A Day In The Life Of A Woman Institute Director
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Mar 13, 2018

This “mompreneur” lives a very full life, managing her business on youth and social etiquette while at the same time being hands-on with her teenage sons. She shares how she got her groove by having a solid routine, discipline, and priorities. What’s a day like for an institute director?

Our International Women’s Day series, “A Day In The Life Of A Woman”, celebrates the women in our lives. From the everyday to inspirational, the series aims to highlight women from various fields and share a bit of the diversity we experience every day.

Juliana Sliwka says that as a mother of two boys, she began building her business while traveling around the globe with family. Her lifestyle was hindering her full presence at work as an employee.

She became serious about small business when life took another turn and hit her hard through a traumatic experience that changed her life perspective and felt she had to make a choice on how to live their everyday lives.

In three years, Juliana established and developed a lifestyle brand covering etiquette, styling, and healthy living. The business was then launched as an institute in 2016, focusing on three core areas: business, youth, and social etiquette. Juliana’s mission for her enterprise is , “looking good, acting good, and feeling good” that touches people and their entire relationships around the world.

For Juliana, she emphasizes she is a “mompreneur,” and says there’s a reason why “mom” goes first in the word. She says motherhood is still her first priority, starting and ending her day as one which is why Juliana juggles her responsibilities of being a mom with those of being an entrepreneur.

She offers insight on what a typical day looks like in her life:

6 AM: My alarm goes off. I express in prayer how thankful I am to have woken up this day because someone went to sleep that night and didn’t wake up with their “little big problems.”

I mentally walk through my priorities for the day (family priorities, then work priorities). I write down the priorities for the day if not the night before. I must get all the mental notes that have been piling up in my mind since I woke up on paper before I forget it. It gets me mentally organized.

I stretch and try to focus on my breathing. I do my morning salutation and then have my morning washing routine done quickly.

6:30 AM: I wake up my boys (mostly five minutes earlier to prepare them slowly to wake up), talking to them, asking about how they slept, just being totally present for them. I never want them to feel the rush in the morning or that I’m too busy to care about even the little things they have going on.

7:15 AM: For breakfast I mostly join the boys with a jug of hot water and fresh squeezed lemon and manuka honey. This morning though, I have a bowl of quinoa or oat cereal with some chia seeds and pomegranates. Afterwards, we leave the house together to catch the school bus and once they are off, I go for a 40 minute jog or walk depending on how my night’s sleep was.

I’ve made exercise a critical part of my morning routine whether I want to or not. If I don’t get it done first, it won’t happen at all and then I lack the energy and clarity to be productive during the day.

I shower and dress up for the “office.” I rarely plan a meeting or workshops before 10am, except the holiday workshop camps.

8:30 AM: I spend most of my day in my home office handling business matters, social media, and the family schedule such as menu and shopping plans. I also see if there are any school activities or early after-school activities planned for the boys during the day.

9:30 AM: I’m in the office or institute in the heart of downtown. I change from wife and mama mode to business woman and professional, spending a lot of time in front of my computer typing away, responding to emails and inquiries, researching, reading, writing, checking all my social media platforms. I do this while promoting the business with design ideas, content and networking, and if it’s a workshop day, I’ll be in the boardroom for coaching sessions with clients until 2 PM, sometimes later, depending on the Q & A’s after each workshop.

I usually meditate for a few minutes before the workshop sessions and just make sure I am really present, so I can help my clients as much as possible over the next hours.

11:30 AM: I take a break to grab a quick lunch, a sandwich or salad. Then back to my day of management, website control, marketing strategies, how to make cost reductions and raise sales.

I own an educational institute. I like working early hours. I have learnt that if I do not put in the time, my business will not only begin to go stagnant, but if I’m not careful, the competition will swallow me up. I want to constantly grow my business, expand, and stay ahead. This is what keeps me at the office as much as I can afford, otherwise I’m only at my home office if the day schedule requires it.

One of the things I love about my business is that it is global and is a people business and I can serve all women, men, and children all over the world, no matter which socio-economic background!

3 PM: It’s like the Flintstones whistle and I’m out there, into the car and back to my other role as “mama-taxi,” schlepping kids from activity to activity, snacking while chatting about the day, where it’s mostly a monologue.

My boys are teens now so it’s me who wants to be around them after they are at home or at any of their afternoon sports activities. I treasure every single moment with them and the satisfying feeling of simply being together and being part of their lives. I also inform and include them in my business adventures. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies with two teen boys but most of the time they enjoy that quality time too.

5 -7 PM: If there are no evening sports activities and once the boys are doing homework or whatever activity to calm down from their activity-packed days, it’s back to the computer for me to tie up loose ends in the evening before dinner time.

I publish a blog post that I have already written about on my upcoming workshops. I delete and respond to a few emails because I like to go to sleep with zero emails in my inbox as I think I sleep better. J

8 PM: I’ve almost reached the top of that daily mountain all parents climb. Mostly, it’s downtime with the entire family watching a Netflix TV series or documentary film, or just spending some quality time together.

I only go back to the computer after dinner around 7:30 – 9 PM when there are upcoming workshops for the next days or any articles needed to be done before publication deadlines.

10 PM: Recently, both my husband and I have always made it a family routine to bring the boys to their rooms, take turns in chatting briefly about their day with each of them, and say good night. This is also the time where they calm down and mostly open up to us about things going on in their lives, a precious time for both kids and parents.

