Wassup May 2012
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Wassup May 2012

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The latest issue of our cultural trends magazine, from Ogilvy Asia

The latest issue of our cultural trends magazine, from Ogilvy Asia

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Wassup May 2012 Wassup May 2012 Document Transcript

  • The cultural trends magazine fromOgilvy & Mather Asia PacificEdited & designed by Kunal SinhaEditorial assistant: Nishtha MehtaCorrespondents:Tari Rusbianti (Jakarta)Inke Kurniawan (Jakarta)Mala Yutimalah (Jakarta)Piyawat Rattanakhachitwong (Bangkok)Elaine Dai (Beijing)Timothy Sarker (Dhaka)Naima Hamid (Dhaka)Neha Punjabi (Mumbai)Donnah Alcoseba (Makati City)Wine Chua-Leonardo (Makati City)Joyce Koor(Singapore)Waqas Tahir (Singapore)Naoko Ito (Tokyo)Azusa Fukai (Tokyo)Siddharth Roy (Colombo)Mei Wu (Taipei)Michelle Lim-Chua (Kuala Lumpur)Beatrice Yong (Kuala Lumpur)Josephine Phang (Kuala Lumpur)Serena Park (Seoul)Ju Young Jang (Seoul)© Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, 2012
  • We usually go to doctors when we have a problem. Wassup takes a slightly differentapproach: in this issue we speak to them, because we believe that they are a greatpredictor of social tensions. When they told us that diabetes and cancer are rising asnever before, it revealed the true impact of changes in lifestyle that Asians have beenexperiencing. When they tell us that nearly 80% of children suffer from eyesightproblems, it shows us the impact of all the pressure parents are putting on them,aggravated by the uninterrupted hours of being glued to the screen. Shocked? If you are,then start thinking about how brands can play a larger role in stopping these problems.We profiled Successful Asian Men, those in their mid 30s who have leading andparticipating in the positive change that Asia has experienced in the last decade. Whilethe fields where they’ve excelled are greatly varied, how they’re marking their successremains very predictable: buying expensive watches, upgrading their cars, travelingoverseas on holiday. Can we make them think outside the box a bit?An unstable world means that people remain on their guard at all times. Some of thetensions they face are natural (such as the tsunami scare), others – like the North Koreanmissile that fizzled out – are created by humans. Most are deeply embedded in localpolitics, and every marketer needs to be aware of that. Tread carefully, because you mayjust lose customers by being on the wrong side of the tension!Finally, we pay our homage to brands or stores that have faded away into oblivion.There’s a cautionary tale in our obituary: about how staying relevant with changingcustomer needs, technology, and market conditions are absolutely imperative in everymarket.We hope Wassup is able to deliver you with the foresight that will enable your businessto prosper in Asia.
  • 14 countries.20 correspondents deeply immersed inpopular and leading edge culture bring youCultural Insights that will make a world ofdifference to your business. SOUTH KOREA BANGLADESH PHILIPPINES SINGAPORE INDONESIA SRI LANKA THAILAND MALAYSIA PAKISTAN VIETNAM TAIWAN JAPAN CHINA INDIA View slide
  • contents Look who’s talking: Doctors in AsiaKnowing me, Knowing you: Successful Asian Men Playing on my iPod Elated about Waiting List Everyone is talking about Tense about Obituary: Brands we miss View slide
  • Doctorsin Asia tell us about health trends
  • Look who’s talkingCHINA - “DIABETES” Dr. Zhang Li, an endocrinologist at Japan-China FriendshipDr. Zhang Li Hospital in Beijing, attended college at China Academy of Medical Sciences majoring in Endocrinology and now specializes in Diabetes & Metabolism. “China is facing a serious diabetes epidemic”, says Dr. Zhang. "In the past 5 years, diabetes patients have risen sharply. From just 3 to 4 diabetic patients in 2004-05, I now receive about 15 daily. This clearly reflects a major public health problem in Beijing and diabetes is becoming one of the major common illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disorder”, she added. In the past 10 years, China‘s economic development has progressed from, not being able to eat enough, poverty to having enough food, warm clothes, and lack of exercise. People’s standard of living has improved, alongside, lifestyles changes. In big cities like Shanghai and Beijing, more and more people are skipping their meals due to high pressured jobs; leading them to eating out more often, which is pretty oily & flavored. “Choice of meals are getting out of one’s own control and it is one of the key factors causing diabetes” Dr. Zhang added. According to Dr. Zhang’s observation, there are more diabetic patients in the north of China than in the south. “The cold weather in the north makes people eat more fatty foods with higher levels of sugar like meat to keep them warm. Northern China also sees increased level of tobacco & alcohol consumption”. During the conversation she added, that people are becoming more dependent on cars and less inclined to walking or riding a bike. All these factors contribute to increase in diabetic condition. As China becomes wealthier, lifestyle factors associated with diabetes such as weight gain, unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity is on an increase, especially amongst the younger generation. She suggests to eat a healthy diet to prevent diabetes, like, eating high-protein foods found in seafood and vegetables. She also suggests to live a healthy lifestyle: take regular meals and exercise often.
  • Look who’s talking SRI LANKA - “MALNUTRITION” Dr. (Mrs.) Sonali Goonetilleke Sonali entered the Medical College of Colombo in 1987 amidst the dark era in the political history of Sri Lanka, which directly affected all university students during the period. As a result, Sonali had to spend 8 long years as a medical student before she actually became a doctor in 1995. Sonali married Ushan at the age of 30 and continued her studies, successfully specializing in child healthcare, and became a pediatrician in 2004. By this time, she was also a mother of two boys. Soon, she took up the role to serve at the Lady Ridgway hospital for children for the next 4 years. She also served in various rural parts of Sri Lanka for a number of years. At present, Sonali is the head of the Child Healthcare unit of the General Hospital in Ragama, Gampaha District. Dr. Sonali reveals that for a country that has no significant food shortage and provides for extensive free maternal and child health services, it is rather paradoxical that malnutrition affects nearly one-third of children and one quarter of women.She further shared some alarming statistics on this subject: almost 1 out of 5 children are born with low birthweight; around 29% of under-fives are reported to be underweight, rising as high as 37%, in some depriveddistricts; 14% of under-fives suffer from acute malnutrition when their weight is compared to the weight of anormal child of the same height; nearly 58% of infants between 6 and 11 months and 38 % children between12 - and 23 months are anemic .Dr. Sonali adds that the immediate and underlying causes for child malnutrition in Sri Lanka range fromdisease and inadequate dietary intake, to lack of knowledge and cultural factors that influence the utilizationof health services and available food supply. Poverty also affects nearly 23 % of the households in Sri Lankaand is closely intertwined with household food security. Other major determinants of malnutrition in thecountry include inappropriate feeding practices & micronutrient deficiency. Highlighting the dangers of thissituation, Dr. Sonali mentions that girls who are born with low birth weight grow into women of short stature,who themselves are more likely to have low birth weight babies, especially if they have their babies whilstthey are very young. Unless the cycle is broken at some stage, this situation will perpetuate over manygenerations resulting in an intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. On the other hand, malnutrition impactschildren’s learning ability and people who survive a malnourished childhood are less physically andintellectually productive and suffer from more chronic illness and disability.She further states that the wide disparities that prevail across the districts of Sri Lanka create major challengesin dealing with malnutrition. As the causes of malnutrition are many, actions to reduce malnutrition requireconcerted efforts of several sectors at a national level addressing different challenges - care for pregnantmothers, educating them on pre–natal nutrition services including iron and folate supplements, de-worming,monitoring the nutritional status of expectant mothers and nutrition counseling amongst the few. Support forbreast feeding, coupled with support for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and development of NationalPolicy on the Code of Marketing for Breast Milk substitutes should be promoted at the National level.
  • Look who’s talking MALAYSIA - “KIDNEY DISORDERS” Dr. Vincent WongAt 36 years of age, Dr. Vincent Wong is the youngest consultingnephrologist (kidney doctor) at the Kajang Specialist Hospital (KSH) inKuala Lumpur. It is a mid-sized private hospital with 160 beds and 30consulting physicians located in Kajang, a bustling town on the outskirtsof Kuala Lumpur. He completed his medical training at University CollegeDublin, Ireland as well as his specialization in nephrology at the NationalHealth Service (NHS) in the UK before moving back to Kuala Lumpur threeyears ago.Like every other doctor in Malaysia, he served his three year service with a public hospital beforemoving to a private hospital where consultants run their own individual clinics with the freedom todetermine their own workload and work hours. He works regular office hours from 9 to 5 on weekdaysand on average sees 10 to 15 patients daily.His patients are mostly the elderly, aged 50 to 70 with kidney diseases and already having a longhistory of other medical problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Malaysia in particular, hashigh incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks, which he attributes to the our lovefor food and our sedentary lifestyle. We tend to eat out most of the time and the food tends to besaltier, fattier and generally unhealthy compared to a home-cooked meal. This is attributed to ourlonger working hours but more importantly, our lack of exercise. He says, “We don’t exercise enoughperhaps because it’s too hot and our exercise is limited to walking in shopping malls, which isn’tenough.”He tells us, “Rise in the consumption of alternative medicines & health supplements is a cause forhealth problems”. This has become even more common with the growth of multi-level marketing.“People take supplements because it makes them feel healthier but yet they will continue eating theirrendang (coconut beef curry) and smoke”, he says. However, he cautions that this isn’t a solution orremedy and could even be harmful to your health. Certain traditional medicines may even directlydamage your kidneys, for example, star fruit juice can cause gallbladder stones. Shockingly, there areincidences of traditional medicine manufacturers mixing western painkillers with the medicine to makepatients feel better, however, painkillers can cause kidney damage.It may seem that Malaysians are keen on taking the easier way out and compensating their unhealthylifestyles with traditional medicine and health supplements. However, his advise to Malaysians is, “thehard things in life are usually better for you”.
  • Look who’s talkingTHAILAND - “GENETIC MEDICINE”Dr. Rungarun SanthadkolkarnCEO, Phyathai HospitalDr. Rungarun, a graduate from the faculty ofmedicine, Chulalongkorn Univerisity, startedworking at Phyathai hospital in the internalmedicine department. With years of hard workput in at the hospital, she was promoted to bethe member of the management board, and tooknew responsibilities of the hospital’s finances &management. Today, she stands at the 31st yearanniversary of her professional life; however,she’s still faced with new challenges daily.Healthcare TrendsWhile speaking about Thailand’s healthcare reforms, she outlined 3 major trends sweeping the nationat the moment.1. “Medical Genetic Treatment”. This can detect genetic causes for major diseases, likecancer,hemophilia or anything related to hereditary. This makes it possible to predict and illustrate thecontribution risk from any member of the same family. “At our hospital we have an innovativetechnology to make a pedigree of patient’s family, and then we are able to identify potential cancerrisk like a professional medical consultant.2. “360 degree medical care through the human life stages”. “As we start to apply genetic studiesin medical field, we have more knowledge and understand much cause of various syndromes anddiseases better. Therefore, we can offer 360 degree medical care across the various life stage of thehuman being. i.e. - we offer medical treatment from pre-marriage stage to marriage stage and tobaby stage” she said.3. “Personalized Medicine”. “Personalized Medicine is like a tailor-made”, the doctor explains.Currently, when getting the healthcare check ups, a number of general packages provided from thehospital seem to be insufficient for people today. What do they need? They need something whichcan offer the right solution per their individual need, the doctor answers. .“Our hospital provides personalized medical treatment, not just a general one. Different peopleneed different treatment because they have different make up. As part of the treatment, thishospital also inquires about their lifestyle, their career. For instance, if our patient is a trafficpoliceman who is usually exposed to air pollution, he will be be summoned to check his respirationsystem as part of organ system check up”.
