Eliminating bad profit

Finally, a company that eliminates ‘bad profit’

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Guess what, there are companies in Malaysia that live by the Golden Rule, really!

In my quest to find a company that demonstrates the virtue of Golden Rule - treat your customers the way you (the company, the owner, management and employees) would like to be treated, I almost gave up. 

Companies living by Golden Rule are companies that have strong core values in growing their business by earning loyalty of their customers. Yes, such companies are rare but the leaders and its employees enjoy associating themselves with such companies, not because of big salaries, but because they share common values of delivering real benefits to the people they touch everyday. They constantly find ways to eliminate bad profits that is gained by extracting value from the customer that the customer feels misled or cheated.

The big companies, mostly Government Linked Companies (GLCs) had no urgency in improving their bottom lines as they get handsome ‘help’ from the government whenever needed. The Small and Medium companies, on the other hand are heavily focused on bottom line that they have no qualms about creating bad profits at the expense of customer dissatisfaction. While the public listed companies can always show what they want to show in the balance sheet, hence there is no real need to have and live by core values of earning loyalty of their customers. They display well crafted customer centric taglines at their reception, booklet, namecard, annual report, T-shirts and everywhere, but leaders do more of that talking than the walk.

In such an environment, one company delightedly stands out! Malaysiakini. Malaysiakini is a political news website established in 1999. It has been widely considered to be one of leading non-government owned paid-news agencies. It generates revenue through online subscription and advertisements. 

With the looming General Election, Malaysiakini’s recent announcement is breathtaking (see all the way below). From their experience in covering such General Election in the past (the last one was in 2008), they made some very bold decision in eliminating bad profits. This would mean that their subscription revenue will inevitably drop, but because they anticipate the advertisement revenue to go up and poor subscriber experience due to high traffic and possible cyber attacks, they have decided to go free during this period. The regular paid subscribers will be given price concession on the next subscription fee.

Now this is real value! Malaysiakini anticipates website access problem during the election period that would disappoint their paying customers and decided to open it up for free to everyone. By doing so, more would want to advertise in their portal, which will help the company balance out their expenses in providing extensive coverage during the General Election.

Malaysiakini is exemplary in anticipating and identifying bad profits with the intention to reduce or eliminate such profits. This action tends to create greater customer loyalty and positive word of mouth that in itself grows the customer base. So there is surely a strong link between treating customers well and growing business.

It will be nice to find more companies that would take such bold move to eliminate bad profits, even if it may mean a drop in its revenue and profit. Such drop is usually short term. Customers tend to be more loyal to companies that endeavor in eliminating bad profits. They return their favor by continue using the company’s product or services.

Quite honestly, I have not really combed for companies that is consciously identifying bad profits and eliminating them. I do believe there are companies in their own ways creating greater value to their customers by finding such bad profits and eliminating them. Do you know of any?

Satya Narayanan

email sent to Malaysiakini’s paid subscribers (Thanks Mike)

From: Malaysiakini Newsletter [mailto:subscribe@malaysiakini.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:33 PM


Subject: GE13: Malaysiakini to go free on Wednesday!

Dear Malaysiakini subscribers and readers, 

In keeping with the spirit of democracy, Malaysiakini will be available for all to read starting Wednesday, April 17. We believe that voting is a major responsibility of every citizen and that Malaysians should have access to election campaign information before they vote. Indeed, citizens should make an informed decision on the government they want when they go to the ballot box. Malaysiakini intends to play a key role in providing that information. Previously, Malaysiakini had gone free at the 2008 general elections. 

We are going free for two other reasons. An avalanche of advertising will hit the website during this period and it is bound to upset our paying subscribers. However, the extra revenue will help compensate for the lost in subscription revenue, and to support the costs of sending our journalists nationwide to cover news during this period. Secondly, we expect Malaysiakini servers to come under attack again during the election campaign, and doing away with the subscription will ease our tasks in overcoming these attacks. 

To compensate, subscribers will receive an extension to their current subscription, equal to the days that Malaysiakini is free. We do appreciate all the support we receive from our subscribers, and we believe that you will understand the need for Malaysiakini to go free during this critical period. Malaysiakini will return as a subscription site shortly after polling day. 

During the next few weeks, readers can expect a blow-by-blow account of the election campaign as well as in-depth analysis on voting trends in Malaysiakini all four languages. In addition, KiniTV.com will give viewers a ring side seat to the campaigns. We hope you will share our news and videos with your friends. 

On election night, we aim to be the first to report real-time results. With journalists in all the key seats and clued in to the counting process, we will let you know who shall govern Malaysia after May 5. Apart fromwww.malaysiakini.com, we ask readers to bookmark www.facebook.com/malaysiakini and www.twitter.com/malaysiakini to make sure you get access to Malaysiakini latest news. Mobile users can access the website through m.malaysiakini.com. Also, you can follow our SMS alerts

Please share this information with as many Malaysians as possible.