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Running ahead with added boost

You can’t go wrong with a shoe that took more than two years to construct, built on aerospace technology and designed for a customised fit for your feet

It was back in 2013 when Adidas first unveiled its radical Energy Boost collection and those that had the privileged to have slipped on a pair of those would have felt that nothing else could be better. Doing away with standard ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam and replacing it with a lighter thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) midsole made out of thousands of miniature pebbles for improved cushioning, it was then the shoe that every runner wanted to get their feet into.

However, running buffs had to endure more than two years before the celebrated sporting goods maker finally rolled out its long-awaited upgrade, the Ultra Boost; as this writer found out, it clearly does not disappoint.

2992530 “We pay great attention to what athletes tells us about our products and asked them about their first Boost experience from the initial Energy Boost launch. It has been two and half years since we had our first brainstorming for the shoe and the Adidas innovation team have been researching and testing different ideas and prototypes since then,” describes David Wong, Adidas (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd’s senior manager of brand activation.

The result of combining these feedbacks with its advanced engineering tools is what Adidas claims is its “greatest running shoe ever” providing 20% more cushioning material and the “highest energy return” in the running industry.

Using the same Aramis 3D shape and surface measurement system as those used by Nasa, Boeing and BMW to measure crash tests, vibration analysis and durability studies, the German brand has created a shoe that intuitively adjusts to a runner’s stride, offers superior support and adaptive comfort over hundreds of kilometres, in virtually any running environment.

By filming the foot at 500 frames per second, the Aramis system provides an in-depth engineering data backed up by visuals including a topographic map of a foot’s shape change and deformations through every stage of the running stride.

“We used Aramis to build knowledge on the natural movement of the foot and how well the footwear we’ve developed adapts to the movement. The findings enable us to develop a new upper construction using Primeknit fabric that adapts to any kind of foot shape for better comfort,” says Wong, adding that temperature tests from -20 to +40 degrees Celsius revealed that the Boost foam is more temperature resistant than standard EVA material, resulting in a more consistent run.

Unlike other knit technologies, the innovative Primeknit pattern of Ultra Boost provides comfortable support in less expansive areas of the foot and adaptive stretch where it is needed to deliver maximum comfort. A new dual-density Torsion system is embedded into the shoe’s base that allows greater independent movement between heel and forefoot for increased stability while running.

One of the most advanced features of the new design is the stretch web outsole that adapts and stretches to your foot strike and movement. The perforated elastic design perfectly complements the shoe’s attention-grabbing energy capsules.

The Ultra Boost also features an entirely new heel construction that frees the natural movement of the Achilles tendon. A carefully tuned external heel counter comfortably cradles the foot and adapts to the high extension of the Achilles while a new featherweight sock liner adapts to the runner’s natural foot form for a customised fit and feel.

Wong professes that not enough attention has been paid in the conventional running footwear sphere as to how the foot dynamically changes shape during the running gait. As a runner’s foot can expand up to 10 mm or more in width while running, if restrained, this expansion can cause severe discomfort, friction and blisters.

“We realised that there are still too many runners out there complaining about ill-fitting footwear in the forefoot area. We looked for ways to create an unrestricted yet supportive upper which can adapt to each individual foot type and movement to make a real difference in fit and feel,” says Wong, pointing out that the shoe was designed to amply handle the different types of running terrain and also for both serious and casual runners.

He adds: “Our goal was simple; create a shoe that unleashes the full potential of the amazing Boost foam while at the same time ensuring an unsurpassed adaptable fit in the shoe’s upper, which is the part of a shoe covering the top of the foot.”

Available in core black for both men and women and an extra colour option of solar red (men) and flash pink (women), the Ultra Boost is available at Adidas Sports Performance stores at the retail price of RM650.

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Boost to the self-esteem

Hitting the gym with a new pair of shoes will undoubtedly set you back a couple of hours. Fellow members whom you have never even so much as blinked at before, are now suddenly standing next to you expressing unsolicited running advice, while at the same breath, quietly admiring your shoes.

After the Ultra Boost has helped added a handful of ladies’ contact number to my phone, it was time to put the shoes through its pace. On the treadmill – comparatively softer to the asphalt roads – the most sensed difference was in its cushioning; not overly dense but yet plenty of bounce from the midsole.

