May 31, 2009

Corporate celebrities...

This was the setting

For someone who has seen the man and heard of him, when faced with him in real life, you know there were more to him more than meet the eye. The man is Tun Daim Zainuddin. The twice Finance Minister of Malaysia. Who brought Malaysia back from the bring of recession in 1997. Who had advised Tun Mahathir when he was the Prime Minister on how economy should be handled. I attended a talk by him courtesy of the same organizer who brought the brother of the current Prime Minister, in his capacity of CEO of one of the largest bank in Malaysia (you can access that here). This group is really going places.

One of the most glaring views that you could see when he talked was that he was not really a politician. He spoke using a typed text and he was kind of a one word man when I was engaging him in conversation. Yes! I managed to talk to him personally after the session. Albeit surrounded by a lot of other eager people. That was when I asked him what he thought of lawyers. He said there are too many of them and you can never be rich by becoming just a lawyer. That was why he left the profession.

I was actually surprised of 2 things when he was giving the talk. One was the fact that he was born in the same village as our 4th Prime Minister and the fact that he was a lawyer. I didn't know this 2 facts. I did mentioned to my wife that he might have gotten his break as he was the neighbour of Tun Mahathir when he was small. My wife said he maybe a neighbour but what he accomplished now is more impressive that what he accomplished as the Finance Minister. I concurred with her.

He is now an owner of a medium size banks in a few countries in Africa and he is successful in his venture. He told us of how he started. Why Africa and how he managed to break the barrier of the perception of people around the world that Africa is the place where you can't make money unless you exploit the people and bribe the government. He told us that he started small and now he is one of the most trusted banker in Africa including such countries as South Africa, Kenya and a few others. We don't actually know the name of the bank but his success story in Africa was featured once in a daily here.

After the talk, there was a bit of a gathering and I was surprised at the people who were there. There was a few young CEOs and even owner of well known companies. I managed to use the opportunity to my advantage and I even got a few of their personal handphone number. My wife had to wait for me, bullshitting myself around until nearly 1am. It was fruitful, though. These corporate celebrities are rarely seen mingling so freely like what they did yesterday. My partners who had to be in another event would be jealous of me, but I did sell their names and 'looks' too.

There was another weird fact which made me think less of the Malaysia politicians or even those who know him personally. This was the second talk he was invited to since he retired the second time in 2001. My question is? Why? Shouldn't a mind like this be queried and picked on?


Ratty said...

This man sounds very important. It must have been a thrill to be able to meet him.

stevoceo said...

If i'm not mistaken, the bank is called ICB, and its well known in Africa all over :)

Daisy said...

Thanks for being one of my Top 5 EC droppers for the month of May! To show my appreciation, I gave you a linky love! Hope to see you next 30th!


kruel74 said...

Ratty - Yes, he is

Stevoceo - I think it is

Daisy - Thanks luv... ;)

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