Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Kiran Bedi - Global Transformation Forum 2015

Kiran Bedi shared the key lessons and strategies she learnt from decades in public service. Empathy yields tremendous leadership influence. Leaders constantly deal with challenges in empowering people under their direction as well as stakeholders.

This session looked at the role of empowerment through an emphatic process.  Bedi pointed out that there were only 24 female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies in the US. US paper The Washington Post reported last June that the figure meant women only comprised 5 per cent of heads of America’s most influential companies.

video credit: Big Fast Results Institute

Kiran Bedi is a social activist, a retired Indian Police Service officer and now a politician. The first Indian woman to join officer’s ranks of IPS in 1972, Bedi took voluntary retirement from the services in 2007, but not before she had served the position of the Director General at the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Bedi has been one of the active members of the Anna Hazare-led civil society that launched a movement for the enactment of a strong anti-corruption law, Jan Lokpal. She formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in January 2015 to play an important role in the February 2015 polls to the Delhi Assembly.

Kiran Bedi did not start her career as a cop, but as a lecturer of Political Science at the Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar in 1970. After two years of teaching, she cleared the Civil Services examination and became an IPS officer. This made her the first woman in India to join the services.

During her career, she served as the chief of New Delhi Traffic Police, DIG of Police in Mizoram, Advisor to the Lt. Governor of Chandigarh, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau, and Civilian Police Advisor for United Nations Peacekeeping operations. She was honoured with the United Nations Medal for her work.

Bedi introduced a number of reforms in the management of Tihar Jail, Delhi when she was the Inspector General of Prisons during 1993-1995. The various programmes introduced by her under this mission witnessed positive changes in the lives of prisoners.

Her short stint is remembered as a golden period in the history of the prison and won her the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994 and the Jawahar Lal Nehru Fellowship. The last position Bedi held was that of the Director General of India's Bureau of Police Research & Development. She was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law in acknowledgment of her “humanitarian approach to prison reforms and policing” in May 2005.

Two years later Kiran decided to voluntarily retire from the police services, and the Government of India granted her permission to do so. On December 25, 2007, she retired to dedicate herself to social issues.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Global Transformation Forum 2015

From being a poor Austrian teenager to a successful bodybuilder, Hollywood actor and former governor, Arnold Schwarze­negger has indeed gone through a truly transformative life.

Arnie spoke candidly about his success secrets.

“The secret is to have 22-inch biceps, wrestle predators with bare hands, travel back in time to save the human race, and have a great, charming Austrian accent,” he joked.

He shared his six rules of success with a packed Hall.

 “In my bodybuilding days, people asked me why I was smiling when pumping iron, while others looked miserable or were in pain. I knew every rep and set got me one step closer to becoming Mr Universe, and it worked. The 1st rule is to know your vision. He became the youngest ever Mr Universe at age 20, going on to win the title a record 7 times .

“Never, ever think small” is Schwarzenegger’s second rule, which he applied when he entered politics in 2003 and aimed for the highest position he could hold as an immigrant – as Governor of California, the greatest state in the US.

Arnie urged listeners to ignore the naysayers as rule 3, like he did when movie agents told him he could never be a leading actor because of his accent and poor English .

Instead he took up English language, acting and speaking classes, proving his critics wrong and even earning praise from his film directors for turning his liabilities into his greatest assets.

For rule 4, forget about plan B as it develops doubts of our own abilities. Rule 5 was to "work your ass off".

The final rule, he said, was to give something back and leave a mark on the world. When he was Governor for 2 terms spanning a total of 7 years, he did not accept any salary preferring to give back to the country that ad made him a global superstar.

Of course he ended his talk with his classic "I'll will be back” eliciting loud cheers from the audience.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Keynote Speakers - Asia For Animals Borneo 2015 International Conference

words: Dave Avran, images: Veronica Ng 

Alan Knight OBE BSc (Hons)

Alan Knight is the Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue (IAR). He graduated from Sussex University with an Honours degree in Biological Sciences. He has devoted his life to animal welfare and was originally the Chairman of the trustees of IAR before resigning to take up a full time position with the Charity in 1999.