As both the speed and incline level increases, the upper knits, side panels and elegant matte finish heel counter kept my feet secured consistently throughout the 30-minute run. Differing from some of the gym members’ view that it lacked the essential back support, I found the v-shaped heel design useful for increased Achilles’ flexibility.

Unlike those who are unaccustomed to running shoes that wear like a padded sock, I surprisingly bonded very well with the improved PrimeKnit, despite my slightly wider feet. Clearly, the designers at Adidas did a very thorough job of getting the overall firmness of the knits just right at the specific areas of the shoe.

When it went onto the road, the higher toe provides a much better roll off especially when on the uneven paths and to a certain degree, striding through the next step seems a tad easier; perhaps it’s merely the nimbleness of the shoe. After a two-hour assessment, it’s clear that my next marathon’s timing is definitely coming down substantially.

Clocking up a couple of weeks with it, without a doubt, the Adidas Ultra Boost is by far the most cushioned and comfy pair of shoes that I have ever put on and one that makes running almost effortless.

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Steamy affair with coconuts

The relaxed sun baked coconut has finally found its way into our steaming hot pot, and making our favourite family dining affair even better.

Traditionally only associated with the beach, sand and sun, the modest coconut has in recent years rapidly rolled towards a more significant presence in our everyday life. From quickly filling up the shelves at the supermarkets with beauty products as the likes of skin moisturiser and hair conditioner, the tropical fruit is fast emerging as the latest darling of the food and beverage industry across the globe.

2987844        As it builds on a growing fan base, particularly amongst the health conscious community seeking healthier alternatives and functional food products, the fruit is claimed to be an elixir to treating many illnesses and ailments that affect the stomach, liver, kidneys and pancreas.

Based on its varied composition of vitamins and minerals, including being rich in protein and dietary fibre, consumers are relying on it to help increase the body’s resistance to viruses, boost metabolism, control diabetics and improve their digestive system.

Such is the extent of the coconut’s rise in popularity; a Malaysian entrepreneur has turned to it in his quest to transform a much-loved communal dining activity into a premium experience. “Steamboat has always been about family and friends coming together in a very open and often boisterous affair. In many ways, it’s the embodiment of our culture, which revolves around the family and good food,” explains Dax Lee, director of The Group (F&B) Sdn Bhd, which are the owner and operator of YeZi.

2987883Pronounced as “yeh cee” — as in the Cantonese word for coconut – the new restaurant is located on the top floor of 1 First Avenue in Bandar Utama, making it The Roof’s sixth and latest food and beverage outlet.

“YeZi completes The Roof’s 360-degree integrated entertainment concept as we knew from the start when we first conceptualised this place that it will have six F&B outlets coupled with the presence of a Chinese cuisine outlet,” explains Lee. In addition to YeZi, The Roof at present houses Signature By The Hill, Score, Malt & Leaf, Stratosphere and Play.

Being aware that steamboat dining is already an established and popular concept in the country with several operators having already cemented their brand presence over here in recent years, Lee decided to turn to China for new ideas on what he could offer differently to Malaysians.

After tour of several cities, it was finally in Shenzhen where Lee along with Katrina Wong, the outlet’s director, experienced how steamboat could be served as a fine-dining experience combined with the use of coconut-based broth.

2987865“Foremost of all, we wanted our first outlet to be positioned as a more sophisticated location with emphasis on the freshest and finest ingredients. We saw the opportunity to serve the business market segment that want to entertain their guests to an enjoyable steamboat session but in a more stylish and refined environment,” says the 39-year-old Lee, adding that they had initially invested approximately RM1.5 mil to get the place up and running.

Calling itself a premium specialty steamboat restaurant, YeZi’s uniqueness clearly lies in its broth. While most steamboat operators would dispute over who has the tastiest broth, the chefs at YeZi are contended to serve a port of unadorned soup made simply from coconut water, bamboo shoot and water chestnut.

Unaccustomed to this concoction, the broth indeed starts off somewhat bland but as dinner progresses with more farm fresh items added in, it certainly manifests into a distinctly flavoursome broth that gets heavier in essence and aroma as the night goes by.

