Ramify – Unit Trust Rating and Information Services

Ramify was a company that was to provide tools and objective ratings of unit trust funds and Unit Trust Fund Management Companies using both quantitative and qualitative data. It was to be a valuable service to the Unit Trust Funds industry participants including retail and institutional investors, financial planners, agents, banks, Unit Trust Management Companies, regulators, etc.

Malaysia

We were a team of 3. We developed a working prototype & value proposition with plans to launch on the Asian market starting in Malaysia. The other 2 team members were industry veterans in the Unit Trust Funds industry in Australia and have spent time in Malaysia customizing the offering and business strategy, establishing strategic alliances, assessing the market potential, and conducting qualitative assessments of Unit Trust Fund Management Companies.

We flew to Malaysia with our Prototype to propose this Investment Opportunity to the board of RAM with the goal of:

  • Giving 50% equity to the investor (RAM),
  • in return asking for a purchase price RM2 million and
  • acquiring investor to provide RM2 million working capital.

We met many interesting and intellectually clever people. From the board of RAM (Malaysian largest rating agency) to investors from USA and CEO’s of various financial firms whom were interested in what we wanted to do on the Asian market. At that time no one was doing this and it seemed like this was going to be that multimillion dollar opportunity. In the end due to a number of reasons I cannot disclose here the deal fell apart. But it was fun while it latest and provided plenty of education.

Prototype screenshots

Here’s some screenshots of what the early (2006) prototype looked like.

Ramify - Homepage
Ramify - Homepage
Ramify - Fund Profile
Ramify - Fund Profile

Top 5 things I learnt

  • Don’t get too excited too soon. Deals come and go very quickly and even with the hope of smelling millions, it can fall apart very quickly and easily.
  • Surround yourself with smart people. You will be surprised how your thinking processes, behavior and views will change (for the better) once you spend time with very intellectually smart people. People that have been there, done that and can provide you with a wealth of knowledge & advise based on their experience.
  • Build a winning team. Everyone in the team should complement each other in some form or another. That way no one is spending time carrying the others on their backs. When you work, everyone works, on their parts. Then all parts come together like a transformer resulting in a giant unstoppable machine.
  • Business brings friends closer. Yes there is the old mantra not to run a business with your friends but my experience proved to be very fruitful here. It allowed us to get closer and build long lasting friendship. Boy did we all party in Malaysia… in style may I add. Memories that will never be forgotten.
  • It’s like there’s more of me working on this. We were a team of 3. This meant we got stuff done quicker and had access to greater brain power – the power of 3. We all supported each other during the down times and this kept the morale strong.

I walked away from this venture a new man. Now I know what it feels like to be at a pinnacle.

Ernest

My entrepreneurial life in Australia

I love tinkering and bringing ideas into reality. Seeing that idea come to life is amazing. The energy, thrill, excitement and daily challenges faced in order to bring an idea into reality is simply amazing. It’s true what Don Williams, Jr once said “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”.

Below I share with you my entrepreneurial journey in Australia building start-ups and the lessons I have acquired by taking them. Without these I would not be the man I am today.

  • WebAnt Analytics – a quantitative service providing a holistic web analytics and customer metrics solutions that allows you to get inside the mind of your online audience. This also included the famous InSite module which could generate “phantom customers” for automation & monitoring. We used a lot of interesting models I learnt during the course of my MBA studies to provide a unique selling proposition and differentiate ourself from our only competitor on the Australian market (at the time), Red Sheriff. And then came free Google Analytics (Urchin) and the show was over. To read more click here.
  • Ramify – a company that provided tools and objective ratings of unit trust funds and Unit Trust Fund Management Companies using both quantitative and qualitative data. It was to be a valuable service to the Unit Trust Funds industry participants including retail and institutional investors, financial planners, agents, banks, Unit Trust Management Companies, regulators, etc. This one took me to Malaysia, presentations to board members of RAM (Rating Agency Malaysia Berhad) and dinners with CEOs of financial banks. To read more click here.
  • RockinTheShed – A weekly 2 hour Rock and Alternative radio station show delivering sounds from local and international artists blended with current news and happenings in the Rock and Alternative arena. The show played across 12 radio stations geographically in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA. We got to meeting & interview many interesting & famous bands and expand our broadcasting range. My band photography business span off from this venture. To read more click here.
  • Musichouse – A music ecosystem compromising of an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for artists & producers with exclusive access to online & offline (radio) broadcasting channels via RockinTheShed. We developed a number of monetization models to appeal to our target market. RockinTheShed served as an initial hook to get leverage for Musichouse. We had a great team of smart entrepreneurs like Dave Manna (Sydney’s top Music Producer), Artur (RockinTheShed host) and Denis who is today the co-founder of embedster.com (Y Combinator 2010 Alumni). To read more click here.

What’s next?

You tell me…

Ernest