The Lecture

>> Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hi kids, I'm back! I know there must be some of you will miss me..hahaha..

I'm really sorry for not attending your class for the past few days . My throat was sore, my eyes were dry..but please don't be afraid, it's not swine flu. It's just the side effects of too much crying for the past fortnight..

Ok, what I gotta teach y'all today huh? Hurm, how about Business Management? What? Oh, I know this subject was not even in your syllabus yesterday, but what can I do? The government has just changed its policy yesterday..hahaha. So be it. As I'm waiting for the highest bid of commission from the textbook supplier, I'll take my materials from this website.

Sri, can u gimme a name of a company that nearly collapse because of bad management habit so I can make an anecdotal example? What? Agni Inc.? Good Sri, I've known for a long time that you are a bright student. According to the website, there are 6 tips to good business management.

First, please bear in your mind kids, even you are an expert in your field, that doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to be a business owner. In Agni's case, it's even worse. Let me read you the CEO's profile:

Sri Lingham, holds a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and is a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. Dr. Lingham spent 10 years in Investment Banking in the UK, Hong Kong and the US with HSBC, Merrill Lynch and GMAC. He had started investing in the Fuel Cell and Alternative Energy industry in the 90s and left Investment Banking to drive Agni Inc in 2002, with overall responsibility for execution and technology development. Dr. Lingham holds patents and visiting lectureships.


He has never worked as an engineer when he started the business and suddenly he became Mr. Know-All. Do you get what I mean?

The second point, hire the right peoples. You cannot ask a History teacher to teach Science to the students. He will teach you, but he will be unsure on what he's teaching. In Agni's case, Sri Lingham appointed managers who didn't have the experience handling power generation project. The engineers were not well-trained on the right standard of piping, heat exchangers, and pressure vessels design. I'm not blaming the managers and engineers, but I'm blaming the CEO, because he didn't ask for experts' opinion when he was starting the company. Someday, some of you will work as engineers and that time, you will know how tight is the regulations for oil and gas, power plants, and refineries. You will need vast experience to get involved in these projects. Training in this field is compulsory to avoid poor design thus tragedy.

According to the web, a business owner shouldn't appoint his relatives and friends to important designations in the company. Why? You should be professional enough to manage a company. In Agni's case, mother of the CEO controlled all finance matters, vendor payments, employees' salary, etc. Do you know kids, the workers had to queue up outside her room to collect their cheques? I think the CEO realized that what her mother was doing was not helping the company at all, but due to his respect to his mother he just zipped his lip off. Y'all should check this website for more classic results of hiring friends and families.

We continue to the next reminder of the website. Don't make snap decisions, planning strategy is everything. Lemme give y'all a question. Are you willing to spend millions of ringgit on something without considering various aspects? That's another problem of Agni Inc. The CEO always made hasty decisions, whether it's project decision, or company management decision. Kids, let me remind you, making a management decision is not the same with making decision of which clothe you should wear, it involve a lot of parties and cost.

Oh! The bell has rung, luckily..hehe. Maybe I'll continue with the other two tips next week, if the government doesn't change its policy..haha. Or maybe I'll teach something new to you. So kids, see you next week!


central_perk July 2, 2009 at 1:09 AM  

hah, a very gewd "lesson"!
i totally agree! hee.
please continue with the last two tips.

Anonymous July 8, 2009 at 11:27 PM  

our malaysian friends: you're not alone. your US co-workers and suppliers were abused as well...

Anonymous July 18, 2009 at 12:11 AM  


► Ramani Muniyandi (President and Counsel General)

Ramani Muniyandi, has been the Director and Secretary of Agni since 2002. He is also the Group Legal Counsel. He is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales and the Law Society of Singapore. After a stint in England as a legal advisor he returned to Singapore in 1993. His passion is in the area of renewable energy and alternative sources of power. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Cambridge Educational Group (Singapore). He is a tutor for the Board of Legal Education in its Postgraduate Practical Law Course. Ramani has been an active legal practitioner since 1997 and has represented various multinational companies. He has actively participated in many negotiations globally for Agni.

► John Chung (Chief Financial Officer)

John Chung, is a Singapore Certified Public Accountant. He has almost 20 years of auditing and accounting experience, having worked in PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor firm, Coopers & Lybrand, for 17 years. Prior to joining Agni Inc., he was the Group Internal Audit Manager of a major Singapore public-listed company.

► Ir Anthony Michael (Executive Director Productions)

Ir. Anthony Michael is a professional Mechanical Engineer registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia. As an engineer with the National Electricity Board, Malaysia for over 30 years he was involved in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of thermal power plants (oil, gas and coal fired) and also hydro and gas turbine plants; the largest single unit being 500MW. The last posting held was Deputy General Manager Design and Engineering; Major Projects Generation. Ir. Michael joined Agni Inc. in the year 2003 and has been involved in the design and fabrication of the projects undertaken by Agni Inc.

Anonymous July 18, 2009 at 12:12 AM  

► Chandran Gnanakuru (Director Business Ventures)

Chandran spent 12 years from 1993, based in London, running the alternative asset program of various family offices. He also had executive operational responsibilities for the same Group's wholly owned interests in the food and leisure sectors (covering the UK/Ireland, Greece and SE Asia). Prior to that, he was with AT&T in the USA for 5 years in management positions. Since 2006, he has worked closely with emerging private equity/venture capital teams with their fund raising and in supporting portfolio companies (to include PIPE rounds and M&A opportunities). He has also successfully project managed several international companies introduction to the public markets in London. He is a graduate of Harvard University, USA and has an MBA from INSEAD, France.

► Tham Chong Kong (Group Treasurer & Deputy CFO)

Mr. Tham graduated with a Bachelor in Accountancy from University of Singapore in 1975. He also obtained a Master of Business Administration, from IMD in 1984. He has 20 years of senior finance appointments including regional management experiences in overseas assignments with multi-national companies in Asia. He has held the position of Regional Finance & Commercial Director (Asia-Pacific) for Allied Domecq Spirits & Wines PLC (Asia-Pacific); Group Finance Director for Cerebos Pacific Ltd, etc.

► Tai Fook Yan (Group Financial Controller)

Tai Fook Yan is a Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accounts (FCCA). Tai Fook Yan has 30 years of accounting and auditing experience. He has worked as a costing accountant, yard accountant and project accountant, with McDermott, a design, engineering, fabrication, installation and commissioning firm of offshore structures. He also worked for 10 years as the Financial Controller with Getz Bros, a manufacturers' representative company dealing in consumer, industrial, building material products. He was the General Manager - Finance & Operations with O'Connor's Singapore, a company providing total solutions in voice & satellite communication, surveillance applications and scientific equipment. Fook Yan Tai joined Agni in 2007 as a Group Financial Controller.

Anonymous July 18, 2009 at 12:16 AM  

Ramani is dr sri lingham best frend!!!

Super Mega Termination Event - 12th June 2009


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