Email Tan Sri Vincent Tan Your Business Proposals

It was about 2 week ago on a Tuesday (16 Oct 2012) when I attended a forum entitled ‘Are angels from Heaven?’ – a DNA-TeAM Disrupt forum organized by Digital News Asia.

It was supposed to be a forum discussing the latest status of venture capitalist.

My friend had told me that Tan Sri Vincent Tan was going to there and I just didn’t think so.

But I went with the intention of finding out what is happening in the venture capitalist market in Malaysia.

It turned out to surprise me that Tan Sri Vincent Tan was really there briefing budding entrepreneurs and business person about funding and doing business.

For most part of my life, I have never met Tan Sri VT except to see and hear news about him.

I got into the forum a little late and it was full house with DNA’s Karamjit Singh hosting it, alongside Johnathan Lee from Cradle / VIC.

Tan Sri told the audience that there are actually a lot of angel investors in Malaysia and if you need funds, just need to talk to people and eventually if what you said makes sense, it will reach some rich guys. And if they are interested, they will find out.

I truly agree, what most people don’t have is a good deal or products.

Tan Sri VT mentioned that so far he had invested RM 200 million into the Internet space which include the RM 2 million investments on who is worth RM 1 billion today.

He gave an example in which in year 2000, he invested into the 7-Elevan business who was asking for RM 80 million. 7-Elevan during that time was making a profit of RM 300,000 per year with 140 shops in the whole of Malaysia. His financial team didn’t like the deal citing that the asking price was too much to ask for, however Tan Sri VT pressed on for the deal. He thought that he could make it work better and wanted to invest for longer term. As a result, 7-Elevan today is a successful venture for Berjaya Corp and Tan Sri acknowledged this as an example of investment based on gut feeling and not relying purely on financial indicators.

Tan Sri VT addressing the audience Tan Sri VT giving advises

He urged rich people to give money back to the society and angel investing is one good avenue.

On a typical scenario, he would invest 2 or 3 out of 10 business propositions that had offered him. Given this statistic, he urged entrepreneurs to try out at least 10 or 20 investors before calling it quit.

And anyone can reach Tan Sri by emailing and yes he does receive a lot of proposals on daily basis - there is a team to help him sort things out regularly.

Tan Sri VT said that even though he had retired from public listed companies, he is still keen to make more money and had pledged to give always of his wealth to charity.

He shared with the audience that he was lucky that his father's failed in the family business as small scale contractor when he was about to go NZ for further education. He decided to stay back to help out with family business and finances and that from that moment onwards, it marked the beginning of an exciting business life for Tan Sri VT. 

"If you bankrupt because of business, it is okay. Just need to find something that work. But don't go bankrupt because you had to go to a night club to make payment," said Tan Sri VT.

Tan Sri VT also commented that doing business in the Internet requires economy of scale because people do not want to pay a lot of money for something such as online education contents, subscriptions and etc. The reason is because in the Internet, one can get many things for free - it is a jungle out there. Therefore, the right strategy for Internet business is always about mass market, one cannot expect the Internet front to become a typical shop floor.

My personal opinion on this consists of a few thoughts.
  • Any good business proposals must have something to sell and must make good cash flow. Just like the 7-Elevan case, it didn’t make fantastic profit, but yet it had cash flow – money coming in and out.
  • If you are looking for investor, just open your mouth, someone will listen. I am only worry if you do not have anything interesting to offer. So, this is exciting news for entrepreneurs, just work harder on your products and make it better and more competitive.

So, opportunity is there, if you have great stuffs, just email Tan Sri VT right away.


Black said…
Many thanks for this.
I always thought venture capitalists are non-existence in Malaysia, now I know I can reach them just by emailing.

I may try my luck in the future.
Sometimes what entrepreneurs need is a chance to speak.