Yes, we’ve come to that time of the year again! You know, that time of the year where we look back and take stock of the year that’s passed? We don’t know about you, but without a pair of killer rose-tinted shades, 2018 is appearing to be a bit of a damp squib. We’re two years into the Trump presidency, we’ve had two years of the Brexit kerfuffle, the Salisbury poisoning, a looming Sino-American trade war, the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi, les gilets jaunes wrecking Paris, and two devastating tsunamis in Sulawesi and the Sunda Strait.
2018 also marks the second anniversary of our firm. Looking back, the past two years have been a bumpy ride. We’ve had would-be partners who broke faith with us, naysayers who didn’t stop telling us there’s no profit in helping startups, people who took a look at the size of our company and chose not to work with us, cash flow worries, slowing markets, massive forex fluctuations and many other hiccups.
It’s very tempting to look at all these numerous little obstacles and conclude that the past years have been, well...pretty shite! However, if we have to describe the infancy of our company in one word, that word would be ‘kindness’. Because, for every broken promise, we have partners who stood resolutely by us, through thick and thin. For every naysayers, we’ve friends who understood what we’re setting out to achieve and tirelessly supported our work. We’ve got clients who, instead of looking at our floor space, looked at the expanse of our heart, and clients who always pay up-front to keep us in the black. There were aunties who shamelessly promoted our services to their friends, our company secretary who helped us register our company without charging us. We’ve got coffee angels who somehow instinctively knew when spirits needed to be lifted and miraculously appeared with a cuppa. And speaking of spirits, the friends (you know who you are) who always knew when something stiffer's required. We’re where we are today because of all the help we’ve received from those around us.
Being aware of how fortunate we are also compels us to put kindness at the forefront of our business. We strongly believe that doing ‘good’ is as important as doing ‘well’. Knowing that most startups are cash strapped, we initiated our bi-monthly Startup Assistance in the second month of our existence. The initiative continues to provide significant discounts and even fee waivers to help local startups secure important IP protection. We also provided flexible credit to our SME and Startup clients through our Pay-What-You-Can initiative so the businesses can better manage their cash flow. We are also involved in helping the Chin Refugees community in the Klang Valley by providing free legal and business consultations to a local social enterprise focused on empowering the Chin ladies through entrepreneurship. Next year we will also be providing internship places to several Chin youths in hope that the corporate exposure will help improve their future career prospects. Ultimately, our business model is to help those around us in anyway we can. And to better communicate that pledge to ourselves and to the public, we’ve decided on ‘here to help’ as our corporate tagline for 2019.
Coming back to 2018, if we look really closely, perhaps we will see that it is a year of many ups too. The Lost Voice Guy winning Britain’s Got Talent. We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of young people in the US and around the world marched together against gun violence in the National School Walkout and the March For Our Lives. In Saudi Arabia, we saw the re-opening of cinemas in the country and women getting the right to drive. We saw a glimpse of our capacity for good in the international effort to rescue 13 young footballers who were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. And finally, with the booting of the Special One, we get to hear ‘You Are my Solskjær’ ringing out once again in Old Trafford .
So here we are, on the cusp of a new year. We do not know what 2019 will bring, but if we find that the world around us is getting a little gloomier, perhaps we could light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. We would like to wish you all a very happy New Year.