Doctorpreneur Series: Property Investor Dr. Victor Gan Exclusive Interview

I had the honour of being probably the first to interview up and coming Malaysian property expert - our very own Dr Victor Gan. For those of you who are still in the dark, Dr Victor is an active property investor who shares nuggets of property investing wisdom at his FB page and has gained quite a following.

His down-to-earth, practical tips in applying value investing in property has taught me so much. I hope you enjoy the exclusive interview.

Can you tell us your name, where you are from and a little bit about your background

My name is Victor Gan, I am born in Taiping, completed my primary school in Ipoh and secondary school in Alor Setar, then went to International Medical University for my medical studies in 2003.

Subsequently I started my housemanship training in Hospital Queen Elisabeth and did my medical officer training in Anaesthesiology and Radiology in Sabah Woman and Children Hospital for 6 years.

Currently I am now working in the private sector in Sabah.

Why did you go into medicine?

I love the science of human body since young.

How My Body Works is my favorite series of books that I owned. I love the Biology subject and I excel in those chapter about the human body.

For those on plants and animals, I normally just study for the sake of exam. Hehehe!

For those chapters on the human body, I studied it because of my love for the subject.

Thus when I went into Form 6, I was in the Biology stream because my aim is to become a doctor one day.

What made you start looking at something else to do besides medicine?

When I was in university, one of my best friend gave me Robert Kiyosaki's book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

That book changed my outlook on money.

One of the key things I remember up till today is this...

The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.


I was determined to let my money work for me and not the other way around.

I know that as a doctor, I will be working for money my entire life. Whether you are in the government or private sector, the day you stop working, your income ceases.

Working for money is the easier path – it’s what we’re taught in school (how to write a résumé, get a job, and work hard).

Having your money work for you – by starting a company, being your own boss, or investing – requires calculated risk and a level of comfort with uncertainty.

The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.

While average people are busy concerning themselves with their hourly pay, rich people are focusing on their assets and net worth.

These fundamentals of the mindset of the rich change my mentality forever.

What business (if any) or side hustle are you doing currently? How did you discover it?

Honestly, I have many side businesses. I am a serial entrepreneur. Hahaha!

I have a child care center together with my wife who was a Neonatal ICU nurse before she quit to start this business. Recently, Gamuda has engaged us to open a flagship center in their completing Bukit Bantayan project.

I also owned multiple bird nests houses together with my business partner who is my mentor in the swiftlet industry.

I am also the property analyst for FAR Capital and Below Bank Value investment company. I was actually found by Faizul Ridzuan back in early 2016. He saw my potential and began to groom me by sending me to train with Marshall Thurber and Bill Allen in Singapore.

That training changed my life completely.

In November 2017, I started my official Facebook Page called Dr Victor Gan – Value Investing in Properties.

To date, some of my articles are featured in property magazines in Malaysia.

I also do professional consultation in terms of giving advice on market pricing, building layouts and market evaluation for developers looking to build properties on any land.

 Just 3 months ago, I started my own renovation and property management company in Kota Kinabalu providing investors and home owners an affordable alternative to quality interior design for their properties.

My next project is to dabble in the hotel industry in Sabah.

dr victor gan
How is your success or returns from your side hustle thus far?

 For me, I am doing all these things because I love to help people. I love to help my patients medically, I love to help the public to be able to invest in good investment properties for minimal cash flow.

Even the renovation company was started because I find that the existing interior design companies in Kota Kinabalu are way to expensive for the normal salaried employee to afford their dream home. Thus, I created this company to solve this problem of interior design affordability.

Money was never my goal when I go into any businesses (except the bird nest business which was profit driven).

I go into all these businesses with the intention to solve a problem.

Nevertheless, when you began solving problems for people, the money will come. I currently earn 8 times the salary of the usual UD48 medical officer salary.

In some months, I can earn up to RM150,000 in just a single month.

But at the end of the day, money was never my intention. Helping people and solving problems is what drives me to work hard.

I get a thrill when my clients earn big money from the properties they invested through me. I don't get so excited by money anymore these days.

What are the challenges you have faced so far in your current chosen side hustle? Any failures? Lessons you can give others?