2987850However, Wong, who supervises the outlet’s daily operations, admits that her team is striving to manage their customers’ expectations especially with most people being used to the existing types of broths served by other operators.

The enthusiastic lady sees this as an excellent opportunity to explain to her customers of their brand positioning, the freshly prepared ingredients, and also what she terms as the “YeZi story”.

“Rather than focus on the soup options, such as Tomyam or clear soup, as those served by others, we are more concerned of preparing quality handmade food items, of which the customer can enjoy fresh, clean and quality foodstuff instead of simply having frozen and pre-packed items served at most steamboat joints,” remarks Wong,

As for what goes into the hot pot, this is where YeZi markedly stands out from the field. With most of the restaurant’s ingredients purchased locally, all of them are handmade daily by the kitchen crew while ensuring no food items are kept overnight if not consumed at the end of the day.

2987874Currently supported by a team of six full-time kitchen staffs led by two experienced head chefs from Malaysia and Taiwan, the kitchen only sources the best quality produce that are available each day including the use of free range organic chicken, organic vegetables and fresh seafood.

Another stand out from its peers is that the restaurant also serves up a variety of charming appetisers, such as “tong sum” century egg with ginger slice, coconut bacon roll, shredded chicken jellyfish cucumber salad and beancurd skin with chicken floss roll. A must have is its signature pandan chicken and seafood wrap, which I found it to be perfectly seasoned and cooked just the right amount of time, making it truly irresistible.

Its current menu shows more than 20 different food items for the steamboat selection, highlighted by its signature dishes, which include the Imperial seafood dumpling, coconut dumpling and YeZi beef ball, with the latter brought in exclusively from Taiwan.

Its specialty lies in having a wide range of dumplings and balls including squid ball, Wagyu beef tendon ball, coconut dumpling, pepper cheese ball and mushroom chicken ball. So firmly rolled with quality ingredients, it doesn’t take many servings of these tantalising balls to fill me up very quickly. My best “ball” dish for the night was undoubtedly the innovative black truffle balls.

2987856 Of course, steamboat must always be accompanied by noodles and in YeZi’s case, some very innovative ones like fish and tobiko paste, black truffle squid paste and seaweed fish noodles. For the discerning foodie, there is also an array of premium seafood offering that includes air-flown Alaskan crabs, Australian lobster and Matsuzaka beef.

“This is what makes us different from the rest; our customers have a choice of having a RM5,000 to RM10,000 dining experience with us if they choose to enjoy premium food items, which they will never be able to do so at other steamboat outlets,” says Wong.

Another distinguishing component at the restaurant is its dipping sauce. Unlike most places that come with choice of chili paste, tomato sauce or sambal belacan, YeZi offers a singular soya sauce that has to be combined with homemade chopped sand ginger and lime to bring out the best essence of the dip.

The diner currently sits up to 200 persons at any one time including the availability of two separate rooms for private functions. Since its official opening in March, it has receives an average of around 50% capacity during dinner time; understandably owing to the cooking time required, the restaurant is not open for lunch.

Wong and her culinary team are already pondering over plans to extend the existing menu to include fast meals, dining for a smaller groups and couples, as well as to accommodate the vicinity’s growing supper crowd, particularly catering to The Roof’s patrons.

Lee, who has a finance degree and was trained as a banker, concurs: “While it’s ideal to stick to one unique offering, the reality in many food-related businesses is that we have to at times try to meet customers’ need as much as we can so that we can achieve a higher market reach.”

An example of this willingness to pay heed to his clientele’s wishes is its broth offering. While adamant that it would never change from a coconut-based soup, he has allowed the team to expand to five different variants for customers to choose from, including mushroom soup, Taiwanese beef soup and rice wine soup.

2987892Already planning ahead, Lee has already lined up nine outlets to be opened across the country within the next 24 months, with IOI City Mall in Putrajaya and The Club in Kota Damansara next on line to be opened within the next three months. Sited on a 6,500 sq ft premises, the outlet at IOI City Mall will even be larger than the current 4,000 sq ft outlet at The Roof.