  • Look who’s talking SOUTH KOREA - “AESTHETIC TREATMENTS” Dr. Kwang-Ho Choi Aesthetic fever in South Korea has become a significant phenomenon in and beyond Korea, across Asia. As growing number of Asians become familiar with contemporary Korean wave, especially K-Pop and K-Drama, a lot of Asians are flying over to Korea for aesthetic treatments. No wonder a large number of Koreans, regardless of age, gender or lifestyle, are finding interest in transforming their physical appearance to conform to socially accepted ideals of beauty . For more on this phenomenon, we visited Dr. Choi’s Dermatology Clinic in Sin-sa Dong, one of the most trendy districts in Seoul. The head of Chois clinic, Dr. Kwang-Ho Choi, is originally from Seoul and received his medical degree in dermatology from HanYang National University back in 1986. Dr. Choi defines dermatology as ‘specialty that is beyond just a skincare’. He specialized in this specialty because he did not want to face the pressure of life-threatening illness which often encounters limitation on treatment. He finds it joyful to advise patients who want to look younger and better. By the time he opened his first clinic in Hagye - a residential area in Seoul – he couldn’t practice limited aesthetic techniques alone, such as removing facial moles or armpit procedure, due to low demand for such service.As more and more people became aware of the importance of appearance and began investing onnew costly aesthetic treatments from rejuvenation to hair transplant, Dr. Choi explored the potentialin aesthetic market and began expanding his clinics to downtown areas of Seoul while adaptingvariety of new techniques and machines from overseas. He currently runs three clinics in with morethan 80 employees – including cost-specialized counselor - and anticipates further expansion to U.S.and China. Dr. Choi quotes, “The number of patients visiting from eastern Asia to receive aestheticprocedures is continuously increasing, and especially Chinese patients have strong faith andconfidence in Korean physicians. For instance, stem cell procedure is not favored by Korean patientsyet due to unfamiliarity, however, Chinese patients totally go for it if recommended by medicalprofessions”Is beauty is really skin deep? – Dr. Choi questions this old saying.
  • Look who’s talkingINDIA – “DRUG RESISTANT TB”Dr. Sharad N. ShenoyLaparoscopic Surgeon Dr. Shenoy practices at his own clinic, Narayan Nilkant Surgical Centre, and is a consultant for the top hospitals, Jaslok Hospital, in Mumbai where he is also a professor at Jaslok Hospital. He believes that he has a bad habit of developing strong relationships with his patients that go beyond consulting based on his specialization – his patients soon become friends and he advises them on most health issues. Dr. Shenoy refers to the stream of recent articles on tuberculosis in the papers over the past few months. Physicians in Mumbai are calling the strain TDR, for Totally Drug-Resistant. The Times of India disclosed that at fist there were actually 12 known cases just in one hospital, the P. D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre; in the article, Hinduja’s Dr. Amita Athawale admits, “The cases we clinically isolate are just the tip of the iceberg.” And as a follow-up, the Hindustan Times reported that most hospitals in the city — by extension, most Indian cities — don’t have the facilities to identify the TDR strain, making it more likely that unrecognized cases can go on to infect others. Health authorities estimate that one patient with active TB can infect up to 15 others. Why this is bad news: TB is already one of the world’s worst killers, up there with malaria and HIV/AIDS, accounting for 9.4 million cases and 1.7 million deaths in 2009, according to the WHO. At the best of times, TB treatment is difficult, requiring at least 6 months of pill combinations that have unpleasant side effects and must be taken long after the patient begins to feel well. And this is exactly Dr. Shenoy’s contention. He believes that only 10% of the patients that are advised to follow the prescription for six months actually do so. Many of them cannot afford to afford the medicines but many are defaulters. WHO advises three months of medication, but it is not enough according to Dr. Shenoy. Most doctors take the WHO advice very seriously. Just like that even Oral cancer is on the rise because of tobacco consumption and smoking habits. The first step to prevent widespread and alarming concern towards any health issue in a country is to take individual responsibility – follow the dosages, prescriptions, lifestyle standards and not abuse one’s body. What annoys Dr. Shenoy is the lack of individual responsibility that leads to grave concerns in healthcare.
  • Look who’s talking TAIWAN – “YOUNG MYOPIC GENERATION” Dr. Tseng Hailing from southern Taiwan, Dr. Tseng went to medical school to pursue a M.D. degree because his parents thought that it is noble to be a Doctor. After graduation he served as an ophthalmologist at 3 different hospitals over the years in Taipei, and he recently started his own eye clinic. Today it’s nearly 20 years since he’s been practicing. During the span of his career, Dr. Tseng has observed that the rate of children’s myopia has increased significantly in Taiwan. While the rate of myopia amongst 6 year old’s was only 3% in 1986, it has dramatically increased to 21.5% in 2011. On an average. elementary school students in Taiwan spend more than two hours a day watching television, surfing the internet and playing video games. With parents super busy schedule’s, they are being replaced by television and computers as the new caregiver. Additionally, with huge competitive pressure mounting around their child’s future, parents have arranged for a many a talent classes right from kindergarten phase. This environment is consequently resulting in the elevated prevalence of myopia amongst primary school students.Due to the prolonged use of computers, some office goers and internet addicts are also developingeye problems, which is also known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”. The symptoms not onlyincludes eye lesions, but also shoulder and back muscle discomfort.Dr. Tseng’s worry goes beyond just patients’ ophthalmic problems in Taiwan, onto the workingenvironment of medical professions in Taiwan. Taiwan National Health Insurance system hascreated a friendly medical environment for patients which make it easy to obtain treatment at alow cost.Because of issues within the National Health Insurance System, low salaries of nurses, long workinghours without pay, and an unreasonable nurse to patient ratio, many questions have been raised.Recently a nurse was put on a IV drip and worked as usual even though she was sick, which hasintensified the discussion about the medical care profession in Taiwan. Medical school students inTaiwan do not want to become surgeons or work in the emergency room. On the contrary, theywant to be dermatologists or plastic surgeons, because of the short working hours, high income,and low risks of medical lawsuits.
  • Look who’s talkingSINGAPOREDr. Francis Seow-ChoenWe all have the same number of hours in a day but sometimeswe wonder how some people can achieve more than others.One such driven person is Dr. Francis Seow-Choen, a colorectalsurgeon and the director at his private clinic Seow-ChoenColorectal Centre. Mainstream media interviews andachievement certificates hang in frames, adorning the walls ofhis clinic located at Paragon Medical Centre, Singapore. Apart from specializing in colorectal surgery, he also travels frequently to deliver lectures and to demonstrate surgery, to countries like, USA, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, India and Malaysia. Surprisingly, his dream job when he was young was to be a zookeeper. During his A ‘levels examinations, he applied to the Singapore Public Service Commission, hoping to receive a scholarship to become a veterinary surgeon. However, treating animals was not meant to be. Studying Medicine at university was his fourth choice, after Science, Chemistry and Law. It was only after his older sister convinced him that he should study Medicine that he picked up a pen and wrote a letter to the Dean at National University of Singapore telling him that he had changed his mind and requested to do Medicine as his top choice. He got in, and never looked back. His credentials include being a Visiting Professor to the National Centre for Colorectal Diseases and being the founding and current President of the Eurasian (European-Asian) Colorectal Technology Association, which aims to foster knowledge exchange between Europe and Asia in matters relating to colorectal surgery. He has also published extensively; with 39 chapters in surgical textbooks and more than 261 original articles in peer reviewed surgical journals. Dr. Seow-Choen is a pioneer in his field as he has helped established the first colorectal surgery department in Asia at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) after returning from London in 1989 where he worked with world-class surgeons of St. Mark’s Hospital. He was only 36 years old when he became the director of the department. With all these accomplishments under his belt, Dr. Seow-Choen remains humble at heart and believes in giving back to the community. He says, “Give time to things that are important. Working does not make one whole.” Perhaps his personal mantra can shed light on his determination to make the best out of every minute of his life. “Be the best you can be and always do what you consider is right.”
  • Look who’s talkingPHILIPPINES – ‘RISE OF CANCER’Dr. Eladio Penaranda. Aka. Dr. LadsDr. EladioPenaranda, or Dr. Lads as most people An alarming trend he notices is the rise in cancercall him, is a one of the sought after Nephrologists which has gone up from last year. He attributesin the Philippines. Not only is he a trusted expert, this to the lack of awareness amongst peoplehe is also one of the most accommodating about what causes cancer. People may know whatdoctors. He really makes time to talk to you and cancer is, but rarely do people know that everydayhelp you out no matter what time of the day you things that they do can actually make them pronemight call him. to cancer.Even at an early age, medicine and healthcare was The best way to prevent this is to have yourselfsomething that really interested him. He started screened and checked at the proper age. At thehis medical training at the Iloilo Doctors College of age of 50 for men and 40 for women. AnotherMedicine. He then did his residency at the Iloilo good way is to just keep yourself informed aboutdoctors hospital, wherein during his third year, he the different causes and try to live a cautiousdecided to specialize in Nephrology (Kidney). After lifestyle.The biggest medical topic being talkedfinishing his residency, he entered the Makati about now is the recent development in Stem CellMedical Center and became an associate Physician treatment. Though this treatment is not yet widelyof one of the pioneers of Nephrology in the available in the Philippines, and along with all thePhilippines, Dr. Ramos. He still supports Dr. Ramos, controversies it faces, we still cannot deny thebut at the same time has his own practice at the many possibilities and applications this can have.Makati Medical Center (MMC). He workspractically 24/7, because he is always on-call. Buthe does try to take half-days on Saturdays andSunday to be able to relax and unwind.
