Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being No.1

There a saying somewhere "It is easier to climb the ladder of success (to be no.1), than to hold on to it", or something along that line. Having observed several nos1 in history, I guess it is true. Maybe its human nature where there will always be someone out there waiting to knock another off his perch in their quest to succeed. But then, being nos2 or 3 is no fun either - seldom does history tell us about the 2nd guy, its always 'The Man' mentioned; the head honcho, the uno numero.

Some many years back, Hertz US launched a campaign to catch up on its rival Avis (or was it the other way round. Can't remember which is which, pardon me). Hertz was no2 then and needed good publicity to outdo Avis who was the top car rental there. A bright idea was presented to them and not long after the campaign was launched, sales for Hertz jumped up. The slogan they used was pretty simple, but a genius nonetheless. All it said was "We are currently no2. Help us be nos1". Their simple honesty and admission reached into the hearts of millions.

Did Hertz reach no1? Don't know. The book I read did not mention it. But it certainly helped them close the gap. The gist of the above is actually related to Pak Zab's entry on 'Kebakaran', and my recommendation for him to get a fire extinguisher brand by the name of Cobra.

Having been introduced to the products (there's 3: extinguisher, repellent, suppression), I was like totally amazed by its capability and safety. And having learnt more about it, I set up an appointment with a telco whose Engineering Department was situated in Subang. There, the team - Cobra Sales Director, Technician, Sales Manager and that cakapaje (who was merely an introducer) - went about demonstrating the products to the Telco's top Engineers as well as Security Officials.

Now, the CSD being a gwailo, must have struck nerves with the Telco's officers. But he soon tackled their hearts with his antics. At one point of time, and to show the user-safety of one the extinguisher, he shook the canister open and poured it into a glass of water after having used the same canister to extinguish a small fire. He then drank the water and fell down on the floor much to the horror of the officers there. As sudden as he fell, his hand rose up and waved to everyone. He then stood up to show he was alright and that it was part of the demonstration, much to the laughter of everyone there. Compared to halon and one or two other products and gases, Cobra claim theirs is human and environmentally safe.

On another occasion, the CSD poured a small amount of Cobra's fire repellent liquid onto a short length of toilet tissue, which he later blow-dried with a hair-dryer. Once sufficiently dried, he poured a flamble liquid (Zippo's refuel liquid) and had cakapaje hold it on his palm. The gwailo lit the tissue and while the top part had flames, cakapaje did not feel the heat, nor did the fire burn through or consume the whole tissue - it died within a matter of minutes!

In a video demonstration, a small canister of extinguisher was thrown into an old car purposely set on fire. The canister exploded soon after due to the temperature. But when it did, it snuffed out the fire as well. The video also showed a demonstration in one of England's most reputable laboratory and experiment center where Cobra surpassed the stringent requirements of the Industry there. Then, an Engineer from the Telco asked the million dollar question "How soon will my generator and machines start if your gas is released in them?" To that, the CSD could not tell for certain and requested a live demonstration. The Engineers there however, were afraid to allow it, fearing their heads would be on the chopping block if their generator could not be started within 5 minutes. Some 3 years before Cobra's demo, their generator suffered a shutdown and subscribers such as cakapaje were left without service for more than 3 days. Each second their generator is down, their profit is severely affected. Thus, while the people in the US were willing to help Hertz make their campaign a success, the Telco's Engineers were not generous enough with Cobra. Last I heard, they are still struggling in their quest to be no.1 in their industry. I can't find their webpage but one can check a link at e-guide here.

Now, one amazing thing about the product is that it was discovered by an Indonesian Professor. Lacking finance, he teamed up with a Dutch and began production in earnest. But the downside is that the team broke up and now there are 2 companies manufacturing them. InsyAllah, in another entry, I'll download 2 pictures of their cannisters as well as the contact number of a friend who use to be with one of the companies.

On another matter of No1, the false king of Malaysia issued an edict of his own about yoga. Now, I know precious little about the subject matter and prefer to keep mum about it but is more in agreement with Dr Asri, the outgoing Mufti of Perlis. Palalah, however, went against the Fatwa, and the decrees of the Sultan of Selangor and Sultan of Perak, where both would like all future Fatwa's referred to them beforehand; they each are, after all, the Heads of Religious matters in their respective states. But Palalah, he seem not to hear this at all. That's hardly surprising since he and his tribe did ignore the Fatwa on Jom Heboh.

And on the No1 wannabe, that Bijan guy, well, if he's relying on the 'Rahman' theory to help him ascend to the throne, I think he better put on his thinking cap. That is, off course, if he has any. Because, if I read My Malaysiaku here correct, people who believe in that theory got it all wrong. Bye bye Bijan.

By the way, Muslims are encouraged not to believe in to the 'Rahman' theory as it is akin to soothsaying.

ps. I almost forget: Check out the blog belonging to the No.1 man in Perak. Kamparin, belongs to the YAB Dato' Ir Haji Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, the MB.


alhusseyn said...

Sorry to interupt you here like this,but I've lost your h/p no.Please give me a call!I'm coming with a friend , a blogger too,Ajijoi.C.U

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ahh yesss...this reminds me of all, and i mean ALL, multi-level marketing company there is in malaysia. i've been approached by these sweet-talking direct sellers a huge number of time. and each and every company will claim to be the number 1 in the business. can the real no1 please stand up? so that i can stay away as far as possible.

still on the same topic, it got me thinking la friend. who's actually Malaysia's First lady? our Permaisuri or Mrs PM? one thing for sure is, come March the First Lady tag can no longer be disputable.

cakapaje said...

Salam alhusseyn,

No prob Tuan :)

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

Bro, you got that right! Which is why I too detest multi-level marketing. I don't mind the concept, but not product selling in such a way.

The 1st Lady? By right, it should be the Permaisuri Agung.

Ydiana said...

Salam Shah

Yes, Hertz has always been Numero Uno and Avis, 'We Try Harder' campaign. Competitive, they really are, but still professional enough in their code of ethics and business conduct. Which actually, all types of business, should hold on to.

The fatwas in Malaysia, like you mentioned,when we don't know enough, or do not have enough knowledge about it, just keep quiet, follow if you feel right, or just trust them. However, in Malaysia, there are so much more left to be desired, too much loose ends, not enough study done, I feel. At the end of the day, its between you and Allah, your niat, and your actions.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam ydiana,

lol! That's right, I had it the other way round - Hertz was no1 and Avi no2! And the campaign was 'We Try Harder'! Lady, you are smart! :)

hegira said...

salam abg shah. macamana dengan blogger meet? maaf tak dapat nak hadir kerana terpaksa jaga booth di art expo. btw, i managed to attend some congress at shah alam at night. hehe.. syyh.

aha. yoga. saya sekarang masih nggak ngerti apa yang diribut-ributkan itu.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Alina,

Huh? Gi Kongres? Lor...rugi tak join kami. Hari tu, bes! Lepas jawab komen ni, nak buat entry.

A'ah, entah apa yang diributkan pasal yoga tu.