Monthly Archives January 2015

Vinod Sekhar – Rebuilding after Asian Financial Crisis

Life is full of its ups and downs. Just like the rest of us, Vinod Sekhar too had to go through unfortunate circumstances and hardships that life threw at him. So, where did it go wrong for him?

It was 1997, and Vinod had already started the Petra Group with his partner, Tunku Imran. As he reflected, part of the problem was being what he calls, the God complex. It was a time when, in his words, “everyone was telling me I was the best thing since sliced bread … and that everything I touched turned to gold”.

It is important to remember that he was just a young man at the time when recognition kept pouring in. It was definitely an overwhelming experience — being praised and being put on a pedestal like that at such a young age was just too much.

Vinod admits that the lack of experience caused him to start believing the hype. And because of that, he started doing things that “common sense says you don’t … business experience says you don’t”. One miscalculated business venture in particular was East Asia’s largest fruit and vegetable farm, which did not flourish due to a lack of government support.

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis came as quite a shock that shook the core of the East Asian Boom. Vinod Sekhar had a setback during that time and was hospitalised overseas for health problems too.

“It was a situation where the ceiling had collapsed and I was not there to help salvage matters. I had not created the strong foundation and management systems to sustain business but relied on partners whom Tunku Imran and I trusted, and who had talked us into investing.”

Vinod is a man who always had control over matters. But unfortunately, during the Asian Financial Crisis, he was handicapped by his illness and his inability to be in the country took a toll on his business. Also Read: Vinod Sekhar – Most Prominent Businessman, Philanthropist Out of Malaysia.

By the time he returned to Malaysia, the bomb had already been dropped and it was just a matter of waiting to face the aftermath of the explosion. It short, “I was looking at a disaster”.

Another cause of the problems at that time, as he identified, was that they had too many businesses which caused them to be financially spread wide and thin.

Read More

Why Invest in Commercial Office Properties in Singapore?


For many years, investors gravitated toward purchasing residential rental property primarily in Singapore. This was because they felt more comfortable with that market over time. However, Singapore’s government has imposed several extraneous taxes and other cooling measures recently, making a once viable market now seem unattractive. However, even though cooling measures imposed by the government have diminished interest in the residential real estate market, the same restrictions and taxes have not applied to the commercial real estate market.

Commercial real estate has thankfully filled the void for sidelined investors, and ironically carries a greater probability of yielding high rental returns than property that is zoned for residential use only.

So why is it a great time to invest? Commercial rental properties return between 4 and 8 percent yields when used as either factories or retail stores. But, Singapore’s recent distinction as a global business and finance mecca has also especially allowed a boom in the purchase and rental of affordable office space.

More than ever, business owners of high net worth are investing in commercial property in Singapore specifically to be used for office space. Singapore has quickly become the premier Asian destination for banking, wealth management and insurance. Areas like Shenton Way and Raffles Place house major banks and financial institutions. The nation’s Central Business District also now extends to Marina Bay’s Business and Financial Centre. Due to the area’s impressive growth, the need for office property has actually tripled in the last decade.

The profit on office space rental alone has increased by as much as 5.5% in the first quarter of 2014. A typical “Grade A” office space now runs about $9.90 USD per square foot. And due to high demand, landlord/investors are able to steadily increase their asking prices. As a matter-of-fact, the last four fiscal quarters have shown tremendous growth in the sale of commercial office space, with each quarter stronger than the last.

Some formerly all-residential buildings are now being sub-divided by floors or units and portions are being sold to private buyers for commercial use, strengthening the trend. Older warehouses and factories have been converted into loft office suites and each is being sold to separate investors. It is easier than ever to find a property in Singapore to convert to commercial office use. 

However, even though commercial property investing seems to be a sure thing right now, pundits warn potential buyers not to count residential properties out. As prices start to go down, affluent businesspeople still favour Singapore as a global business capital, and will continue to purchase residential real estate in the interim for its long term investment value.

Why foreigners invest in Real Estate in Singapore

Read More

Eliminate Excessive Sweating With These Handy Tips

For some unlucky people, the problems associated with sweating extends far beyond wet armpits or stinky feet. If fact, there’s a small percentage of the population who simply sweat too much. Besides creating socially awkward situations, this condition, otherwise known as hyperhidrosis, can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated.

Thankfully, most people can get relief from their hyperactive sweat glands with these tips:



Visit your doctor


Before you take any steps to eliminate or treat your excessive sweating, be sure to talk to a doctor first. There are literally dozens of conditions that can cause you be be sopping wet all day long. Heavy sweating that is a symptom of an underlying medical condition is known as secondary generalized hyperhidrosis. Treating the condition will generally eliminate the sweating.


When it’s not a symptom of a larger problem 

Unfortunately, for about 1-3% of the population they just sweat too much. This condition is called primary focal hyperhidrosis. There is no underlying medical cause, it’s not a symptom of anything, and there’s no medical complications from the condition. However, you should still speak with your doctor as treatment options are be available. These treatment plans can help those who can’t stop sweating enjoy a normal life without embarrassment or constantly having to change clothing.


Learn the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant

 You have a lot of options for underarm sweat management. Generally, these options fall into two categories: deodorant and antiperspirant. Deodorant has ingredients that attack the bacteria that produce bad smells when you sweat. Antiperspirant, on the other hand, prevents you from sweating in the first place. For best results, buy the antiperspirant with the highest percentage of active ingredients.


Apply antiperspirant at night 

Most people slater on antiperspirant in the morning just before they had out the door or before exercising. However, the most effective time to put antiperspirant on is when you’re not going to perspire; for the large majority of the population, this is at night. Putting antiperspirant on at night allows the active ingredient to really work into your sweat glands, keeping you nice and dry the next day.


Don’t limit antiperspirant to armpits 









Many people find relief from hyperhidrosis by applying antiperspirant to locations other than their armpits. However, please consult with your doctor first as some sensitive areas aren’t ideal for antiperspirant.

If you find that you can’t stop perspiring, don’t sweat it. The first step is to seek medical attention. From there, your doctor can determine if your excessive sweating is a symptom of a larger issue, or a very treatable condition. Once you find a treatment that works for you, enjoy staying dry all day long.


Read More