  • SAMsSuccessful Asian Men
  • Knowing me, Knowing youSINGAPORETerence QuekDirector of Emergentics&International Director of Communication andOutreach,Project Happy Feet.“Life is a huge container truck of excitingopportunities and we must choose to make thebest of it, despite the occasional disappointmentsand frustrations.” For Mr. Terence Quek, he surelywalks the talk. The 37 year-old frowns uponcomplacency and is always striving forimprovement.In 2007, he left his stint at the Singapore Navy after13 years of service and co-founded a strategiccommunications consultancy firm, Caelan& Sage.He then merged his company with the Asiansubsidiary of US-headquartered global consultancyEmergenetics International and oversees businessexpansion in Asia as CEO, EmergenticsInternational-Asia. As one of the founding members of Project Happy Feet http://www.projecthappyfeet.org, aTerence is no stranger to humanitarian and non-profit group that empowers lives ofphilanthropy efforts both in Singapore and underprivileged children and youth throughoverseas. He is actively involved in grassroots education and training in places like Cambodia,activities. For his efforts, he was awarded JCI The Vietnam, and Nepal, he shares, what keeps himOutstanding Young Person of Singapore in 2009 for going, the belief to make a positive differencehumanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. in any way. Terence graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, UK. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Communication Management at Singapore Management University. When asked to describe a career defining moment, Terence recalls his days in the Navy where he attained invaluable leadership and teamwork skills. One of his senior commanders imparted: ‘Look ahead; think safety, take charge’ which still resonates with him today.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youCHINAPaul WuThere is an old saying in China, “a man should be established by the time hereaches the age of 30”. However, Paul has already established himself before heturned 30. He currently lives in Shanghai and works for one of the world’slargest fast moving consumer goods companies as Group Product Manager. Heis more than satisfied with his current life.Paul was born and raised in Nantong, in Jiangsu province. When he was a youngboy, his dreamed of becoming an engineer because he thought it is a cool job tobe able to create things, he even chose Vehicle Engineering as his major whenentering college. However, after studying engineering for a while, he graduallyrealized that it is not exactly what he likes and his personality doesn’t fit thiswork type. Therefore, he self studied marketing and practiced English in hisspare time in order to find a job at a foreign company. Paul graduated fromTongji University in 2005. The first thing he did after graduation was applying forthe management training program at Unilever. After a couple of interviewrounds, he got in the program and received his first promotion at the end of2006 as Brand Supervisor because of his excellent performance at work.“Good things don’t come without a reason, you need to have good eyes todiscover the opportunities to become successful.” Paul outlines. “In largeforeign companies, they’ve already built a good and fixed promotion system,everyone has the same opportunity. If you perform well, you will have a chanceto be promoted. However, there are other things that can help you to bepromoted faster. First, I believe to be insightful and indentify the problems atwork and be able to solve these problems innovatively. Secondly, I dare to talkto my boss every once a while, invite him to a chat and share my point of viewand thoughts at work. Thirdly, I keep good relationship with HR people so that Icould be the first one to know about any internal hiring positions - whichdepartment is hiring and why do they need to hire.” During his 6 years atUnilever, Paul has been promoted four times already. He was the productmanager for a new brand launch for two years before he moved to his currentjob. “Having a mentor is also very important,” Paul mentioned. His old boss atUnilever has been helping him on his path to becoming a successful businessman. “To me, my old boss is more than a mentor, he is a true friend. He hasbeen giving me valuable guidance to help me balance work and personal life.I’ve learned diving because of him. I often travel to places that have beautifulbeaches where I can relax and dive. It helps me to get ride of my work pressureand rethink about problems at work and in personal life. He moved back toGermany last year but we still talk to each other through emails and Skypecalls”, he adds.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youCurrently, Paul finds his new job fulfilling andfeels confident about his financial status. Twomonths ago, he purchased a VolkswagenScirocco car. “I personally favor Germanbrands, and I chose this car because thedesign is somewhat sporty which allow me toexpress myself. I love sports, I go to the gymthree times a week and I also play varioussports such as Tennis and basketball.” Heuses his new car for commuting to work andgetting around in the city. He sometimestakes few friends for weekend get aways,like, Moganshan. He has recently alsopurchased a Breitling Super Ocean Steelfishwatch as a birthday gift for himself. “I havebeen looking for a luxury watch with sportydesign and affordable price. I fell in love withthe design of this watch immediately, plus itoffers 2000 meters water resistant withhelium escapement valve. Maybe I can evenwear it when I am diving.” Paul mentionedand his face lit up.Good things come in pairs, Paul is not onlysatisfied with his new job but also feelshappy about his new relationship. He and hisgirlfriend have been dating for half a year, ifeverything goes well, he is planning to buy ahouse and get married in three years. “Istarted my new job 9 months ago and I wantto bring my work to certain level before I getmarried. I am too busy with work and I can’tsee my girlfriend as often as other youngcouples do, so we will need more time toknow each other before we tie the knot.”Paul laughed. He is also hoping he can havetwo children. “I am the only son in my family,it is quite lonely growing up by myself, I havequite a few cousins but they are not quite likesiblings whom you can grow up in the samefamily. I want my child to have someone toplay with, and they can also learn from eachother.” Paul explained.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youMALAYSIANick LeeMeet Nick Lee, a 36 year old entrepreneur, whoowns The Ark Studios, a production house inKuala Lumpur. It’s an all-in-one audio facility thatdoes everything from recordings, digitalmastering, and music for albums, radio, televisionand movies, but with a special focus on the localand international music scene. He and his wifeLindy, have two kids – Leanne, aged 3, andLeyxton who is 4 months old.Nick has always been passionate about music. Hewas lead guitarist in a band at the age of 16,and even landed a record deal at 18! At aneducation fair in high school, he was inspired by abrochure of a professional recording studio whicheventually led to a Degree in Music Productionand Engineering at the Berkelee College of Musicin Boston, Massachusetts. For him, it was a“natural progression” of passion into a profession.He moved back to Malaysia at the age of 27 afterhaving a successful career in music production inAmerica. The defining moment in his career camewith the move, when he decided to build his ownproduction business.Over the years, he has established his business by trying to stay relevant to a new generation of artists.His production house has started to generate a lot of buzz regionally, with high-end clientele from HongKong and Japan seeking his services.In life, Nick believes in realistic goals. Pacing himself is crucial, along with celebrating the smallsuccesses along the way. At times when he is overworked, he’ll stop himself to ask, “What kind of alegacy do I want to leave behind?” and “What are the most important things in my life?” His answershelp to ensure that he has his act together at all times. This year, Nick looks forward to seeing his kidsgrow. And even without a holiday planned for the rest of the year (the two little ones make this nearimpossible), he says that he looks forward to coming home to be with his family.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youSRI LANKAFerozeKamardeenFeroze is a successful entrepreneur/ dramatist who studied atD.S Seynanayake College and was a theatre fanatic right fromhis early age. Although his first love was theatre he realized ata certain age that Sri Lanka doesn’t offer much scope in thetheatre industry. Which lead him to peruse an education inCIM and went on to graduate as a qualified marketer. Aftergetting the necessary professional qualifications, he is nowthe proud owner of South Asian Technology , a localmarketing distributor for several IT based businesses such asSymantech, Vision Solution, checkpoint and many more.Although he chose IT as his career, his true passion for the theatre was never lost. Stage, Lightand Magic is his own Theater production company where he creates wonderful theaterproductions. However, he claims that it is his hobby.The defining career moment in his life was when he started his own business 3 years ago. Theinspiration for him to start his own business originated from his aversion to work under someoneelse. He considered that as a hindrance in moving up the career ladder. He well understood thatstarting one’s own business would not be an easy task as there are so many contingencies toprepare for, such as initial market penetration, proper ways and means to set about targets andto approach objectives etc.“I have never had a mentor as such, but I have always had my close friends and family to adviceand support me with the decisions I needed to make in life”, he says. His philosophy is to lend anear to the advices given by others but always have a method to filter them to suit the need of themoment. The most memorable day of his life was the day he got married at the age of 33, andnow believes he lives a complete and happy life. The first car he bought himself was a HondaCivic and lives in a luxury apartment in the heart of Sri Lanka (Kotte).He proclaims himself to be a “gadget freak”, his laptop is an imac, owns a lot of up to dategadgetries such as an ipad, galaxy S2, Jawbone jambox, Jawbone bluethooth etc.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youINDONESIADennis W / Donald JSuccess, to Indonesian men, means beingable to live independently and to leave alegacy, “which will make peopleremember you with fondness, respect,and admiration - in that order,” saidDennis J, the man who is in charge of thebusiness development of one of thebiggest pharmaceutical companies inIndonesia, which is also his familybusiness. To reach such success, youngIndonesian men agree, it is a never endingstruggle. All of them agree that many atime it takes more luck than hard work.Many successful Indonesian young men studied abroad, either in the US, Europe, or Australia, which iswhere they got their business skills, language skills and connections. Most of them took business asmajor, or for some, a very specific major like biochemistry or engineering, although many ended upworking in the business sector.Most of them agree that they learn a lot more by doing and college seems less significant as they get todeep dive into the real working world. Fathers and uncles have been the best mentors in teaching themthe mindset, tactics and tricks that works in Indonesia. “These tricks, cues and persuasive language youcan’t learn in school, especially abroad,” Donald W told us. Using these tricks, he has managed to growhis father’s business 5 times in the past 3 years.JAPANKenji YamamotoKenji, 34 years of age, has been building his career in global energy business. His trading company isone of the biggest trading firms, called “Shosha”, which is well-known for its great network around theworld. He travels every two weeks to the Middle-East and Asia to negotiate with leading energycompanies. He wouldn’t have been in this business, if it wasn’t for his father who’s actually the ownerof the trading company and travels often too. His father has become his greatest mentor. He is notmarried as yet due to his busy schedule but has a girlfriend, and is planning to get married soon. Notsurprising, he cannot travel without his favorite Macbook Air for it makes it so easy to carry & use inplanes. Living in Shiagawa, located in the center of Tokyo in a 2 bedroom rented accommodation, hepays ¥200,000 a month, which is nearly double the price compared to the average rent people his agespend on. Time is the most essential element of his daily life, thus, wears Bretling wrist watch for it’shistory of aircraft engineering. He has no fear in his future or career but has deep concern in Japan’senergy & economic future. Thus, he feels responsible to support the domestic economy with theenergy business.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youBANGLADESHSimon MonsoorSimon is in his mid-30s and currently works as theDirector of Marketing Sales, at Grey, a leadingcreative agency in Bangladesh.He completed his schooling from GovernmentLaboratory School and graduated from NationalUniversity Bangladesh with commerce background.He did not expected to be working in a creativeagency when he was young. He worked at BAT,BanglaLink and at Samsung before he joined Greyand finally started loving what he does.His defining career moment was when he joinedBritish American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh. That’swhere he met his mentor. His mentor gave himcareer advice, and showed him the path towardssuccess.He got married when he was 25, had his first childat 31. He bought his first car soon after joining hisfirst job, at the age of 22 and it was a ToyotaCorolla EE90. He bought his first house just sixmonths ago (actually booked an apartment underconstruction), but he inherited his first house whenhe was 22 from his parents.His passion for watches is unmatched. Owningclose to 20 of them now, his current favorite isOmega. His current laptop is a Compaq. He fearsworking in a non-creative work environmentwhere he might be forced to just do his job, notnurture his passion and talent for creativity.
  • Knowing me, Knowing you THAILAND Pairoj Jongprasanwong Pairoj graduated from Thammasart University International College, majoring in Economics and minor marketing. When he was 24, he began to work as a marketing executive in Hitachi, Thailand and realised that this is the career he wants to pursue.Within his initial working years, he received greatopportunity to take larger responsibilities, fromanalysis to product development, from workingwith the engineering department to devisingresearch methodology, finally applying theory topractice. He planned his career path to achieve His passion includes wearing luxury watches like Taggoal of becoming a marketing manager within 5 Heuer, Rolex and collecting classic car models.years in the same company. And then it came! He Having bought his first car at the age of 27 with hiswas promoted to the position of Marketing entire savings, he now prefers to buy 2nd hand cars.Manager at the age of 28. Later he decided toswitch to another company to give his career a His first home was bought at the age of 29 with thefurther boost. Now he’s with Pacific healthcare as intention to marry, have more privacy & livetheir Brand manager. separately from his joint family.On the personal side he seems to have planned it He mentions that he’s not worried about the futureall. He married at the age of 32, what he calls the as he plans everything and things happenright age for marriage! Soon after he & his wife accordingly. He advises not to be too serious abouthad their first child. He’s already planning to send tomorrow but spend life in the present.. His belief ofhis child to an international school when he “every bad story will have a good story as well”.grows up, imbibe various cultures, learn the art ofadjustment, languages. For now the focus is on His next 5 year plans include traveling around thehis baby’s growth development. world with his family including his parents.
  • Knowing me, Knowing youPHILIPPINESNico Alcoseba34 year old Nico is the Head of International & Domestic Data, PLDT Business Solution. He hasbeen married for three years and they do not have a child yet.Compared to the previous generations of marrying intheir early 20s and having an average of 4 childrenbefore thirty, Filipino men have taken to marrying later,having kids later.Nico took his undergraduate degree in Ateneo deManila, one of the country’s most prestigiousuniversities, his MBA in De La Salle, and further studiesin Wharton. He wears a Panerai chronograph. His wife,Lani, followed suit. Both hold executive positions inlarge corporations. At an early age, Nico aspired to holdan executive position, inspired by his father’s career.“My dad used to tell me to not rush, take it one step ata time and pretty soon I will get where I want to be”, heshares.Lots of Philippines’ new generation corporate jobholders can easily afford to buy their own house andcars, very different from the 30 year olds of the previousgenerations who did not have much disposable income.This is largely attributed to SAMs finding partners whowere equally successful women. Because both haveinvested additional years to their careers, the naturalcycle of getting married-having kids was pushed back.Due to this, SAMs andtheir wives worry abouttheir health, as they havecontracted minor illnessesat an early age - a pricethey pay for their hecticlifestyles. However, theirfinancial worries are fewer,as they are certain they canprovide a comfortablefuture for their children
  • Knowing me, Knowing you TAIWAN David Tan David, age 35, is a middle manager in the legal department of a well-known security company in Taiwan. He has engaged in legal work for over 10 years, and this is what he wanted to do since he was young. His work involves various kinds of people, including colleagues from different departments within the company and people from opposite sides on the court. For him, it is serious but interesting work. He & his supervisor get along very well, both at work and beyond. His supervisor not only directs his work, but reminds him to establish good interpersonal relationships within the company.Additionally, his supervisor is willing to share his life experiences, such as investment, buyinghouses, taking care of the family, and the education of children. To David, his supervisor is like hisolder brother.When David was a child, his father had high expectations for him. David was sent to writing andpainting classes to develop multi-disciplinary interests. David studied in a strict private high school,in which entering the higher education level was set as his top goal. His father’s hope includedentering a good university, and even go abroad to study.He married at 31 years of age and has no children as yet. Because of Taipei’s unreasonably highhousing prices and a 20-year mortgage, David has not planned to buy a house in Taipei. He enjoyshis life; fond of photography, classical music, whiskey, traveling, and fashion. Rolex is his favoritewatch brand, and he adores his Apple laptop.In the future as he has children, he plans to buy a house in Taipei. "Because I want to give mychildren and my family a good and reassuring environment" says David. Like his father took care ofhis family, David also wants to fulfill the responsibilities of being a husband and a father.