10:30 PM: I go to bed and briefly talk with my husband about our day and plans. I sometimes read one of the three books I’m currently reading and then pray to God for how grateful I am for my family. Finally, my day ends and lights out! It’s been an exhausting but great day!

Juliana says that this example of a day in her life isn’t exhaustive as it doesn’t list down her mom duties much. It also doesn’t detail her other work duties, like pre-booked activities or publication deadlines for contributions for example. She also has what she calls a “Me Day” where she does yoga, massage, etc. She calls this her wellness day.

Still Close Family Bonds Through It All

As Juliana previously said, she believes in finding your own groove with discipline, routine and priorities. And as the kids grow, you also adjust your daily routine and life continues to change. “In a nutshell, despite being both working parents, our morning time and most evenings are family time,” she explains.

“It’s our top priority and it truly belongs to the boys and our family life which we cherish so much. This is the reason why we still have a strong bond with our teens despite being entrepreneurs and my husband who mostly works much longer hours, having conference calls through different time zones, being in a restaurant or meetings or traveling the globe. The stable routine at home continues.”

“Every parent’s life is a balancing act and as a mompreneur you must make the most of your free time to keep your business growing, your family happy, and yourself sane otherwise you’ll go crazy,” Juliana shares.

“There seems to be a method to the madness; knowing your routine and sticking to it whenever possible, allowing few distractions. Of course, life doesn’t always go as planned so there’s always tomorrow — a fresh slate to wake up with that ‘fire in the belly.’ But it’s also important to be there 100% in every situation. My boys want me to be Mom, my business needs me to be the tough boss, and my husband married me, not my small business. I try to think of what my primary role is at different times throughout the day and keep myself from getting pulled in too many directions at once.”

“Having children who are completely dependent on your every move, organizing a household, and trying to run and manage a fully functional (and hopefully profitable) business isn’t an easy task. So, while mompreneurs look for a daily balance between chaos and symmetry, we are most happy when the biggest ROI comes in the form of a well-adjusted family.”

“Ironically, I always advise my clients to be cautious with taking on too much because it can leave them overwhelmed or overworked which will eventually affect their families and the work that they produce,” she continues. “You don’t want to under-deliver in your career.”

Real Dirty Work Behind The Scenes

Juliana explains, “We’re living a life we love and chasing a dream that we believe will change lives. Having purpose like that is invigorating. But when you take a step back behind the scenes, you’ll quickly find that those living the mompreneur life are not necessarily living a life of glitz and glam and unparalleled success. And if you’re a mompreneur yourself, you’ll know what I mean.”

“In terms of posting on social media, if I’m speaking for the things I post, what you’re seeing is real, but what you’re seeing is only a piece of the story. I mean check out these pictures of people drinking wine on Facebook, standing on a rooftop in NYC or wherever on Instagram, winning pitch competitions in Silicon Valley, and prepping for a spot on the news. Nothing says glitz, glam and a damn good time like these pictures.”

“What you’re not seeing is the meltdown, discussions about pricing, knocking at doors about 100 times to get a business deal, endless negotiation with no outcome, tight shoulders from hours of working at computer, etc. The list is long.”

Happiness Is Key To Work-Life Balance

“I am a firm believer that the happier you are in your career, the more successful you become. Happiness is the key to work-life balance and my day is mostly a great balance of all the things that make me happy.”

“Helping people launch their dream careers, helping people become the better version of themselves, promoting and instilling character education in youth, spending as much time with my boys and husband and feeling fulfilled by reading and being by myself so that I can be fully present,” these are what make Juliana happy she says. She also says that her kids encourage her and are her inspiration.

Juliana shares some final inspiring words. “What I’m sharing with you is that, whatever life you have, you can choose to use your position as a learning lesson for your children. And I hope that while my boys grow and grow, they’re able to describe me as a strong woman who took chances that required sacrifice, never feared to fail, stumbled but rose up again, and yet showed them love and made them always a priority in the process.”

Help celebrate the women in your life. Invite them to join our Connected Women Facebook group so they can introduce themselves, make friends, gain valuable input and share with like-minded ladies.

Juliana Mamoni, “Mompreuneur”, Founder and Director of the Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute of Singapore, is a globally recognised Lifestyle Expert, known by many as “The Life Guru.” The Economist with a further degree in Hotel Management (Berlin) and a diploma in Men’s Fashion Design (Milan) was coached by an assistant to the acclaimed late designer Gianni Versace.

She holds workshops and instructional meetings addressing Contemporary Etiquette in Business, Social, and Youth. Her life experiences, professional exposure, and ongoing studies led to the birth of JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute. Her aim is simple: to help people make healthier, more socially appropriate choices, resulting in happier, more rewarding lives. She focuses on the etiquette element of her three-pronged lifestyle manifesto: healthy lifestyle, personal style, and contemporary etiquette (mastering soft skills and emotional intelligence).

Juliana is frequently quoted in the media. Articles about her work have appeared both in print and online. She’s a member of the International School of Protocol and Diplomacy Brussels, acts as a Mentor for the students of NUS and is Author of “Help Your Child Shine” – Etiquette and Character Education For Kids Ages Five to Seventeen – available on amazon, and also of two booklets for Soft Skills at Workplace (Contemporary Business Etiquette, 10 Power Soft Skills for Success at Work)

View original article https://www.connectedwomen.co/magazine/day-life-woman-institute-director/

Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Contact Juliana Mamoni
Telephone +65 833 279 23
E-mail info@jmamoni.com
Website http://www.jmamoni.com/
Speaking More Than One Language Can Boost Economic Growth
Feb 19, 2018

Multilingualism is good for the economy, researchers have found. Countries that actively nurture different languages reap a range of rewards, from more successful exports to a more innovative workforce.

