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Observations from a recent trip to Sth East Asia

At the beginning of March, a mate of mine and I headed off to Asia to look at the “Destiny Rescue” projects we had raised money for. I also took the opportunity to conduct some business and hold some key meetings in Singapore. Below are some of my observations:

  • Corruption is so widespread in Asia, we are lucky to live and work in the country and business environment we do. While our system is not perfect, it is substantially better than in some areas of the world.
  • The poverty in some areas was head spinning.
  • There are so many more important issues to deal with than those we see on our nightly news, TV screens and those that our politicians want to discuss. For example, I can’t believe the Victorian government is wasting time, energy and money on gender equalling walk signs. Really!!!, is that the most important issue we have ATM?
  • The Hilton Singapore has THE best breakfast I have every experienced. I generally don’t like hotel breakfasts, they are cold despite the kerosene heated bain-mares.
  • The level of success and work competed by the team from Destiny Rescue in Cambodia blew me away. Robert Webber has done an outstanding job in his time as country manager. Also a big Thank You again to Jeremy Sargent who was the GM Breville Australia when he made the decision to donate a large range of kitchen appliances to Destiny Rescue.
  • I was very impressed by the enterprise of the people in Asia. While it is mostly driven by necessity, it is still very impressive. Every house I saw in the country Cambodia had a stall or shop of some sort selling something. There is no doubt the fact there is no social safety net available contributes to this. Australia could do with a little more enterprise spirit demonstrated by they Khmer.
  • There doesn’t appear to be any depression in these countries. No one goes to their shrink here. Perhaps people like Grant Hackett could do with a little of the Khmer spirit—maybe it would help him deal with his demons.
  • Decent coffee is hard to find. However, the Arabica bean isn’t the only bean with flavour.
  • How wonderful the weather in Asia can be. I was expecting a stifling hot, humid and rainy trip. But we had fantastic weather. Early March is a great time to visit.
  • I was reminded how unfair the world can be. Many people strive for equality in this country when the reality is we can strive for equality of opportunity but not status.
  • I was reminded how far behind the rest of the world the Australian Tax system is. I saw that I could purchase a bottle of Bundy rum substantially cheaper overseas than I could in my home city—and I don’t mean from a duty-free store. I mean in a retail supermarket. If the Government doesn’t do something about our tax system soon, there will be a massive exodus of talent from Aust. This would be disastrous for the country.
  • This notion of opportunities outside of Aust seems to go in waves, I recall my father considering this when I was young. An old idea’s time may be approaching again.
  • I learnt that you don’t have to be a Microsft Dynamics 365 user to leverage the Azure capabilities of machine learning. This opens the door for a number of other ERP systems to compete without having to build their own capability.

I sincerely hope you gain some insights from my observations.

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