Going forward, the team is still exploring various options for growth, including franchising, joint-ventures and even product merchandising for their homemade soup and sauces. “The key now is to foremost of all to focus on getting our food quality and menu choices right first before even going too far about expansion plans,” the Petaling Jaya resident asserts.

2987868 One item on the menu that definitely needs no further enhancing is its signature dessert – fragrant coconut ice cream. Scooped onto a halved coconut husk, this smooth and refreshing ice-cream is truly reminiscent of the yesteryears, before the rise of the horde of overzealous so-called artisan ice-creams peppered all around town these days. Unadorned and simple yet deliciously fresh and aromatic; an embodiment of what YeZi’s is all about.

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The man with the hypnotic touch

He wants you to stop smoking; he pushes you to finish a 24-hour run and he urges you to jump of a 421-metre tower. Yet, surprisingly, Malaysians still adores him.  

Julian & Nigel - Hypnosis at the top of the World

Reading Julian Leicester’s qualifications and credentials alone would take an extraordinary mind, and for someone like me with limited intellectual capacity, it may put you in a hypnotic state of mind.

For starters, the spirited 53-year-old is national record holder listed in the Malaysia Book of Records, in addition to having worked with the country’s ice hockey team at the Asian Winter Games in China, the national under-13 football team, contributed towards the training of our athletes at the Southeast Asian Games and was a mental coach for Adidas’s 24-hour Challenge Run.

As a member of UK Register of Advanced Hypnotherapist and armed with a diploma in advance hypnotherapy from Austin Centre in London, Leicester is a certified national service trainer for character building programmes as well as a speaker in numerous national-level health-related initiatives and university campaigns throughout Malaysia.

Previously a regular newspaper columnist, the highly sought after trainer is also the author of “The Science to Quit Smoking”, where he shared his thoughts on his patented S2QS system, a drug and product-free training format approach to quitting smoking based on 10 years of research and development in Malaysia, Holland and the Philippines.

“In 2005, I decided to specialise in quit smoking strategies without drugs. I tell people that hypnosis is like the brake pads in the car. It will stop the habit, yet with implementation of a syllabus of right educational process and measures, it can stop smoking forever rapidly,” testifies Leicester, CEO and subconscious specialist of Hypno Station.

Having amassed his share of accomplishments to date, it is interesting to discover that it was not a planned choice of work at the start of his flourishing career.

“It was by fate that I was introduced to this field. Many years ago, I attended a corporate training and was fascinated by the relaxation techniques that this trainer Peter Ling did. As I inquired about it from him later, Peter told me it was hypnosis and that it was a powerful tool for change and helps in curing some negative conditions like fear and addiction,” recalls Leicester who at that time had a diploma in computer studies from UK and was already a member of the prominent British Computer Society.

Working as an e-business solution architect with a global software company back then, he was going through some personal challenges and was hoping that hypnosis could provide him with some solutions.

“I was instantly interested and made many inquiries to this subject matter. I remember Peter telling me, it’s a much unknown profession in Malaysia then and if I was going to spend that much money to study in London, I had to seriously make sure that I made this career work for study investment sake. It was then that I thought that this was a business career that I could do even when I was 80 years old. All I will need then is a chair and I could still earn a living as a therapist,” he jokes.

Training with the best

Following this career enlightenment, Leicester went to Richmond, London in 2000 to undertake an advance diploma course on hypnotherapy at Austin Training Centre, where he was trained by acclaimed hypnotherapist Valerie Austin, who is also an author of an international series of hypnotherapy books. During this period, he was also trained by Dr Jack Gibson, an Irish surgeon who had done more than 4,000 operations without the use of anesthetic.

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“Even back then, hypnosis was rather unknown to Asia. Even in the west, such therapy was learned or taught by experts with years of practice in the field. Many were either famous book authors or show masters,” he says.

Currently the National Chapter leader for hypnotherapy and honorary treasurer of the Malaysian Society for Complimentary Medicine, Leicester believes that his training in London presented him with the much-needed diversified experiences and insightful expressions of the profession’s ideas and techniques that helped groomed him to be among the country’s leading hypnotherapists today.

