Entries from July 2006 ↓

Mauritius climate

Global warnings and sea level

In Mauritius, being a small island, we are very concerned with Global warming & sea water level. The recent events on the changes in the “Pas Geometriques” leasing agreement as provided by our minister Sithanen triggered my thoughts to look for the impact of Global warming and to a larger extent climatic variations on the country and on our tourism industry which is based on Sun Sea & S…

Whilst one always hears about Global warming, hardly anybody talks of global dimming and its slowing effect on warming. I really enjoyed the hour spent on the net browsing on the subject. It would seem the scaring predictions are made without the concurrent equalising effects of other factors.

Am I wiser now? Not so sure, but I am definetly more reassured about the phenomenon which would become critical in some 100 years or so and based on today’s predictable future technologies & human creativity. By then, I would be enjoying bliss in heaven, hopefully.

“Be serene whilst having an ever inquisitive & exploring mind!” I heard my inner voice murmuring. Be Happy!

Reflexion Dominicale: le Miracle

Ce dimanche 30 juillet 2006 l’Eglise nous propose comme lecture de l’évangile le miracle de la multiplication des pains selon St Jean.

Quelle chance j’ai eu ce dimanche d’avoir un célébrant malgache le père Roland. Une voie, quoique de remplacement, elle était nouvelle. Elle m’a demande beaucoup plus d attention d’écoute afin de vaincre le fort accent qui handicapait ma compréhension au départ. Ce que je retiens de son homélie : le miracle, un signe de Jésus, c est toujours pour un départ. Comment un départ ? Oui, Jésus nous demande toujours de partir. Apres chaque miracle, instruit de son enseignement, Jésus nous exhorte de partir pour une action.

Qu’ai-je retenu du récit de la Multiplication des pains, ce dimanche?

Avec la grâce de Dieu, avec 5 pains et 2 poissons il est possible de nourrir une population de 5000 personnes a satiété. Il en restât encore à manger après le repas. Le don de Dieu est abondant et débordant. Avec peu nous sommes appelés à faire beaucoup avec sa grâce.

« Lui-même savait bien ce qu’il allait faire » Quelle démonstration de confiance de soi. Quand nous avons Dieu avec nous et que nous agissons dans son plan tout nous réussit. N’est ce pas le cas de dire « même le ciel agit avec nous » ?

Jésus agit et c’est par son action qu il est reconnu grand prophète. « Action speaks louder than words » Le miracle est exécuté avec simplicité et amour. La foule a été nourrie de pain et obtient de surcroît le don d amour.

Je ne pouvais m’arrêter de penser au Fancy Fair de l’Ecole complémentaire qui se déroulerait juste apres. Avec peu de moyen et avec la grâce de Dieu, beaucoup peut être accompli à l’école complémentaire. Le don d’amour de Dieu est abondant et débordant. Aujourd’ hui c’est par nous que Dieu agit.Prenons a bras le corps notre départ pour l’action. Le miracle sera ainsi renouvelé.

Entrepreneur IV:Performance

Performance isn’t everything, you say?

If you are no good and not performing to the mark, you are fired.

In sports, say soccer, if you under perform regularly your team and your public do not want you. You are fired. In the film industry, if you are a bad performing artist, the audience will turn their back to you. You are fired. Should you be a non performing entrepreneur Bankruptcy will catch you sooner than later.

My weekly reading of Paul Graham got me to reaffirm my thinking of my last blog regarding Mauritius, Job Security and Startups. I draw your particular attention to his month of May essay on Why Startups condense in America. Will the prevailing mentality of job security and preservation of acquired privileges be conducive to Entrepreneurial future Mauritius? In the new globalize competitive world performance is the ball game. How do we get the Mauritian to be transformed in the new mind set?

I recommend you to study Paul Graham’s essay. I am a firm believer that we grow from being inspired by other people’s deed and thinking (ideas) and applying, and why not improving the borrowed ideas, to our own situation. I recall a few years ago I met the Gemba Kaizen founder Imai Masaaki. He said that we were allowed to copy all his ideas provided we use it to our benefit and thrive to improve on it.

