Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Firm - Episode 8 (Hartamas Shopping Centre - Flea market)

One of the most interesting episodes. Despite Joel won the challenge with the highest profit, there were no clear winner as there were too many variables in this task. So what happened?

The Task
Every contestant were given RM 500 and 3 days to set up stalls at Hartamas Shopping Centre Flea Market. Each of the stalls cost only RM40. RM 500 will be deducted from your profit whether you use the money or not. The contestant who earn the highest profit will win the task.

Joel - A very clever and creative guy. He came out with the concept of sub-renting the stalls 10x higher than his cost by promising an effective marketing platform namely - The Mezzanine. He printed some brochures, hired some promoters, organise lucky draw etc. Nevertheless, did he do a good job in delivering his promise? Some of the tenants were unhappy of what it turned out to be and what was promised. People did pass by but was it because of his marketing effort or just window shoppers to the flea market?

Joel won the challenge with the highest profit. Even without selling anything, he has already won the challenge. Does he deserve to be the winner of the task?

Ernie - The street wise experience businessman who knows what works and what don't. Selling antiques, accessories, clothing with high margin. Knows when to give discount and know when to increase the price too. He managed to get the second highest profit.

Anrie - The young vibrant and flexible girl with entrepreneur spirit that dare to take risk. Other than selling some accessories, plants and some children clothing, she tried her luck on "Rent a Tune". Hmm! Is it co-incidence that the new CEO is from Tunemoney? hehe! just a joke. It was a great risk but he did managed to convince few customers to actually buy her service. Sadly, her performance was not better than Joel and Ernie.

Keng Teck - The man with great strategies and focus in delivering his tasks but not in this time. On the day the task were given, his wife was ready to deliver their 1st baby. Wasting no time, he rushed to the hospital, accompanied his wife throughout the whole delivery process and lost 2 preparation days. With his wife and baby on his mind all the time, he lost focus but yet to give up. He tried his best to do what he can within a day.

Finally he managed to get hold on the chocolate deep, baby gift box and handbags to be sold. Luck was not on his side when the chocolate was not ready when the flea market opens.
For the first time, this tough and "LOUD guy" expressed his emotion and came down with tears when given the chance to talk infront of the camera to his wife and baby. Touching or as emotional as Carmen? Result was announced, Keng Teck made a lost.

Joel as the winner automatically made his way to the next task. Ernie, Anrie and Keng Teck was interviewed individually by Tengku Zafrul.

Surely it was a surprising scene to many that Ernie the Guru of confidence were being challenged by Tengku Zafrul on several occassion until he can't say anything. Never seen him gone through such situation before.

Anrie as usual very dynamic in her response to Tengku Zafrul's questions especially when asked what she thinks about Ernie. Female can be very fierce when pushed to the limit. Both Keng Teck and Anrie think that he is hard to work with. As for herself, she maintained that she has alot to offer. Nevertheless, she still always use the word "I think" which demonstate lack of confidence.

Guessed Keng Teck already knew that he will be the one terminated as he was the only one who made a lost. He placed his family as priority and claimed that he should stay in the firm because he did not give up and end his defence with "I might have lost a battle but I have not lost a war"

Another twist! 2 contestants are to be terminated this week. Good bye Anrie and Keng Teck!

A performing leader for series of tasks or a winner in a single task should be in "The Firm"? If you were Tengku Zafrul, would you decide differently?

Joel won the task but disappointed his customers. Does that make him a good leader?

Ernie has been a leading and performing contestant. Despite occasionally over confident, he did perform consistently. Shouldn't he be acknowledged for his performance in selling with the most profit (selling real goods)?

Anrie was given the 2nd chance and did progress to be a more confident person. She has talent, energy and much more to offer. Shouldn't she be given a chance to prove herself?

Keng Teck made a lost in this task. Do you think that he will out perform others if he need not have to be by the side with his family?


airinie said...