Honestly, there are so many challenges and failures along the way. Really difficult for me to list down everything here. Haha!

But this is what I learn through it all...

People who avoid failure also avoid success.

Most people never win because they’re afraid of losing, or failing. Yet if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes, right?”

We learn to walk by falling down.

If we never fell down, we would never walk. The same is true for learning to ride a bike.

The same is true for entrepreneurship. Failure is part of the process of success.

Are you happy doing what you do right now?

Absolutely. 200% happy with what I am doing right now.

Would you say studying medicine helped you in your side job? Any regrets studying medicine?

Definitely no regrets studying medicine although I am steering off course from what a normal doctor will embark on. A “normal” doctor will open a clinic, pharmacy, go into health-tech or try to create the next “Uber” for medicine... etc.

I definitely stray way off course from what I studied in university. Hahaha!

Anyway, without being a doctor, I wouldn't be able to command a comfortable salary to begin with to engage in property investments.

I would say medicine is the stepping stone to all my business ventures thus far.

Tell us a bit more about your inspirations, your dreams etc, what you aspire and aim to do in 5 years.

My lecturer asked my class of M203 what do we hope to become in the future.

This was my answer and is still my answer today....(to the shock of the lecturer and my friends since I am the only one with such answer)

My dream is to own hospitals where I can provide affordable private healthcare to everyone. And also to build a university that will continue to raise up quality doctors who will take care of me when I am old.


Pretty big dream fora medical student, right? Haha!

As to what I am aiming to do in the next 5 years...

I am planning to quit medicine completely and go around Malaysia and Asia to teach people about property investment using Value Investing method by Warren Buffett.

I want to educate the public that with the right knowledge, you can create for yourself a 5 figure passive income easily.

And you don't need a lot of money to enter into the property market. All you need is acquiring the right knowledge.

The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth.

I want to be the trainer to train people to make their mind the most powerful asset they will ever acquired – by imparting my knowledge to them in property investments.

What would your advice be for aspiring doctors who wish to try their hand at entrepreneurship?

Aim for legacy.

Legacy is greater than currency.

Aim to affect other people and the world in a positive way and leave a dent in the universe.


And never ever stop dreaming for yourself.

If you’re not dreaming big for yourself, who’s doing it for you?

Some closing words

I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did editing and going through his response. 

Dr Victor still writes actively over at his Facebook page. Do like and follow him if you want to learn how to build up your net worth by property investment.

Are you inspired to take action? Do you like this interview? Great! Spread the word and give me some love by sharing this article! 

Bluecoins App Review – Best Android Expense Tracker App

In my journey of learning about managing my own finances, I learned that recording my transactions is important to gauge my spending pattern. Apps have played a rather important role by helping me record everything I spend on. 

I have used so many expense tracking app over the years but none have withstood the test of time as Bluecoins. 

Bluecoins App Review

I have used Bluecoins since April this year and boy, am I blown away by the sheer functionalities it provides.

Before I settled on this app, I have tried many other apps but none could satisfy my requirements. I wanted something that can

  • Input daily transactions
  • Record my assets and liabilities
  • Budget according to categories 

Previously, the apps that I've tried either has one but not the other functionalities so it's pretty frustrating. Bluecoins ties everything together nicely in a small, lightweight package.

The user interface is easy to get used to. The main tab functions as your dashboard which gives you a quick, bird's eye view of your transactions and your monthly spending so far. Best of all , you can edit the kind of information you want to be displayed.

It's the granularity of the information and the freedom Bluecoins provides that made me fall in love with the app. I can choose not to display certain categories in the total calculation to avoid confusing myself and wondering where some of my money went to.

Best Android Expense Tracking App out there thus far

My verdict is this: Bluecoins is the one app you shouldn't skimp on if you're serious about having your finances under control. 

That being said, it takes a modicum of discipline to actually develop the habit of keying in every single transaction you made. Once the habit develops, it becomes almost second nature to record whatever you do with your money into the app.

How to register a business in Sarawak: A step-by-step guide

19/9/2019 Update: This post will be moved to my dedicated website for Sarawak businesses over at https://www.sarawakbiz.com/how-to-register-a-business-in-sarawak-a-step-by-step-guide/. Please follow that new site for updates related to doing business in Sarawak.