So let us borrow some of Paul Graham’s ideas to make Mauritius an entrepreneurial country. Over and above the attitude of always improving (kaizen), and the proper infrastructures required for intelligence development and tax friendly, he has discussed 10 essential points for the startups to condense in America. What learnings can we take from him?

I observe that our present Minister Sithanen has taken some points over. Immigration which up till present, was restrictive would be easier, and easy to start businesses would a song.

Let us examine and take up more ideas. Our labour laws have to be addressed urgently. Development of Brains for the future is an absolute must. Who will look at our Education practice & policies without any self or vested interests?

Let us wage war against “statut quo”. Let us do away with employment as Tenure! Hail the entrepreneurs and risktakers!

Entrepreneur 3: Lessons from Stephen Covey & Brian Ward

He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch”

Jean Luc Goddard

For too long and for too many generations, the dream of our parents in Mauritius was to enter the civil service, (employes Gouverment), be employed by a bank or at least be an employee of a big firm. Security of employment with automatic annual increments followed by a guaranteed long term service pension was their quest. All for a secured, predictable lifetime job! Time will ensure the promotion as long as you do not make any mistakes. The only way not to make mistakes is by not doing anything at work, because believe me or not, non performance is not a cause for dismissal or demotion. This mode of operation still prevails today and promotes non activity. How would Mauritius then enroll the required entrepreneurs needed for its thrust? The term “Manager” is not commonly used in the civil service. You become a high rank civil servant or to the most an executive.

Today, we need real entrepreneurs, leaders, not even managers.

When you become an entrepreneur, you take on a great responsibility…you promise to change the world for the better.

If your reaction to this statement is: ‘I’m only managing an organization, or department, or project, I’m not out to change the world’, then I respectfully suggest that you learn to be a good manager, but not a leader.

Leaders cause positive change to happen, through people.

Managers control things. That’s it. The world needs great leaders and entrepreneurs. It has its fill of managers.

How does one become an Entrepreneur or leader?

If you feel that you are not sure whether you are truly committed to becoming a great one, if you have not yet made that decision, I would like you to take a look at two scenarii:

SCENARIO 1:

What if you were to make a total commitment to becoming a great one? Project yourself ahead 3 to 5 years from now. You have become one. Visualize what positive impact you are having on the world around you…

· How has the world benefited from your actions?

· What does that feel like?

· What type of people are you associating with?

· Who are you collaborating with?

· Who else is totally committed to the same cause as you?

· What positive actions are you and these people taking?

· How are other people responding to your successes?

· How worthwhile and meaningful has your life become?

· What does that feel like?

· How are you growing and developing?

· How does all this differ from today?

SCENARIO 2

What if you were to be less than fully committed to becoming one? Project yourself ahead 3 to 5 years from now. You are in a leadership position. Visualize how things will be…

· Have things changed much, or not at all?

· Who are you associating with…perhaps others who are also less than fully committed?

· What positive impact have you had on the world around you? Less than you desired?

· How do you feel about that?

· How worthwhile and meaningful has your life become?

· How does all this differ from today?

FOCUS: Developing your leadership focus, understanding its true significance to the world around you and how truly committed you are to achieving it

AUTHENTICITY: Discovering how much you know about yourself as an authentic leader, your beliefs and values, your strengths and weaknesses and how others perceive your authenticity

COURAGE: your level of courage and persistence, your ability and willingness to identify and stop doing those things that don’t support your focus, to start doing some new things that will support it, and to improve dramatically in other areas that will benefit your focus, both personally and organizationally

EMPATHY: your ability to listen to and work through other people, to garner support for your focus, to develop an atmosphere of collegiality and inclusiveness, and to empower others who share your focus

TIMING: your sense of timing in getting things done when they need to be done. Your ability to get off the treadmill and concentrate on what matters most to your focus, and to enable others to do the same

The world needs great entrepreneurs & leaders…if you want to become one, explore these facets. A word of caution however…once you start asking questions of yourself in these five areas, you will find that there will be no turning back. Proceed only if you are serious, only if you truly have the desire to become a great leader…

How Leading differs from Managing?