I guess the objective says it all - "who has got the highest profit". It didn't state "who has got the highest profit from what you've sold". In this case, Joel made a good move. He was thinking out of the box. If you think about it, "profit" doesn't only come from selling product or renting space, advertising also gives you profit.

Anyway, congrats Keng Teck on your beautiful baby. It's tough if you have things like this happening to you. - But I guess the best leaders (like Trump) would still be in control in situation like that.

sherby khong said...

i''ll always support you, keng teck!!

Clayton J.C Tan said...

I've got an opinion here. Yes, Joel has got the highest profit but I'll be very worried to hire him to work for me.

Imagine this - TuneMoney is about to offer only 1 year contract. He will have his KPIs for 1 year and all his targets. If the same scenario applies, would he do whatever he could in his capacity to achieve excellent results within that year by sacrificing the long term reputation and survival of TuneMoney if he no longer plan to extend his contract.

With that, he would be able to secure his personal reputation as among the best leaders TuneMoney had. And could boast that TuneMoney did fantastic with his presence. All at the cost of the future of TuneMoney.

Remember in the first episod he was argueing to get rid of Carmen for "ethical issues"? How ethical was he in this task? Did he really deliver?

Food for thought.

Tengku J said...

Hi Clayton,

In the first episode, Joel tried to get rid of Angeline, and not Carmen. I totally agree with your opinion. Like I mentioned earlier, "How ethical can a person be to win? Or to perfom a task??" The meaning of ethic is very subjective. I always knew this day would come, for Joel to prove how ethical he claims himself to be - unfortunately NOT! Even he himself unable to remain ethical throughout the competition.

Keng Teck, I salute you for putting your family first, you should have volunteered to leave earlier for the sake of your wife & baby - but as ambitious you are, you didnt want to back off easily. Nevertheless, by leaving the show, you now can concentrate to mourish your relationship with your wife & baby :-) CONGRATS!

Sandra Ooi said...

Joel? ethical?? My friend at Hartamas told me he was approach by a contestant named Joel who offered him RM400 rental for a booth...expensive lar!! When he was asked to explain, he promised my friend the moon & stars..such a smooth & sweet talker. Joel should leave in task 1. He brought in the Korean tourist but never apologise to his team for the 'mistake', got the face to get rid of another team member who contributes more than his weak leader!

The Rock said...

I really start to enjoy the show once the CEO is in action. Not only he have the charisma and shown quality of a leader, I am very impressed by the bluntness and sharpness that he as portrayed.

All lights now go towards Ernie, who claimed to have all the right ingredients(Age, education and career background except the height)compared to Joel.

But his weakness and dark side of the real him start to surface in front of the CEO(All the hard work that he had scored just down the drain in the boardroom in the last episode).

P/S: He is the so called "Group CEO" in his company, In Episode 8, His "Group CFO" did a special guest appearance as "the customer".

Yap Keng Teck said...

THank you everyone for your best wishes and support. Appreciate it very much.

"The Firm" can only be one of the challlenges in my life. There are many more waiting for me and waiting for all of us. Nevertheless, it is these challenges that makes our life more fulfilling and more meaningful.

Do keep on watching the show as there will be more interesting scenes !

I will find ways to share my baby photo here. or actually i can put it on my non updated blog !! hhahha!

Michelle Lee said...

Ethics? Have you guys watched The Apprentice? Tell me at any point of time, are ALL of these high fliers execs playing ethically to WIN? Afraid not. The Firm, just like The Apprentice is a competition! So, Clayton & Tengku J, you both are right. Joel should mirror himself first before labelling others as unethical. Such a shame that this word bites him back!

I agree with The Rock, the new CEO is even better than the first two. The new CEO is not only sharp, can be blunt too...this is the type of leader that should be in the show throughout the 'interview' process.

Keng Teck, congrats on your newborn. Be a good daddy from now onwards :-)

Anonymous said...

Totally like the new CEO! As he goes straight to the point! "why your products did not sell?" "why your profit is less than others?" wow!!!!! That is what those who supose to ask themself while they keep arguing and arguing.......

