Puk Time by Jonathan Nichols
Asia Business Books online at www.asiabusinessbooks.com and www.amazon.com
Hardcopy AVAILABLE at MYANMAR BOOKS
5 STAR REVIEWS ON AMAZON.COM
REVIEWED BY MYANMAR TIMES
A new insight on LIFE in a rapidly reforming Myanmar has appeared in cyberspace and NOW in HARDCOPY. Puk Time by Jonathan Nichols is a witty, cautionary and colourful account of his first year trying to do business in Myanmar following the suspension of WESTERN sanctions IN EARLY 2012.
Nichols is a young Australian venture capitalist with a background in Asian real estate who jumped into Myanmar feet first and set up SHOP AND A TEMPORARY home in the Parkroyal Hotel – hence ‘the Puk’, from the first pronunciation of “PARKROYAL’ THAT he heard from a YANGON taxi driver. Along with AN ASSORTMENT OF other expat businessmen holed up AT THE PUK, there he sought the OPPORTUNITIES THAT Myanmar, suddenly PORTRAYED AS the last frontier, seemed to promise.
Puk Time is a short, fast moving account of Nichols attempts to pin down deals in real estate, mining and heavy machinery. They nearly all fail, dismally, dishearteningly and amusingly until, finally, one stuck. Short chapters describe his attempts, and at the end of each, there is a clear business lesson to be learned for the newcomer to Myanmar business.
A fascinating feature of the book is the accounts of the characters he meets, figures that MYANMAR residents – EXPATS AND LOCALS ALIKE – of Myanmar will easily recognise and newcomers should definitely know about. Amongst the foreigners are an impulsive Australian developer, a handicapped French architect, an Italian lawyer bluffing it as he goes and a British investment banker, ‘The Pompous Git’. AMONG THE CAST OF LOCAL characters; among them, IS the lady restaurateur, the TV personality, AND the local lawyer - all doubling up as one of the army of ubiquitous brokers, DOMINATED BY and the ULTIMATE archetype: of them all, “Mr Yeah, Yeah, No.”
For the newly arriving capitalist, the message is that the money doesn’t fall off the trees. The moral of Nichols’ funny but painful tale is that you need commitment and perseverance in Myanmar.
Puk Time is short enough to be read on any flight going into Yangon, EVEN THE 55 MINUTE DASH FROM BANGKOK, IF YOU’RE A FAST READER. For the hopeful businessperson, it could be the best in-flight BOOK YOU EVER BUY. The selling price of US$4 for digital copy and $14.95 for hard copy and includes a 10 per cent donation to Socio-Lite Foundation, a Myanmar charity dedicated to improving children’s education in the country. That underscores the other point of Nichols’ makes. In Myanmar especially, the businessman must give something back.
Asia Business Books
Myanmar Books (Hardcopy)
OTHER TITLES BY AUTHOR, JONATHAN NICHOLS:
1. Myanmar For Foreign Dummies- An 18 Point Businessperson’s Guide to Myanmar
2. Mr. John’s 20 Rules for Investing in Myanmar
Jul 6, 2013
Puk Time by Jonathan Nichols