Self-Regulation: A Star Leader’s Secret Weapon; Want a Loyal Team? Choose Kindness Over Toughness


Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 9 Jan (Fri) – The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions; Mahatma Gandhi and the Art of Travel


The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions: MIT Sloan

Mahatma Gandhi and the Art of Travel: Bloomberg

Can’t get satisfaction? Be entrepreneurial: FT

Why Our Brains Don’t Respond To Our Attempts At Habit Change; We often try to change our behavior by reinforcing negative actions. Here’s how to reframe your motivation and finally follow through: FastCo

How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys; After a decade-long slump, Lego has rebuilt itself into a global juggernaut. An exclusive look inside the company’s top-secret Future Lab: FastCo

In divvying up assets in bankruptcies, Hong Kong liquidators need sensitive touch; Mat Ng is the liquidator currently handling fallen chief secretary Hui’s bankruptcy, selling his music record collection and other assets to repay his creditors. SCMP

Liquidator runs after mistress of bankrupt former HK chief secretary: “I have the duty to chase all assets of Mr. Hui to return to his creditors”: SCMP

The Type of Innovation That Builds Nations: HBR

Family-run jeweller K.M. Oli Mohamed stands the test of a century: TheStar

Grandson’s quest to revive faded Tibor brand’ Sam Reich’s challenge is to restore the famous designer textile name: FT

The lessons learnt by early high flyers: What is it like to achieve extraordinary success at a tender age?Life – The lessons learnt by early high flyers: FT

Integrity Is Free: Strategy&

The Impact of Anand Mahindra’s Nanhi Kali project; These schools focus on skill development of students out of colleges and polytechnic institutes and prepare them for jobs; Forbes

Santander chairman casts aside late father’s strategy: FT

Yuan-dynasty landscapes: Even better than the real thing: Economist

From $1000 to $10 million in a decade; Bashiry’s company, Broadband Solutions, was a one-man start-up in 2005; a broadband voice and data company catering specifically for small businesses: TheAge

17 Tips For Writing An Excellent Email Subject Line: BI

What you need to know about success: Success is messy. DWS

Marking the New Year through history: KoreaTimes

Bill Gates says ‘poop water’ is safe: KoreaTimes

Top Ranked Leaders Know This Secret: Ask For Feedback: Forbes

The frustrating hunt for Genghis Khan’s long-lost tomb just got a whole lot easier: WaPo

Mastering the ‘Name Your Product Category’ Game: MIT

Press Enter for Ecstasy: Chemists all over the planet send their recipes to Chinese factories that make the drugs and ship them by airfreight to avoid detection.: WSJ

Colleges Turn to Personality Assessments to Find Successful Students; Some School Are Looking Past SAT or ACT Admission Tests: WSJ

Why Digital-Movie Effects Still Can’t Do a Human Face; Even today, computer animation can’t begin to reproduce the subtle facial expressions that are the key to human communication: WSJ

The Type of Innovation That Builds Nations: HBR


Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture: Amazon

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently: Amazon

Five Of The Best Books On Communication: ValueWalk

Investing Process

Tocqueville’s François Sicart: A Devoted Contrarian Needs Patience: Tocqueville

Greater China

Chinese Property Developer Kaisa Group Appears to Default on offshore bonds, in a development that is raising concerns among global investors; Chinese Developer Kaisa On Verge Of $5Bn Default; Who’s Next?: WSJ, ZeroHedge

Li Ka-shing Is Hong Kong’s Richest Man For 17th Consecutive Year: Forbes1, Forbes2

China’s Anticorruption Campaign Drives Out M.B.A. Students: WSJ

China’s courtship of Latin America tested; China’s decelerating economy and crumbling commodity prices are testing its courtship of Latin America and underscores Beijing’s reluctance to commit cash blindly : FT

Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT, 遠東航空) refuted a Chinese-language magazine’s claim that the airline’s president hollowed out about NT$500 million of company assets: ChinaPost