Alan lives in Sussex, UK, with his life-long partner Liz who runs a sanctuary from their home for unwanted and elderly cats. Alan is a trustee of several other charities including being Chairman of British Divers Marine Life Rescue an organisation that provides a rescue service for marine wildlife in the UK.

Alan was awarded an OBE in the 2006 Queens Birthday Honours for services to animal welfare.

At AfA Borneo 2015, Alan spoke frankly and from his heart as he presented his Keynote Address titled, 'Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation'.

Jill Robinson, MBE Dr med vet hc         

Jill Robinson has been a pioneer of animal welfare in Asia since 1985 and is widely recognised as the world’s leading expert on the cruel bear bile industry, having campaigned against it since 1993. In 1998, she founded Animals Asia, an organisation that is devoted to improving the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam by promoting compassion and respect for all animals, and working to bring about long-term change.

Jill has built the organisation into a respected international NGO with over 300 staff, over 530 rescued bile farm bears, and award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam.

Jill presented in a very moving and personal manner on ‘Animal Welfare through People Welfare”, successfully making many delegates teary eyed during her talk.

Dato' Sri Lord Dr Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, Earl of Cranbrook

The Earl of Cranbrook‘s work in Sarawak and Malaysia spans almost 60 years. He is currently the Honorary Curator of Mammals at the Sarawak Museum as well as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Institute of Biology, the Linnean Society and the Zoological Society.

In 2014, the Earl received the prestigious ‘Merdeka Award for Outstanding Contribution to the People of Malaysia’ for his outstanding contribution in pioneering research and conservation of Malaysia’s forest biodiversity and the ecology and biology of Malaysian mammals and birds, and for advocating environmental conservation.

Today, he is widely recognised as the foremost expert on the natural history of mammals on Borneo. Lord Cranbrook presented a Keynote Address titled, 'The long history of people and the wild mammals of Borneo: an archaeological perspective'. 

He made the subject of dry bones sound fascinating and his experience as a speaker shone when he deftly used classic dry British humor to counter a technical glitch while his laptop was being frantically fixed by tech support. 

Datuk Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Energy delivering his keynote address.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh announcing the allocation of land to the SSPCA.

Honorable Mention

pic nicked from Kathy's fb

Frigglive would like to give a big shout out to Singaporean Kathy Xu, Founder of The Dorsal Effect, who strives to provide a source of alternative livelihood for shark fishermen in Lombok through ecotourism for shark conservation.

She casually mentioned to us that she had to leave early on Saturday 10th October as she was getting married the next day. On Monday 12th Oct she was back at work. How’s that for dedication? Congratulations, Kathy & Wilson. We wish you all the very best in your future.

For more details on the AfA2015 speakers, click here

For more details on the topics covered at AfA 2015, click here

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Monday, September 21, 2015

frigglive Interviews Mr Pierre Clement, Co-founder of Laurastar Ironing Systems

frigglive's Dave Avran interviews Mr Pierre Clement, Co-founder of Laurastar

image credit: Pierre Clement

FL: You founded Laurastar with two of your brothers-in-law and a friend, and all four of you previously designed and manufactured fashion accessories for Italian designer Laura Biagiotti. Not stereotyping but just curious as to how 4 guys ended up being interested in ironing systems? 

PC: Its 3 guys and 1 girl J … We were working in the fashion industry designing and selling fashion jewelry and clothes with an Italian designer. We had a sales structure with talented sales people and were looking for new products and diversification of our products lines and business. Creating Laurastar just seemed like a very natural next step because it was about a great product that keeps clothes looking beautiful every time they are worn. 

Everybody who loves and cares for beautiful clothes knows how important it is to have the right tool to take care of them. Perseverance, open mindedness and, of course, luck helped us to perceive this new world and to seize this new opportunity.

FL: You went to a trade fair in Italy where you met Carlo Bertani the inventor who created a ground breaking ironing system. You distributed it in Switzerland and then bought the patent and continued with the development. What made you confident enough to take a risk and invest this ironing system? 

PC: Jean Monney, one of the four founders, went to this trade fair and met the inventor. We got product samples and began market tests in Switzerland with a team of 3 people. Success came when we began to demonstrate the product in front of a large food supermarket. Crowds gathered and were so impressed when they saw the product in action and its effects on clothes. The “Wow Effect" was clearly there, people were buying the product and coming back the following days to tell us how wonderful it is and were telling family and friends to come and buy it. At this moment we knew it would be a success.