“In the course, we went through the manuals, case studies and hypnotic practice sessions. Learning hypnosis is not rocket science, but the impact it had, sure was. We had tests, assignments and thesis writing to support being qualified for the certification at the end of the course. Medical specialist like Dr Gibson, and many more were brought in to further teach us on specialised techniques that they themselves had used in real life patients.”

His biggest challenge came upon his return to Malaysia after completing his studies. Having the confidence in his newly acquired skills, he quit his IT job and started Hypno Station. He remembers that all of his IT vendor friends used to say that “Julian has gone to join the circus, doing this hypno something stuff!”

Leicester, who holds a certificate in intensive sports psychology from USM, recalls the harsh beginnings of his practice: “Starting a therapy business was so unknown to Malaysia then. Those days, the medical profession called it ‘quack practice’, and people were always saying to me ‘Don’t look at my eyes’ or ‘It’s against my religion’. I almost starved!”

Deciding that the only way he could educate people on hypnotherapy – and to earn a living — was to write about his profession in the newspaper. His break came when as a regular newspaper columnist, he was soon appearing in numerous radio and TV shows, as well as received invitations to lecture at public universities.

“I had a major advantage then; people have never seen a real life hypnotist and just mentioning what I do will always get me crowded by people with questions and fascination about hypnosis,” he says.

Today, with clients from across the region and as far as China, Middle East and Europe, Leicester owes his practice’s biggest leap to the “Your Heightness” seminar conducted in Menara Kuala Lumpur in 2003 for those with fear of heights.

“It was a first of its type in Asia and a world-class seminar never done before at the fourth tallest tower in the world then. We took 40 phobic sufferers to a one-day hypnosis therapy seminar and then asked them to look down from 431-metres high. We had 100% results with the participants,” he says of the event, which he was subsequently recognised with an admission into the Malaysia Book of Records.

Smoke-free nation

Not one to rest on his laurels, Leicester approached his next calling with a strong sense of purpose. In 2004, he started You1Quit.com, an innovative corporate quit smoking consultancy and training provider specialising in getting rid of cigarette addiction, while increasing productivity and an innovating workplace environment.

julian cigarette slayer 2013

“Quit smoking was truly an unexpected challenge and getting evidence-based millage took some time to achieve. Getting smokers to come for therapy was not an easy task and this specialisation in quit smoking cost me personal savings and sacrifices to implement, especially to the public, as we did many ground-breaking and pioneer public anti-smoking seminars and corporate training with hypnosis,” re reveals.

A registered hypnotherapist with Association of Hypnotherapy Practitioners Malaysia, which is the official hypnotherapist umbrella body under the Ministry of Health, it is his aspiration that one day You1Quit.com will be the official country rollout programme to teach smokers the will to quit smoking.

“Many people, including top ministry officials have told me not to give up on my quit smoking quest and innovation as it’s an original programme, has delivered consistent results and an iconic Malaysian innovation to the world. I dream of the day that our Prime Minister will launch it as a national quit smoking education programme for schools, corporations and youth camps,” he expresses.

“My greatest challenge has always been funding R&D and convincing corporate Malaysia to spend CSR to help their staff quit smoking. Today this program is HRDF-claimable and more companies are looking at its potential to create healthy leaders at work and reduce cigarette breaks for productivity during work hours,” he remarks.

These days, Leicester and his team at Hypno Station are kept busy with continuous invitations to speak at international conferences and public health symposiums. “Today my primary job function is still hypnotherapy. Over the years, our clients have come mainly through word of mouth and internet search engines.”

For those inspired to follow on Leicester’s footsteps, he advices: “Hypnotherapy is a healing and motivating therapy. It’s a rapid tool to change paradigm thinking and focus of limiting and negative thoughts.”

“The traits that a person should have to be a good hypnotherapist is self-confident and determination. Common sense and creativity is very important in dealing with symptoms. Good control of language, proper voice craft and the right usage of hypnotic scripts for intervention will determine the percentages to success.”

Adding further, he urges those who want to venture into this field of work to stay focused. “I believe to build a good brand is to be consistent, innovative and continuing to fulfil the brand promises. I have never ventured on anything other than being related to hypnosis.”


Chief stays brave and strong

It may be 113-year-old and played a role in two World Wars, but this iconic American two-wheeler is still riding loud and strong into the heart of millions of fans around the globe.