Taiwan prosecutors conducted a search on the residence of Lin Rong-jin (林榮錦), the former chairman of pharmaceutical company TTY Biopharm (東洋製藥), on suspicion of hollowing out company assets. ChinaPost

Taiwan’s high speed train company is reportedly set to go bankrupt in March 2015, but Taiwan’s government is likely to take over the company’s management in January,: ChinaPost

Li Ning issued a profit warning, saying it expects to suffer a net loss of up to 820 million yuan (HK$1.04 billion) in 2014, more than double its net loss of 391.54 million yuan in 2013.: SCMP

Casino Bad Bets Hit Hong Kong Rich Hard: Forbes

Occupy Central Bodes Well For Hong Kong’s Future, Billionaire Lui Che Woo Says: Forbes

For One Hong Kong Billionaire Optimist, Occupy Central Signaled “Buy”: Forbes

Vast Wealth and a So-so Business; Heiress Pansy Ho Weighs In, Again. MGM Macau made Pansy Ho a billionaire many times over, thanks to a deal she capitalized on more than ten years ago when U.S. casino operators were maneuvering for a foothold : Forbes

Will Taiwan Gain From Embracing China Traders? Making it easier for Chinese retail investors to access local shares is a boon for an already buoyant market.: Barron’s


The Gujarat model: How Modi-nomics was forged in one of India’s most business-friendly states: Economist

India’s Stagnant Courts Resist Reform: BW

Modi throws open doors to people of Indian origin around the globe: Reuters

Modi’s Chauvinism Problem: ProjectSyndicate

Modi Struggles to Unlock $200 Billion in Stalled Projects: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Korean Air ‘Nut-Rage’ Executive Could Be Headed To Prison For 15 Years: BI

Line, a Korea-Japanese messaging app with more than 500 million registered users, is launching a service called Line Taxi, TechInAsia reports.: BI

Korean investors shifting investments from stocks to bonds en masses: Maeil

Lotte’s endangered dream: If Lotte wants to build the world’s most fun building, there’s no reason it can’t make it the safest as well. JA

SK Innovation, Korea’s largest oil refiner, will most likely post an operating loss in 2014, hit by plunging oil prices.: KoreaTimes

GungHo, Nintendo to combine ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘Puzzle and Dragons’: JapanTimes

Japan’s Fight to Change Suicide Culture Hurt by Latest Recession: Bloomberg


Universal Robina wants to satisfy ASEAN tastes: Nikkei

Widodo Plans Land Bank to Quicken Indonesia Infrastructure: Bloomberg

Indonesia may yet steal a march on India in reforming its economy: SCMP

Marina Bay Sands sues chairman of China Packaging Group for S$3.9 million over debts in Hong Kong; The company’s share price plunged 27.4%: SCMP

Fighting dirty: Muhammad Yusuf, the chief of Indonesia’s financial intelligence unit Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (PPATK), is understandably frustrated because law enforcement agencies have not properly followed up: JPost

The movement of the Siamese capital to the area in the late 18th century led to an increase in population and investment in building canals for irrigation and transport. This led to the first great transformation of Bangkok: Nation

SGX panned as a place to raise funds in 2015; Association which says it represents nearly 30 listed firms urges Singapore businesses to consider markets abroad: BT1, BT2


Move to liquidate student property fund; The offshore fund is one of a string of student property vehicles marketed to retail investors that have fallen foul of liquidity problems over the past two years.: FT

Pivotal Insider Ruling Is Put to Test: At Issue Is Gesture of Friendship Cited by SEC: WSJ

Missing From Most Pimco Stock Funds: Individual Stocks: WSJ

Scammers Target Brokerage Accounts; The Morgan Stanley Data Breach Is a Reminder of the Big Dollars at Risk: WSJ

Capitalism begins at home: Providing better and more affordable housing could be the next “capitalist achievement”: Economist

The magic of mining: Minting the digital currency has become a big, ruthlessly competitive business: Economist