(Stephen Covey) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Covey

Entrepreneurs ought to possess and yet discriminate both qualities of, leader and manager. Covey teaches that the habit of Personal leadership has to be sequenced before the habit of Personal management. “What to do” ought to precede “how to do”. Visioning, planning & thinking have to occur before actioning. Rather be effective than being efficient. “You might end up effienciently leaning against the wrong wall” says Stephen Covey

Here are some major comparisons of how leading and managing differ:

Leading

Managing

Creating a clear and compelling vision of the future, which may look altogether different from today

Facing current reality, and taking actions to deal with immediate issues, challenges and obstacles to daily performance

Making major change happen. Achieving breakthroughs in performance, and sometimes ‘breakaway’ performance, such as entering new markets, acquiring much different types of customers, or even committing to an entirely new mission

Controlling things, keeping things in a state of equilibrium (but not status quo)

Achieving incremental improvements in performance

Staying loyal to the mission

Taking big risks, innovating

Managing or mitigating risk

Developing and implementing strategy

Managing tactics

Yes, Mauritius has to lay the grounds for the germination and nurturing of daring & innovative risktakers who I call Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs armed confidently with competencies, capacities and passion.

This blog has also been largely inspired by the writings of Brian Ward

Emigrant Drum

Emigrant Drum

A Red Drum Farm… in Mauritius.

Red Drum are now spawning in an ultra model, world class hatchery, then raised at sea in special fishing nets and finally bred to the size required by the market. Most of the technical hitches have been sorted out. The installation respects all the international environment and hygiene safety norms. Exports to various overseas markets have started, and the fish has received a good response on the local market particular in the up market end of the hotels.

I wonder what precautions have been taken against possible escapes by the farmed drum. SInce the Red Drum aren’t native to the waters of the Indian Ocean, if enough fish escape to form a breeding population, there could be any number of environmental consequences, as with the Lionfish here. A lot would depend on the relative fitness of the competing species. I wonder which native species fills the ecological niche there that drum have evolved to fill here.

The above text was received following my blog as a track back.

I did put the Question to the Farm previously. First, the possiblity of the Drum to live outside the farm environment is very slim because of the feed. Secondly,the farm has to minimise loss of Drum to nature and reduce the risk of accidents.Thirdly,Mauritius want its aquaculture to be an ecology friendly industry.

Rightly, the ecological aspect has to be taken in account.

Entrepreneur II :The way to the renewed Mauritius

How to become an entrepreneur?

Last night,the question of entrepreneurship haunted my mind. The first things first came in my mind. F T F was the title of a book written by Stephen R Covey and the Merrill couple I thought. Indeed, the definition of “what does one wants to do” is the first step of the entrepreneur.

Next, the word “Goals”lit up in my mind’s eyes. I was brought back to some exercises that I did with the help of a motivational writer and speaker Brian Tracy. Writing up a Personal Mission Statement, for a fact, directed the course of my life and has ever since been my life compass.

Being myself a “has been” looking forward for regeneration in a new life, I have a message to the upcoming entrepreneurs.For those of you who would be looking in the direction of setting off to building an exiciting and meaningful life, now is the time to target your Goals.

I recently agreed to share some of my life experiences, with a group of young start ups in life. One of them asked me to talk about time management.” Because we have so much to do, we are lost. We have to learn to manage our priorities.”he said. I retorted that “knowing what one wants” could be more important and pressing. So we have decided that we shall work on Goals.

Can you imagine a no-goal Entrepreneur?

Do drop in a comment and I shall share with you some of my knowledge literature and experiences on Goal setting & FTF.

A small piece is now available from the sound track here under. Just click and enjoy.
[audio:http://www.josephyiptong.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/Goals.mp3]

Goals.mp3

Have you heard of Naked Conversation?

In my last blog I promised my Rotarians friends, average age population of the Rotary club: 53.222, that I shall share with them the small budding knowledge I have about Blogging. By the way, I have well passed the average age.I have decided to start blogging to understand the E-volution of today’s world.