360_Classic_Indian_Red_Final_v06.0001       RedVintageWarehouse-018 Mention the name Indian Motorcycle to most of your office colleagues and very likely you will be greeted with a blank stare followed presumably by questions pertaining to its country of origin. Unless he knows more about fairings, sissy bars, jiffy and binders than the latest football scores, he would likely not be acquainted with one of America’s most legendary and iconic motorcycle brands.

First introduced into the Malaysian market in 2011 by Harmony Fabulous Sdn Bhd, the brand is steeped in history and its’ achievements in racing, engineering and industry innovations are well documented, including being America’s first motorcycle company that rolled out American-made motorcycles featuring innovative chain drives back in 1901, to the introduction of the first V-twin motorcycle in 1907.

BlackClassic 13384Since the early days of having 3,000 employees working on a seven-mile assembly line in the company’s one million sq ft plant in Massachusetts, the brand has endured as many challenges as it has achievements, including several changes in ownership.

Today, under the stable of Polaris Industries Inc, which took on Indian Motorcycle three years ago as a wholly-owned subsidiary, the brand is seeking to reignite the passion for its products. Polaris is a recognised name in the powersports industry in North America and holds more than 350 worldwide patents via designing and manufacturing high quality off-road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.

Polaris first ventured in the bike industry when it unveiled Victory in 1998, becoming the first American motorcycle brand to be designed and manufactured in 50 years. Victory has now become the second-largest seller of heavyweight bikes in the world behind Harley-Davidson.

Indian Motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors have come to associate the brand with expert craftsmanship in producing exquisite, streamlined machines which elude a classic style that is truly timeless. The oldest American motorcycle brand is steadily building its presence over here in our shores as it seeks out new adventurers to add to its global community.

“The extremely high growth rate in the cruiser and superbike segments of the Malaysia market indicates that there is a growing demand for such vehicles.  The last two years alone has seen high double digit growth in this segment,” says Maxime Vandereyken, Asia distribution manager for Polaris Industries Inc.

Maxime Vandereyken_4According to Vandereyken, the current market size for the Malaysian market for the above 500cc range is approximately 5,000 units, while for the easy rider and cruise market sector, Indian Motorcycle holds around 8% to 10% market share. He states that the company has set out to achieve a 10% market share in the above 500cc market segment.

Vandereyken adds: “We have set out to capture the heart, soul and legendary heritage of this iconic American brand and then infuse it with unparalleled design, engineering and state-of-the-art technology. The broad design history of the Indian brand gives the team at Polaris huge latitude. The possibilities are copious for the manufacturing giant, well known for its sixty years of masterful engineering, heartland values and workforce that shares the same values, passions and enthusiasm.”

The brand has unveiled an impressive new line-up that Vandereyken claims is priced at 30% lower than the selling price prior to the acquisition by Polaris. First up is the development of the three 2014 Indian Chiefs, which took the design and engineering team a mere 27 months to develop from the ground. Powering every 2014 Indian Motorcycle is the clean sheet design of the new Thunder Stroke 111 engine offering 111 cubic inches of pavement pounding power.

Details 13751“The team started from scratch and created the ideal engine for the new generation of Indian Motorcycle. It’s smooth, efficient, and powerful. The Thunder Stroke 111 is a 49-degree, air-cooled V-twin with 6-speed overdrive transmission and features unmatched,” highlights Vandereyken,

The Frenchman adds that the brand offers owners the peace-of-mind that comes from over two million miles of on-road, including dyno and on-road evaluation, and test-lab verification plus Polaris’ 60 years of engineering expertise.

The other aspect of the brand is its exclusive community of bikers known as the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group (IRG). The IRG will boast a host of privileges and services, and will form a common platform for riders to meet, socialise, share “war stories”, ride and adventure together. Regular riders, excursions and events, within and outside the country will be organised by the IRG committee, supported by Indian Motorcycle Malaysia and by Indian Motorcycle in the USA.

“The key objective of the IRG is to provide a service upon which riders may depend on for the easy organising of their riding hobby and be in contact with other Indian Motorcycle owners.  The IRG will be part of a worldwide organisation spanning the globe and allows communication and joint activities across borders,” says Vandereyken, adding that the brand is distributed in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brunei, and will set foot in Singapore and Philippines by year end.

