Milo Run: Where’s the 2km mark?

by Jfree


27 May 2016 marked my first ever 5km run with my colleagues from Rantau. The first thing that went through my mind after paying RM30 to participate in the MILO Breakfast Day 2016 at Putrajaya was “What the hell did I got myself into?” as I have not run at all for almost 1 year. Am I gonna faint? Am I gonna roll? What am I going to do?

Here was a list of things I planned to do to prepare myself for the 5km run.

  1. Wake up at 5.30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a 1.2km run around my neighbourhood.
  2. Go for a jog at 6.30pm after work on Tuesday and Thursday.

But this was what I did instead:-

  1. 5.30am, still sleeping.
  2. Went jogging for ONE day only.

Come 24 May, I realised there was only two more days left to the D-Day (Doomsday) and I was not fully or even half prepared for the run. There I was while enjoying my chicken rice lunch, thinking that I’ll be dead after the first kilometer. After much thought about what will happen to me, I finally came to the conclusion to  - Mati pon matilah!


Image 8

It was 5.45am when Daisy and her husband, Eric picked up my brother and I to Putrajaya - just in case I decided to give up and forfeit the RM30. Knowing the Chinese in me, I have been planning to get my RM30 worth of Milo drinks on that day itself rather than planning on how to keep my pace during the 5km run.


We then met up with Tania at the start line while waiting for Julia and Brigitte whom we did not met until 1 hour after the race. As we were waiting for the run to start, Tania pushed us (Daisy, Martin and me) to approx. 13th row from the starting line. I have never been that close to the start even during my previous fun / night run. Why? To avoid getting langgar from the back laaaaaaaa….. (wasn’t that how Mufasa died?)

Anyway, the run started and Tania ran ahead until we were unable to even see her shadow anymore. After 1.5km, I was then left alone when my brother ran ahead of me, telling me that he would wait for me at the 2km mark. I replied to him,“Proceed” thinking that there was only 500m away and I was sure to catch up with him.

I kept running, walking, jogging and running but never did the 2km mark appear. Then guess what appeared? A sign stating “1KM LEFT TO GO”.

With that, I managed to finish the entire route with one main thought in my head, “Where’s the 2km mark?”.

A special shout out to my colleagues from Rantau for inviting me to join the MILO Breakfast Day in Putrajaya with them. Based on my experience, here are some feedback and thoughts after completing the race:

  1. Great pre and post run activities organised by Milo
  2. Kids went missing on that day and several ‘Lost & Found’ announcements were made at the event. Parents, please take care of your belongings (kids).
  3. Milo from the Milo truck is proven the BEST!
  4. Daisy lost her banana. We’ll make sure at our next run, there will be extra banana for her.
  5. Future run organisers, please do me a favour and put a 2km signage? PLEASE LAH.


Pitch Perfect

Striding through the corridors of Rantau’s Petaling Jaya office, Chief Executive Officer Gogulan Dorairajoo cuts a tall, trim figure with legs up to his eyeballs.


Kitted out in a smart blue-and-white small-check shirt and not a hair out of place, you’d think the dapper CEO wouldn’t be getting himself dirty and sweat-soaked at the end of his working days being head honcho of the boutique PR, communications and consulting powerhouse.

You’d be mistaken. At the end of the same day that I managed to squeeze an hour out of his packed schedule for our chat, he was at bootcamp.

But it gets more hardcore.

He’s completed the Viper challenge, the Spartan race and a host of other runs and endurance events, come rain, impossible Malaysian heatwave or mud underfoot.

“I’ll run till I can no longer walk,” he laughs, while he casually brushes off my open-mouthed wide-eyed gape at the golden trophy perched on a table in his office. It is the size of a small child (the trophy, not the office.)

“Oh yeah, that’s one of the trophies we won,” he says. For which team?

“For KL Galaxy,” he smiles.