Positive reactions of customers made us confident and confirmed that our first intuition was right! Investing in the patents and creating the Laurastar brand was an important next step. It did not happen overnight, but the entire process took approximately 3 years.

FL:  Of all things - why did you venture into ironing systems? 

PC: The last major invention in ironing dated way back… it was in 1926 (launch of first electrical steam iron). Other sector of garment care like washing & drying had seen many inventions but ironing for private households was left aside with an old and obsolete technology. Meanwhile industrial ironing brought modern machinery for ironing & finishing. We understood it and took inspiration from the industrial equipment to adapt it for individuals. Since 35 years now, Laurastar has become the reference for ironing by introducing to the market all the major inventions that have changed this industry.

FL:  Who is LAURASTAR’s main competitor in Malaysia and/or Regionally?

PC: Competition has two faces; one negative and one positive.
The first, the negative one, is not a product but a mentality sustained by a long-standing frame of mind, although not intentional but a wrong way of thinking: “a small & cheap ironing device is enough to do the job!”

(For example, it would not come to anybody’s mind to manufacture & sell "old 20th century wall rotary phones" because it cost less than a smart phone.)

Positive side is with competition from companies like Miele and Philips that came a few of years ago in the segment we created, also with pressure steam products. This provides a larger change in the garment care market with global benefits for final consumer in terms of ease of work and quality of ironing.

FL: Please share with us your global presence

Laurastar is present in some 40 countries worldwide and market prospection is one of our main activities. One of our main focuses is Asia and that is why I am here. In Asia, consumers are interested in a higher standard of living and we are part of this trend with our products combining Swiss design and technology to beautify people’s clothes. 25% of Swiss households own a Laurastar and we believe the potential in Asia is important.

FL: How much R&D goes into product development with regards to time and finances?

PC: The strength of Laurastar is based on the fact we are focused on a single activity: garment care!  We invent solutions & create ways to make better quality ironing. We set up trends and lead the ironing market as formula1 create new technologies for cars; we do similar job for garment care.

Designing an advanced technology easy to use for everyone is no easy task and takes a lot of time and investment. This is the challenge that our engineers in Switzerland have succeeded to do. The secret lies in the steam. Laurastar owns an unique patent to deliver dry steam concept. This unique type of steam is a very powerful yet very fine one. So it adapts to every kind of fabric even the more delicate like silk. Also, steam diffused with our 3D active soleplate ensures perfect ironing quality.
Everything has to be developed in order to work in extremely different situations. Silk, cotton or linen are very different fabrics and there are many different types of these fabrics out there. They do not react uniformly. Laurastar has developed ultrafine steam at a certain temperature & pressure to match the need of these variations. The 3D active soleplate and pulsed steam we integrated recently in our new products contribute to higher the level of ironing quality expected by our customers.

We are keeping a close watch on the textile industry. Indeed, fabrics are evolving and it will take totally new technologies to care for them.  Yes, R&D is the larger part in our products.

FL: What is your distribution strategy for Malaysia and worldwide?

 PC: To be present in all channels. We want to reach customers where they go to buy an ironing device. We are working with large & independent retailers but not only. Department stores, targeted fashion designers boutique to web platform & TV shopping as well as opening our own Flagship stores.

Since our products need to be demonstrated we will choose any way of doing it in order to meet people and having therefore the opportunity to show this new technology.

FL:  What are your future plans in innovation?

PC: It will not be serious if I will tell you all the inventions we have in the pipe! But for you let me unveil just a little bit the secret….

Our objective is to deliver results that match those of professional machines and make it easy to use thanks to its stylish and practical design. We are going to bring products that need less and less human intervention.

FL: Your household has 4+2 females - your wife, three daughters and two granddaughters. Again not stereotyping but sheer curiosity - do you still iron your own clothes?  

PC: I like this question J … Don't forget my son in law! My grand-daughters are 5 and 7; I have not taught them how to iron yet. Our 3 daughters are grown up and independent, but it was a time where they asked me to iron their dress to go out at night weekends. It was great pleasure to do it.