Besides revving up a premium bike, looking good is also another important aspect for thoroughbred bikers. The company is also offering a full range of accessories to support the customising of their rides.

Details 13754“Customising and making the bike a reflection of the rider’s personality has never been easier.  Accessory options include stage 1 mufflers, performance air filters, upgrades to tuning, a range of floorboards and footpegs, hand controls, backrests and sissy-bars,” remarks Vandereyken.

To top it all off, Indian Motorcycles has created an entire range of garments, riding gear, accessories and other collectables, which reflect its branding, style and heritage. He declares: “Emphasis is given to wearability and functionality in all riding gear without compromising on safety and protection. These and stylishly designed garments allow Indian motorcycle owners to wear and display the oldest and most prestigious American motorcycle brand in the world. A clear and obvious distinction that sets Indian motorcycle riders apart from all other “easy-riders” in the world.”

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Malaysian touch to a legend

BlackVintage 7999Established in 2011, Harmony Fabulous Sdn Bhd – a company under the Naza group, which also distributes other motorcycle brands including Harley Davidson, Ducati and Vespa – is currently the sole importer and distributor for the Indian Motorcycle and Victory brand of motorcycles in Malaysia.

Located at Temasya Square in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, its main showroom is a full-fledged 3S service centre manned by a team of sales and technical personnel. Complete with a workshop, parts and accessory options for the full range of Indian Motorcycles, the centre provide customers with maintenance and repair, upgrades, accessorising and a special roadside assist programme available throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

Each Indian Motorcycle is covered by a special five-year warranty programme with unlimited mileage – a first in the industry – as well as a special trade-in confidence programme if a customer decided to upgrade within the first 24 months of ownership. The programme guarantees that the customers are able to trade-in their pre-owned bikes at above market prices, making it easy to upgrade to a better or newer model. The company also has a presence at the Naza World Automall in Petaling Jaya.

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Fresh from the oven

Details 10163In the current 2014 product line-up, Indian Motorcycle has introduced the redesigned Indian Chiefs family – the Indian Chief Classic, the Indian Chief Vintage and the Indian Chieftain, with all three models sharing an identical frame, engine, controls and standard features.

2014 Indian Chief Classic

The new Indian Chief Classic is a pure, powerful cruiser forged from key heritage design elements yet wrapped in advanced design, engineering and technology. It features iconic styling like valanced fenders, rich genuine leather saddle, classic tank-mounted instrumentation, tear-drop fuel tank design, and sculpted and lighted front fender war bonnet.

It comes standard with a host of premium features including endless chrome, keyless ignition, ABS, cruise control, throttle-by-wire, true dual exhaust, high quality chrome laced spoke wheels, brake calliper covers and cast aluminium frame with integrated air intake.

(Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price: RM168,000)

2014 Indian Chief Vintage

The new Indian 2014 Indian Chief Vintage is a soft bagger that takes iconic Indian Motorcycle styling to a whole new level with handcrafted detail and a signature heritage aesthetic. The Indian 2014 Indian Chief Vintage offers top-quality quick release soft-sided leather bags, leather fringe, chrome fender tips, vintage chrome badging on the front fender and a quick-release windshield for easy installation or removal.

It includes the same premium standard features as the Indian Chief Classic and sports the same iconic design elements like valanced fenders, laced wheels, whitewall tires, tank-mounted instrument cluster and extensive chrome finishes throughout.

(Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price: RM178,000)

2014 Indian Chieftain

The first Indian Motorcycle of its kind, the 2014 Indian Chieftain maintains the legendary Indian Chief styling, while taking this progressive machine to new heights with advanced features and premium comfort.

Unlike any Indian Motorcycle ever made, the Chieftain features a fairing with integrated driving lights and its power windshield is an industry-first for a fork-mounted fairing. Standard features include hard saddlebags featuring remote locks and quick-release anchors, a high-output audio system featuring integrated Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and a tire pressure monitoring system.

(Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price: RM188,000)


Tapping for biz success is OK

The mere mention of its name will bring noticeable affection amongst its ardent admirers all across the country. Recognised for its varied collection of fabric and silk, its flagship store nearby Jalan Masjid India is the often referred landmark for surrounding businesses and local attractions.

jakelA household name today with 19 branches all over Malaysia, Jakel’s growth is an inspiring tale of Malaysian success story.

While I have personally yet to experience its products, what I have witnessed of its remarkable physical expansion to its business premises over the years within the Jalan Masjid India vicinity is enough to convince me of its accomplishments.

Watching it grow rapidly from a nondescript shop into an expanded store comprising several units of shoplots several years back, and subsequently to an entire block of 6-storey retail space that it resides on today, there wasn’t any doubt that this was a company that was doing something right.

Reported to have purchased the entire CapSquare shopping mall located nearby, its current CEO has successfully continued the work that his late father had started.

To me however, the real success of this organisation is in its ongoing efforts to spur the development of more Malaysian entrepreneurs within our own backyard. Tasked with the role as a “mentor” to budding local entrepreneurs, particularly those keen on contributing to the textile industry, Datuk Mohamed Faroz Mohamed Jakel’s passion to guide local entrepreneurship talent is an example which more Malaysian CEOs should follow.

At a recent youth entrepreneurship conference, several notable young business minds had openly expressed the lack of genuine business mentors in the country to guide them through the ordeals of starting, and most important of all, sustaining their business ideas.

With increased domestic and global competition as well as heightened customer expectations, today’s emerging entrepreneurs do not need to endure the often embraced “trial and error” way of the past to build their businesses.

Instead, tapping the knowledge and experiences of proven business mentors and industry leaders would be a more effective and less time consuming approach. In this case, “tapping” is not necessary a dirty word.


The write way to right

Every now and then, I come across advertising copies that reassures me that there are still a need for professional writers, and that I will still be able to put over-priced milk formula on our rickety table for some years to come.

“Thanks for the millions!”

What the full-page advertisement probably meant was: “Thanks to everyone for helping us sell 40 million of our products.”

What I read and decoded was: “Thanks for giving us millions of Ringgit, suckers!”

Having spent more than RM15,000 on the ad, saving on the RM1,000 copywriter fee was evidently a bad move.

Instruction ManualHaving dealt with countless SMEs and small business owners in recent years, I can vouch that a writer or editor is the last person on their budget expenditure’s concern.

“Aiya, my secretary’s English very good one.”… or “My son’s studying in college and he writes a blog”.

But does your secretary dare to question you and your product’s weaknesses?

Does she know how to ask you the right questions in a way that reflects the public’s passion and desire for the product?

Your blogger son may write good English, but does he possess techniques designed to attract, interest and motivate a reader?

While there are many obvious benefits to having a good copywriter, the chief amongst them is that a good copywriter offers an outside perspective, While you clearly know your product better than anyone else, the copywriter will look at your product with no prior knowledge and strive to convey the message from an external perspective rather than the point of view of the seller.

Look here. the fact is simply…. we don’t care to know if your shampoo was “made from alicylate-free ammonium lauryl sulphate only found in Angola”, or really understand that your vacuum is the “first in the world to feature high efficiency particulate air-certified DIN 2418B Ti-E EU 13 filtration filtering system capable of capturing 0.3 micrometers particles to effectively remove radioactive dust from plant exhausts without redistribution”.

Instead, you would better catch our attention with: “The most gentle shampoo ever “, or “The world’s cleanest vacuum cleaner”.

You have done the hard work of getting your product on the assembly line and finally getting it out to the world. Don’t let poorly written advertising messages kill off your business.

And while the writer is over at your place, you many want the person to take a look at the English-version of your instruction manuals that comes with your made-in-China goods. I am sure he/she will have something to say about…

“Don’t eat your fingers off”.

“Open the signal lamps when turning or changing your driving way to avoid terrifying another one”.

“Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life”.

“When the motorcycle is in trouble, please contact directly with the manage parts or service station. Certainly you can remove it yourself”.

“Soak child for fear of death”.

“Before screwing in, please refer to the appropriate category you belong to in order to ensure you meet the minimum number of recommended people for installation”.

– Thanks for your millions –