After running around trying to register my own enterprise, I finally understand why there are not that many new businesses springing up here compared to West Malaysia. It's because it's so darn hard to get a business up and running and most people wouldn't know how to do it. 

Before this I've been trying so hard to find out more about registering a business in Kuching on the Internet but unfortunately there is a severe lack of reliable information online. I decided to write a post about it, hopefully it's useful to you. 

If you're a Sarawakian and you wish to open up a new business, I gotta say that unfortunately it is a very tedious process. Here, to register a business, we follow a very different and rather archaic set of procedures. Which means there's no online process and everything has to be done manually. 

Akta Pendaftaran Perniagaan 1956 apparently doesn't apply in Sarawak. Instead, we use the Business Names Ordinance (Chapter 64 Laws of Sarawak) and Business, Professional & Trades Licensing Ordinance (Chapter 33 Laws of Sarawak). 

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, please don't whack me if the information I provide is wrong, haha.

Sarawak Business Registration

Please note that this guide is only for registration of sole proprietorship  i.e. a business under your personal name or a trade name, and NOT a Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd) or Perkongisan Liabiliti Terhad (PLT).

You should know the difference between a sole proprietorship vs company or PLT before starting a business. Anyway, I'll breakdown the process to easy bite-sized pieces for you to digest.

Part 1: Name Search Process

  1. Head to Wisma Hasil (Ting Pek Khing building opposite Top Spot Seafood)
  2. Proceed to 2nd floor.
  3. Find the "SLIP CARIAN NAMA PERNIAGAAN". It should be on the table next to the ticket machine.
  4. Fill in at least 2 names if you intend to use Trade Name (i.e. not your own name).  Fill in the nature of business, and complete the rest of the form.
  5. Get a number. Select the "pendaftaran perniagaan" option. Wait for your turn.
  6. The officer will see whether your name can be approved or not. If approved, you'll get a stack of documents to fill.

 These documents should include:

  • Borang IRD No.8 (Trade license application form)
  • Borang R20 (Business Names Ordinance form)
  • Borang TL from Jabatan Statistik

Fill out all the forms as required. If your specific business require another special license, please check with DBKU/MBKS/MPP for information.

Please note that your Name Search is valid for 10 days only. You need to complete your business registration within this period.

Part 2: Business Address & Business Stamp

If you already have a business premise, then great! But if you're poor like me, you probably need to rent one.  Many people rent a business address from third party. It's a great workaround option if you don't intend to rent a permanent premise or shop lot. The company I use is iCube Innovation at iCom Square. Costs about RM300 per year, and they will help receive your mail.

Whichever company you use, make sure you get the

  • Tenancy Agreement
  • Land Title 

 The company you signed up with or your landlord should be able to provide you with this.

After you get your tenancy agreement, you need to make a business stamp with the FULL address.

Part 3: Form Submission

  1. Go back to LHDN building.
  2. Get your Tenancy Agreement stamped at the stamp duty counter. Costs RM10.
  3. Take number for new business registration again.
  4. Proceed to submit all your forms to the counter. They will check through and make sure everything is in order.
  5. Pay the fees for your business registration. This should come up to about RM77.
  6. Make sure to get the receipt. You'll need this to collect your business license later.

Collection of your business license

From the submission day until the actual business certificate collection, it was about 2 weeks. So suffice to say that it takes at least 2 weeks to get a business or sole proprietorship properly registered here in Kuching, which is disappointing to say the least. It tells your volumes about the business competitiveness in the state.

Do note that you can have a representative to help you collect the business license.

  1. Bring your payment receipt (the green slip) back to LHDN office.
  2. Go back to the counter where you submitted your form. 
  3. Collect your business certificate. Done!

Conclusion

The whole registration process is quite tedious to say the least, as compared to how it's done over in West Malaysia. For those who are not from around here, I can see why it'll be quite difficult to set up shop and expand operations to this side of the country. The infrastructure is simply not up to par.

That being said, maybe it's all on purpose to prevent outsiders from flooding the market? After all, as they say, Sarawak is a gold mine.. 