A crack in the vault: Chatter about breaking up large banks goes public: Economist

Lost a fortune, seeking a role; The seven German Landesbanken that survived the financial crisis are still a mess: Economist

Return of the hired gun: How private armies will remake modern warfare: Economist

US still the dominant superpower in derivatives trade: FT

Risks lurk in failure to simplify finance: FT

Deutsche Bank reveals 7 reasons why ‘Canada is in serious trouble,’ starting with a 63% overvalued housing market: FP

DuPont Finds Itself a Target of an Activist: NYT

Beware the Currency Wars of 2015; More aggressive currency devaluations in Asia and Europe could create great systemic risks world-wide.: WSJ

Europe’s Largest Bank Stock Suspended, Admits Need For $8.9 Billion Capital Raise: ZeroHedge

The BRICs Will Be Cut to the ICs if Brazil and Russia Don’t Shape Up, Warns Phrasemaker O’Neill : Bloomberg


In China, Shirtmaker TAL Uses Data Analysis for Efficiency Boost: BW

Samsung Gets Mugged in Androidland: Bloomberg

Five Rules for Strategic Partnerships in a Digital World: Strategy&

Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su, Fortune 500’s newest woman CEO, talks about her first 90 days on the job and details her plans for the tech giant. Fortune

Xero Wants All Small Businesses To Do Accounting In The Cloud: Forbes

Meet the market shapers: A new breed of high-tech economist is helping firms crack new markets: Economist

Hidden in the long tail: Consumers reap the benefits of e-commerce in surprising ways: Economist

A Chinese Company Is Already Making Fake Apple Watches And Proudly Displaying Them In Las Vegas; Apple Watch faces attack of the clones at CES: BI, FT

Google Is Losing Its Grip On Search: BI

GoPro expansion to focus on China; GoPro’s Need for Speed; Camera Maker’s Stock Valuation May Be Too Pricey: FT, WSJ

Tech world feels its way through the dark in internet of things: FT

Memo to activist investors: Unless you understand tech, you’ll do more harm than good: Pando

How Flipboard Is The Epitome Of Web 3.0; Every year, Flipboard looks more and more like the future of magazines.: Medium

Online retail share crash heralds bursting of tech bubble: Telegraph

What is Xiaomi?: Stratechery

Amazon Bought This Man’s Company. Now He’s Coming for Them: BW

12 million driverless cars to be on the road by 2035: Reuters

If Mark Zuckerberg is the next Oprah, Facebook is in trouble: WaPo

The Dark Side of Information Technology: MIT

Energy & Commodities

Energy bondholders could lose out in refinance deals; Risk heightened by weaker investor protection written into bonds: FT

Barrick Gold Corp comes under fire, cut to underperform in extensive analyst report: FP

‘No white knight coming’: Distressed natural gas producers hunker down amid new energy reality: FP

Wall Street isn’t feeling so ‘super’ about the oil trade: Fortune

Oil-Price Drop Takes Shine Off Steel Town; Ohio Workers Who Benefited From Energy Boom Now Face Layoffs: WSJ

Cargill Energy-Trading Earnings Rise While Crude Plunges: Bloomberg

Oil Plunge Leaves $27 Billion of Energy Bonds Junk Priced: Bloomberg

Why OPEC Is Talking Oil Down, Not Up, After 48% Selloff: Bloomberg

Oil Slump Giving Asian M&A Predators One-Year Window for Deals: Bloomberg


The Drugs That Companies Promote to Doctors Are Rarely Breakthroughs: NYT

The $3 billion startup that wants to help you to make medicines in your own body: Fortune

Consumer & Others

McDonald’s: When the chips are down; After a long run of success, the world’s largest fast-food chain is floundering-and activist investors are circling; Why slightly more upmarket outlets are eating fast food’s lunch: Economist (Part 1, Part 2)

