Mahathir accused the Malaysian Government of allowing Proton to go bust...

In Britain, we have a history of subsidised Car Companies (British Leyland).

By resigning Dr Mahathir will make it more likely that DRB Hicom can approach the Government with a viable plan for both Proton and Lotus and come away with a cheque.

In Malaysia this is quite contentious. It was here in Britain. The term 'Lame Duck' comes to mind.

However, having worked in Proton's Shah Alam facility, I have empathy with the workers. I have always had a soft spot for Lotus, and it would benefit both if money were available.

Should the money become available, it would need to produce a sustainable entity. I think Proton has now got to realise that the Government no longer views it as 'Too politically connected to fail' .

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Early Italian Job Film Script available for Charitable donation

Some years ago I bought an early typed script for the film, The Italian Job.
Troy Kennedy Martin Bio
In order to obtain this script I bid in a charity auction. I have never read the whole script! It was an impulse buy.
One fine day, if someone wants to make a verifiable donation of a substantial sum to a recognised respected Charity, I will be happy to pass it on to them... as long as they promise only to sell it on for a sum donated to Charity, and not for personal gain.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Royal Approval needed!

Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Ibrahim (TMJ)

The Johor Prince has been busy lately touring European Football teams, and making high level contacts...

 This photo was borrowed (without permission) from the Johor Football Club Facebook Page. I assume as its on Facebook that is OK.

Six months ago, I wrote a blog entry, which made reference to the prince. I never loaded it. It was in the form of a letter...
Here it is... Better late than never!

Sport University–A right Royal idea- Huge revenue stream?
Today I see that the 3rd Son of the Sultan of Johor,Prince Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim has approved (paid for?) an upgrade to Johor circuit. It will have a clean up and polish, plus a museum will be added.

It will cater to grassroots motorsport. I read this on Paul Tan.

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the 1st Son of the Sultan and Crown Prince of Johor a business partner in several ventures with Peter Lim. 

Peter Lim and the Crown Prince are involved in building a new race circuit in Johor.

Among other things, Peter Lim owns Valencia football club, he is also a McLaren shareholder, and the Crown Prince is head of FAM (Football Association Malaysia).

Another Malaysian Prince I know (yes its true) is a race car driver and runs the tuning division of Proton R3 and heads Lotus Cars sales in Malaysia.

His father, is President of the Malaysian Badminton Association in Bukit Jalil, based just outside KL Malaysia. I shared a stage with him at ASLI (Asian Strategic Leadership) Auto conference.

Please spend a few minutes looking at the videos. One features me, giving an overview of using a circuit as a training institute.

The second is an interview with a board member of a Football based University.

I don’t pretend my interview is as well done as the second. BUT the concept is very similar.

In order to create a revenue stream over and above the physical Campuses, I suggested in my original proposal that we add  internet / TV enabled learning.

Using strategic physical campuses, preferably covering Europe, Asia and North (South) America we could in the medium long term target one million students.

Students in the UK pay about £ (sterling) Nine thousand per annum for a University education. This, if it were to be spread across one million students would give you a revenue stream of Nine Thousand Million pounds.

That is a lot of money. I am not saying that nine thousand pounds per client per year is achievable, this is only to illustrate that there is potential for a revenue stream that can outweigh the operating costs.

In order to do a business plan, it might be easier to work backwards.

Lets say that Petronas and Singapore Universities are prepared to enter into this, They can deliver education in English (standard in Singapore) plus Malay and several Asian dialects of China and India.

I would suggest using the New Circuit combined with the old one as physical Campuses in this region. 

Providing they provide Internationally recognised Standards of Education, their Certification could and should be accepted in these nations.

In Europe, I have never spoken to a University in England that would not like to be involved in a venture such as this.

Lotus Cars is based in Norfolk. It has its own FIA approved track, and has a large Enterprise Park next door. Perhaps Norwich Football club might want to Partner (I don’t know).

In mainland Europe, Valencia has a football team owned by the same person who is a shareholder in McLaren (a potential partner) and the new FIA approved Circuit in Johor.

In America Motorsport is popular, not so much F1, but other forms of Motorsport certainly. Lotus has a presence in Michigan.

Maybe, Peter Lim, who also has business ties with some ex Man Utd players might want ask David Beckham if his new American Soccer franchise would like to participate.

 ESPN might want to emulate the BBC and provide the programming.

Lets say I am off in my forecast revenue stream by a factor of ten. We achieve one million students, but they only spend globally an average of £ (sterling) 1 thousand pounds. That only gives us a revenue stream year on year of £ (sterling) One thousand million pounds.

Can we rent/buy physical space in football grounds/circuits pay educational facilities to participate in Government(s) approved courses. In addition would this appeal to ESPN? 


Start up costs?

Me and my idea. Give me the funding and a base contract with Key Performance criteria. And I will be a global facilitator and contact on the project.

I would require enough to set up a team. Initially me. As of this moment I receive nothing. I am hopefully building up some type of sweat equity as I write!

So, as of now I work because I believe passionately in this. Obviously I want this sweat equity to morph into a financial reward.

Just a thought. I am hopefully attending a 4 day course to gain a business plan/setup a business course. The cost of this course run at a local education institute (UK government approved) about £500. That equates to £120 per day per student.

So what do I need to get started. Personally nothing. My outgoings from my (home) office are covered. In order to trade I need buy in.

I need royal buy in. Johor is on my list of places this should begin. I would like Space at one or both places. Cost? If the circuit is interested. Free space… However a huge amount of publicity for your fledgling Circuit.

Cost to furnish a classroom: Nothing if we use the VIP/Press area.

Existing furniture/TV screens etc. should suffice.

 Should it be possible to have a holiday on utility bills for the first year, then our first physical campus could operate on a low overhead till a clientele is established. Thereafter we pick up the utility costs for the second year onwards regardless if the premises are in use for Students or Circuit events. As the classrooms would have dual functionality, for planning purposes time allocation would need to be agreed.

The Circuit could teach for example, Sport Marketing with a focus on Motorsport and Football. Johor has a professional club, with a relationship with Valencia. Let us leverage that relationship.
Cost to the Circuit for access to Marketing material from both Johor and Valencia football clubs to be determined. Naturally, as the Circuit owners have connections with both clubs they may well consider the publicity generated as payment in the initial stages.

Possibly, using the same shared facility model, Johor Football Club could offer the office space reserved for Match day press/VIPs for use in the initial stages at a low to zero rent. Again positive publicity could in the initial stage be seen as payment.

Students could gain work experience at both venues.

As I have experience in Lotus, and Proton. I see their participation at events held at the track as important. Plus if they could open their books to the Education providers, the publicity generated would be in and of itself beneficial.

So lets say Lotus Cars and R3 promote the circuit as participate in events. Sales events can also be held.

Again the costs to be borne by the supplier.

By using this model the University can keep costs down, at least in the first year.

Now for education providers: We form an umbrella organisation.

The Umbrella organisation acts as a gateway to the circuit and negotiates with the providers on fees. This could initially be done using courses and lectures given by PETRONAS/Singapore University/ICAM (DRB-Hicom).

Students/Clients pay upfront. The length and duration of the course must not exceed income. Initially, we require the suppliers to share the risk by preparing the course at their expense. They deliver the approved course, then we pay them.

A company such as ESPN (Astro) might be interested in partnering. They have a global reach. It may be possible to incorporate the making of programmes to be aired internally, using professional alongside students, thereby defraying production costs while giving students high quality exposure to production/editing techniques.
I enjoyed this video from a first adopter of this Entrepreneurial model.
Your Royal stamp of approval would be much appreciated!
John Mansfield