19/9/2019 Update: This post will be moved to my dedicated website for Sarawak businesses over at https://www.sarawakbiz.com/how-to-register-a-business-in-sarawak-a-step-by-step-guide/. Please follow that new site for updates related to doing business in Sarawak.

A Stroll through Sarawak’s Very Unique History: The Brooke Rajahs

 If you didn't know already, this event was held as part of What About Kuching 2018 which is drawing to a close. I had the chance to attend the event yesterday at Fort Margherita.

For the uninitiated, there is actually a new gallery inside the restored fort which has been in operation since last year. Aptly named Brooke Gallery, it was a herculean effort that drew little attention (at least among my circle of friends) which led to the creation of what is, in my opinion, a truly wonderful showcase in Sarawak's unique history.

9 Cardinal Principals - did you know about this?

The stroll is actually sort of a guided tour through the gallery. Led by Paul Gerarts, a volunteer heritage tour guide, we were given a brief but informative insight into the formation of Sarawak.

The participants had the chance to hear about James Brooke's role in the creation of Sarawak as well the Brooke's family's efforts to forge Sarawak into what it is today. To me, it was a very refreshing take the land's history, which unfortunately has been neglected in the official narrative for far too long.


Many people had assumed that Sarawak went through a period of oppressive colonialisation by western powers. It could not be further from the truth in Sarawak. This explains why until today, you'll find many native Sarawakians who speaks fondly of the White Rajahs. This is truly a unique aspect in Sarawak's history.

Why, you may ask? Well, visit the Brooke Gallery yourself and you will find out all about what they have done for what was back then the independent country of Sarawak.

All I could say is, Sarawak has a truly unique story compared to other states in the federation. This WAK event, in my opinion, has successfully showcased an important piece of that story via the gallery and many people will come to know the true history of Sarawak as word spreads among the Kuching populace about this still relatively unknown cultural gem.

Participants of the event listening intently to Paul's explanations.

The event lasted for an hour and a half and Paul did a great job of providing a lot of information within a short time. It would've been more interesting if he introduced more about himself at the start though. We left the place wondering who he was and why did he volunteer for the event. Maybe everyone else there knew who he was (which meant that me and my friends were very ignorant, lol).

Would I recommend a visit to the Gallery? A resounding yes. I will pay a visit again sometime in the future just to digest the tremendous amount of carefully researched information and artefacts pertaining to the state's foundation. 

For more information, do visit The Brooke Gallery's website.

Happy Bunch Review: Honest Experience from a Guy

happy bunch review

If you're looking for a way to send flowers to your loved ones just by sending your orders online, look no further - I believe this may just be the best option out there.

Read my review of Happy Bunch to find out more!

Affordable Flowers with Same Day Delivery in Klang Valley

Happy Bunch started off from humble beginnings and grew to be a formidable flower delivery business. I really respected the founders' tenacity and drive that made it to be such a success it is today.

Happy Bunch succeeded where many others failed. Prior to this, there were a few other companies that do what Happy Bunch does but the prices were just too steep and unbelievable.

Now, the company promises same-day delivery to selected areas in Klang Valley from RM47 only! They've made it so much easier to spread love and joy around.

Happy Bunch review: my personal experience 

I used Happy Bunch's service last year to send flowers to my then girlfriend. 

My problem was that I was residing in Kuching whereas she was all the way over there in KL. What made it difficult was, she was working as a house officer in the paediatric intensive care unit in a major hospital in Klang Valley - not exactly the kind of place one can simply find and stroll into!

My problem was solved when I stumbled across Happy Bunch by chance. Being an firm believer of startups and homegrown e-commerce companies, I decided to try their service.

I made an order at around 8 in the morning. Believe it or not, the flowers were sent by 3pm in the afternoon! My girlfriend received the flowers perfectly at her workplace. Needless to say, Happy Bunch helped me make someone's day very special. 

Verdict: Best Online Flower Delivery if you're in Klang Valley

The one downside with Happy Bunch is that they only offer delivery to certain areas in Klang Valley. For most areas it's free.

The whole process from order to payment to delivery was seamless. They even send you an email to let you know the flowers have been delivered.

Conclusion: highly recommended if you need to send flowers to your loved ones in Klang Valley.

Happy Bunch promo code

Get RM5 off your first order!