“Language matters on a large-scale national level and at the level of smaller businesses,” says Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, a research fellow in Language Studies at the University of Bristol, citing data that links economic growth to linguistic diversity.

Switzerland, for example, attributes 10% of its GDP to its multilingual heritage. The country has four national languages: German, French, Italian and an ancient Latin-based language called Romansh.

Britain, on the other hand, is estimated to lose out on the equivalent of 3.5% of its GDP every year, because of its population’s relatively poor language skills.

This may be partly because languages can help build trade relations. A study of small and medium-size companies in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and France found that those which invested more in languages were able to export more goods. German companies that invested heavily in multilingual staff added 10 export countries to their market. Companies that invested less said they missed out on contracts.

Researchers have also long highlighted the individual benefits of speaking more than one language. For those who find languages difficult, the good news is that you do not have to be fluent to feel a positive impact.

Several studies show that languages boost earning power. In Florida, workers who speak both Spanish and English earn $7,000 per year more than those who only speak English. According to a Canadian study, bilingual men earn 3.6% and bilingual women earn 6.6% more than their English-only peers. The twist: this was true even if they didn’t use their second language for work.

“It seems you don’t have to actually speak a second language on the job to reap the financial rewards of being bilingual,” says economics professor Louis Christofides, one of the authors of the study. The authors speculated that this was because knowing a second language was seen a sign of cognitive power, perseverance and a good education.

Beyond these immediate economic rewards, languages can help a country’s workforce in more subtle, long-term ways. Multilingualism has for example been shown to be good for brain health, delaying the onset of dementia. It has also been associated with a better ability to concentrate and process information. The effects are strongest in people who were multilingual from a young age, but acquiring languages later still made a difference.

“Even a one-week intensive language course improved attention and this effect remained stable nine months later in those who practised five hours a week or more,” say Thomas Bak, reader in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and Dina Mehmedbegovic, lecturer in Education at UCL, in a paper on the value of linguistic diversity.

So how can countries boost their linguistic capital? Bak and Mehmedbegovic use the term “healthy linguistic diet” to describe a positive approach to languages across a lifespan.

“As well as using every opportunity to say: ‘It's good for you to eat fruit and vegetables every day’, schools should also say: ‘It's good for you to speak, read and write in different languages’,” they suggest.

This is especially important since many countries already possess a vast, untapped linguistic resource in the form of migrant families. But while many monolingual parents push their children to take language classes, migrant parents may feel discouraged from passing on their own language for fear of discrimination, or because they think multilingualism is harmful. The result? "The size and richness of language at home is compromised,” says Viorica Marian, Professor of Communication Sciences at Northwestern University.

Given that linguistic diversity has such a powerful economic impact, it’s alarming that many languages face a serious risk of extinction. The most vulnerable are languages spoken by small communities in mountainous areas. The main drivers for their decline, according to the researchers’ data, are globalization and high economic growth.

By Sophie Hardach

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Thais Spend A Record Of 9.38 Hours On The Internet Daily
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Feb 05, 2018

Thai people are spending an average of nine hours and 38 minutes daily on the Internet, with around one third of this time used for consuming social media. This makes the country ranking first in Internet time spent in the world, followed by the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

These are the results for the newly released 2018 Global Digital Report by UK-based creative agency We Are Social and Canadian social media marketing firm Hootsuite.

The Philippines took first place for the greatest amount of time spent on social media daily (three hours and 57 minutes). Brazil is just behind them (three hours and 39 minutes) while Indonesia (three hours 23 minutes) and Thailand (three hours ten minutes) come in third and fourth place, respectively.

Interestingly, even though the top five spots are dominated by Southeast Asian countries, only 58 per cent of people in the region have access to the Internet, which highlights a significant digital gap in the region.

Northern Europe and Western Europe have the highest Internet connectivity rate of over 90 per cent, while Central Africa has the lowest rate of only twelve per cent.

Overall, more than four million, well over half of the world’s population, is now online, with the latest data showing that nearly a quarter of a billion new users came online for the first time in 2017. Africa has seen the fastest growth rates, with the number of Internet users across the continent increasing by more than 20 per cent year-on-year.

Likewise, More than three billion people around the world now use social media each month, with nine in ten of those users accessing their chosen platforms via mobile devices.

Photo by Muhammad Raufan Yusup on Unsplash

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
E-mail imran@insideinvestor.com
Website http://investvine.com
Are You Qualified to Work in Southeast Asia
Dec 23, 2017

Southeast Asia, especially Thailand with its openness and thriving economy, is an attractive destination for living and working abroad. But competing in the job market is easier said than done as top talent flocks to the country.

Working abroad has always been a popular career planning option. Whether a childhood dream, necessity forced by circumstances, or a chance for a better future, going abroad is something on the minds among a certain element of each age group in every generation of Taiwanese.

This is not a matter of right or wrong, or an issue of whether one should stay and contribute to Taiwan or head off and take on the world, as every individual’s aspirations and choices in life and career determine the path they take each step of the way. And ultimately every individual is only responsible for their own life.