Soylent’s Magical Milkshake Is Now Worth $100 Million: BI

GameStop Has A Brilliant Plan To Avoid Becoming The Next Blockbuster: BI

LVMH head Ravi Thakran looking to invest in Australia’s ‘hidden gems’: BRW

Fiat has already benefited from spinning off its most valuable brand Ferrari, but can the legendary Italian sports car company find a new gear on its own?: Forbes

Under Armour Overtakes Adidas in U.S. Sportswear Market; Baltimore-Based Company Boosts Sales in Apparel and Footwear at German Rival’s Expense: WSJ

Daily Bamboo Innovator Insight: Tues 25 Nov 2014 – Why You Can’t Invest Like Warren Buffett – And Shouldn’t Try; A non-cheesy guide to gratefulness: What to read and watch

Investing Process

Why You Can’t Invest Like Warren Buffett – And Shouldn’t Try: Forbes

Beware initial euphoria over headline-grabbing deals: BT

Citi Analysts Thought Everyone Knew ‘Hold’ Meant ‘Sell’: Bloomberg

Once Lucky, Always Lucky? Institutional Trading in a Connected World: SSRN


A non-cheesy guide to gratefulness: What to read and watch: TED

How Innovators Think, And What They Do About It; 88% of award-winning projects began with an employee asking, “What difference would people love?” Forbes

Winning teams are tough to find-and even tougher to build. The former captain of New Zealand’s mighty All Blacks rugby team, David Kirk, explains how to develop superlative   McKinaey

Behind the Talent of Artistic Child Prodigies; Why Can Some Children Draw Realistic Pictures at a Young Age Without Any Training? WSJ

The Secret to Resisting Temptation; People who excel at resisting temptation might have a secret strategy: They deliberately avoid situations in which their self-control might fail, says a study.: WSJ

The Unifying Leader; The collaborative leader is willing to step back from the war posture of politics and be vulnerable. The collaborative leader understands the paradox; you have to take off the armor to build strong bonds. NYTimes

Innovation that succeeds by exploiting the past creatively; Gambling that a rare flash of genius will generate a new, viable idea is expensive: FT

Here’s Why ADHD May Have Been An Evolutionary Advantage: BusinessInsider

How Steve Jobs Fouled Up Presentations For The Rest of Us: Forbes

9 Tips To Drive Down The Price Of Just About Anything: BusinessInsider

11 Tricks Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, And Other Famous Execs Use To Run Meetings: BusinessInsider

After 96 Loan Rejections, This Guy Built A $750 Million Marketplace For Business Loans: BusinessInsider

IKEA has created a desk that converts from sitting to standing via a simple button: Quartz

Companions in Misery: What can Schopenhauer, philosophy’s best known pessimist, tell us about New Yorkers? NYTimes

Climbing a Glass Building? Try a Gecko’s Sticky Pads: NYTimes

Brains of People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Offer Clues About Disorder: NYTimes

Daum Kakao chairman stresses role of startups; Kim suggested the idea of “social impact” as the most important factor to be successful for a start-up. KoreaTimes

Strategist uses Harry Potter magic to lift fortunes of Osaka theme park: JapanTimes

Four conversations to build your team leadership: Nation

Research: Insecure Managers Don’t Want Your Suggestions: HBR

Interpreter of Maladies; For 30 years, Fouad Ajami took Westerners into the heart of Arab civilization, unafraid to show his readers its afflictions and dreams. WSJ

The Beauty of ‘Infrastructure’; Brian Hayes, author of the updated ‘Infrastructure: A Guide to the Industrial Landscape,’ discusses his book documenting the buildings, systems and networks that make everything in our world work: WSJ

Greater China

China rate cut unlikely to halt slowdown, say analysts: FT

Outside Forces Drive China’s Big Flip-Flop: Bloomberg

China Stock Surge Before Rate Cut Raises Investors’ Worries: WSJ

One reminbi to one US dollar in 25 years: Jim Rogers: WantChinaTimes

The Future of Chinese Arts and Creative Industries: Forbes

When You Give Your Team a Goal, Make It a Range: HBR

China Considers Tobacco Advertising Limits, Public-Smoking Ban: WSJ

Currency Wars Reignite As Yuan Tumbles Most In 2 Months And Chinese Bond Market Freezes: ZeroHedge