Click here to enjoy your first order with RM5 discount. ​Offer stands till 31st December 2018. 

​Click the banner below to get your promo!

Life after quitting housemanship – a what-if scenario

It's easy to think quitting housemanship is the solution to all your problems. 

I'm not here to tell you about my experience about quitting housemanship. This post aims to help guide your thinking process if you are on the verge of quitting.

See, life after quitting housemanship wouldn't be as rosy as you think. There are many considerations to take into account.

Financial obligation

Do you have a back-up plan after quitting?

Do you already have a second job that you can immediately transition into after quitting?

Do you currently have enough emergency savings to last you for at least 6 months?

Do you have a backup plan in case your job search after quitting housemanship fails? It's not easy to get back into the government sector if you quit. 

Time lost - opportunity cost

It took at least 5 years to get that medical degree. 

Do you think it's worth it, not having at least passed through housemanship and getting a full registration with the Malaysian Medical Council?

Do you think it's worth it to redo everything and go through another 3 or 4 more years to get another degree to start all over?

Do you think you can somehow make up for the lost opportunities alone the way that exist in other fields, just by quitting and catching up?

Granted, one can always go into related healthcare fields with a medical degree. Plenty of people have done it. For example, pharmaceutical sales, insurance etc. Let's not delve too deep into that.

Think carefully before you leap

Nobody said housemanship is easy. 

Everyone knows how toxic it can be. No one is condoning covering up all the alleged sexual harassment, mental health issues and bullying that are prevalent in the field. It's another topic altogether.

But like what I wrote in my other post

Pain is temporary. Growth is permanent.


You might find tremendous success in other fields. Yet, as with everything in life, nothing in certain. The opposite might just happen and you could be in deeper shit than you were before. So do consider all options before making that decision.

GetFood App Review

getfood app

Recently Kuching welcomed another addition to its food delivery app scene with the arrival of GetFood app.

Now we Kuchingites have plenty of options to choose from!

According to this report from Borneo Post, GetFood app is owned and operated by Wahh Innovations Sdn Bhd with support from iCube Innovation. They promise to deliver under 35 minutes upon ordering through the app so I decided to try it out myself.

User interface

Loading time of the app needs improving - it took more than 5 seconds for my phone to fully load the app after opening.

Otherwise, ordering food is easy, just search for the type of cuisine, proceed to order and et voila~ your food is on the way! Payment was a breeze via credit card.

The app features easy tracking of your order status as well as rider location.

I proceeded to order from Chinese Barbeque Specialist which is located at Padungan Road - a good 20 minutes and 8.4 km away from my house.

Time taken from the start of the order until the delivery was about half an hour, which is within what the company promised. Kudos!

Verdict

Another food delivery app to the scene - what's not to like? This will be a great addition to people who are simply too lazy to drive out on a balmy Sunday afternoon.

I think loading time for the app can be improved though. The app feels significantly slower than its nearest competitor - EzFood. 

Try it today - available on Google Play Store as well as Apple's App Store.

B2B Finpal Review

After trying Fundaztic and Funding Societies Malaysia, I've decided to try out the rest of the P2P operators in Malaysia. Next in line is B2B Finpal. Read on for my review of this company.

B2B Finpal Review

Signup Process

The whole signup process is not that complicated but I found it a bit tedious. After the usual online registration, you'll have to print out some agreement forms and sign. Just follow the instructions in the email and you should be fine

Features & User Friendliness

This is the part where I have major issues with the platform. The first impression I had upon logging into the website was how bare-bones it was. 

After your registration is approved, you will have to deposit at least RM1000 to activate your 'virtual account'. Do note that your money is actually deposited into a trust account which is in line with Bank Negara's best practices.

Trying to deposit fresh funds was a bit confusing, as there is no integration with any major online payment processors such as FPX. There wasn't any information to begin with, which I found quite frustrating. You will have to find the information in the email and do an online transfer manually. Subsequently just fill in the information by clicking the 'Deposit' button in your dashboard and wait for your funds to be confirmed.

That being said, confirmation of deposit was fairly quick during normal business days. I got my RM1000 deposit confirmed within 2 hours.

They have auto-invest options so that is a good point. You can even set your own 'risk grade' to tune your exposure to investment notes based on their risk grading, so this is something new.