The development of Southeast Asia remains a hot topic - from the previous “Go South” policy to the current New Southbound Policy. And the way things are going, there might be another wave in that direction in a few years. This can be attributed to the plethora of development projects available in this fast-growing and relatively less developed areas - especially given that the market has not yet been saturated, there is a lot to do. Armed with marketable skills and a good attitude, there are innumerable opportunities to make something of oneself here.

Thai Advantage, Talent Flooding In

Thailand is one of the better performing countries in recent years, boasting a number of advantages, including ASEAN membership, an ideal geographic location, a high speed railway under construction between China and Thailand to the north and extending south to the Malaysian Peninsula, directly to Singapore. To the east and west Thailand is flanked by Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar, making it a nexus for the flow of people, goods, money, and information.

Boasting a broad market, a highly tolerant culture, and relatively complete infrastructure, Thailand is poised to take on the status as the dominant force in the northern ASEAN region.

Bangkok, the capital city, is second only to Singapore as the most prosperous city in Southeast Asia, and in many respects leads even regional metropolises Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai in terms of international character and diversity.

For such reasons, talented job seekers are flocking to Bangkok in such high numbers that it is to a certain degree no less competitive than the North American and European job markets. From companies hiring locally to startup teams vying for venture capital investment and resources, the opportunities are great but the challenges are by no means inconsiderable.

To find a dream job in Thailand, or for that matter anywhere, attitude is paramount.

Failures Outnumber Successes

Recently, perhaps as a result of extensive media coverage and government promotion, “Southbound Fever” seems to have taken hold. Quite a few interested people have asked me about salaries and the work environment in Thailand.

However, reading between the lines, I can tell that many of these people have certain presumptions and - forgive my bluntness - ignorance, saying such things as “I bet Thai people are hard to keep in line”; “Isn’t it pretty backwards there?”; “With the low cost of starting a business in Thailand, it must be hard to not make a profit there”; or even “Anywhere is better than Taiwan; Thailand surely offers better prospects."

Faced with such comments in question form, I want to retort, ‘Are you still holding onto the attitude of past Taiwanese OEM business executives managing Thai laborers?’ Or do you look upon this country as having massive domestic demand, and want to fit in to the local way of life and operate a business you truly love?

I must repeatedly stress that, no matter where you head to make your mark in the world, a broad mind and accepting attitude go a long way.

Even though Thailand has thrown open the door and welcomed people from anywhere to seek a living here, it has never guaranteed you a perfect life and career. All those setbacks you experienced and complain about in Taiwan could very well reappear in Thailand.

When and if that happens to you, in a strange country, not knowing the language, things could easily be much worse for you than in Taiwan.

“Many people complain about low wages, a bad economy, entitled bosses, a bad environment, being under-utilized and appreciated… yet have never reflected on their own attitude or solutions, instead just imagining that if they changed environments everything would take care of itself. It is ridiculous to have not even bothered to learn properly about the market, culture, and situation here and just presuming that Thailand is backwards. Knowing none of the language except for sawadee ka and just assuming you’ll find a job you like in Bangkok, or that starting a business is easy. All that is a pipe dream!” relates one Taiwanese businessman who has observed countless businesses and individuals come and go over more than a decade in Thailand.

Risk Losing Touch with ASEAN

To be honest, the media and public opinion have always been good at setting the tone or putting a spin on things. Oftentimes, they deliberately focus on successful cases or emphasize “thriving opportunities” in order to get in on a certain subject, while failing to report honestly on negative cases or risks.

As a result, they paint a picture of a someone making six figures at a foreign business venture in Bangkok, or a successful entrepreneur, someone whose successful business has expanded from Thailand into neighboring countries… While these might be real examples, one should still be mindful of all those nameless people that quietly lost out - people whose stories you are not likely to ever read.

Apart from attitude, professional skills are equally important. You must know your limits and your abilities, and although dreams are wonderful, reality does not bend with your dreams. Only by putting yourself in the right position can you stand a good chance of putting your know-how and skills to work.

Companies in Thailand, both local or foreign-invested, have no problem offering skilled candidates generous terms - the proviso being that you must truly be “skilled.”

How competitive is Bangkok for talent? How formidable is the competition?

The truth is, basic wages in Thailand are low, and the starting monthly salary for college graduates in the social sciences is only about NT$20,000. Still, aspiring talent from neighboring Southeast Asian countries and even youths from China are pouring in, giving enterprises more than enough employees from which to choose. Even if you want to start a company, you need to compete with all kinds of ventures to attract investors, and to be brutally honest, if you have no stand-out qualities, or are even unable to make a living in Taiwan, you would have to be very lucky to establish yourself in Thailand.

Just how competitive is the talent market in Bangkok? I know a 27-year-old Cambodian with a Master’s degree in engineering from his top choice of schools in Thailand, fluent in six languages including Mandarin, English, French, Thai, Khmer, and Cantonese (and able to read and write in all of them except for Cantonese). After working for a year and a half in Phnom Penh on bridge and tunnel construction sites, he presented his research in Malaysia in 2016 for a patent on cement, and while working on his Master’s worked part time helping a Japanese company get Chinese clients. A young person of his tremendous professional caliber working at one of Thailand’s top engineering consulting companies takes home around 35,000 Thai baht (around NT$32,020) a month after taxes working nine to six, plus half a day every other Saturday. Not satisfied with his current salary level, he has set his sights on higher goals for growth in the future, and is working aggressively to gain experience and better himself.