  • Knowing me, Knowing you INDIA Aalap Sharma Currently working as Senior Global Brand Manager, Domestos Global, Unilever, Aalap’s job involves leading teams located across the world in delivering innovations to enter and expand the toilet & bathroom cleaner markets in their respective geographies as a ‘Market Development’ expert. His role has special focus towards Asia, Africa and Latin America.Prior to this role, he worked for 3 years as Senior Regional Brand Manager, Pond’s South Asia. Thenhis role involved creating mixes to grow the range of Pond’s talcum powders and develop a MarketDevelopment strategy to expand the facial cleanser market in South Asia while gainingdisproportional share for Pond’s.Aalap joined Unilever in 2005 and after his training, he undertook a 3 year Customer Developmentassignment as Area Sales & Customer Manager for Madhya Pradesh Rural geography in India. With anengineering degree from Delhi University, he completed his MBA from the prestigious IIM-Bangalore(2003-05).Aalap says, “as a young kid, I did not know about the stream of marketing. I thought about becomingan engineer because that is what all my friends seemed to be doing. I went with the flow”. He furtheradds, “the defining moment of my professional life came in 1999 when I did not get through to the IITengineering entrance. I saw that those around me had stepped up their game and I had a lot to do tocatch up. I promised myself that I would not let go of another chance to build my career and withsome hard work, topped the CAT entrance exam in 2003 with 99.99 percentile.”Talking of his mentor, he mentions his first boss and what he preached - ‘Most people spend their livestrying to figure out what others think of them, leave that and concentrate on your measure ofsuccess’.Aalap well managed his romance alongside his education. He got married at the age of 25 to his highschool sweetheart. They don’t yet have a child. He bought his first car at the age of 27, a Maruti SwiftDzire. And how he’s in the process of buying their first house.
  • Knowing me, Knowing you Not surprisingly, Aalap, like many of his corporate peers, owns 9 watches. Each to match with his clothes and mood. From Guess Chronograph to Tissot and Tommy Hilfiger. His dream is to own a Patek Philippe soon. He carries his company provided Dell laptop. When asked about his biggest fear, he answers, “I fear not being there when my family needs me the most. I am attached emotionally to my parents and would like my success to reflect in their lives too”. His measure of success is in the way he reflects upon various success - small or big, in the past or in the future. “I find that I have been reasonably successful till now but neither a shining success nor a mediocre student who pottered along. In Business school, I thought that I wanted to spend the first 10 years of my professional life learning, the next 10 leading and the 10 after that maximizing financially. I have had 2 good stints and have the promise of a challenging one next. Of course, I have made mistakes along the way and those are the dimensions which I seek to excel at in the next stint”, he adds.
  • *or any other music player
  • Playing on my iPod* JAPAN SINGAPORE “Come Home (Geylang Song)” Eli http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= Q- Kvf2mFwuc&list=UUOvzTEmaL55GG0 nUj0dCaMw&index=9&feature=plcp GReeeeN ORANGE http://www.universal- music.co.jp/greeeen/ SRI LANKA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYG EiH7FWZg ‘Mata HeenayakWela’ DamithAsanka PHILIPPINES http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A 5Jz2LbnOAMMALAYSIA Remake of "Ra Sihinen” ShihanMihiranga (Originally sung by Gotye (Album: Making Mirrors) NamalUdugama) Somebody That I Used To Know http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTOyah w-lJE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvI GY KOREA Yuna 여수밤바다 (Yeo-Su Terukir Di Bintang Night Sea) http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=TV4vJe3jgAE http://youtu.be/SjHTJywVmAI BuskerBusker 1st album Cherry Blossom Ending) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXV7dfvSefo&ob=av3e
  • TAIWAN Playing on my iPod* ‘Count on Me’ CHINA Show Lo http://www.youtube.com/watc Milkshake h?v=YWZ2-WEMdDk Love In The Buff http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XM zMzMzcwNjc2.htmlBANGLADESH ‘SheshGaan’ G.E.M. Nemesis Someday I’ll Fly http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=Q_8cI-j34dU http://v.youku.com/v_show/ id_XMzc1NzI4MjQ4.html Jin ShaINDIA & BANGLADESH The Magic of Love http://v.youku.com/v_show/id ‘PyaarkiPungi’ _XMzUzNTkzODY4.html Fdrom the movie: Agent Vinod THAILAND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8DqsSB bRtg&feature=related Chun-Mai-Tord NekoJump INDONESIA http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=qH-LC0iNc7o Kon-kang-kang 25 Hours ‘Apalah (ArtiMenunggu)’ http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=6Df3d75YgXM Raisa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx_kW1f5 W6M
  • Elated about …What’s giving people great joy?
  • Elated about SINGAPORE Project Hello StrangerWhen was the last time you went out of yourway to make a stranger smile?The fast paced life in Singapore and theconstant economic development hasinevitably caused people to build walls They debuted on 18 March 2012 where they took tobetween themselves, leaving a city devoid of the streets and held up huge cards that greetedsoul. ‘Hello Stranger’ before flipping to the other side, which said ‘Honk if you’re having a great day’.Project ‘Hello Stranger’ is a voluntarymovement by a group of youths who are The results were positive, with many drivers excitedneither out there for money nor for fame, to pitch in the cacophony of honks, with thebut with just a simple belief of spreading pedestrians also feeling pleasantly surprised.happiness and warmth amongst strangers.This movement involves guerilla strategies Additionally, high-fives were also on offer at Rafflesand engagement of Singaporeans mainly Place MRT station during the morning peak hour ofthrough social media as they roll out Friday the 13th (April). These may be small gesturesdifferent activities to get them to show their but what a great way to start someone’s day. softer side. For more on their fun and meaningful projects -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7-xkI5n4c http://hellostrangerproject.wordpress.com
  • Elated about INDONESIA Protests prevent rise in fuel prices After a long big protest for few days, the government on March 21st, expressed confidence that it would be able to proceed with its plan to increase the price of subsidized fuel next month despite strong opposition from political parties and labor unions. Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo told reporters at the Presidential Palace he was “optimistic” the government would be able to apply the planned 33 percent increase in the price of subsidized fuel to Rp 6,000 per liter. As he spoke, thousands of union workers started to march towards the palace from the Hotel Indonesia, about two kilometers to the south to protest against the subsidy cut. There were also demonstrations in cities across the country, with some of them turning violent.Kwik Kian Gie, an economist who is also a member of the Indonesian opposition, IndonesiaDemocratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), says the government does not need to raise fuel prices at all -in fact, it is using this opportunity to manipulate the masses.Finally on March21st, the government decided not to increase the fuel price from April 1st. “Nottoday, not tomorrow, not anytime soon,” said Bambang Brodjonegoro, the head of Fiscal Policy inThe Monetary Ministry.While people feel relieved and happy about the announcement, many realized that this is just atemporary escape. While canceling the price increase, the government has decided to establish anew policy where in if the market price of oil has increased more than 15% in the past 6 months,the government has the right to increase the fuel price to keep them away from losing money.If nothing else, the protest succeeded in buying some time.
  • Elated aboutCHINAKindness and Humanity Among StrangersOn the afternoon of April 16, 2012, a blind On April 17, the daughter of the taxi driver, withyoung man was taking a taxi in Meizhou city, the online ID “yaoyao521”, posted the wholeGuangdong province. When the young man was story on China’s largest micro-blogging serviceabout to get off the car, the taxi meter showed Sina Weibo.the ride cost as RMB 14. However, the taxidriver refused to take the money from the Within few hours, the post has been forwardedyoung man, instead, he supported the young for more than 64,000 times and received moreman to get off the car and said to him, “I don’t than 10,000 comments. One netizenwant to take your money because making commented, “I feel so touched by the story andmoney is easier for me.” After the young man I really hope everyone of us can pass along thegot off, another elderly man who witnessed the warmth to people around us so that kindnesstaxi driver helping the young man took the cab, and humanity will exist in the society forever.”chatted with the driver the whole ride. And Another netizen also commented, “No matterwhen the taxi meter showed RMB 14.5, the you are rich or poor, you should be part of theelderly passenger gave the taxi driver RMB 30 community that passes along the kindess andand said, “I am no great person but I want to humanity. The world will become a much betterpay for the young man because I I make money place if we all start doing this!”.easier than you do and I want to support you tocontinue doing what you just did.”
  • Elated about MALAYSIA JinnyboyTV’s nostalgic video of our childhood days in the 90s A locally produced video has been bringing smiles and even happy tears to the faces of Malaysian youth who did their schooling in the 1990s. Co-produced and co-directed by Jin Lim, 27, and Rueben Kang, 25, of JinnyboyTV, the seven minute video titled My Generasi (My Generation) recalls Malaysian primary school days in the 90s before the proliferation of smartphones and gadgets.The idea for the video draws from the starkly different childhoods that kids who grew up in the 90sexperienced from those of today. According to Rueben Kang, the inspiration came from an outing ata restaurant: “The family next to us had 3-4 kids, all of whom were busy with their phones andgadgets. When we were kids we saved money to buy rubber bands and multi-colored pencil boxes,”he said.The simple video struck a chord with the young Malaysian netizens, garnering 1 million views alongwith countless ‘shares’ and blog posts in just four days after its upload on Youtube. Viewercomments reflected their sheer happiness seeing the video bringing back their happy, simplechildhood days and some even remarked that the video sparked a sense of pride in their uniquelyMalaysian childhood and in the Malaysian talent that produced such a well-made video. Mostremarked the video evoked a sense of pride among those who grew up in the 90s with the “real”childhood days they had, as opposed to the technology-driven ones that kids experience today.Following the video’s considerable impact on Malaysian youths, telecommunications youth brandDigi decided to leverage on the popularity of the video by sponsoring a smartphone give awaycontest. As part of the contest, participants recorded and uploaded their own interpretation of MyGenerasi, which was also automatically entered for Digi’s WWWOW Internet Awards. Digi’s quickand astute actions allowed it to effectively capitalize on a pop culture phenomenon in progress thatperfectly embodies their own campaign. Watch My Generasi at: http://youtu.be/CzkAPMWNSGc
  • Elated aboutSRI LANKASangakkara Makes Sri Lanka Proud Sri Lankan Cricket recently congratulated Senior player Kumar Sangakkara on being named the International Cricketer of the Year 2012 by the Wisden Almanack. Sangakkara, 34, was picked by the Wisden as one of its five cricketers of 2011. He has scored 9382 runs in 108 Test matches with 28 centuries with an average of 54.86. In the ODIs, he has scored 10472 runs in 325 matches with 13 centuries with an average of 38.21. His performance behind the stumps- 167 catches with 20 stumpings in Tests and also 315 catches with 80 stumpings has been outstanding. Kumar now joins a special brand of great cricketers dating back to 1889, and the award he received is not only a global recognition but a national achievement as a true son of the Sri Lankan soil. JAPAN Women’s World Cup WinThe victory of Women’s World Cup soccer has beena nationwide exciting news across Japan.It elevated the mood of Japan which had beendepressed after the earthquake disaster of March11 2011.Their dramatic come back has energized Japan. Thematch garnered 27.7% viewer ratings despite beingaired in the wee hours of the morning, 4am.
  • Elated aboutTHAILANDA Taxi Driver who returned 13 Million Baht worth of Gold !!Taxi driver Saksri Kesseekaew, 56, told policethat he was worried after he discovered a bagfull of gold jewellery left in his car by apassenger in Bangkok. Mr Saksri said therewere 10 boxes of gold in the bag. He openedthree of the boxes and found many goldornaments inside. He asked his friend to callthe Police Radio FM 91 station to broadcastdetails of the incident and help find theowner. He also drove back to the areas wherehe had picked up and dropped off thepassenger who left behind the gold. The gold dealer, Akekarat Kanokwannakorn, said he has rewarded the driver with two gold necklaces, one weighing three baht and another weighing two baht, alongwith 500,000 baht in cash. Mr Akekarat, 60, is a gold shop owner in Ubon Ratchathani. He told police that he mistakenly left gold weighing 540 baht in the taxi but could not remember its license plate number. This act shows the kindness of Thai people . This reflects the Thai society and quite a few foreign tourists have praised Thailand for this.