B2B Finpal investment opportunities

Unlike Fundaztic or Funding Societies, I feel B2B Finpal's funding opportunites to be quite limited.

I have yet to invest into any of the notes so far, so stay tuned for updates on the performance.

Verdict

It's too early to tell how B2B Finpal will fare in the future. As with all things, there are certain risks involved when investing into P2P funding.

I will definitely update this post in the future to gauge the company's performance. Stay tuned! Do like my FB page to get updates.

World Press Photo Exhibition @ WAK2018

I covered another event during WAK 2018 and this time I found myself trudging along the wet field of Padang Merdeka on a cool Saturday morning.

world press photo 2018 kuching

World Press Photo 2018 happening on Padang Merdeka

World Press Photo is an international photography contest that was started in 1955 by a group of Dutch photographers. Since then it has grown into a prestigious competition. The photos selected are essentially visual stories that highlight almost everything you can think of - humanity, environment, contemporary issues and so on. 

This year Kuching is hosting the prestigious event for the first time. It is actually an open air exhibition and open to the general public without any fees. 

world press photo

Poignant displays of various issues that will surely make you think

This year's Photo of the Year was won by Ronaldo Schemidt who took this moving imagery of a protester on fire. José Víctor Salazar Balza  was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first- and second-degree burns. Click here for more info.

venezuela crisis

Venezuela Crisis - Image credit to Ronaldo Schemidt

It's definitely an interesting event not to be missed especially if you are an aspiring photographer. The photos really do make you pause and think about the stories and the message the photographer was trying to get across. 

Some of the photos are quite explicit though, but I am sure Kuchingites are more than mature enough to contemplate the issues and messages instead of taking offence.

Do check out the event until 28th October 2018 at Padang Merdeka. You can also read news article about it on Borneo Post.

What About Kuching 2018 Food Safari

What About Kuching 2018 included a new event called Food Safari which is currently being held along Jalan Padungan. The organisers are Meritin Hotel and Batik Boutique Hotel.

padungan road

Lots of hidden artwork for you to explore along the street. Jalan Padungan takes its name from what was back then the largest Malay village in Kuching. The villagers moved way for the construction of the road and shophouses. Earliest settlers were wealthy Hainanese and Teochew towkays who got rich from the rubber boom.

I represented Sarawak Bloggers to cover the event yesterday during the opening day and went along the street to sample some of the foods. Got our passport from Meritin Hotel (but apparently you can get it from any one of the 60 vendors listed).

food safari

This booklet is super informative! Contains very detailed information about the event and a full list of the vendors with descriptions.

First port of call? Ming Hong Kee. This family shop has been around for more than 60 years and is one of the oldest businesses on the street. We tried the kolo mee which was delectable.

kolo mee

Tried the traditional kolo mee and kolo mee kosong with a bowl of meatballs in seaweed soup. Yummy!

Sampled some char siew buns from Abee Traditional Buns. Delicious! Too bad didn't take any photos. Went on to Hong Kong Noodle House for the missus to tapau some roasted duck noodles.

roasted duck noodles

Roasted duck noodles

Visited Hock Hai / Fook Hai Cafe and sampled the kolo mee there. I found it quite different - the meat was really tender and juicy, quite unlike other char siew meats you usually find on other kolo mee places. Needless to say, their steamed char siew buns were really delicious too - they've been in business for more than half a century!

Kolo mee at Hock Hai / Fook Hai Cafe. Heavenly!

I daresay, one of the best steamed char siew buns I've ever tried.

Went back to visit Taiwan Siao Jou too. This chain of eatery needs no introduction - very good place to go if you're looking for something home-style cooking.

Tons of dishes to choose from to go with your rice or porridge.

Will definitely check out the rest of the shops. There are over 60 vendors listed in the event!

You can get your passport stamped with every purchase at the participating outlets, but do note that some of the vendors may have their own terms and conditions (e.g. Hong Kong Noodle House will only stamp if you purchase more than RM50).

Gather 20 stamps to redeem a WAK 2018 fun pack, and get 40 stamps for a surprise goodie bag. Food Safari ends at 11.59pm on 28th October so you still have about a month to go sample all the foods.