Ah yes. The football team of which he’s a part and in which he plays, when he’s not fielding off good-natured ribbing from friends for Aston Villa FC’s recent relegation from the Premier League. (Gogzta — he jokes some find his name hard to pronounce so he makes it easy for them, like a champ — is an ardent Villa supporter.)

So. Running a company, running in all weather, football (playing and supporting, in equal measures of enthusiasm) and fatherhood.

What else, I think. Running for president? Saving a small nation? (“If I weren’t doing this,” — he gestures around the office — “I’d be teaching kids how to play football.”)

Not yet. The calm and cheerful fortysomething (must be all those endorphins) also elbows three other blokes for chair and air space at BFM’s studio every Friday between 7 to 8 pm while host Ross Yusof captains the four of them as they dissect and talk about — a guess, anyone? — football. He’s only been joining in on-air the last five years. No big deal.

I jest. And he knows it, for he takes a lot of things in good humour, except when it comes to common sense. Or the frustrating lack thereof.

Don’t ask him about what’s needed to best groom the next generation of empire-builders for he has a lot to say, and he doesn’t sugar-coat his words.

(Rightfully so. He’s only clocked up 23 years of working experience, 15 of which are with Rantau, and the rest, as he says, covering the “gamut of communications and media disciplines, from 3D animation, production, events and PR to digital billboards.”)

You cannot always be a fully hands-on CEO, he believes, for good reason.

“You need to entrust people with work,” he explains, “and through experience you realise they can do their jobs.”

“You need to take the shelter off them and that’s when they grow up.”

The final authority rests with him, obviously, as the CEO, but as he reminds me, even when critical decisions need to be made, “I am just a text away.”

In these contemporary times of cloud computing, he asserts, you don’t even need a laptop to check on your work: you just need your phone.

But (and there is always a but) “I’ve seen a lot of newbies — I interview them, I work with them — and what’s missing is common sense.”

One of the quirky (but effective signs) at the Rantau office
He relates, with frustration creasing his features slightly, about 22-year-olds who use their boyfriends or parents to drive them to interviews and then bring said boyfriends or parents into the office at which they’re being interviewed. No leaving the parent or paramour at the cafe or asking them to drive somewhere nearby. No. The personal entourage sits in the office while they interview for a job.

“If you don’t know how to take a bus or a cab when you’re 22 to attend an interview….” and he is shaking his head to conclude the observation.

He has a point. In an age where there is a multitude of public transportation and ride-sharing services, there really is little need to be driven and hand-held when you’re asking someone to hire you when you have no work experience.

“Don’t think you’re entitled to anything,”

he says, the emphasis on the word ‘entitled’ making me think if it stays on his tongue a second longer it might scald it.

He is not alone in thinking this. After speaking with dozens of CFOs, COOs and CEOs, this seems to be a common lament.

“I would throw them in the deep end and see how they survive. That’s when their instincts kick in. And that’s when you know when the person is worth keeping.”

He’s not being vicious — that’s not his style at all — he’s simply imparting valuable nuggets of CEO-level insights that cover both ends of experience, as an employee and as a business leader. CEOs are not exactly born the minute they exit the varsity campus gates.

But like Rantau, he has a youthful appreciation for innovation and fluid market responsiveness.

“This,” he declares, tapping on the screen of his smartphone, “is the screen now. In the 70s, it was the TV, billboards, and then other media came along and everyone was competing — media managers were telling advertisers, tell me what your message is and we’ll tell you where to put it. Then the job fell to corporate communicators. Now, in this day and age, it is the age of PR, and now the phone is the screen that people cannot live without.”

It might seem obvious to a Gen-Y or Gen-Z, but saying this out loud sounds like (another) clarion call for business evolution — specifically, the business of PR, for Rantau and for its clients, some of whom may be stubbornly insistent that their digital presence is a by-the-way rather than a we-need-to-do-this pressing matter.

