Friday, March 30, 2007

15 Minutes with a Tycoon

Ming and I are in KL doing our marketing rounds to tons and tons of advertisers and just yesterday we got a little lucky.

We managed to secure a meeting with the CEO and Founder of a very large multinational company which commands a brand that every Malaysian has heard of.

That afternoon, we walked straight into the grand office with a secretary smiling at us and asking
"May I help you?"

Right that instant a well-dressed older man walked out of a room and straight past the secretary's table.
He saw Ming and I standing there with our briefcases and asked "What are you both doing here?"

I calmly replied
"We are looking for PPP (Not his real name obviously :P). We have an appointment with him for right now".
He let out a short laugh and said
"I am PPP."

I mentally gave myself a pat in the back for looking like an idiot but before I could say anything else, he said
"Come come into my office".

We walked into his posh office, it was beautiful.

Not extravagantly huge but beautifully furnished with expensive furniture.

We all took our seats on the soft sofa couches around a striking wooden coffee table.

He sat down comfortably on his end of the sofa and said
"Okay... now tell me, how can we do business together?"

Ming and I started first by introducing ourselves and how we came about to start Nuffnang.

Then we went on to describe Nuffnang and the ins and outs of how we work and then bring the story round to whether his huge company would be willing to take a small percentage of his advertising budget to advertise with us.

That small percentage would already be HUGE for us.
At the end of our introduction, PPP said
"Your kind of internet business has very low barriers to entry. You have to be careful. You will experience fierce competition, and in my experience, competition can turn nasty."

He paused for a while then asked
"How much money did you put in this business?"

I gave him the 6 digit figure and was quick to tell him that both my partner and I are lucky to have little financial constraint on this end.

He then asked
"Do you need another investor?", smiling at the both of us as the words left his lips.

Thoughts ran through my mind in that split second.

On one hand, there we were in the office of this tycoon hoping to convince him to advertise on Nuffnang blogs but instead we were now having him ask us if we would like him to invest in Nuffnang.

I looked at PPP and realised that rather than trying to pitch to him, I should instead be pitching to his Marketing Department.

I shouldn't be using this meeting to pitch, I should be using this meeting to learn from PPP.

Ming and I are both young and we have a lot to learn but we learn fast. If there is any chance to ever get business advice that money can't ever buy, it was now.

So I asked him for more advice, trying to draw from his business experience and that's how we spent the rest of our meeting.

Before we knew it, 15 minutes was up and the Tycoon had to be some place else.

He showed Ming and I out of the office and said
"If there is any way that you can think of that I could help, please let me know. You have my contact details on the card. Let me know when you're free to meet again and we can talk more".

I thanked him graciously and walked away from his private office.

As Ming and I were walking away I said
"Do you know that we just had a meeting with one of the Richest Men in Malaysia?"


Ah Pek said...

oh boy, big fish taking the hook liao!!! Go for it!

her Fei-ness said...

wah...good luck boss! don't forget to call me if you ever need another cheezel-eater!

ps:one!!!!!!!! yay! pls more ppl forget to claim plssssss...

anthraxxxx said...

Keep up the good work. You guys are awesome.

Boss Stewie said...

ah pek: aiyooo still quite early days to really be proud of anything... wait ah pek.... see if we can get u the results first then only we celebrate ok?


antraxxx: not quite yet dude.. i think we still need to prove ourselves.

Vicky said...

wow!!! am so excited already!!!!

Do you need another investor! Wow!

Yes u r right, by him investing just a small portion of the marketing budget is definitely a help to you all!!!

But I'm curious, how could you possibly bypass all the protocols and able to confirm the 15mins meeting with this tycoon!!!??
And as what I gathered, it is not a clear direction he gave both of you. He could have given the greenlight to marketing vp instead. right?

I talked too much, didn't i?
aiyer, just curious mah....
Am also as passionate as you! Maybe a bit less lah. haha

Jon said...

Timothy, just a word of caution when dealing with tycoon investors. They are rich for a reason, because they get their profit.

I've heard stories of large investors driving small business owners to suicide and bankruptcy. Do a background check on PPP and see what you know about him before accepting any deal.

Boss Lepton said...

investors are there when u need extra money into a business

i dun see you needing that yet

Encik Wan said...

"Ming and I are in KL doing our marketing rounds to tons and tons of advertisers and just yesterday we got a little lucky."
Future Internet entrepreneurs will thank both of you for using conventional marketing tactic to develop Malaysia market rather than using self-service method, e.g. Google :) Face-to-face marketing is used by YellowPages to get thousands of SME advertisers. I am not sure the profit margin of YellowPages comparing to Google, but YellowPages businesses are profitable

"Your kind of internet business has very low barriers to entry."
That is why Internet is great for startup but may not be good for established players.

Daphne said...

U wrote: He saw Ming and I standing there with our briefs and asked "What are you both doing here?"

I'm sorry to be anal about this, but your briefs are your underwear! hahahaha! You mean briefcases lah, boss! :)

I had a very very gross fleeting image of you and ming standing there in briefs when I read that msg 0.o Urgh!

Daphne said...

wahh! jus saw kenny sia's blog :) hope nuffnang grows bigger n bigger! im ashamed to say i have yet to sign up! haha! oops. i wil do so... soon. im jus damn lazy.. oops..

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

Hallo Bossy!Not bad,not bad at all. In the line of marketing expecially to potential big client it is always good to have another excuse to visit him against & he have gave you the permission to contact him direct. Get him to sponsor some ad first ( nomally a sign of good faith in your business ) before having him as investor but beware sooner or later your business will be his if he get to invest(this proof that nuffnang is worth investing & profitable with protential big future earning).
Yes, sometime if u r lucky u can get to meet the big boss directly bypassing all sort of protocal.It is just that you have to grasp hold of this opportunity.
Keep up the good work.
BTW boss u got mail. Need you help. TQ TQ.

aL said...

whoa boss! congrats =)

for meeting up with the tycoon and the ads in kennysia!

.:»Ares«:. said...

wow, boss! I'm so envious of you. =P . That was great! Getting to meet a man of such status and learning from him. But, like someone said above here, i think it's good to keep all options open and be a little careful.


suicidalconversationjunkie said...

sounds like something great is brewing, though both boss lepton and jon has a point. do exercise caution yeah dear belly-dancing boss? hehehe

ganbatte!!!! :D

Lance de'Cypher said...


jlshyang said...

i can't offer you any advice but i'm definitely supporting Nuffnang all the way! Nuffnang! Nuffnang! I'll be putting my nuffnang sticker on my car soon!

gasoon said...

You are in danger now. With these big Tycoon, you are either join them or against them. They can easily create another company to compete with you.

Anyway, keep the good job and I am still saporting you guys la!!

Wingz said...

wuahh big tycoon!!! i likey!!!

Boss Stewie said...

vicky: well i was referred to him by a contact :P

jon: great advice.. thanks dude

boss leptoN: yes ... and when i do need it.. i can come to u right? hehehe

encik wan: thank u for your input.. as usual it is very enlightening

daphne: lol daphne! ok i changed the'briefs' word ok?

hor ny: don't congratulate me yet dude.. at least not until we achieve something

ares: yep .. that's advice i will definitely take

suicidal: LOL!

al: hehehe don't congratulate me too early ler al :P but thanks anyway

lance: why drool :P

jlshyang: thank u so much for the support dude

gasoon: thanks very very much for your support dude

wingz: u also wat wingz

hcfoo said...

I agree with Jon. I think it's best to stick to the main objective first.

Hope there will be more ads to come giving us bloggers more opportunities to make money.