Amri said...

yes,joel respond to the task very the ceo is the result that matters.

Putera Manjalara said...

Joel kerja dengan orang yang dia suka je, yang dia tak suka dia pi kutuk..memang brader ni nak menang sesangat sampai belot team member sendiri. Ini bukan sifat yang baik. Kalau setakat nak menang cabaran tapi perangai buruk..pordah le...Dalam episode 9 (baru je abis..19/8)aku tengok dia takde pun kutuk Miss Anrie tu kat TV, kutuk Keng Teck dengan Angeline je. Ada ape ape ke?? Padahal Anrie tak buat banyak kerja, setakat nak urus selebriti je..kita tunggu miggu depan apa lagi si mamat Joel ni kutuk.

Kay said...

I disagree with clayton & sandra. There was no way of Joel knowing how successfully his concept will be. It was only for 1 day, for cryin' out loud! Nobody will know if it will work or not until it actually happens. It's a bit like taking a stall at Damas or even Plaza Mont Kiara for whatever, let's say 40 bucks. And then when you can't sell a single item, cry foul at the management of Damas or PMK. Come on!

If Joel came to me and offered me a stall at RM400, me as a business person, will have to decide if I want to take the risk or not. If I do & it doesn't work out, then tough. That's business. That's life. To cry over it on national TV is disgraceful. I wouldn't want to do that on TV myself.

What did Joel do wrong? Did he not deliver the stall as promised? yes. Did he not deliver the promotions as promised? Yes. I didn't hear him promising them they are going to sell loads of stuff. He only promised them a platform to see, in which he delivered.

BTW, Only 1 or 2 (I can't remember) complained. What about the other 1 or 2 that didn't? Was it successful 50% then?

KT, congrats o your baby!

Anonymous said...

Hello Keng Teck and all friends, in case you have missed any episode of The Firm, you can now get the episode recaps at at

Not all the episodes are there yet, but they seem to be slowly coming online.

Sandra Ooi said...

Hi Kay

Were you there when Joel pitch his 'sales'? Even if he didnt know if his strategy work or not, RM400 is still a huge sum to pay for one day! Come on, would he invest that much if you approach him?

No, my friend did not take up the offer, but Joel did promise that there will be a non stop promos and based what 'we' heard from other traders, he only usher the customers in, but did not highlight much what's under 'The Mezzannine'..maybe cameras following him?

Well, although he delivered the $$ he gets it only merely from the rentals he charged but not from selling any items/service.

Unlike Ernie and Anrie, they sold what appeals to customers and at same time rent the other stalls to others. Thats what I call honest business.

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with getting the $$ from rental? that is how business is done in the real world. joel's idea was excellent.

sandra: you're obviously not from the real world, are you?

Kay said...

Dear, dear Sandra,

I hope you are not in business. I would hate to see you fall flat on your face...

> Were you there when Joel pitch his 'sales'?
= What does it matter where I was? It it completely and utterly irrelevant!

> Even if he didnt know if his strategy work or not, RM400 is still a huge sum to pay for one day! Come on, would he invest that much if you approach him?
= What is a huge sum of money? Maybe RM400 is huge to you, but to a retailer who pays tens of thousands for the rental of his shop, is it really a huge sum? They appeared on TV! For 400, he can't even get a a nose snot in The Star! What if you were offered a spot in Starhill? Would 800 a day be a lot? If you didn't end up selling anything, would you blame Starhill for giving you a bad deal? Oh, sorry, I correct myself. Yes you would.

> No, my friend did not take up the offer, but Joel did promise that there will be a non stop promos and based what 'we' heard from other traders, he only usher the customers in, but did not highlight much what's under 'The Mezzannine'..maybe cameras following him?
= As he said on camera. His job is not to sell for the traders. He had lucky draws and promos - he delivered. Maybe the traders should look at the products they were selling. And did you go to Damas yourself? What were they selling? Maybe no one wants to buy what they were selling. Well, it was the case, wasn't it?