He’s equally comfortable reiterating the importance of the old-school ways of the business (“Taking editors out for drinks and building relationships with them — does anyone do that anymore?” he wonders out loud,) as he is learning about new ways and lightning-fast developments.

“I’m a paid-up member of the relationship management club,” he says, without a trace of apology. Even though he recognises the liquid nature of media ownership and media presence in 2016’s capricious economy.

“Everyone who has a Facebook page is a media owner,” he says, not unkindly.

He also understands part of his job is to manage a client’s aversion to change. (Such as making space for digital branding and communication amidst the thick undergrowth of traditional communication.)

But change is what his team of 12 manages well, and not just crisis management.

Rantau, founded by his wife Janitha and her friends in 1992, can now include Big Blue Marble in their family as the new addition takes care of strategy-based consulting. Give me a ‘for instance’?

“If a bank has an internal comms team, it needs senior leadership to guide it. Instead of hiring an entire agency, which is the more prevalent route with SMEs, we at Big Blue Marble will come in and provide strategic and policy guidance, and the execution can subsequently be carried out by the internal comms team.”

This is when his wife — now Consulting Director, after taking a sabbatical in 2008 to spend more time with their children — steps in, fully armed and loaded with expertise, to help clients figuratively look their best in the marketplace.

Toy planes on Gogulan's desk, left there by his son

“We help you identify where and why you need to speak to which people,” he smiles confidently, “and what messages you need to craft.”

Of course. Because, as most of us know, messages can get lost in translation.


Original article written by the B Tribe (link)

Should a CEO sink with a damaged ship or start building his raft?

The CEO is an essential component of a company’s branding. The CEO is the face of the company. The CEO should always say ‘we’ when talking about the company during media interviews. This all-inclusive personal pronoun is emphasised by PR practitioners when media training a CEO.

It was therefore interesting to note that 1MDB’s CEO, Arul Kanda seemed to take extra measure to minimise the use of ‘we’ when he was interviewed over BFM’s The Breakfast Grille and for Mr Kanda personally, rightly so.

President and Executive Director of  1MDB, Arul Kanda. - Photo by Yazit Razali

Ultimately, any CEO must be marketable and while he represents a company during his tenure, this person must position himself worthy of a future engagement elsewhere. In light of the intense global media spotlight on the 1MDB scandal, it is understandable and perhaps even a necessary act of self-preservation for Mr Kanda to distance himself publicly, when possible. As such, it is noteworthy that Mr Kanda more frequently referred to the company he was representing by its name.

It was certainly a brave move by Mr Kanda to be interviewed in the first place, which although sadly did not reveal anything new, definitely showcased him as a capable spokesperson. He was articulate in his explanations and defence against various allegations 1MDB has been accused of; astute enough to deflect probing questions while standing his ground; and sufficiently stoic to ensure his voice was heard in the midst of the flurry of questions. He sounded like a cool customer, never once actually rising to the bait being thrown at him at what many had expected to be a fiery session.

Many Whatsapp group chats and Facebook postings were abuzz after the interview voicing their disappointment with the radio station and its interviewers for not being tenacious enough, but seriously, what did they expect? New information that has not already appeared in every media? A revelation of what exactly happened to the mysterious fund? Or perhaps a confession on air that would finally put this hotly debated matter to rest. The Breakfast Grille interviewers did their best by pushing the necessary questions, knowing very well that the answers would be contrived, although in this case, perhaps Mr Kanda was more lightly toasted than grilled. In fact, the only reason it even got airtime on public radio was because it was pre-recorded, thus giving the ‘authorities’ the right to can it if it was deemed damaging.

For BFM, it was great marketing, as the interview most likely recorded one of the highest listenership and the podcast would probably be downloaded and shared by the thousands.

Basically, Mr Kanda was heard by thousands without directly incriminating himself or further damaging the already dented reputation of 1MBD, no easy feat under the current circumstances. For a crisis that has not only gripped our nation, but continues to headline publications around the world, Mr Kanda did a better job with The Breakfast Grille Q&A than many of our politicians generally fare with any interview.