Bangkok is filled with young people like this. Just imagine, if you were a Taiwanese with a similar background, how confident would you be in your ability to compete?

No Shortcuts to the ‘Promised Land’

Rounding out one’s professional skills and work experience is critical to finding the ideal job – be it in Thailand, Southeast Asia, or anywhere in the world. It is okay to take media coverage as a point of reference, but never fully trust the media, take selectively recounted stories about people’s successful careers in Southeast Asia at face value, or you’ll be subjected to the risk of overlooking the realistic circumstances and intense competition one is bound to face in any ASEAN country.

In accordance with Thailand’s Ministry of Labor regulations, in 2017 Taiwan was classified as a Level Two Advanced Country. Accordingly, in order to apply for a legal working visa to Thailand, a company must pay you “at least” 45,000 Thai baht per month.

As a result, for local enterprises or foreign-invested companies in Thailand, it is far more cost-effective to hire a Cambodian who speaks Mandarin than a Taiwanese national, all work considerations being equal. In fact, more and more Thai workers can speak fluent Mandarin these days due to the large influx of Chinese investment in recent years.

Their Chinese language advantage having been eroded, and professional skills easily replaced by less expensive competitors, Taiwanese should carefully consider their niche and develop a unique skillset in order to find a position to their liking that also pays more than it would in Taiwan.

Naturally, if all you want to do is get a taste for local life, relax and take it easy in a new environment for a short period of time, and you have no lofty notions of making your mark somewhere overseas, then you need not be so serious - for Thailand probably has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Asia, the cost of living is low, and the pace is not as frantic as that of Taipei or Hong Kong. It’s not difficult to find a job and survive in Thailand. Jobs such as entry-level service industries, junior staff at large corporations, Mandarin teachers, tour guides, etc., are easy to find. Even those staying in the country on visitor or student visas, as many foreigners do, can make ends meet.

Still, it is a foreign country after all, and in order to stay for the long term, professional accomplishments, feeling assimilated to local life, and passion for everything around you are all motivations that can keep you going.

Professional skills and know-how, attitude, and passion. It may sound old hat, but that is how looking for a job works, whether you plan to work in Thailand, Southeast Asia, or anywhere else in the world.

Translated from the Chinese article by David Toman

Jack Huang

A native of Taipei, Jack Huang returned to Asia after earning a degree in international economics and global management from the University of London. Currently based in Bangkok, he has held successive positions at United Nations Trade and Industry Department and the Office of Information and Communication Technology(OICT)assisting with fuel management systems development and peace-keeping troop operations support. Work often finds him traveling overseas to the Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ivory Coast.

Jack has traveled to over 20 countries, and has lived in New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Beijing, Singapore, and Europe. Eager to encounter new things, his mind is often host to clashes between left- and right-wing thinking.

Crossing features more than 200 (still increasing) Taiwanese new generation from over 110 cities around the globe. They have no fancy rhetoric and sophisticated knowledge, just genuine views and sincere narratives. They are simply our friends who happen to stay abroad, generously and naturally sharing their stories, experience and perspectives. See also CrossingNYC.

Photo / Shutterstock

Weifang, Capital of Kites, Strives to be City of Industry, Culture, Dynamics and Quality
Dec 08, 2017

WEIFANG, China, Dec. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/-- On November 26, a dozen or more mainstream journalists, including Xinhua News Agency, The People's Daily, Guangming Daily and China News Service, reported extensively on the development of Weifang city. As an agricultural and cultural center in East China's Shandong province with some 2,000 years of history, the city of Weifang strives to become an industrial, culturally famous, dynamic and habitable city. To realize these objectives, Weifang attaches great importance to forming a modern industrial system, coordinating rural and urban development, seeking new driving forces for development, strengthening cultural soft power, reforms, improving people's livelihoods, and enhancing social governance.

As the birthplace of kites, Weifang hosted the world's first international kite festival in 1984 and enjoys the reputation of Capital of Kites.

In addition to being home to numerous natural and historic sites, Weifang is home to Weichai, China's leading conglomerate specialized in design, manufacturing and sale of diesel engines.

According to the Publicity Department of the CPC Weifang Municipal Committee, in the past five years, Weifang was recognized by the central authorities as a national modern agricultural demonstration zone, an agriculture-business interconnection standardization model city, a national agricultural open development comprehensive pilot zone, a high-end equipment manufacturing base in the region surrounding the Bohai Bay, and a national biosurfactant material industry base.

Source: The Publicity Department of the CPC Weifang Municipal Committee

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Bangkok Street Food Vendor Gets Michelin Star
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Dec 07, 2017

A street food vendor in Bangkok’s old town received a Michelin star in the inaugural edition of the Michelin guide for the Thai capital, along with 16 high-class restaurants.

Seventy-year-old Jay Fai, or Auntie Fai, makes wok-fired dishes from a street shop called Raan Jay Fai in a small side-soi at 327 Maha Chai Road.

She is known for her delicious noodles with prawns and crab cooked over charcoal fires, and particularly her crab omelet. She can be easily spotted as she always wears ski goggles to protect her eyes from the hot oil sloshing around giant woks in her tiny shop house.

Jay Fai said she was “exited” when she accepted the award on December 4 at the five-star Grand Hyatt Bangkok hotel, dressed in a white chef’s outfit.