Burger King eyes a big slice of the Indian market: Forbes

Buyers Balk as Stressed Assets Pile Up on Rule: Corporate India: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Kuroda Tells Japan Inc. to Stop Hoarding Cash as Costs to Rise: Bloomberg

S. Korean companies squeezed in ‘new nut cracker’ between China and Japan: Maeil

IKEA under probe for overcharging consumers in Korea: KoreaTimes

Park pitches ‘creative economy’ in North Jeolla: KoreaTimes

Korean conglomerates to face tougher regulations in appointing financial CEOs: KoreaTimes

Japan’s young fret as unexpected recession kicks in: JapanTimes

Abe Sales Tax Backfiring With More Debt Not Less: Bloomberg


Indonesia Corruption Watch Gives Attorney General a Long To-Do List: JakartaGlobe

Holding of properties from all over the world by Singapore property trusts means that the market has been able to grow beyond expectations. BT

Should Pemandu scale down and close shop; is it duplicating civil service role? Star

Rural Philippine Call Center Shows Promise of New Business Model: WSJ

World’s Longest Stock Gain Has Top Malaysia Fund Piling Cash: Bloomberg

S’pore must exploit IT advantage to stay ahead: PM: TODAY


Companies Still Sorting Through Revenue Recognition Rule, Survey Shows: ComplianceWeek

Fears Australian banks ill-prepared for housing-induced crisis: TheAge

BlackRock: Beware of Dividend Stocks; If interest rates rise even modestly in 2015, these defensive plays are likely to perform poorly. Barron’s

The World According to Goldman: Barron’s

The Unsettling Mystery of Productivity; Since 2010 U.S. productivity has grown at a miserable rate. And no one, not even the Fed, seems to understand why. WSJ

New Abnormal Means Relying on Central Banks for Growth: Bloomberg

Hedge Funds Lose Money for Everyone, Not Just the Rich: Bloomberg

Global ‘QE glut’ to brim through 2015 as funds swim with the tide: Reuters


How Google Glass Helped This Blind 13-Year-Old Dancer Get His Vision Back: BusinessInsider

How to make a fortune without ‘doing’ anything: The Uber, Airbnb story: Fortune

Is Spotify the music industry’s friend or its foe? NewYorker

Huawei aims to turbocharge design of self-driving vehicles: FT

Melbourne, Becoming A World Class Tech Hub: Forbes

A startup planned on the kitchen table is among America’s top 20 web properties: Forbes

Facebook ‘Newspaper’ Spells Trouble for Media: JakartaGlobe

It Won’t Be Easy Making Money Off of Cherry-Picking Shoppers; Successful Retailers Must Create a Better, Memorable Customer Experience: WSJ

Wake Up, Brick-and-Mortar Retailers: The Web Has Opened Shoppers’ Eyes to Selection, Ease, Transparency: WSJ

The End of the Impulse Shopper: The Web Has Made Consumers More Intentional, Smarter: WSJ

Amazon Offers Help Finding Local Handymen; Listing Service in 3 Cities Aims to Connect Customers With Service Providers: WSJ

Uber and a Fraught New Era for Tech; Consumer-Privacy Troubles Are Likely to Transform Silicon Valley: WSJ


Radiologists Are Reducing the Pain of Uncertainty: NYTimes

I Asked 20,000 Doctors About Fitbit And Apple’s HealthKit, And Here’s The Answer: Forbes

Bringing the Customer’s Voice into Medicine: HBR

U.S. Buys Up Ebola Gear, Leaving Little for Africa; Manufacturers Strain to Meet Demand Amid Rising Anxiety: WSJ

More Patients Opt to Replace Ankle Joints Instead of Fusion; Increased Range of Motion; Expect Repeat Surgery a Decade Later: WSJ