We are now just the two of us in our home. And YES, I iron. I share with my wife, she does the shirts, blouses and polo's and I do pants, jackets and suits. With a Laurastar it's not a problem and I like to iron.

FL: You missed KL Fashion Week this year due to being indisposed. When is your next visit? We’d love a one-on-one interview.

PC: Yes, I'm sad to have missed KLFW. I will come to Asia in a few weeks. I have not fixed my schedule yet. But promise I'll be in KL before Christmas and will be very glad to meet you.

For our review on the Laurastar Ironing System, click here

For our chat with Ms Lim Pei Yan, owner of Visionary Solutions Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor in Malaysia, click here

Click here for more products from Visionary Solutions Sdn Bhd. 

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frigglive Chats With Ms Lim Pei Yan

frigglive Chats With Ms Lim Pei Yan, the vivacious owner of Visionary Solutions Sdn Bhd and sole distributor of Laurastar Ironing Systems.

words: Dave Avran
images: veronica Ng

FL: How did you bring LAURASTAR into Malaysia? Did you see a need in the market?

LPY: Well, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak and always wanted to start something on my own. When I got married and traveled to Australia and then Singapore, we came across a Laurastar demonstration. When we came back to Malaysia we wrote to Laurastar and by coincidence Pierre was going to Singapore so he sent us a demo unit before he dropped by here to meet us. Long story short he agreed to supply us with one container load and we were committed.  

Yes we saw a need in the market and we were determined to work hard and put in what it takes to succeed.

FL: How did you begin marketing your first container load?

LPY: Initially we did not have retailers. We hired salespeople, we did roadshows in shopping malls, attended every home exhibition we could find to build up awareness of our company and brands. It was not easy but the hard work has paid off  

FL: Why are you sponsoring Fashion Week KL for a second year?

LPY: Laurastar is actually one of the unsung heroes behind the scenes that keep the show running along smoothly and on time. Its unique features ensures savings in time and effort in keeping the clothes being modeled looking their very best. It’s a workhorse that is equally handy for both touch up jobs and wardrobe emergencies.  

FWKL brings a lot of industry focus on Laurastar, paving the way for us to talk to people about our product.  

FL: How do you source for such unique brands to market?

LPY: My husband has a keen eye for innovative products that work well. They must not only look nice and be of good quality but must actually work well and be value for money. He then convinces me on the product, and if I buy his pitch we get them. 

It’s been ten years since we started and we have since established a name for ourselves as the premier company providing innovative, useful, modern and exciting new home solutions to cater to the growing needs of the Malaysian household. Along the way we have also built up a great team in our staff that can provide the requisite support services expected for such premium brands.

Besides providing distinctive quality products we always strive for unparalleled customer service to gain the respect and trust of our customers and suppliers.

FL: The price point is pretty steep for an ironing system - above 8k. How do you justify this?

LPY: It’s important to keep in mind that Laurastar is not a luxury item. It is a fully functional technologically advanced ironing solution whose true value is in its features which will actually save you precious time; effort and money while making you look well dressed and confident. The other ironing systems in the market with similar features are also in a similar price range, so we are not alone in our pricing.  

For more articles on the Laurastar Ironing System, click here

Click here for our interview with Mr Pierre Clement, the Co-founder of Laurastar.

Click here for more products from Visionary Solutions Sdn Bhd. 

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013


In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, hundreds of participants were put on a challenging yet interesting BOSU workout at Sunway Pyramid, Piazza area, alongside celebrities such as Ning Baizura, Sazzy Falak, Faradina, Goh Wee Ping and many more.

“From the past successful charity event, we want to continue advocating Malaysians that working out can be fun and rewarding. Unlike most charity events, many people might have not heard about BOSU exercise and this is where Celebrity Fitness comes in to introduce the new workout and share the benefits of it – some are surprised that they can jump, run and even meditate on this half-inflated rubber ball, called BOSU!” said Krishnan Malhotra, Country Group Fitness Manager of Celebrity Fitness Malaysia.

Sazzy Falak, one of the participating celebrities couldn’t agree more. “At first, I was a bit hesitant to join this event because I had no idea what BOSU is and now, I must say that I made the right decision to participate in this exciting activity. Not only I get to work out with my fans, I am able to share the laughter, joy and sweat, in the name of charity.”