How I got hooked?

Indeed I was kicked off by my son who shared with me his experiences coming from a WEB 2.0 symposium some time ago. He was talking to me in a vocabulary which was beyond my understanding. I had to choose to die stupid or carry on living on today’s world and be part of the E-volution to stay wired & connected. I have chosen.

I found existance in the virtual world. My son gave birth to me in this newfound world by setting me up as a blogger. Through “FTP” (sorry for the jargon) he took over control of my computer whilst sitting in his apartment Toronto, Canada. Like magic, I watched my mouse and computer cursor zapping all over my screen. In a few minutes, his voice came back to me over SKYPE to tell me that I am done, ready to be in the Blogosphere. I am now enjoying my new existence. Everyday is now filled with new discoveries and new thrills; I have acquired a new mobility in spite of my recent physical handicap.

My latest thrill is Naked Conversation. Robert Scoble & Shel Israel who prophetize an E-volution of communication through blogging.

Today’s consumer craves human contact. We’re sick to death of voicemail.

Menus of options that never offer the option we need. A deluge of

carefully spun “information” designed not to answer our concerns, but to

influence our decisions. Mechanical voices telling us our call is important

to them even as they refuse to answer it.

We’re frustrated in our attempts to reach a live human being, and when

we finally do, all too often it’s someone who barely speaks our language

and only reads from a script.

Is it so surprising that the consumer distrusts the corporation?

Into this charged atmosphere comes a phenomenon called blogging. It’s

interactive. It’s informal. It’s peppered with misspellings, grammatical

errors and an occasional forbidden word.

It comes from a real person. And it allows the consumer to talk back. The experts believe blogging is

already changing the face of business.

The experts show readers of their book, how employee

bloggers altered the public’s perception of Microsoft, how company leaders

use blogs to connect with customers, how small businesses and Fortune 500

companies alike can benefit from blogging and how failing to use it properly

can be disastrous.

The Six Pillars of Blogging

1. Publishable. Anyone can publish a blog. You

can do it cheaply and post often. Each posting is

instantly available worldwide.

2. Findable. Through search engines, people will

find blogs by subject, by author or both. The more

you post, the more findable you become.

3. Social. The blogosphere is one big conversation.

Interesting topical conversations move from

site to site, linking to each other.

4. Viral. Information often spreads faster through

blogs than via a news service. No form of viral marketing

matches the speed and efficiency of a blog.

5. Syndicatable. By clicking on an icon, you can get

free “home delivery” of RSS-enabled blogs. RSS lets

you know when a blog you subscribe to is updated.

6. Linkable. Because each blog can link to all others,

every blogger has access to millions of other bloggers.

Everything Never Changes

The birth of the blog was a little-noted incident. A brilliant,

curmudgeonly technology pioneer — Dave Winer —

was fiddling with a project and organized a series of entries

in a new way. He looked at it, thought “Wow, that’s cool,”

and circled back to expand on it later. He added a variation

on an emerging technology and created a syndication feature

that would eventually emerge into Really Simple

Syndication (RSS). Other people — such as Ben and Mena

Trott, who founded Six Apart Inc., and Evan Williams, who

co-founded Blogger — would make blogging tools easier

so a great number of people could use them. The number of

users has gone through the roof ever since.

Do you want to live or die stupid? It is your choice!

Rotary and Blogging

Yesterday, I had the opportunity, thanks to the present President of the Rotary club of Port Louis, Alan Oxenham, who invited me to the weekly luncheon, and to my dear friend and Rotarian godfather, Roger Leung, to renew my friendship with the Rotarians. For a number of years, basking in the joy of fellowship of my club members, I had the chance to serve in different roles as a Rotarian, giving some comfort and help to the more needy members of our Mauritian society.

Aims, benefits of Rotary?

All information about Rotary may be read on the net. www.rotary.org

The Rotary Club of Port Louis is very special, as not only it has a history of over 40 years, it was the first ever Service club of the island where my father used to serve. This is the case for a number of present Rotarians. To build in a tradition of service to society in a family is really fantastic.