Surgical Tool Gets Strongest Warning; Morcellator Used in Hysterectomies Can Spread Undetected Cancer, FDA Says: WSJ

RealView Imaging’s 3D holographic display enables doctors to view a real-time 3D hologram of a patient’s anatomy “floating in the air” and interact with it either by stylus or with their hands: WSJ

Commodities & Energy

Global metals markets are becoming more difficult to regulate as manipulation takes more subtle forms and new trading platforms spring up: FT

Petrobras scam allegations weigh on Brazil as blacklist fears rise: FT

Black hole in mining sector profits leads to ‘vanishing’ returns; FTSE 100 miners are feeling the pain from a collapse in commodity prices as the Chinese economy hits the skids: Telegraph

OPEC Fault Lines Spur Hedge Funds to Trim Bullish Oil Bets: Bloomberg

BHP Billiton digs deep as tough times get tougher: TheAge

Consumer & Others

4 Reasons Nike’s Business Will Explode: BusinessInsider

The boss of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises says his company has “far from peaked”, after he capitalised on the company’s skyrocketing share price to sell $2.2 million worth of shares. TheAge

Bud Crowded Out by Craft Beer Craze: Faded Beer Brand Unhitches Clydesdales in Favor of Fresher Pitches to Young People: WSJ

Supermarket price war now claiming food producers as victims; Cost-cutting by the UK’s largest grocers has squeezed the margins of its suppliers, driving up corporate failure in the sector while it has declined elsewhere: Telegraph

Coca-Cola to release expensive low-sugar milk that will ‘rain money’: Telegraph

Pay per puff? Caffeine stick? E-cigarette boom sparks race for new patents: Reuters

My role model is Fuzukawa Yukichi, the Benjamin Franklin of Japan

Bamboo Innovators bend, not break, even in the most terrifying storm that wouldsnap the mighty resisting oak tree. It survives, therefore it conquers.”

BAMBOO LETTER UPDATE | November 3, 2014

Bamboo Innovator Insight (Issue 57)

§  The weekly insight is a teaser into the opportunities – and pitfalls! – in the Asian capital jungles.

§  Get The Moat Report Asia – a monthly in-depth presentation report of around 30-40 pages covering the business model of the company, why it has a wide moat and why the moat may continue to widen, a special section on “Inside the Leader’s Mind” to understand their thinking process in building up the business, the context – why now (certain corporate or industry events or groundbreaking news), valuations (why it can compound 2-3x in the next 5 years), potential risks and how it is part of the systematic process in the Bamboo Innovator Index of 200+ companies out of 15,000+ in the Asia ex-Japan universe.

§  Our paid Members from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing.


Can You Guess This Asian Wide-Moat Company?

“My role model is Fuzukawa Yukichi, the Benjamin Franklin of Japan.”

Q: “Who has influenced you the most? Any role model(s) that you have?”

Mr. H: “There are many people who have influenced me. My role model is … Fuzukawa Yukichi. Yukichi-san is regarded as one of the founders of modern Japan and is called the Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin of Japan. His ideas about government and social institutions made a lasting impression on a rapidly changing Japan during the Meiji Era. He is an author, writer, teacher, translator, journalist, and entrepreneur who also founded the newspaper Jiji-Shinpo and the Institute for Study of Infectious Diseases. He is also a civil rights activist and liberal ideologist, believing that whether one is a child of a samurai or farmer, male or female, they should have the right to be educated. An interesting story about his creativity to overcoming resistance. During his era, Japanese don’t eat beef. Besides religious belief and cultural influences, an aversion to beef is because of its taste. So Fuzukawa added soya sauce, spring onion, sugar into what we now know as the hugely popular Sukiyaki, the Japanese beef hot pot. From this small story, you can see that without Yukichi-san, there is no modern Japan! In those conservative and stifling times, he is able to see Japan a hundred years ahead with incredible foresight. Hence the Japanese commemorate his contributions by putting him on the highest-denomination (¥10,000) of the Japanese yen currency note.”