> Well, although he delivered the $$ he gets it only merely from the rentals he charged but not from selling any items/service.
= As Anon said, what's wrong with charging rental? Isn't rental a service? Especially when lucky draws, etc were organised? That's not service?

> Unlike Ernie and Anrie, they sold what appeals to customers and at same time rent the other stalls to others. Thats what I call honest business.
= Ernie didn't rent his stall to anyone else. What are you talking about? Anrie's rent a tune thing was a bloody disaster. If it appealed to, in your words, "so many people", why did she only manage to sell something like 7 songs in a whole day? I think you've gone a bit dizzy there ol' miss Sandra.

At the end of the day, every single person in the boardroom admitted that the idea to rent was a brilliant one. I'm sure they wished they thought of it themselves. And most importantly, the CEO said it was great and happily made him the winner.

Sandra, I'm afraid you're not thinking straight. You've become as emotional as Carmen!

Kay said...

Oh, and thanks for the recaps at at

They are very well written. The ones that are there now anyway.

Sandra Ooi said...

Well Ms Kay..

Let your opinion be yours to keep, and I am sure you are pro-Joel, so despite what others may say - to you, he never 'do' anything wrong...

Over the last few episodes that we have watched, some of the viewers here too think that Joel is not what he seemed to be.

But then, there will be people who would prefer others than Joel himself.

Overall, I dont think he is a good business person. In reality, not all of his ideas are applicable, charging RM400 or RM800 for a day (per stall) may only work for the task day only!

And no, I'm not as melodramatic as Carmen, I am only expressing my view about your dear Joel..Ms Kay..:-)


Kay said...

Actually, I want Ernie to win, and I think he will. His team looked good on Sunday. I'm not particularly pro Joel. But I am looking at your comments in a business perspective.

Yap Keng Teck said...

Hey!! the episode 9 has been updated. Why not we comment on last week's task instead.

Hmmm! Got Joel and Ernie's supporter. No one supported Keng Teck to win? aiya!!

Just joking!!

Anyone wanted to guess whether Joel manage to get his blue carpet?

The Rock said...

Can someone please start a new blog for Episode 9? I miss the first part. Only sit in when both started to pitch for their respective sponsors/clients.

Both team is facing challenges. They are also kind off screw up in getting buy in from the client/sponsors (Obviously Joel's team has bigger challenges compare to Ernie, pulling the "Mr Act Ignorant" who owns a learning center and forget the fundamental Sales 101 in handling indifference .

Again can't really comment much cause the GM is so frustrated tt she gives-in in the end (In real world try pull that stunt, and you will be asked to get out of the room).

I think this episode the clients are ask to be tough on them.

Overall rating: Getting a bit drama, but entertaining.

P/S: Can the director/producer give some script, dialog or anything to Dr Jahar. Man, a total disgrace for a PHD holder leh!!

Kay said...

Thanks KT, can't wait to comment on that episode. That lady from Island whatever its called is the biggest b%#@$ I've ever seen on TV! I'll make sure to avoid that place when shopping at 1 Utama. Also, KT, do you know you can do the episode recaps on yourself? I like what they've done there. Check it out. I just typed in and searched for The Firm and it comes up.

Sandra Ooi said...

Hi Kay,

For the first time, I agree with you. That Island Shop Marketing Manager is such a...TOOOOT...Gosh! She should have been more accomodating since the team is trying to promote their products. Never met anyone that annoying!

The Rock, Dr Jahar is a boo-boo to have in the show. He made my cousin David embarrased because he too have a PHD...Its very surprising to see a PHD holder with such incapilibity.

kay said...

Hi Sandra,

Loves & kisses. Tee hee, when they did the "what happened last week" thingi at the beginning of episode 10, I noticed that the Island lady's hair was done up like Wilma Flintstone!! Hahaha. Quite the dark ages!

joanne liyeng said...

keng teck, when your daughter grows up and watches this series, or read this blog, she will be really proud of you - just as we all are.


Anonymous said...

looks like this blog has more drama than the series itself.