More importantly, this club has kept in some traditions which, instituted by the founding members, are still being carried out, not for the sake of maintaining the rituals, but more for the present validity and usefulness of these actions. Hats off to the elders for their foresight! A visit to the website of the club would enlighten you. www.rotaryportlouis.com You will see how Rotary Club of PortLouis, through its deeds and its Rotarians, made history.

19th July 2006 luncheon

The president asked me to address the assembly, as is usual for guests. I observed from the banners on the wall that the 2006 theme of Rotary International is “lead the way”.

I said:“ I do not know whether I have been given the gift of seeing in the future, as many of you well know that a few years ago, together with a group of businessmen, we led the way by creating a chain of WAY supermarkets. Or else I should claim Rotary International some royalty for the use of the motto. With these few words and the laughters that followed ,I relived the wonderful moments spent during my Rotarian active days.

As Past President Baboo reminded me “once a Rotarian you are a Rotarian forever”.

Blogging

I did leave an unanswered question in the mind of this Rotarian assembly. “What is blogging?” I only got a very timid inadequate answer. That could well be the subject of my next blog.

Do you know GUY KAWASAKI?

For the last few hours today and last night, I have been reading Guy Kawasaki. I find his writing sensible and his various tips on presenting really worthwhile. A true marketer or Evangelist he could call himself sometimes. It is a pity, because of the speed of our internet service available in Mauritius, it is almost impossible to watch his video pod casted. Hope that the upgrade of the Mauritius Internet service is coming soon.

I immediately borrowed an extract of his writing to share with my net work of Toastmasters.

I recommend you to visit his blogs: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/

I have read him before in The Art of Start and am very pleased now to share with you an audio Pod cast.

May you enjoy discovering Guy Kawasaki! Do give me your feedback soon as you have enjoyed the audio document.

TheArtoftheStart-lofi.mp3

[audio:http://www.josephyiptong.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/TheArtoftheStart-lofi.mp3]

RED DRUM

No, it is not a new song nor is it a colorful musical instrument. It is the name of a fish.

Red Drum

The story of Sea Fish Farming has started with Red Drum. A few years ago, a couple of entrepreneurs had the dream of starting a new industry, not just a business, in Mauritius. We are a small island and yet we have a large portion of sea which has not been exploited to its fullest potential. Some four years ago, after much battling to convince the government authorities to obtain the necessary permits and a plot of land at Pointe aux Feuilles and some acres of the lagoon on lease the entrepreneurs started a Sea Fish Farm. Today, Ferme Marine de Mahebourg (FMM) with a total paid up capital of some 100 million rupees, has in its first phase proven that Sea Fish Farming is feasible in Mauritius.

Red Drum are now spawning in an ultra model, world class hatchery, then raised at sea in special fishing nets and finally bred to the size required by the market. Most of the technical hitches have been sorted out. The installation respects all the international environment and hygiene safety norms. Exports to various overseas markets have started, and the fish has received a good response on the local market particular in the up market end of the hotels.

FMM is now tackling its next phase of development. By December this year a processing plant to pack fish filets for export to the very stringent European norms should be on stream. The total production capacity now stands at 1000tons annually. The path of sea fish farming has been opened by FMM. Over and above the RED Drum, FMM are now also breeding Guele Pave and Cordonnier our local fish breeds. Cobia which is also an imported fish is also being raised for breeding. It is worthy to note that it took over 3 years for the hatchery to get some of the imported Red Drum which landed in Mauritius on the 14 December2002 to reach maturity to lay eggs.

Should Mauritius seriously drive aquaculture as a priority industry, in the coming 5 to 8 years production capacity of 10 fold the present production level could be looked at by Mauritius. At an export price of 6Euros per kilo we would be looking at turnover of 60 million Euros.

A visit to FMM is really a worthwhile trip. To witness the birth of an industry which could be one of the pillar industries of the island in years to come is fascinating.

Hats off to the entrepreneurs who without much drumming are getting Mauritius out of red.