Her humble shop house started selling street food some 40 years ago, event guests learned. Since it has become one of the city’s most-revered culinary institutions, with chefs and restaurateurs singing Jay Fai’s praises and patrons queue up nightly for heaping portions of phad kee mao talay (drunken noodles with seafood), poo phad phong karee (stir-fried crab with yellow curry) and her legendary khai jeaw poo (crab omelet).

However, some customers are not so comfortable with her prices as the portions come at up to 1,000 baht ($31) each, which makes them around twelve times more expensive than ordinary street food and is in line with those at fancy restaurants. She defends herself saying that this goes into the top-quality food she uses and adds that “If people don’t like the prices, they can go elsewhere.”

“Our inspectors were thrilled to find a local culinary scene with an amazing vibrancy, myriad new restaurants, an astonishing variety of wonderful street food, but also Thai cuisine served in different forms,” said Michelin’s international director Michael Ellis in a statement.

Besides Bangkok, so far, Michelin has only awarded street food vendors in its Hong Kong and Singapore guides with a star, which changed their business significantly. For example, after appearing in the Michelin guide for Singapore as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal, chicken-rice and noodle hawker Chan Hon Meng has been catapulted to international stardom and now exports his stall to Taiwan, Thailand and Australia.

Among the other restaurants, three received two stars, namely French restaurant Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, European restaurant Mezzaluna at the Lebua Hotel, and contemporary Indian restaurant Gaggan.

One star each was awarded to Bo.Lan, Nahm, Paste, Saneh Jaan, Savelberg, Suhring, Chim by Siam Wisdom, Elements, Ginza Sushi Ichi, J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Suhring and Upstairs at Mikkeller.

No three-star venues have been named in the first Michelin edition for Bangkok, while 81 others without star were mentioned as recommended.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique
E-mail imran@insideinvestor.com
Website http://investvine.com
How To Manage Your Staff’s Expectations
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Nov 30, 2017

Managing a business, and your staff’s expectations is no easy task. Not only does the person have to take care of the business as a whole, he or she also has to make sure that the employed staff is giving their best too. In order to maintain the perfect working balance, the expectations of the staff need to be managed in a proper manner. A lot of times businesses face troubles because the expectations of the staff are not in line with what the boss wants. So, if you’re someone who wants to manage your staff’s expectations, then here are a few tips that you should follow in order to ensure that everything is able to work as smoothly as possible.

Invite Honesty

A lot of times employees are afraid to question the management. Even when their concerns are valid they tend to keep these concerns to themselves because they’re afraid of getting fired, etc. As a manager, you need to give rise to an environment that invites honesty. If a staff member is facing a problem with regards to the work, then he or she should be able to come up to the manager and share their problem. A business can’t run properly if the staff is feeling stressed, etc. That is why in order to run a good business the staff needs to be feeling well too. A sense of dread or fear regarding the boss isn’t going to help anyone.

Tell Them What Works

Many managers don’t communicate with their staff when something good is happening. They always go to them in order to share the bad news. If the staff doesn’t know that their performance is good then how can you expect them to keep doing work in the same manner? That is why it is important that you tell your staff when something is working, as well as tell them what needs to be changed. Communication is a very important tool in business and should always be your number one focus.

Be Clear

Always be clear when it comes to what you’re expecting from your staff. When making an announcement, there is a high chance that not every employee is able to understand what you mean. To make things easier, try and distribute handouts or other information to make sure that you and the staff are on the same page. This will help the business move in the direction that you want it to.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes expectations are not met and that is okay. As long as the staff is dedicated, you will make up for the expectations that haven’t been met at end of the week or month. Retaining your team and working well together keeps a business moving forward, so we need to be fair in our expectations of our staff.

My workshops can help lay the foundations for opening compunction and acknowledging that being courteous and thoughtful has proven to be a more effective way to win clients and customers and influence others. The competitive advantage depends on your ability to use your emotional intelligence and social graces to take your career to the next level.

Please link workshops to http://www.jmamoni.com/events/

– by JMamoni

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Company JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Contact Juliana Mamoni
Telephone +65 833 279 23
E-mail info@jmamoni.com
Website http://www.jmamoni.com/
Forty-five years of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations marked by student visit
Nov 06, 2017

Forty-six students from China's Northeast Normal University in Jilin province visited Tohoku University on October 19 as part of an academic tour to mark the 45th anniversary of the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations.

In total, four Chinese provinces sent student representatives to various regions around Japan to visit universities, museums and institutions which relate to ecology or disaster prevention.

Tohoku University is especially well known in China due to its first and most famous Chinese alumnus, Lu Xun - the man regarded as the most influential figure of modern Chinese literature.

Lu Xun studied at Sendai Medical College, the forerunner of Tohoku University's Medical School, from 1904 - 1906. The University archives - which contain displays of his handwritten notes - and the lecture hall where he had classes, are popular destinations for Chinese visitors to the university.

"Coincidentally, it is the 81st anniversary of Lu Xun's death today, so visiting his classroom felt very special," said Ma Xiaotong, a biotechnology student. "He was very influential and his works continue to have a profound impact on us in China. I'm grateful that I had the chance to see the room where he studied."

The group then headed to the International Research Institute of Disaster Science where they heard a brief lecture about disaster mitigation, and watched a 3-D documentary on the events of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

For an understanding of the work being done by the university to promote green consciousness, the students visited the Graduate School of Environmental Studies and walked around the Ecollab.

"I was most impressed with the wooden Ecollab, because the design is simple and comfortable, and the materials used are environmentally friendly," said Hu Chengzheng, an environmental science student. "It's also very quiet so I get the feeling that researchers can have a settled mind to do their research well there."