My (more than) 2 sens is that I do not think Mr Kanda can or will be ‘Mr Fixit’ for 1MBD, but in this interview, he was definitely a brave Mr Skirtit.

Is he a marketable CEO? I will say yes but he may want to lose some of that perpetual smile.  It is disturbing.

By Janitha Sukumaran
Founder & Consulting Director, Rantau

The Beginning of My Journey at Rantau!

Hi everyone, this is Masterbuilder. I am deeply sadden to inform you that this will be the last blog entry from me *sobbing away*. As my internship has come to an end, I would like to dedicate this post to my team and everyone who has been reading my blog. Bear with me as I share my three months journey at Rantau PR.

“If you are living the moments, time flies and if you are hating the moment, time stops”. The truth is twelve weeks interning at Rantau just ended in a blink of an eye. I could still remember the first day of my internship when I bumped into my supervisor, Daisy in the elevator. Started my first day being all nervous since I don’t know what to expect. Later on, I met my colleagues and internship partner, Matthew for the very first time and little did I know that these people will be playing an important part of my life. For the past three months, I had worked with everyone on different projects and gained huge experience through various given task. I recalled attending my first event (EurAsia) and got the opportunity to sit inside a Lotus Exige to recently experiencing a live TV interview at NTV7. All these are definitely ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.

My next following months will be a rather sad one. I am so used to getting ready in the morning and being all enthusiastic going to work. Things won't be the same now. For the past three months, we’ve been going out for lunch, drinking session, playing badminton and attending events together. It definitely felt great spending time with them. Most of the time, their conversations and jokes are very entertaining. I am definitely going to miss all these moments.

What I’ve learned

Being an intern at Rantau has been a blessed opportunity to me. As an intern, I learned so much and experienced the best moments in the PR industry. Now you must be wondering, how much can you learn? Contradicting to what most people’s belief that internship usually involves only photocopying, filing and stapling, I was actually given the chance to do an actual PR consultant’s work. Every day was a learning opportunity for me as I was given different task each week.  I’ve been doing various task ranging from how to monitor news, how to pitch an interview to editors, how to draft a proper news release/newsletter/feature article and others. The best part is, I was guided by colleagues to complete each task and I was able to understand the PR job scope because of those tasks that have been given to me. Doing all those tasks for three months, I realized that I really do enjoy doing Public relations. Although the industry is challenging, but my team had showed me that with proper understanding, attitude and effort, everyone can be a good PR practitioner.  I learned that I am far from perfect but I want to improve myself to perfection.

Advice from the wise:

Skills can be taught and trained, what matters most is the attitude” – Daisy Sidhu

If you want to be a great PR consultant, present your work as if you’re aiming to win an award” – Julia Nicholas

Every day there is something new to learn in the PR industry, it is whether you choose to learn it or leave it” – Jeffrey Loh

10 Things that I will Miss

  1. Coming to work every day and to see everyone in the office.
  2. Learning about PR from everyone.
  3. Doing my daily task (News monitoring, media calls and research)
  4. Going out for lunch with the team (From Bak Kut Teh – Papparich – Chinese Shop – Kanna Curry House – Mamak)
  5. Going out with team for event or activities
  6. Listening to everyone’s joke and laughter especially Mini Boss!
  7. Watching Tania (Senpai/Noona) gets hyper from a bottle of Coca-Cola
  8. Singing in Martin’s car (Our Brotherhood Productions)
  9. Playing darts
  10. Vaping with Matthew


To me, Rantau is filled with strong and talented people working towards a common goal.  Everyone takes their job seriously but at the same time, they know how to keep their mental and emotional state healthy. They are not living zombies that faced the computer writing press releases and calling the media monotonous. Everything they did, is filled with passion and soul.  I really enjoy the work culture here as everyone is willing to guide and advice on how to improve my work. From a guy that knew nothing about Public relations industry, I can proudly say that I do know what is Public Relations now. If I were given a choice, I will definitely continue working at Rantau rather than going back to studies.

