Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Thai Airways, good for business travellers

Found a postcard, and decided that I should send it along to her. Called up the wonderful reception, and they said I should bring along the postcard to the concierge.

At the concierge, I was told that I would need to pay 20 THB for postage. I asked if they could charge it to my room, and they declined. I waved a USD$1 note, and they said I’d have to change it at the reception.

Walk along to the reception, and I ask if they can give me cash out, and charge it to my room. Highly obliging, the receptionist, starts processing to give me my 20 THB. Its taking far too long, and I think to myself, maybe its easier to do a FOREX conversion. Without realising, I was thinking aloud, and the receptionist insisted that it was no hassle at all.

Two paw prints later, I had a crisp 20 THB note in my hand. I walked back towards the concierge, and handed it over to them.

What’s ironic about this whole transaction? In a couple of hours, I will be going down to settle my hotel bill. It will cost a magical sum of only 20 THB, and I will settle it with my credit card :-)

And here’s why flying Thai Airways might make business sense. Their planes reach Thailand early in the morning (9am, had my flight made it previously, or about 3am when coming back earlier). Their planes leave Thailand for other destinations pretty late – generally, the layover is about ten to eleven hours. They provide you a hotel (the Novotel Suvarnabhumi), at a cost to them.

So lets say I have a ten hour layover. I might need sleep for about 4-4.5 hours. It still allows me to have business meetings in Bangkok for about 3 hours, without any issue. Maybe even more, if the meetings are held at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi!

Their flights are pretty cheap. So cheap, that the next time I fly them, and if I’m going to India, its business class, or no flight at all. And when planned properly, maybe have many a meeting at the Novotel.

Internet access isn’t cheap, but its typical of a hotel: 150 THB for half an hour, 200 THB for an hour, 500 THB for 12 hours, 700 THB for 24 hours.

I ask myself though, why bother? When I’m done, I can head over to the airport, check in early, and visit the beautiful Royal Silk Lounge in the airport. Emphasis, on beautiful – its much better, IMHO, than the Singapore Airlines Lounge, in Changi. The food (and magazine/newspaper selection) doesn’t seem to be, but the ambience, the chairs/sofas/couches, definitely are.

All this thinking, reminds me of the shrewd startup style thinking that business travellers in startups should have.

On the requirements of an Apple store

I once wrote a plea to Apple about giving Malaysians access to the iTunes music store as well as selling the iPhone’s in Malaysia.

I stepped into one of the Apple Premium Authorised Resellers the other day, and spoke to someone who seemed knowledgeable about these things. I mean, I purchased my MacBook Air in Machines. I purchased an external DVD drive for it from the EpiCentre store, more recently.

The shocker? RM5 million in sales, sustained, for at least three months, before Apple would consider even opening an official Apple store in Malaysia.

Is this hard to reach? I find it hard to believe that this isn’t already reached. I take buying Mac hardware for granted. My latest iPod purchase however wasn’t in the market – I ordered it from the Singapore online store (I wanted it engraved).

If I want it engraved, I can only imagine that a lot more Malaysians want it too. Of course, I also imagined Malaysians spending more than RM5 million on Apple hardware per month.

Anyone know if this is an Apple requirement?

The Zeitgeist shows…


Tools Zeitgeist

This is a picture with a lot of impact. This was from Seedcamp. The question asked was “What tools will you use?”.

MÃ¥rten pointed this out to us at the opening speeches at the Sun Database Group Developer’s Meeting. Its interesting to see what technologies are used. MySQL is by far, the most popular database server that all startups seem to use (though to be fair, I see CouchDB and PostgreSQL there too). PHP is about the most popular language (followed closely by Java, then Ruby). Its amazing to see what kind of technologies people are using to build the companies of tomorrow.

Find out more about it, at the Zeitgeist redux on the seedcamp blog.


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