Can you guess who is this Asian entrepreneur? Our latest monthly Moat Report Asia for November investigates an Asian-listed company who is the global #3 leader in a product with multiple applications from shale gas to submarines, overtaking General Electric (GE). For a world-class company possessing deep intangible know-how, the company has an undemanding valuation at EV/EBITDA 10.2x and Price-to-book value 1.45x. Its P/B is even lower at 1.2x after taking in account the property revaluation gains from unlocking the value of its land bank near the MRT earmarked for urban renewal and development that would drive up its book value by 21%. The firm’s short-term downside is also protected by its healthy balance sheet with net cash of $230m and a decent dividend yield of 3.23%.


From Mr. H’s role model, we get to perhaps examine Kuroda’s massive monetary stimulus from a different perspective by traveling back in time. Japan’s postwar economic miracle was driven especially by companies that exported materials, parts and industrial products – not by consumer-goods companies. Hitachi, Toshiba and NEC have grew after the war by exporting industrial products like locomotives, gas turbines. Now, quietly, some Japanese giants have returned back to their industrial and robotics roots. In recent years, the three – Hitachi, Toshiba, NEC – have shed many consumer operations and doubled down on businesses like heavy machinery, industrial electronics. Take the case of Hitachi. After posting cumulative losses of ¥985bn for four fiscal years ended Mar 2010, Hitachi swung back to a cumulative net income of ¥1.03tr in the four years since then. Panasonic has quit the consumer smartphone market, stopped making plasma screen TV sets and sharply reduced its camera output.


Besides Japan, America is also experiencing a manufacturing-industrial renaissance and re-shoring driven by the decline in energy costs, the increase in American labor productivity and the rising wages in China and Asia. American factories are producing more expensive and complicated goods – medical equipment, computer chips, commercial and military jets and oil and gas equipment.

And Mr. H’s products are part of these structural trends that will take place in the years ahead.

Who is Mr. H and his company?

His personification is Fuzukawa Yukichi and Benjamin Franklin – Mr. H is also you.

Warm regards,


Managing Editor

The Moat Report Asia


A new monthly issue of The Moat Report Asia is now available!

Access the in-depth idea presentation:

PS: We have also posted the presentation slides to a talk given by Mr Wai Phyo Kyaw (the technopreneur behind Rebbiz: MyanmarCarsDB, MyanmarJobsDB, MyanmarHouseDB) and Ms Chua Mei Mei (executive director of Beauty Palace) to the students in the Singapore Management University (SMU) for the official course Accounting Study Mission to Myanmar (Dec 2014) upon the invitation of KB Kee, managing editor of The Moat Report Asia and adjunct faculty (accounting) in SMU. Wai Phyo is akin to the early days of Greg Roebuck who founded the highly successful (CRZ, MV $2.2bn). Beauty Palace, a former distribution partner of Unilever, demonstrates how emerging companies stay relevant and competitive to the extent that they become the targets of MNCs/Unilever who send people to learn from them. Beauty Palace also sheds insights into the dynamics of the listed Asian operations of Unilever –Unilever Indonesia (UNVR IJ, MV $18.9bn), Hindustan Unilever (HUVR IN, MV $25.4bn). KB wrote the following thank-you note to Wai Phyo and Mei Mei on behalf of SMU:

Dear Mei Mei (and Kenneth), Wai Phyo and Ye Lin,


Many thanks for coming down to SMU to share with the students your hands-on experience in building up businesses in the rapidly-evolving Myanmar with its distinctive challenges and opportunities.

One thing that all of us felt very strongly from all three of you is the sense of national pride that you have in being involved in the transformational changes gripping the country as both an entrepreneur and a citizen!

Indeed, from urban Yangon/Mandalay to the rural towns/villages, every Burmese desire an improvement in their lot in life, whether they be shampoo-toothpaste or trustworthy information about cars-houses-jobs.