  • Elated aboutPHILIPPINESA Filipino’s shot at fame in ‘American Idol’ “This girl is one of the best singers in America – ever.” -Randy Jackson, judgeFilipinos have always been proud of their singing talent especially when they have one of their owngaining popularity in singing contests internationally.It is anticipated that each American Idol season, a Fil-Am will get a shot at the title. This year, it isJessica Sanchez.Already through to the semi-finals, Jessica is predicted to be one of the finalist until she got the lowestvotes during Top 7 of the week. But in one of the most dramatic turnaround on the show ever, thejudges used their one and only SAVE of the season to keep Jessica on the show. Filipinos local andabroad are abuzz online rallying to keep support for Jessica to the end. BANGLADESH Country wide strike ends! People are thrilled that the three day strike is over now. People have thanked the opposition party for lifting off the strike, “Hartal” as called in local language. People are going back to their normal lives. In Bangladesh it’s being seen as a very positive action from a political party initiating the strike call-off and allowing people to live their normal life.
  • Elated about TAIWAN Wei-Yin Chen’s first ever MLB win Taiwanese pitcher Wei-Yin Chen got his first win in his Major League Baseball (MLB) career. Chen is Taiwans first pitcher to have won games in both the Japanese Professional Baseball League and MLB. On the game day, many fans gathered to watch the game. The students from the high school from where he graduated, even lined up at the campus in a particular way to display his last name, “CHEN” , as part of a tribute to his victory.INDIAMore engineering seats this yearLast year, 42,000 government quota seats offered through singlewindow counseling went vacant. This year, an estimated 28,000seats are to be added to the engineering seat matrix and there isno need to book a seat in a top college or otherwise, expertsadvise parents. Parents who remain doubtful could just look atthe numbers to feel reassured. The state has set up three newgovernment engineering colleges that will start taking studentsfrom 2012-13. More than 100 new engineering colleges havesought approval from the All India Council for TechnicalEducation this year, and several existing colleges have beenallowed to add additional seats and start new courses. "Wehavent received complaints of seats being sold or bought. Butthere is no need for parents to worry. More seats will be availablethrough single window counselling than last year," said AnnaUniversity vice-chancellor P Mannar Jawahar. The university isresponsible for conducting the single window counselling system.
  • Waiting listTHAILAND & TAIWAN, LADY GAGA CONCERT With only a month to go, most Thai fans of Lady Gaga are counting down to the most anticipated concert of the year by the worlds most famous superstar. In this brand new tour, Gaga will perform her latest album Born This Way as well as music from both The Fame and The Fame Monster. The Born This Way Ball world tour includes a performance at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium on May 25th, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. As part of her Asia tour, Lady Gaga will soon make her second visit to Taiwan as well. The concert takes place in May. Although the most expensive seats for the concert were priced at nearly $430, they have already sold out. Some Taiwanese fans waited 3 to 4 days before the official ticket opening day in front of the ticket office, amidst high police security.
  • Waiting listSINGAPORE, DOUBLE DOWN BURGERWill a burger be a burger without the buns? Well,KFC thinks so. However, this ‘bunless’ sandwich isnot your typical low-carb diet choice. Far far fromit. In fact, KFC’s latest Double Down burger hasprobably twice or three times the number ofcalories, as the buns have been replaced by twothick, juicy-on-the-inside and crunchy-on-the-outside chicken patties and are stuffed withturkey bacon, sliced cheese and creamymayonnaise. Phew!Judging by the 2000 ‘likes’ for the Double Downpost on KFC Singapore’s Facebook page, peopleare welcoming this burger with open arms andhungry stomachs, with many stating that theycannot wait to sink their teeth into the burger. JAPAN, SALTED RICE MALT Shiokoji is a salt-marinated rice malt which was originally an old Japanese seasoning, made just from rice malt, salt, and water. All these three ingredients are mixed, fermented, and matured to become what it is. In the old days, Japanese used shio-koji as the dip to pickle vegetables/fish as a preservative, as well as for staying healthy. Amazingly shio-koji has become so popular again since 2011 that many recipes are being introduced on various TV programs and blogs, mostly because of it’s health benefit. New Shiokoji products are being introduced everyday and even Shiokoji jam has been a huge hit. Everyone is looking for recipes using Shiokoji and it has been the number one word being checked out on Cookpad, the most popular recipe site in Japan.
  • Waiting listINDONESIA, SS4INA, Super Show 4 - Super Junior World Tour 2012Finally, Indonesian Elfs ( the name for Indonesian Super Junior Fans) have the opportunity to see theSuper Junior live performance on 28-29 April 2012. Super Junior is boy band from Korea. With its liveperformance, Indonesia seems to have been swept by the Korean wave.The fans who are mostly teenagers are very excited and enthusiastic with the concert, theirenthusiasm doesn’t seem to cease. As soon as the concert information was released, the fanscelebrated. The public ticket sales was in news as it created lot of chaos. The public sales venuecouldn’t accommodate the fans. To avoid havoc at the public ticket sale venue, promoters offered aselection question. Only fans who could mention the SUJU personnel name was allowed to buy theticket. Within 2 hours, 6000 tickets were sold out, many teenager cried for not getting the concerttickets. Junior sky seat priced at around US$55, was the most sought after.Initially the concert was scheduled for two days. Seeing the rocking response SHOWMAXX, theorganisers, negotiated for an additional concert day. Finally it became a 3 day concert, from 27-29April.Fans went crazy hunting for tickets both online and offline, and some brands held online free SUJUticket contests on twitter. Teenagers from outer Java island such as Sumatra, Bali and Sulawesi spenttheir saving, flew to Jakarta with their parents just to buy the ticket. Source : http://i.okezone.com/tv/photos http://hot.detik.com/music/
  • Waiting list CHINA Titanic 3D movie ticketsOn April 10th, Chinese moviegoers flocked to Market analysts believe the 3D "Titantic" is likelycinemas and lined up for tickets to see James to gross over 500 million rmb in mainlandCamerons epic "Titanic" in 3D. Three IMAX cinemas, according to media reports in China. Still,cinemas in Beijing were packed for the movies despite the special effects, and reworked footage,debut screening on the first day, despite the high many fans are disappointed. Some fans wereticket price-150 rmb (24 US$)-and the inconvenient upset about missing out on the romantic butmidnight hour of the screening. controversial scenes in which Rose, played by Kate Winslet, posed nude for the sketches. SocialEven outside Beijing, screenings of the film in 3D networking sites such as Sina Weibo were abuzzcinemas in other large cities sold out days before with criticism of the cut by the censors. "Ivethe film was released. "I have watched Titanic waited for close to 15 years, but not for the 3Dseven or eight times," said Liu Jianwen, 27, who icebergs," said a widely forwarded microblog post.lined up for tickets outside a cinema in Hohhot, Cinemagoers were especially annoyed, given thatInner Mongolia with his girlfriend. "Im here for the the same censorship allowed the movie to bestory rather than the visual effects. Its such a screened uncut back in 1998. There is no officialtouching love story." response to the roll-back of the censorship policy concerning the 3D film. However, on an onlineThe 1997 movie was a phenomenal success survey conducted by popular microblogging siteglobally, and grossed 360 million rmb when it Sina Weibo, 73 percent of those polled said theentered the Chinese mainland market in 1998. This movie was "great" and only 12 percent expressedphenomenal box office record remained unbroken dissatisfaction. “Titanic shows us what love isfor 11 years, until the release of Transformers 2 in about," said Qi Lunna, a university professor,2009. A ticket to see the Titanic at that time cost 25 adding that the movie highlights a sore point inrmb, at most. todays society, that materialism is eroding pure relationships”, she said.Today, the high priced ticket doesn’t deter fans.
  • Waiting listBANGLADESH,ARTCELL ROCK BANDARTCELL is a Bangladeshi progressive rock band.The BIG four, as the fans call them, are a four member team band. They have a cult fan following. Theirfirst full length album was back in 2002. Then after a long waiting, their second full length album wasrelease on 2006. Now, in 2012, after a a long 6 years wait, they have announced their third full lengthstudio album for release soon. Fans are eagerly waiting for their album.They started as one of the most noticeable underground band. It did not take long for them to build aloyal fan base and make a huge name for themselves.After the first album launch, every rock n’ roll lover had their album either in car audio system orwalkman or in their portable music player. So, when they announced their third album, fans eruptedand they are indeed WAITING! SRI LANKA Sri Lankan’s are dying to buy Hybrid Vehicles. Will it HYBRID VEHICLES last? The one consumer decision most people make which impacts the greatest on the environment is the choice of car we drive. Hybrid cars have been gaining popularity over the years primarily due to their fuel efficiency and low carbon emissions to the environment. The quality luxury features combined with premium pricing makes it one of the most wanted option for many high net worth consumers. Sri Lanka’s demand for hybrid vehicles during the year 2011, has risen by 1200% and the country has imported 5927 hybrid vehicles last year There was a good inducement in Sri Lanka in the past few months for people to buy hybrid vehicles due to the tax concessions but currently the situation has changed where total taxes increased to 24 percent and the increase in fuel prices has also led to decline in demand. Will this trend continue? We are yet to find out …
  • Waiting listMALAYSIARoadside grilled gourmet burgersWill you wait for three hours just to buy a burgerfrom a roadside stall?In a nation obsessed with food, it’s no surprise that along queue forms almost every evening at a streetgourmet burger stall in Wangsa Maju, a majortownship in Kuala Lumpur.Many customers are willing to wait for hours just toget a taste of Kaw Kaw Burger Bakar’s grilled chickenand beef burgers. The average waiting time to get A long queue nightly for Kaw Kaw Burger Bakaryour hands on a burger is reportedly three hours.Kaw Kaw Burger Bakar is owned by two youngentrepreneurs, Mohd Faizul Baharudin or Zul, 26,and Nini Haznita Muhammad or Nita, 25, whoattribute the popularity of the burgers to the fresh,homemade meat patties and grilling technique used.According to Zul, “People like something new. Theywant to know what a burger bakar (grilled burger)tastes like. Furthermore, our prices are good for thishuge portion.”Open from 7.45pm to 2am, the stall gets an averageof 250 orders a day with burger prices ranging from Owners Zul and Nita showing off their burger creationsMYR 7.50 (USD 2.45) to MYR 18.50 (USD 6.05).Customers may also request for ‘Tower’ burgers withany desired number of patties – their largest order todate is a ‘Tower 20’, made with 20 beef patties. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2 012/4/10/nation/11076423&sec=nation
  • Waiting listINDIA, VESPA SCOOTERSVespa was first sold in India in the 1960s and the 1970s in collaboration with Bajaj Auto. Afterexiting that venture, Piaggio tied up with LML till 1999, when the LML-Piaggio venture ended. Thisautomatic scooter made a public appearance at Auto Expo Show which was held earlier this year atNew Delhi.People are very much excited after looking at the Piaggio Vespa LX pictures on different websitesand want to lay their hand on this iconic machine.Ravi Chopra, chairman and managing director, Piaggio Vehicles (India) said, "We reckon there istremendous excitement brewing among Indian consumers to experience the original Italian Vespathat is an icon of distinctive lifestyle. With its Indian foray, Vespa will serve the unmet need offashion, style and brand conscious individuals who’d like to make a unique statement in mobility.”And the much awaited launch of the Piaggio Vespa just took place with a price of Rs 66,000, ex-Maharashtra on 26th April 2012. Piaggio has dropped the LX125 tag for this scooter in India and itwill be called just Vespa. “There is no premium segment in the Indian scooter market. We will notcompete with the existing players, but will create a unique segment for the brand. There is no bettertime to be in the Indian two-wheeler scooter space with evolved consumers looking for lifestyleoptions that go beyond mobility, he said.Piaggio will sell its retro classic, the gearless Vespa LX125 here. The launch marks the world-widedebut of a new engine developed for the Indian market. “The new engine is eco-friendly and fuelefficient and will be produced in Piaggios other manufacturing facilities in Europe and Asia, saidMr. Chopra. “We will double capacity to three lakh units annually by mid-2013 at an additionalinvestment of 20 million euro (around Rs.140 crore). We will gradually ramp up to reach monthlyproduction levels of 12,000 units by September-October and, thereafter, to 15,000 and 20,000levels, said Mr. Chopra adding that the Indian scooter market was growing at 20 per cent CAGR andwould grow in double digits in the coming years. At full capacity, Piaggio expects to garner around10 per cent of this market, he said.