Northeast Normal University was founded in 1946 and is one of six national normal universities in China. It is located in Changchun City, the capital of Jilin province, which has been a sister-city to Miyagi Prefecture since 1987. Tohoku University currently maintains three Department Level Agreements with Northeast Normal University - one in education and two in economics.

"There are so many trees here, the environment feels very good for studying," said Zhang Meng, echoing the sentiments and observations of many students on the tour. "If I have the chance, I would definitely like to come back. This campus is beautiful and the professors we met were interesting. It would really be an honour to be able to study here."

International Exchange Division, Tohoku University
Tel: +81 22 217-5578
Email: kokusai-r@grp.tohoku.ac.jp

SOURCE / Tohoku University Japan

5 Powerful Middle Eastern Businessmen You Should Know About
Nov 02, 2017

It might surprise you to learn that the Arab world is growing at an alarming rate. According to a 2014 report from Elance/oDesk (the leading freelancing site), UAE companies were responsible for the 5th largest spending budgets. Technology was a leading focus, with almost three quarters of the spending going towards improving technology outcomes.

The UAE business sector is comprised of SMEs (60% share) with a vibrant startup community and ready pool of entrepreneurs starting new businesses and investing in others too. Companies in the UAE are keen to take advantage of an affordable global workforce.

Here are five notable Arab businessmen who bring capital, fresh ideas and vision to their business ambitions.

Eyal Ofer

Both Eyal Ofer and his brother Idan complete in the wealth stakes and are active businessmen. Heir to Sammy Ofer, Eyal has produced his own $8.8bn fortune. Originally from Israel but now based in Monaco, he continues to invest in real estate, shipping, cruises including a piece of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank too. He is also a prodigious collector of art.

Fahad Al Rajaan

Up until 2015, Fahad Al Rajaan was the Chairman of the Al Ahli United Bank which is the largest lender in Bahrain but also operates in the UK, Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq. The bank offers commercial and investment advisory services to businesses. They cover corporate, retail, offshore services, wealth management, treasury and private banking to select clientele.

Fahad Alrajaan is now the Chairman of the Wafra Investment Advisory group operating out of New York, and the Director General of the Public Institution for Social Security out of Kuwait. He has been named as one of the top 500 influential Arabs in the world.

Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud

The Saudi prince, Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, is a well-known figure in global investment circles, having invested in many prominent businesses over the years. His net worth is thought to be close to $17bn. He has holdings across the world spread between banking and retail, which are held in the Kingdom Holding Company (the largest of its kind). His approach to socially minded investment along with his investing principals set him apart from other wealthy investors. His results have supported his views of what the right approach should be.

Mohammed Al Amoudi

Mohammed Al Amoudi was born with both Ethiopian and Saudi heritage, providing him with a different lens with which to view his culture and surroundings. He moved quickly into building and buying up companies in both Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. He is involved in many industries including coffee beans, cement, energy, construction and gold. Among the notables, he sells tea leaves to Lipton and beans to Starbucks. He’s also very involved with philanthropy too.

Hayek Family

The Hayek Family which is based in Lebanon has acquired the Swatch brand of watches. The Swatch Group also owns the Tissot, Omega (of James Bond fame), Breguet and Longines watch brands too. The Swatch company is still based in Switzerland post-acquisition, as one would expect from a great watchmaker. The business is valued at just under $2.9bn, but that will need to be adjusted upward since it bought prestigious Hollywood jeweller to the stars, Harry Winston.

The leading businessmen in the UAE continue to grow in wealth and influence. No longer is investment limited to oil fields & development, with most large investors now extremely well diversified across regions and industries.

Indifferent to Life, Ready to Die
Oct 20, 2017

The term “karyū rōjin,” or “down and out elderly,” highlights the rising poverty, loneliness, and chronic disease of aging populations. Takanori Fujita, the author who coined the term, talks to CommonWealth about the looming crisis in Taiwan.

Real-life dramas are playing out in the Japanese countryside: several “sudden death bodhisattva” have popped up and amassed endless streams of worshippers, many of them elderly.

The deity, known as Ksitigarbha in the original Sanskirt and Jizo in Japanese, is seen as a deity of immense compassion who seeks to save beings trapped in hell. His elderly worshippers have one simple appeal when praying to him: that at the end of their lives they die quickly rather than drag on in old age. It’s a mindset that differs markedly from humans’ desire throughout history to live longer, but reflects the despair prevalent among many seniors in Japan.

With advances in modern medicine and highly developed live-saving technologies, people are living longer. In 2015, the life expectancies of Japanese men and women had reached 80.79 years and 87.05 years, respectively, up six years and seven years from 30 years earlier.

But “healthy living” has not gained ground even as life spans have grown longer.

Their family members are often forced to give up their lives and jobs to take on the heavy caregiving burden.

“Even if this body continues to live, what’s the point?” wrote Takanori Fujita in the sequel to his best-seller “Down and Out Elderly” published this year, reflecting the laments he heard from countless senior citizens.

This insecurity over elderly living has made the idea of “preferring to die with dignity rather than dragging out an ignoble existence” an increasingly popular wish and turned “sudden death” Ksitigarbha into local stars.

