Another non working day at work. La di da….
Yesterday, for my finance and marketing class, En Ramli Yunus invited the class to his company, Bloomingdale Advertising in Kg Attap Kuala Lumpur. To those not in the know, it’s a big shot ad agency la in M’sia. Below are my notes on it for the benefit of my friend Nadia who has chicken pox and I (and whomever reads this space).
When we got there we were treated to Kari Kapla Ikan for lunch at a nearby stall. The “kapla” was so HUGE. And there were only 4 of us at the table to finish it up. Aiyo, there goes my diet. Fish is white meat so bagi chan la… Saddap btol. Orang blanje, tak baik tau tak makan.
After dh kenyang cam bodo, we went to the conference room where En Ramli started with Ummul Kitab then he presented the company’s credentials and some sample of the work they did. This including the tv ad for Proton satria and tiara. It was apparent he was really proud of this 20-year-old company of his. It started from scratch; they faced a lot of hurdles, even bankruptcy at one point. (Who better to learn the ropes of business from?) “If you’ve never failed, you wont succeed” – Malcolm S. Forbes. Now they’re a successful agency with worldwide connections and vast body of award winning work.
After that we were brought on a tour of the different departments, 1st being the creative, where apparently a lot of my seniors are. A tinge of sedih la mase ni. Reminded me of the times I’ve worked in college and uni with aspiring hopes of working in an ad agency. And here are the people who made it. What amazed me was that some of his staff has been working for him for 10 years and more. Some even from way back when the company started. I mean, I rarely hear designers in 1 place for that long a time. Plus the office wasn’t exactly a “boutique”. I’ve been in Bates and Leo Burnett and their offices LOOK the part of an ad agency. But this place looks like a cyber café more like it but obviously they must love this place (other than what they do) for them to offer loyalty in return. Salute la beb. Which also goes to show what a good boss En Ramli is. (Tapi kan, I thought it’d be over, bt he introduced me as Farhan! Prof Tamyez, hve u got anything to do with this?)
One interesting place we went was his office. There were paintings he’d done of each of his family member. Each displaying a distinct characteristic of the person. The painting of one of his sons was done in a “Conan the Barbarian” look with a lion and city in the background. He explained that his son was the one running his mengkudu plantation in Kelantan (yup, En Ramli is also an agriculturist) so he was the “tough guy”. Another portrait showed another son with a fish. (Ala lupelaa the name of the fish). Anyway this fish, you shouldn’t disturb it or it’ll bite your hand. Basically he’s the quiet one who prefers his own space. Then there’s the son who followed his footsteps pursuing graphic design in UiTM Lendu done in an anime like fashion. His wife’s portrait was the biggest of them all with psychedelic swirl of flowers framing her face. One more was of his daughter and he’s in the midst of another son’s portrait. My take, a family man who has passion and a humble nature. The desk in his room was the first desk the company had when it was only him and his partner. One did the job while the other went to sell it. I suspect his tenacity in holding to things past as a source of his humbleness. He told of a time when he first started the company at 28 ( there’s still time Irina!) which by then he was married with 2 children. They went through a period of dire, eating maggi and biskut cicah air kosong (he was 32 when failure knocked). Through this I could understand his closeness to his family. They stood by him even through tough times. To this I give respects especially to his wife cos if he was strong, then she was 3 times tougher. And this goes out to all the women out there who stuck by their man and supported him when things go bad and helped him build again. And again. Kudos.
Shahnim, my classmate, also noted that he was a very forward thinking person for he told of the reason behind the paintings was so that his future generations would know that their great great great great great…….. Grandfather painted it. Also I think as artistes and designers, especially the art part of us tend to have a need to be known or recognized. Acknowledged. This is my own personal opinion though.
Also displayed in his office are bottles of his own produced jus mengkudu. Very enterprising la this guy. And the connection with things earthy further establishes his ‘feet firmly planted on the ground’ attitude at the same time reaching for greater heights. We share the same philosophy on mobile phones. Its just for incoming and outgoing calls and sms. Therefore all you need is a basic with hardly any features whatsoever (okay, so mine has a flashlight, bt hey it’s the cheapest phone around!). Helloo… this guy makes million dollar deals on the same phone okay.
Later we had lepak minum teh/ kopi session at the pantry. Sedapnyeee Nescafe makcik! Luckily we weren’t served mengkudu. Hehe. Okay, bad joke. To which he further talked about his aspirations of becoming a politician by winning the hearts of his orang kampung by providing plantations for them to work on and he buys their produce. He has 100 acre or was it 200 acre land in Kelantan planting herbs for overseas export. Terer tak terer. But if you meet Encik Ramli, he’s really a down to earth and jovial person. Rozarina once called him on the phone and he greeted her with a cheery “Happy New Year!”. Very ordinary person with an extraordinary drive.
To which the session ended with an Al Asr. I went there expecting brouhaha as a measure of success. Gedegang Gedegung. Instead I came away with what I think is the ultimate success value which is -people relationship. The relationship he has with his partners, his clients (he also calls them partners), his staffs, his roots, his family, his students and his faith are all closely held. The never say die attitude, hard work, positivism, creativity combined with personal human connections are some values which can be emulated.
As a lesson, I’ll try harder to make relationships happen. I used to think that the only way to make things happen are that I have to do everything myself. Well, no. There’s such a thing as community. You need other people. You need to learn to be okay with them and them okay with you. This individualistic thinking philosophy does not work. I’ve said it before. It pays to be nice. Thus now, you, go help the flood victims in Johore! You’re only as good as the group you’re in. Make it better, make everyone better, you’ll be better. Give more to others. Spread the love. Yippie hippie ya yay!
to farhanah, thanx 4 ur comment on my last entry. Really, I’m just writing these stuff but you’re really living it, so the motivation is really frm ur side to me. Good luck on your business! Eh, how come you don’t come to class ah?? Busy la kann. Oh and that dance studio is called Urban Groove. It’s at the kedai2 beside sunway pyramid. Corner lot, near a bakery (bakers cottage?), 4th floor on top of a mamak, area blakang One Academy. There’s no signage, you can ask at the bakery for directions. Opposite motorcycle shop kot. Fees are 75 per month, 4 classes each month. They also have yoga and breakdance. Hey, I should get commission la promote dierang nie, haha. But go la, its seriously best. Wouldn’t hve quit if not for money probs.
To sauce, tq tq!! Ade jugak org bace my blog. Haha. Other than the ones being forced to, aka Shafik. Really appreciate the response. I want to balas bt my net time is limited. Really thanx byk2.
Enol, aku juge best bace blog kau, bile nk collaborate lg ye?? Everyone, she’s this really great writer, do go to Odisi Odah and check it out.
To all my frens yg drop by to read my siakuk ramblings, thanx a lot, really appreciate it. Saaaayang awak!
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