ASIA’S GET-RICH SECRET is out: extreme diversification.
In India, temples offer religion and aerobics.
In Hong Kong, I saw a shop selling earrings and apartments.
In Indonesia, village stores offer bags of hot tea and deeds for uncultivated land.
This is seriously bad news for impulse buyers such as this columnist’s wife. “I only meant to pop out for some eggs but I bought East Kalimantan.”
Fortunately, I now have a simple method to deal with this sort of problem. You simply leave the product unmolested and immigrate to another country.
A Cambridge University survey revealed last week that religious organizations in India now offer cow-lending, computer classes and fitness programs. (Probably all at once.)
But this goes against teachings at MBA schools.
A businessman to whom I forwarded the report was skeptical, saying that he spelt “diversification” as “diworsification” because it usually made things worse.
He said: “It’s pet food. But everyone who sees it says the same thing—ewww, who would want to eat chunks of dog?”
I was wondering whether to point out that this is Asia, where some people DO eat chunks of dog.
But instead I made a mental note to tell my neighbor Jim Leung (who works for Walt Disney Co.) to get his colleagues to sell Old Yeller in this region, and pay me a big fat commission.
There was a much more positive reaction from reader Lift Lurker, also known as Otis Schindler.
1) Asia’s top spicy sauce company will eventually launch a line of “Lee Kum Kee French Colognes”.
The Parisian perfumeries will fight back with “Chanel Fish Sauce No. 5” and “X.O Sauce by Dior”.
2) Beer-brewers will expand their market to lower age groups. “Miller Beer will launch infant baby milk formula with the slogan ‘It's Miller Time every three hours’, while Carlsberg will use the slogan ‘Probably the best baby food in the world’,” he said.
Philip Morris will launch “Marlboro Pacifiers” (menthol, filter-tipped).
The world’s best known lingerie firm will announce a chain of “Victoria's Secret Kindergartens and Youth Camps”.
4) Along with books and household items, Amazon.com will introduce an Armaments category in a bid to get a slice of the defense industry pie, offering one-click ordering. “Your cart contains two tanks, a stealth bomber and an aircraft carrier.”
Among the top sellers will be a newly diversified product from Japan: Cannons by Canon.
I should point out that Lift Lurker, while clearly mad, is worth humoring, since his flights of fancy inevitably contain good ideas.
For example, he recommended that the company which invented jeans go into the babywear business. “They can cover the bottom end of the market with Levi’s 501 blue denim nappies,” he said.
Amazing but true: blue denim nappies are already in production in several countries.
(Credits: Fishmarket illustration from here)