That insecurity has also been stirred up in Taiwan, which will become a super-aged society by 2025 when one in every five people will be 65 or over. Taiwan is the world’s most rapidly aging country and will likely need only eight years to go from an aged society (with 14 percent of the population 65 or over) to a super-aged society, compared with 11 years in Japan and 16 years in the United States. The chronic diseases and disabilities plaguing Japan’s elderly that feature prominently in Fujita’s works are being quickly replicated in Taiwan.

Downwardly Mobile Middle Class

Beyond the problem of chronic disease, elderly people are being caught in vicious cycles of poverty and loneliness.

“After Japanese retire, they still have 30 years to live,” Fujita says with a concerned tone. “Taiwan’s post-retirement life is also very long. This is a world that we have never experienced before but are facing now.”

The 35-year-old Fujita has already been engaged in social work for 15 years. He currently works for a nongovernmental organization he founded, providing counseling and resources to people with suicidal tendencies or those constantly in trouble with the law or in and out of jail.

He has slowly come to appreciate the major impact that an aging society is having on Japan, as a growing number of those seeking his advice are seniors 65 and over. Many of them are homeless, unable to afford rent, or unwilling to seek medical care out of fear they couldn’t pay their bills. Some are not even able to scrap together three meals a day and forced to eat weeds to survive.

What surprised Fujita the most was that many of the seniors he counseled had worked at banks or big companies and earned excellent salaries, only to have their lives upended by unforeseen situations.

In some cases, people were laid off by their employers when they were middle aged, but they did not pay attention to financial planning and failed to accumulate enough to support their retirement lives. Others had to quit their jobs to take care of ill parents or partners and eventually burned through their savings to pay medical bills or caregiver fees. There were also those set back by having to take care of adult children who were unemployed or earning low salaries and could not support themselves.

Also among the unfortunate are husbands who spent their lives buried in their work and ended up in late-life divorces that left them alienated from their friends. These men often do not understand how to manage money and blow through their savings, or don’t understand how to take care of themselves, resulting in constant ailments.

In fact, these senior citizens face three types of “poverty” after they retire: “income poverty,” “savings poverty,” and a poverty of personal relationships. These deficiencies have increasingly consigned this group to the category known as “karyū rōjin” in Japanese, translated as “low-class elderly people” or “down and out elderly people.”

In 2016, Japan had roughly 11 million of these “down and out elderly.” In other words, one out of every three Japanese seniors have such low retirement incomes, they rely on government welfare benefits to survive.

Problems Only to Get Worse

“When they were middle-aged, they were ordinary people. Will I become like this in the future?” Fujita wondered, prompting him to write stories aimed at getting society to pay attention to this widespread problem.

When Fujita’s book titled “Down and Out Elderly: The Impact of the Coming Collapse Brought on by 100 Million Elderly People” was published in 2015, it caused a huge commotion. The book sold 220,000 copies and Fujita gave 247 speeches in the space of a year while also doing interviews with leading Japanese business media Nikkei and other media outlets. Even Japanese officials, who in the past refused to acknowledge that “Japan has people who are that poor,” took action by conducting a poverty survey. A parliamentarian even invited Fujita to participate in policy discussions.

Two years later, we asked Fujita if he was still afraid of getting old. “I still worry,” he admitted. “This is a relatively unsettled time.”

But during the past two years, he has seen Japanese society take a positive turn, and he felt Taiwan could also take action, in four different ways.

1. Plan for retirement, no matter how old you are

Changing mindsets is the first step. Many elderly Japanese have begun to ask themselves the question, “What will I do in the next 30 years?” A growing number have begun to actively plan their retirement years and think about things like how to manage their finances and take steps to prevent disease. They are also taking part more often in community activities to avoid interpersonal alienation.

2. Knowing how to ask for help

Japanese society constantly pushes the idea of “seeking help.” “Japanese people have a lot of pride and feel very embarrassed to tell others about family matters,” Fujita says. But seeking help early on can prevent a problem from turning into a future tragedy, and books and websites are increasingly informing people how to get advice and apply for the necessary resources, he says.

3. Reviving a ‘mutual-help’ culture

Japan’s younger generation has shown a dedication to change and wants to revive the country’s traditional culture that values “mutual-help.” “You shouldn’t devote your entire life to your work. People’s lives should be well-rounded,” says Fujita, who outside of his job still finds time to help out at his child’s kindergarten and participate in community association activities while also making sure to spend time with his wife. “You don’t want to be in a situation where after you retire and you no longer work, you have nothing left. If there are strong partnerships, the problem of a poverty of relationships is eased.”

4. The Need for Government Intervention

Fujita believes that the most effective solution, however, is reforming government policies and spending. He has argued that the government should increase taxes to improve health insurance and the related social security system.

“Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have similar cultures. We always think we should take care of our own family matters, so after we get old, we tend to live on our own and be responsible for ourselves,” Fujita says. In contrast, Scandinavian countries and other social welfare states impose high tax rates but also deliver strong social benefits, so people don’t have to worry about life after retirement.

“There has to be a balance between personal responsibility and government responsibility,” Fujita argues.

“That concern absolutely exists, but you have to convince people that the money they are paying will be given back to them in a different form in the future,” Fujita says. “(The difficulty of promoting this policy) shows that we don’t trust our government, and people naturally resist. The government needs to earn people’s trust.”

The difficulty of getting people to buy into policies that address the problems associated with increasingly aging populations in both Japan and Taiwan reflects how daunting the challenges really are in preventing the rise of a class of “karyū rōjin,” the “down and out elderly” in society.

By Yiting Lin

Translated from the Chinese article by Luke Sabatier

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com