Final message to the team

Hey everyone, I hope you all enjoyed working with me as much as I did. These three months at Rantau had nurtured me into a better individual and I am grateful for the time and effort invested on. Thank you for the trust, faith, and advice that you all had given me. Truly, there is no place out there that I rather be besides being here at Rantau and my internship wouldn’t be awesome without you guys. Thank you for all the advice and guidance throughout my internship period at Rantau. Just remember that I am only one call away, whether its work or hangout, I will definitely be there you all J

I wish Rantau PR all the best in everything and continue being one of the best Public Relations agency in Malaysia! Go Team Rantau!

Remember in my first blog, I mentioned that every skill that I’ve learned is equivalent to one Lego brick? Here are my collected Lego bricks to all of you.1.png

“I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends turned into family and dreams turned into reality”


Ryan Lee a.k.a Masterbuilder


Enter the Batman

The name's Wayne, Bruce Wayne (and if that wasn't obvious enough), I guess you could say that I am an avid Batman enthusiast.

Rather low-key by nature (I'm really not), I tend to stick to the shadows (oh please, I love the limelight) in search of evil doers while carefully evading my mentors' cross-hairs. OH! Have I mentioned that I'm one of the new interns here at Rantau?

giphy (1)(please hold the applause, oh no photos please, thanks)

For those of you reading this, you must understand that, you are really bored and I have never blogged ever, hence, I'm clueless as to how this works. Nevertheless, I am the Batman, so this is no biggie.


 If you're still here for some reason, please laugh for my sake. But seriously, do note that I’m making this entries because it’s the best opportunity to show off to other interns...
giphy (2)
(*cough* losers *cough*)

...and to possibly give future Rantau interns a glimpse of the awesomeness I'm experiencing here at Rantau.

Billionaire by day & Superhero by night

Using my supersonic sonar vision, (cool, no?) I have observed that Rantau plays host to a diversified spectrum of clients, whose wants and needs differ from one to another. In the mere two weeks, I’ve been here, I’ve discovered that no amount of time spent in my beloved college classroom was going to prepare me for this: the real world.

You see, this hit me hard, because being the billionaire Bruce Wayne requires an insane amount of professionalism. Likewise, with Rantau, that business side of Bruce Wayne made his debut. I had the awesome privilege of attending Crowdo’s launch on the 11th! An eye opener for sure, for this side of PR required me to be extra professional, dignified and a little reserved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it just hit me like a durian on the head (ouch?) because all I have learnt of PR being easy-peasy , fun and dandy, was really put into perspective but, I think it’s pretty cool! All suited up, looking fly, conversing with the media, live action of my first press conference ever….yeah, corporate comm. is pretty sweet.

The next night I attended SIC’s media appreciation night (oh yeah that’s right, I attended two events in my first two weeks ;)) and this was a different ball game all together. The reserved side I was talking about earlier? Yup, that’s gone.

giphy    MindBlownTurtle.gif

It’s not that professionalism is gone altogether, it just takes a different meaning. SIC’s event made me realize that professionalism doesn’t exist on a uniform level (not that I didn’t know that already, it’s just different when you see it up close okay! Okay? Okay!). This event brought to light that, professional relationships like my boss’ with her colleagues was really what made this event a breeze. The light hearted yet professional flow of communication between the good folks over at SIC and her, showed me that PR isn’t just about making someone or something or somewhere look good. It’s all about the professional relationships that propels the success of someone, or something or somewhere.

Hence, Rantau reflects how I am Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night. Professionalism’s two different meanings eloquently defined by an individual’s change in personality.

Before I go, here’s some of the snaps from the SIC event :

Well then folks, I guess that concludes your brief peek into the life of a Rantau intern. Please stay tuned, for more entries from Rantau's Resident Batman

Bruce W.