Also spotted at the event were Winson Voon, Jason Phang and Daphne Iking working out alongside everybody. The creator of BOSU, David Weck, made a special appearance during the Pink BOSU Party and welcomed Malaysians with an inspiring speech.

Seeing so many participants makes me feel so blessed and honoured today – I get to share the benefits of working out with BOSU. The various fitness regimes such as BOSU Yoga, BOSU Pilates and BOSU Functional will improve one’s body stability and body alignment while training their neurological system to interact with the musculoskeletal system,” said David Weck.

“With the support of our sponsors, participants and members, we are pleased to have raised RM 10,000 within one month! We are truly grateful for everyone’s generosity and we definitely look forward to making this event even bigger next year,” added Krishnan.

All proceeds from this event went to Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA).

“Working to the adage of “prevention is better than cure”, we are happy that Celebrity Fitness Malaysia chose Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) as beneficiary. Many are not aware that breast cancer is the most common illness in women especially those aged 20 years and above in Malaysia. In fact, one in twenty women is at risk of getting breast cancer and the number has multiplied in the last few years! I’m totally glad that Celebrity Fitness is well aware of this and is helping to educate the public with us,” said Associate Prof. Dr Zaharah Aiyub, President of BCWA.

Proceeds from the charity will be channeled towards the BCWA’s activities including the MURNI (Mobile Unit Reaching Nationwide with Information) programme that conducts clinical breast examinations and teaches breast self-examination within the “urban villages” of the Klang Valley. This also includes public education and training on early detection and treatment of breast cancer and related breast health issues.

The Pink BOSU Party was made possible with the following partners: Sunway Pyramid, Tune Talk, Astro Awani, Asia Web Direct, Biotherm, Blackmores, Silky Girl, Ecoparadise, Revive, CN Health & Beauty, Pathlab, Horleys, Sasa and Kinohimitsu..


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Urbanscapes Festival 2013 - The Big Weekend

Get ready to make your November a whole lot bigger as Urbanscapes Festival 2013, The Big Weekend, in association with Malaysia Conference & Exhibition Bureau (MYCEB) and partners, returns with an explosion in the sky of music, arts, fashion, comedy, visual design and, of course, people. On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th they’ll be revealing Malaysia’s most diverse line up of creative talent for a weekend-long carousel of creativity and fun for all ages.

Urbanscapes is Malaysia’s largest and longest-running creative arts festival. Two days in November where everyone gets to play a part. It’s a place to stumble upon something new. To picnic with strangers. To watch and feel as the sun sets. Somewhere to dance under the stars. To hug. To kiss. To laugh uncontrollably. To watch the world grow a smile. Moments. This is the weekend you’ve been waiting for; the city’s Big Weekend.

For 2013, their venue is bigger and they’ll be unveiling Urbanscapes at a fantastic new venue, the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS). With around 12 acres of lawn, hills and gardens to play with they’re letting their imaginations run wild, not to mention adding a dash of European-style pastoral festival chic to the sleek urbanism of Urbanscapes. 

Want to watch your favorite bands from the comfort of a gently rolling hillside? Get away from the crowd and chill with your friends under a canopy of trees and woodland? Urbanscapes Festival 2013 will be an amazing place to relax, hang out and enjoy the magic of the festival.

In and around it all they’ll have some of the region’s best food vendors, retailers, musicians, artists, comedians, thespians and all the artwork, installation pieces and excitement they can create in four specially created zones, complete with their own entertainment stages. We’re not going to say too much, but their names, The Commons, Woods, End of the Road and The Field should give you an idea of size and scope of our Big Weekend 

Date: Saturday 23 November & Sunday 24 November 2013

Time: 2pm – 12 midnight (daily)
Venue: Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang 43400 Serdang, Selangor

Instagram @urbanscapes

Age: We operate an all-ages festival policy. Children under 12 years old enter free of charge but must be accompanied by an adult.

Ticket Prices: All-Access Pass:RM397
Weekend Pass: Early Bird:RM187 (limited)
Pre-Sale:RM227 (limited)
  Regular Sale:RM247
      Satellite Shows:  RM177 (per show)