  • Tense aboutCHINAA Beijing woman died from thecollapse of a sidewalkOn the afternoon of April 1st, a women named Yang Erjing, was walking to work with her colleague onNorth Lishi road in Beijing when the sidewalk suddenly collapsed, Yang was doused with scalding hotwater spraying from faulty pipes as she fell beneath the street. Her body was almost entirelysubmerged in the scalding waters before she was pulled free and rushed to a nearby hospital. Youngregained consciousness in the hospital at a point and she was able to recognize her family members.But on April 9th at 11pm the hospital confirmed that Yang had passed away.Xicheng District Administration of Work Safety launched an investigation into who should beresponsible for the accident. The vice manager of Beijing Heating System Group (BHSG) told theBeijing News on Monday that there were 30 meters of broken piping in the neighborhood, leakingwater at temperatures above 90 C. He suggested that the leakage might have softened the soil whichled to the collapse of the pavement. "The area of land with the leakage doesnt belong to BHSG, andthe property management is responsible for repairs and routine inspections," said Tian, "the grouponly takes liability to provide assistance." The paper indicated that BHSG had received complaintsabout hot water leaking through the pavement prior to the accident and had dispatched staff.However, Ma said at the scene that there was no sign of "any staff or any warning signs in the area.“ Alawyer from Beijing Yusheng Law Firm mentioned “ The responsibility should be held by the currentproperty owner, it appears the heating group should take secondary liability for their failure to act onreports and complaints, as well as their failure to supervise the property management company," saidFang Bo. According to a Beijing Times, the company had paid 320,000 rmb ($50,816) in medicalexpenses to Yang’s family.Few weeks after the accident happened, it has been one of the most discussed topic on Chinas largestmicro-blogging service SinaWeibo, netizens have expressed their anger on local government andrelated party delaying solving the problem and causing Yang’s death.
  • Tense aboutSINGAPOREAn article about Singaporean women unwilling to date blue-collar workersA wedge between blue-collar workers and office executives still exist. A newspaper in Singapore ran anarticle on 15 April 2012 about a graduate woman whose fiancé is a hawker, with an accompanyinginfographic in which 50 undergraduate women and graduate women aged 21 to 28 were asked if theywould date a blue-collar worker. 100% of them said no, expressing reluctance to “marry down”.The results of the above snap-poll only reinforces a study published last year by Singapore ManagementUniversity (SMU) psychology professor Norman Li who found that Singaporean women are“significantly” more materialistic than their American peers, the former valuing a man’s social statusover other factors such as kindness and personality.These findings are nothing new since research in evolutionary psychology has shown that women lookfor partners with good financial prospects, a high social status, ambition and industriousness. Especiallyhere in Singapore, it is widely believed that the path to success and financial security is followed afteran education degree and a respectable job.However, the ladies’ reactions are split between two camps. On one hand, the more open-mindedcamp questions the validity of social status based on one’s job vocation and argues that personality andchemistry counts for more. On the other, the realists admit that they would not date blue-collarworkers as they worry about whether they can provide financial stability and whether or not they canget along despite coming from different backgrounds.Perhaps you cannot blame these undergraduates and graduates for sounding superficial as Singapore isnow the 8th most expensive city to live in, coming in before Hong Kong and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Tense aboutMALAYSIAThe fight for free and clean electionsIn Malaysia, there is a sense of ‘calm before a storm’ asthousands of Malaysians, young and old, of all races,prepare to sit in for a peaceful rally in the fight for cleanand fair elections. The rally, scheduled for 28thAprill 2012,will be the third one organised by the Coalition for Freeand Fair Elections or BERSIH (meaning ‘clean’ in the Malaylanguage) which is a coalition of NGOs with the aim ofreforming the electoral system to ensure fair elections inMalaysia.The Bersih 2.0 rally held last year drew thousands ofsupporters to Kuala Lumpur despite a nationwidegovernment ban. The government employed high-handedtactics, using force, tear gas and water cannons to dispersethe crowd. Their violent crackdown sparked a storm ofdebate which led to the passing of the controversialPeaceful Assembly Bill 2011.This year, the government is taking a more cautiousapproach so as not to have a repeat of last year’s rally. The Bersih 2.0 rally last yearThus, they have given green light for the rally to happen,but the debate as to whether Bersih can happen in thehistorical DataranMerdeka (Independence Square) has yetto be resolved. Despite this, Malaysians, locally andglobally, are still anxious as to how the rally will proceed.The rally is an indication of the tension and anticipationamongst Malaysians as they wait for the next elections toarrive. Recent events like the ban on Erykah Badu, ban on aballet performance, ban on gays have built up a frenzy, allculminating to Bersih 3.0. Although we can’t predict whatthe outcome of the 28th of April rally will be, but one isassured that the elections to come will be one poised to godown in the history books.
  • Tense about INDONESIABiker gangs The controversy is getting bigger & bigger starting last month. Arifin, a seaman from the Navy’s Western Fleet (Armabar) was killed in north Jakarta. It was then followed by a series of attack in more than 8 areas of Jakarta . People on the street feel extremely unsafe, especially at night.It’s suspected that Arifin was killed by the motorcycle gang named Y Gen, a famous motorcycle gang in east Jakarta. And his friends from the Navy’s Western Fleet using a yellow ribbon in their jacket- took a revenge for him by attacking motorcycle gang in some areas in Jakarta. The motorcycle gang’s brutal action actually is not only a happening in Jakarta. Bandung has other motorcycle gangs namely Brigez, XTC etc, which is well know for its violence actions. Brigez have had a series of attacks on people on the street, robbed them at convenient stores, participate in wild races or attack innocent civilians and police. It took a while for the police to neutralizer the situation and took law action for them. Police regularly raid to keep them in control. However it could be an enemy in the blanket, until now the motorcycle gang is still alive and keeps recruiting new members, even though the brutal action is not as violent as before. The President has asked Coordinating Political, Legal and Security affairs Minister to coordinate with the police and the military in ending the violence.Despitethe president’s command, parents are still facing tensed as most of the motorcycle gang members are teenagers. Nowadays it’s common to let teenagers shave motorcycle even without formal driving license. And their children could be in any situation, a victim of motorcycle violence or the culprit.One can easily recognize the motorcycle gang from their outlook, like, not using helmet, jacket or shoes, carrying a sharp weapon (mostly hand made), only show up in the night (without motorcycle light and creating so much noise).
  • Tense aboutSRI LANKAUS Sponsored UN resolution against alleged war crimes against Sri Lanka passed in UNHRCconvention at GenevaPOSSIBLE NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS AS A RESULT OF THE UN RESOLUTION ONSRI LANKAThe UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution urging Sri Lanka to investigate alleged abusesduring the final phase of war with Tamil rebels. This Norway, US and European Union sponsoredresolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC has been passed with 24 countries voting for the resolution andonly 15 against it. Eight countries abstained from voting.This may give rise to negative economical implications especially considering the fact that traderelations between Sri Lanka and Britain are of vital importance to both countries. Sri Lankan exports tothe UK in 2011 totalled to more than USD 1.2 billion and imports from the UK were worth some USD245 million, making the UK Sri Lanka’s second largest trading partner by volume. While half of thecountry’s exports worth US$2 billion out of a total of US$4 billion go to Europe. In addition to this thetourism industry may also be affected as Sri Lanka is hot tourist destination for US and Europeannationals.
  • Tense aboutJAPANNorth Korea’s rocket launchNorth Korean’s attempt to launch it’s nuclear rocket causedJapan excessive tension. Mostly becuase Pyongyangannounced, it planned to fly over the Sakishima Islands inOkinawa Prefecture. The announcement included the timing,ie, between April 12 and April 16.In the event the North Korean rocket veers off course,Japanese Self-Defense Force units deployed 2 ships and 7 PAC-3 units who’s location included Tokyo metropolitan area. MidApril is the peak season for cherry blossoms in Japan invitinglot of tourists, hence the need for emergency measuresincreased. In fact, about 100 travelers themselves cancelledvisiting Okinawa and 9 schools cancelled their school trips.On April 14th at about 7:40 am local time, North Korealaunched it’s rocket, but within minutes it splintered intopieces. TAIWAN Drop in GDP growth An Economic Research report revised Taiwan’s GDP growth forecast downward to 3.55%, due to higher fuel and electricity costs. Experts believe this will have a negative affect the economy. With rise in petrol and electricity prices. other goods could soon be affected leading to inflation. An online user commented that the only inflation- resistant item is salary. As salaries stay stagnant, there are worries that more and more people will find it harder to keep a financial balance. Deposits cannot keep up with the rising cost of goods, not to mention housing, real estate, food, and other consumer necessities. Many Taiwanese are already feeling stressed financially.
  • Tense about THAILAND, Tsunami panic After a massive earthquake struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra at a location close to the huge quake struck area that contributed to the deaths of thousands of people in 2004, Tsunami panic spread across much of Thailand. From that moment itself, several media in Thailand gave the Tsunami warning and made prediction of the time when Tsunami will reach the coast of Thailand. In time to come, as panic grew and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre called the situation ‘back to normal’, soon the tsunami warning announcement was lifted from media channels. The first quake was felt far and wide, with Bangkok residents experiencing the ground shaking under their feet. The earthquake was felt in many of the capitals high-rise buildings, with some office workers stampeding down to the ground floor after noticing curtains and lamps shaking. "I rushed out of Interchange Tower because the floor was shaking so much that I felt dizzy," said a Bangkok resident. German experts who helped install the tsunami- warning system off Indonesia said the quake was horizontal, rather than vertical, making a big tsunami less likely. "There wasnt much vertical movement," said Rainer Kind of the German Geo- Research Centre.
  • Tense aboutPHILIPPINESChinese vessels in the West Philippines SeaOn April 8, 2012, 8 Chinese vessels wereseen in the Scarborough or PanatagShoal in the West Philippine Sea. ThePhilippines has earlier dismissed China’shistorical claim of the disputed watersand rocks maintaining that it hasjurisdiction over the contested waterssince the 1700s, it being within the 200-nautical-miles Exclusive Economic Zoneand Continental Shelf. The country iscurrently in a 2-week-long stand-offwhen BRP Gregorio del Pilar boardedeight Chinese fishing vessels and caughtthem doing illegal maritime activitiesinside the shoal’s lagoon.Two Chinese surveillance shipsimmediately arrived to place themselvesbetween the Chinese fishing vessels andthe BRP Gregorio del Pilar, preventingthe capture of the said fishing vessels.Both countries, until now, have refusedto withdraw their ships from the region.In the middle of the situation, thePhilippine and US government alsostarted its friendly military exerciseswhich raised many eyebrows on the realmotives behind the program.As of April 19, there are unofficialreports that the Chinese governmenthas rejected the Philippines’ proposal toseek international arbitration with theItlos, an independent judicial bodyestablished by the United NationsConvention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Tense aboutINDIAHostage crisis takes priority for the governmentThe Central government plans unified strategy A meeting on states internal security meeting isto tackle hostage crisis spreading parts of India. slated for Wednesday night. The interlocutors from the Maoist side - Dr B D Sharma and Prof GNegotiations between the interlocutors from Haragopal - are expected to reach Raipur byMaoist and Chhattisgarh government side are Thursday morning to participate in theexpected to begin on Thursday to resolve the negotiations. B D Sharma, a former districthostage crisis involving an IAS officer Alex Paul collector of undivided Bastar, is the president ofMenon, who was abducted by the outlawed Bharat Jan Andolan while Prof. Haragopal was anCommunist Party of India (Maoist) cadres from interlocutor from the Maoist side last year whentrouble-torn Sukma district in the rebels abducted Orissas Malkangiri districttribal Bastar region on April 21, official sources collector R Vineel Krishna. The Maoist rebelssaid. The interlocutors from the government have demanded withdrawal of paramilitaryside former Chhattisgarh chief secretary Sujyoga forces from Bastar, release of their eight jailedKumar Misra and former Madhya Pradesh chief leaders, stopping of "Operation Green hunt"—secretary Mrs NirmlaBuch are already in Raipur anti-Naxaliteoperations in the tribal areas-andwhere they were briefed by senior officials recalling the security forces to the barracks inaboutthe situation arising out of the Sukma exchange of freedom for the abducted collector.district collectors abduction. "Our team is ready The state government has been maintaining thatfor talks which, most probably, could be held in there was no operation code named as "greenthe state capital", chief minister Raman hunt" and it was ready to hold talks with theSinghs Principal secretary N Baijendra Maoists to resolve the hostageKumar told The Times of India over telephone crisis. Meanwhile, indications are that thefrom Raipur. Government sources said both Maoists, who had earlier fixed April 25 asMrsBuch and Misra are expected to have a deadline for meeting their demands, aremeeting with chief minister Raman Singh at 7.30 expected to announce further extension of thePM and later a meeting on states internal time limit by late on Wednesday night.security is scheduled for 8.30 PM onWednesday. Both MrsBuch, a 1960 batch IASofficer, and 1967 batch IAS officer Suyogya Watch news report here :Kumar Misra are also scheduled to meet Chief http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUcq_QPEW2MMinister Raman Singh late in the night.