Mei Mei: You remind all of us of Hyflux’s Olivia Lum who was the first woman to win the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year. Both of you are willing to brave uncertainties and hardship in traveling to far-flung, dangerous places to sell products and forge relationships – Olivia had shared with the world the tale of her trip to Maldives where she was the lone passenger in a boat manned by two men; a storm broke during the four-hour trip to an island and sea water gushed through a crack that had opened up in the bottom of her boat. You have shared with us your inspiring story of courage and grit in traveling to different parts of Myanmar to do business with integrity and values.

·        One question that all of us would like to learn from you in an ongoing conversation is this: Your unique background has shaped your outstanding character, values and success – from having the sense of responsibility as the eldest in the family of five siblings to the heightened sense of business awareness in the family business relationship with Unilever over the years that the foreign partner could go independent one day and hence a need to stay hungry and capable. So how can someone “ordinary” have the drive and grit that you have?

Wai Phyo: Startups are all-consuming and we are thankful for your sharing on the tech startup scene in Myanmar and your inspiring leap of faith (long working hours, commitment, and responsibility) that resulted in your business success in Rebbiz (MyanmarCarsDB, MyanmarJobsDB, MyanmarHouseDB)! Your success remind us of what Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz shared in the photos “What It’s Actually Like” below: “This is an actual scene from Palo Alto, [Mark Zuckerberg] spent a lot of time at this desk, head down and focused…this is just him signaling his intention to be focused and keep working, not be social.” moskovitz startup entrepreneurship launch advice deck

·        One question that all of us would like to learn from you in an ongoing conversation is this: In building up a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in a startup to improve from the interaction and feedback from the actual users, how does one overcome the anxiety and fear when bigger, more resourceful rivals (eg Rocket Internet) actually emerge with a seemingly better product, especially since everyday the entrepreneur and his team are fighting fire with limited time and resources?

“In what you burn, you ignite in others.” – We are inspired by your authentic sharing today and all of us look forward to continuing our conversation with you in Yangon in the Alumni Event on 7 Dec! Thank you once again for your valuable time in sharing with all of us your knowledge and wisdom!


Warm regards,


Harley-Davidson trades leather and beards for green and clean; premiers prototype of an electric bike, in keeping with the times

Harley-Davidson trades leather and beards for green and clean

Ben Geier

JUNE 23, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

When you think Harley-Davidson, you probably think about leather, beards, and loud engines. Now, though, you can picture a fully electric bike with a digital display.

The iconic American motorcycle manufacturer held an event in New York City Monday afternoon showing off Project LiveWire, a prototype of the company’s first electric motorcycle. Read more of this post

Retailer Target Lost Its Way Under Ousted CEO Gregg Steinhafel; Long before a massive data breach and a money-losing expansion into Canada, there were problems at the top of the retail chain


Retailer Target Lost Its Way Under Ousted CEO Gregg Steinhafel

Chain Had Problems Long Before Data Breach and Money-Losing Expansion in Canada

Long before a massive data breach and a money-losing expansion into Canada, there were problems at the top of the retail chain.

By Paul Ziobro, Serena Ng

Just days before Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel resigned from Target Corp., a small group of senior executives huddled together to discuss ways to improve the flagging retailer’s fortunes. Shortly after their gathering on May 2, executives delivered a message to the board: If Mr. Steinhafel didn’t leave immediately, others would.

The following Monday, the CEO was out. Several top managers are now leading the Minneapolis company until a permanent replacement is found. Read more of this post

Food Makers’ Secret Ingredient: Less Salt, Fat; McDonald’s, Boston Market, Kraft Are Under Pressure to Change Recipes, but Consumers Don’t Always Like Them

Food Makers’ Secret Ingredient: Less Salt, Fat

McDonald’s, Boston Market, Kraft Are Under Pressure to Change Recipes, but Consumers Don’t Always Like Them



June 23, 2014 7:33 p.m. ET

Food and restaurant companies are under increasing pressure to make products healthier, but sometimes they don’t want customers to know when they have cut the salt or fat. Read more of this post

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