Sunday, October 10, 2010

Project Dignity

27 Sep

Today the money is finally transfered. I can start the drawdown.

Total budget for this project estimated $200k. The drawdown is $120,000 with $80k as backup. Always has a backup. In all the projects that I have been involved in setting up over the last 25 years, I learn about need and want. What I want to finance in the new business versus what I need in term of financing the new business startup. There is a difference. This startup will cost about S$200k. In any business startup one has to separate what u want and what u need. I want $300k to comfortably start up PD but to satisfy the needs I will require $200 considering a 4 stall setup.

There is another lesson that I learn is that it is not possible to to micro budget a project, there is always something that you missed out, many a time you hope it is a small "missed out". This is especially true for unique project like Project Dignity where there are so many variables.

There is a line drawn between family and business. There is a old saying that said 'Settle yourself, your family then your country'. So before you go out to save the world, make sure your wife and children are well taken care.

In the case of PD, the money comes from the re mortgage of my office. I can seek investors, but PD being such a new concept, finding and pursuing someone to part with their money is not going to be easy.

For a start, my belief is based very much on what I learn from the development of Dubai - "Build and they will come". I always believe some concepts and ideas are hard to explain and even harder to raise money. For PD everyone I spoke to in the last four years like the concept but when it comes to the funding, it is an uphill task. There will definitely be many assumptions and constrain highlighted like you are dealing with disabled, dealing with association and government agency and hawker business. PD is an unique project and the only solution is to 'build and they will come' approach.

The other belief that I have was - "Think big, start small". I have big plan for PD but I start small with 4 stalls. PD is scalable, an unique preposition and a first mover advantage. Additional funding will be required in the future.

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