  • Everyone’s talking about Brands & campaigns generating buzz
  • Everyone’s talking about SINGAPORE, COCAL COLA HUG ME CAMPAIGN From US to Pakistan to Singapore, everyone’s talking about the Coca-Cola dispenser machine which takes hugs as its currency. Online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Mashable, blogs and even international dailies like ABC, Herald Sun, Huffington Post and Forbes were abuzz with videos and updates of this Hug Machine. Even popular show host Ryan Seacrest picked up on this unique vending machine that not only spreads kindness but also rewards people for stepping out of their comfort zone. The red-and-white machine has the words “Hug Me” written across the front in Coke’s signature font. All one has to do is to wrap his or her arms around the machine, give it a tight squeeze in exchange for a can of Coke.Watch it here: The first machine made its debut at the National University of Singapore and this regional initiative is part of Coca-Cola Company’s global marketing “Open Happiness” campaign.IINDIA, MUMBAI MIRROR TABLOIDNow, people of Mumbai will wake up every morning to nothing but the truth as the tabloid newspaper,the Mumbai Mirror, the second largest read English daily in Mumbai from The Times of India Group,pledges to reach out to its readers with real voices daily. The hard-hitting campaign based on four realstories broke first by Mumbai Mirror in the recent past is the brain child of TOI’s creative agency,TapRoot India. The central idea was to create a fictionalized account of how affected citizens from allwalks of life found a strong and powerful voice in the paper.Shot in black & white, the television commercial shows the resentment and the fury expressed by thecentral protagonists of each of the stories, which includes a writer protesting over his burnt books, amother raging over the use of sewage water in milk fed to her children, street urchins screaming abouttheir inhuman living conditions, and a young lad dissenting about the political parties’ posters pastedon the city walls.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvLIjemSIs4&feature=related
  • Everyone’s talking aboutCHINA‘GO WILD’ WITH THE NORTH FACE On 23rd of March, outdoor sports gear and apparel company, The North Face®, has again teamed up with Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai to create an exciting new campaign named “Go Wild”. The campaign addresses urban consumers’ increasingly stressful, hectic, and often sedentary lives. It is a breath of fresh air that encourages city dwellers to break free from the eating-drinking-shopping-sitting in front of a screen rut and to replace it with tranquil or thrilling experiences at great outdoor locations. To bring this alternative movement to life, the “Go Wild” campaign centers on an online documentary series consisting of four short films directed by acclaimed Chinese film director Mr. LU Chuan. Watching the films, consumers are invited to witness the journeys of a determined mountain climber, an adventurous volunteer, a passionate wildlife photographer and a successful entrepreneur as they rediscover themselves and those around them through an exploration of nature. In addition to the films, O&M Advertising created a short, humorous video manifesto that dares urban consumers to slow the pace of their hectic, stressful lifestyles and to let themselves “Go Wild” by taking a breather – or a weekend – in nature. Print ads have also been placed at outdoor locations of heavy traffic areas including subway stations and Wangfujing in Beijing, Xujiahui in Shanghai, including in magazines such as New Weekly. In the past one month, the four short films have received more than 2 million views with very positive comments on video sharing website Tudou.com. The theme “go wild” has also been widely discussed on China’s largest micro-blogging service SinaWeibo. One netizen named Sam commented: “ Go wild to explore the unknown scenes, to think about problems in reality, to carry a young attitude. I love the theme and The North Face brand.” Campaign page: http://marketing.tudou.com/TheNorthFace
  • Everyone’s talking about INDONESIA, MY WAY ON THE HIGHWAY March 20th, was on an ordinary Tuesday morning in the super jam city of Jakarta. Why? Because on that day, at 6AM, DahlanIskan, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises from the United Indonesia Cabinet II went ballistic in front of the Semanggi gateway and freeing up the highway fee for number of cars to enter the freeway. According to SalingSilang.com, the conversation about this on Indonesian twitter timeline starts to emerge at 7:40 AM, then reach its peak at 09:00 AM. It became one of the trendiest topic on that day. Dahlan reportedly that while he was on his way to a meeting he got stuck in the long queue . While trying to figure out what caused it, he furiously noticed that 2 of the highway counter’s were empty with no clerks and were holding up the traffic. He, then forced open the counter, throwing off their chairs and immediately opened up the two closed counters. Finally starting to direct the traffic by himself. Cars could pass by without paying the fee! Twitter fans that followed the news have had a mix reaction towards it, many support but few also being cynical of what impact this could have on Dahlan’s image. This action of Dahlan’s has stayed in people’s mind, even after a month. People recall Dahlan Iskan now when faced with public transportation problems. He repeated the same act at West Ancol highway, but this time, it came biting back to him. The act gained protest from the owner of the highway (apparently because the highway is privately owned, unlike Semanggi) and told him to pay compensation for it. Ouch! Since being appointed as Minister of State-Owned Enterprise back in October 2001 Dahlan has been known to do several controversial acts.
  • Everyone’s talking aboutMALAYSIAVochelle and Malaysia’s own Gossip GirlMalaysia’s Vochelle Chocolates have launched an online series called, “KhabarCinta” (LoveNews). Starring local rising stars, the 24 webisodes are about the drama-filled life of a (INTIUniversity) student, SheraSamad and her friends. Playful, badly-scripted and full of collegeclichés, the “Gossip Girl” inspired series has caught the attention of thousands of viewers; itsmost recent episode (6) got over 2,000 views in just 2 days.Comments from audiences range from, “hatsoff for putting this together,” to “I managedto cringe my way through the wholeepisode,” showing that despite the lowproduction value, the show for it’s content,has hooked Vochelle’s primary target group –Malaysian girls.Behind the scenes and pictures are ‘leaked’on the show’s Facebook page, and linked tocontests with prizes with the likes of the newiPad. Giving the addictive show an interactivehook, and growing its fan base. For Vochelle,a brand barely noticed or considered cool inthe market, this campaign has certainlygenerated plenty of talkability. Watch Vochelle Chocolates’ online series here - http://www.youtube.com/user/KhabarCintaEP
  • Everyone’s talking about SRI LANKA ICC Twenty20 Ticket Launch Event The highly anticipated event of the year, the ICC Twenty20 cricket world cup ticket launch, was held on the 24th of March at Galle Face, Colombo. Thousands of fans turned up for the event to show their support and enjoy the fabulous evening filled with entertainment.Thousands of Sri Lankan cricket fans snapped up the sought after tickets when box office, onlinebooking sites opened at 9.00 am on the 26th of March. The Sri Lanka group games and its potentialSuper Eight Matches proved to be particularly popular and by the end of the day about categories weretemporally unavailable. Indeed, the hype and buzz made this ticket launch one of the most populartalked about event for 2012.
  • Everyone’s talking aboutBANGLADESH, BENGALI NEW YEAR CAMPAIGNShubhoNoboborsho.When we lose ourselves amidst the fun and festivities of Pohela Boishakh, do we, even for once,stop and think about the children growing up on bare minimum in the orphanages all around us?Do we understand that life does not offer them too many occasions to open up and smile and justbe happy for a change?This Pohela Boishakh, we made a humble pledge to try and spread the joy of the new year amongsome of these underprivileged children. There are around 50 lacs orphaned children in Bangladesh.At the onset we knew we’ll not be able to reach all of them. However, if we could put a smile on atleast one of their faces, we will consider ourselves worthy.This thought resulted in the campaign idea from Ogilvy Bangladesh, which asks people to pledge asweet to one such child by visiting the website: www.mishtimukh.com. Help spread joy and bringsmiles on these sweet faces.The activation team [along with Community Action volunteers] covered 18 orphanages on PohelaBoishakh. Some big, some small, but all of them welcomed with open arms. We spent time withthe kids, played some games, gave away Pohela Boshakh masks and, of course, distributed thesweets. We gave a list of everyones names [from our Mishtimukh site, FB page and FB event page].All these institutions sent their blessings (‘dua’ in local language’). 3 said they will specifically prayfor each and everyone on the list and 1 said that they will read out all the names to the kids.All in all, the endeavor was woeth it, and the heartfelt smiles we got filled our hearts.Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/events/217723428327975/
  • Everyone’s talking about JAPAN, SMARPHONE APP - LINEA Smartphone application, LINE, waslaunched in the market on June 23 2011from a company called NAVER Japan. It is agroup messaging application that enablesfree calls and enables users to use uniquestamps.Within just 4 months of the launch, LINEsaw a total of 3M downloads with close to300,000 downloads per day.With the free calls and the unique stampsservice, this app has become so popularthat it’s spread over to Taiwan, Thailand,HongKong, Malaysia and Singapore with atotal of 5M downloads by November 8th.
  • Everyone’s talking aboutTHAILAND, PORNOGRAPHY IN PARLIAMENT SESSIONA pornographic picture abruptly appeared on agiant plasma screen during the recentparliamentary meeting and has caught theattention of Thais’ making it a nationwide topic ofdiscussion, alongside becoming headlines ininternational media such as the BBC and AFP. Acommittee will be set to seriously investigate thisissue.A picture of a half-naked woman popped up onthe projected screen during the House meeting.The picture lasted for ten seconds, whileparliamentary lawmakers were busy debating thehot charter amendment bill.Bhum Jai Thai alerted the Parliamentary presidentto this half porn picture that had accidentallyappeared on the screen, and asked theParliament staff to quickly turn off the monitor.Furthermore, the Parliamentary PresidentSomsak Kiartsuranon has clarified that theintrusion may have come from outside, as theParliament does not have a security system inplace to prevent this kind of attack, and that theequipment to block such intrusions are still underprocurement.Meanwhile, SamutSongkhram Democrat MP,Rangsima Rodrasami has asked for a committeeto be set up to investigate. She suspects that theerror happened at the end of the control unit.Currently, the investigation is looking atidentifying the technology and device that couldhave broadcasted the porn picture to the screen.
  • Everyone’s talking about KOREA, BODYGUARD, AN UNDERWEAR BRAND Korean local underwear brand “Bodyguard” has drawn remarkable attention right from the moment it’s new advertising campaign released on its website and Youtube, reaching upto 100,000 hits within a week. Several objects symbolic of male and female major private parts are shown one after another with easy and playful alphabet song background music, instead of clichéd commercials featuring models wearing underwear. 5 sequel ads deliver Bodyguard’s key brand message that “Bodyguard provides you great fit, keeping your body toned”. The objects that symbolizes male and female private parts are listed as per the alphabet series of A B C D E, implying size of the underwear and certain private body parts, and has caused a controversial stir. For instance, one episode featuring several sizes of cups from small to big, illustrates Bodyguard is equipped with diverse sizes of underwear. Most people after viewing the advertisement, gave an overwhelming positive feedback saying “It’s brilliant”, “very catchy campaign” whereas some gave a negative reaction like “too provocative” or “too sensual”. Interestingly, the choice of media was not Television, but only social networking sites. No wonder, all eyes are set on the outcome of this campaign. Watch the videos here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0LMTxgyV04 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgrE6Kje_AA
  • Everyone’s talking about TAIWAN, HIGH SPEED RAIL The latest Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) commercial featured a story about a father excitedly buying fish because his daughter that works in another city was coming home. However, later his daughter told him that she couldn’t make it due some unforetold reason. This made the father feel lonely. This ad has touched a lot of people.THSR wants to evoke family love, what has been ignored in our busy lifestyles. Family love is priceless. Watch the video here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZJ8KBfdO78 INDIA, TV PROGRAM, ‘SATYAMEV JAYATE’ Starting 1 April 2012, Star TV has put on air the teaser campaign for the much awaited reality show which will mark the debut of Bollywood super star, Aamir Khan on television. The show will be called ’SatyamevaJayate’. The first TVC shows Aamir Khan eating away from an ordinary plate. While eating, he is talking about how the influx of media intrusion on our minds has led to a stage where viewers dont remember half of the content they see the previous day. In such a scenario, he adds, one should make a show that would connect with not only viewers mind but his heart as well, thereby making a long-lasting impression. The show is going to bring up social issues. The first episode telecasted on May 6th, focussed on the issue of female foeticide in India. Aamir adds, “I am no one to solve issues, I can only highlight them”.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGbnoUftzPshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXg6Usdjl5chttp://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/satyamev-jayate-aamir-khan-female-foeticide/1/187581.html
  • Everyone’s talking aboutPHILIPPINES, MAGNUM ICECREAM The Philippines’ Twitter world went abuzz on February 28 when popular celebrity socialites like Ruffa Gutierrez and SolenHeusaff shared the news with their followers of Magnum Ice Cream’s much awaited arrival in the Philippines. Reaching 10M tweets in just 2 days, Magnum, priced way more expensive than the rest of the ice cream pops, has been a massive success in the first 3 months of its launch. Distribution channels are not being able to keep up with the demand.
  • Brands we’ll miss
  • Obituary SINGAPORE East Coast Park, McDonalds outlet For close to 33 years of service and over 25 million customers, the McDonalds outlet located at East Coast Park has been the place where many Singaporeans have had fond memories, from first dates, birthday celebrations to even break-ups. This outlet which opened on January 20, 1982 wasIt was 6 pm on a Wednesday in March, and also the first McDonalds in Singapore to offer aMoledina Road was crowded with people and drive-in service counter and with 24 hours service.hurried vehicles. In the midst of this, readers and Located close to the beach and chalets, it isbibliophiles were saying goodbye to one of Punes common to see chalet-goers and campers headingmost recognised landmarks - Manneys bookstore. there for hearty meals. Many East Coast residents go there for their morning breakfast or for a drinkEver since owner Manik Mani announced the after jogging or cycling.bookshops closure about two months ago, he hasbeen besieged by questions and pleas to reconsider. The restaurant rolled down its shutters for the lastHowever, in the last hour of the 63-year-old stores time at the stroke of midnight on March 18, 2012.life, browsers and buyers who crowded the store for However, it is moving to another location only 1.5some last-minute reading goodies were resigned to km away.reality.Long time customer Ranjan Kumar wasfatalistic as he said, “I love bookstores and Ive Here is a good-bye film that sees the crew andtravelled to some of the best bookshops across the customers celebrating and sharing the memorableworld. Bookshops are ill-fated, even one as big as times spent at East Coast Park McDonalds.Borders had to close.”Members of staff wore forlorn https://vimeo.com/38904928expressions as they sold books the Manneys way for PUNEthe very last time. Bhimsen, who has been workingthere for the past 12 years, shrugged off the Manney’s Last Hournostalgia, saying, “It is tough to part with Manneys,but I will adapt to selling books the way otherbookshops do. I have to.”Owner Manik Mani was his usual genial self. Askedhow he was feeling, he simply said, “I have madepeace with my decision. Imagine, if I was feelingemotional at this stage, at this hour, how difficult itwould be for me to close. There are still many looseends to be tied up — I will probably be leasing thisspace out. But, I’m glad I have had Manneys. Thisisnt just a shop that’s closing, its a legacy of 63years.”
  • Obituary CHINA Me & City’s Huaihai Flagship Store Closed DownIn February 2012, Chinas leading casual wear apparel retailer, Metersbonwe Group, shut down it’sflagship store of Me & City on Huaihai Road in Shanghai. Me & City is Metersbonwe’s sub-brand thattargets middle class, 20-30 year old white collar professionals in China.The Huaihai flagship store of Me & City is over 2400 square meters, one of the largest two stores ofMe & City in Shanghai; the other one located at Nanjing Road, one of the busiest shopping streets inShanghai. According to Huangpu District Commerce Commission, thelocation will be take over bysports giant Nike as the new location for it’s flagship store.The chairman of Metersbonwe Group, Zhou Jiancheng, has admitted his mistakes on big size storestrategy at the board meeting of Metersbonwe group in 2011. He indicated that 60% of Me & Citystores in China are profitable, the losses are coming from those big size stores such as Huaihai Roadflagship store. Business insiders also commented on Me & City Huaihai flagship store’s closure saying:“since international fast fashion brands such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo have located their flagshipstores on Huaihai Road, the rent for big size stores have gone up to 30 million to 35 million rmb peryear. Moreover, tier one city consumers especially those in Shanghai prefer foreign brands withgreater expectations on product quality, design, and other considerations. Consumers who visitinternational fast fashion brands are not likely to shop at Me & City not only because it is a domesticbrand but also their product design is not as forward and trendy as Zara, H&M or Uniqlo.”
  • ObituaryMALAYSIAKlue MagazineKLue Magazine, a city guide to Kuala Lumpur(KL) and the surrounding Klang Valley, started KLue Magazine’s last issueout as an online magazine in 2002, at a timewhen the internet in Malaysia was in its infancyand KL-ites were not exposed to or interested inthe city around them. Back then, KL wasdubbed by its residents as dull and quiet, butKLue Magazine‘s founder Adrian Yap was notconvinced – he was sure that there wereexciting things happening under the seeminglyquiet surface of Klang Valley. From thatconviction came KLue Magazine, born with themission to keep KL-ites on the city’s pulse withthe best that Klang Valley had to offer, fromnightlife to food to music to arts.From an online magazine, KLue then went on to produce weekly info cards that listed the bestevents of the week. Soon enough, KLue grew to become a physical monthly magazine. And whatthe team at KLue found was that although KL-ites may not have been interested in what washappening in the city around them initially, the more KLue uncovered about the city, the more itsresidents started gaining interest in KL’s activities.But as the magazine grew and the KLue team grew, expenses also increased and it becametougher to make things work commercially. Sadly, KLue published its last physical issue inDecember 2010, scaling back its city guide to a digital focus only. But even as KLue continued tobring the latest happenings to the people through its website and through social media, Adrianfound that KLue Magazine was becoming less and less relevant in today’s digital world. Thus, itwas time to move on.Today, KLue still exists on the digital space, but rather than operating as one of Klang Valley’sforemost city guide, its focus has shifted to feature the people that make Klang Valley tick, such asits entrepreneurs. But the KLue Magazine that we knew and loved is no more.
  • Obituary JAPAN, HMV SHIBUYA One of the biggest entertainment retail chain HMV closed their iconic flagship store in Shibuya last year. HMV Shibuya opened in 1990 in Tokyos Shibuya district, and soon became a magnet for young people searching for music, DVDs and other entertainment products. After 20 years spent influencing the pop music tastes of the nation, HMV Shibuya’s closure symbolizes the disappearance of music retail outlets and the CD industry. The rapidly rising popularity of downloading songs from Internet, such as Apples iTunes has contributed to the marked decline in CD sales in Japan, which has fallen 60% from their peak, resulting in the closure of music retail stores.
  • ObituaryTHAILAND, DQ Grill & Chill.DQ Grill & Chill, part of the DairyQueen franchises that sells soft serveice creams, started to offerhamburgers,, Chicken Strip basket,salad and more in this concept store inThailand. It opened in late 2009 on thesecond floor of Siam Center, CentralFestival Pattaya beach and CentralPinklao which recently shut downitself.The local company, Minor Foods Group Limited, had no option to renew the Dairy Queen franchise intoit’s restaurant concept. This model didn’t seem to hold a future for business expansion in Thailand. TheUS parent company sent teams to Thailand to research and identify business opportunities and thestudy concluded that there is no scope for expansion. Beyond the issue of opening additional branches,the bigger challenge lied in branding. It became difficult to create a clear brand. Consumers will come tobuy icecream in a restaurant that sells food ? PHILIPPINES, FRIENDSTER In April 2012, Friendster was formally laid to rest after a hard battle against other networking sites such as MySpace and the Goliath Facebook. It will forever remain to be the pioneer of the phenomenon called social networking. He is survived by a new Friendster site that now focuses on pure “entertainment and fun”. Launched in its biggest market, the Philippines, with its new tagline of “Living the game”, it is now SEA’s “social discovery and gaming platform.”
  • ObituaryTAIWAN, NANI CHILDREN CLOTHINGNani is an online childrens clothingbrand founded in 2008. Per thequality bar they set for themselvesand their support for Taiwans ready-made garment factories, they strivedto produce all their products inTaiwan. Many of Nani’s loyalcustomers believed in Nani’s "Madein Taiwan = Quality Assurance" ethosBut due to the increase in price ofraw materials, Nani could no longeroffer clothes at low price, resulting inthe loss of customers. Nani had toshut down in April 2012. Many Madein Taiwan parent-fans have been verydisappointed..BANGLADESH, BASHORI RESTAURANTAt Bashori one can order numerous kinds of delicious dishesranging from the regular rice, biriani, vegetables, fish and meatitems. Go for their local fish delicacies ranging from Ruhi, Koi, Hilsa,Kachki, Pabda - fried or curried, just choose! Same is true forpoultry, beef and mutton items which includes KimaMattar andChicken Jhal Fry. The interior reflects a chic look with intricatewood carvings adorning the walls. The surrounding is cozy andrelaxing.But, it’s shut down now.It was very popular among the university students in Bangladesh. Itwas located at Banani, just besides the North South University andAmerican International University.. When it shut down, studentswere in deep grief, mourning the death of their favourite hangoutplace. 77
  • ObituaryINDONESIA, FAT BURGER One day, someone tweet’ed, “ini mau buka di PS!!” (“this will open in PS”). And yes, turns out another food outlet will open in the foodcourt. And that new outlet is replacing Fat Burger. Then, the big question arose “What made Fat Burger give away their space at PS’ foodcourt? Fat Burger , known as ‘The Last Stand Great Hamburger Stand” first started it’s restaurant in Indonesia, on November 6, 2010 at Plaza Indonesia, a premium shopping mall, located at the heart of Jakarta. Under the management of PT Global Foods Indonesia, at that time they targeted to open 8 outlets in Indonesia, include 1 in Bali.Six months after its opening, they opened a new restaurant at Pondok Indah Mall 2, and an outlet infoodcourt area of Plaza Senayan (PS).Fat Burger’s famous taglines says; “every burger is grilled when you order it” and “we use only 100%USDA lean beef: fresh, never frozen”. This is a different communication approach compared to otherburger outlets.Food Court PS consists of 21 outlets, 3 others selling burgers, aka. McDonald, Raffels and KFC. Amongthese all, Fat Burger sells the most expensive package (burger, french fries and cola drinks), starting priceof Rp 37,000++. At McDonalds, one could get their best burgers for Rp 34,000.It seems that PS started reaching its peak, during lunch time. With 21 outlets to choose from, and themoney in the pocket, they have to be wise, lunch is one of the important meal of the day, afterbreakfast. A famous saying goes in Indonesia- “kalau gak makan nasi gak nendang (if you don’t eatrice, your stomach will not be satisfied) ”. So, looks like, the choice for burger for lunch wasn’t on top ofcustomer’s mind. Soon they were competiting with the outlets that sold rice too.We can predict various reasons, but may not know for sure on what made them leave PS. Luckily theystill have 2 other restaurants in the town. For now, we could say that Fat Burger is not “The Last StandGreat Hamburger, Stand in PS”.
  • For more information, to request a presentation oncultural insights, or to contribute your perspectives inyour market, please write to:kunal.sinha@ogilvy.com