On April 25, 2012, I sent James Aung and his wife off at Changi Airport to Yangon. He has been renovating his own practice in Yangon and should be opening in June 2012.
James Aung is a Myanmar qualified veterinarian but in Singapore, he is just a veterinary technician. He had worked in various practices and know much more over the last 20 years as he is hands-on in assisting in veterinary surgery and medicine. He gives values to his employers by giving more time and effort to hospitalised cases than expected of an employee. He has earned a good reputation in Singapore.
"Got to get the models to be at the opening ceremony," the wife had invited me by offering to pay for my air tickets. Her friend had the connections to the media in Yangon. Car salesroom in Yangon always show models standing around.
"No models," I advised. "Actresses and actors. Famous ones! Any lion dance like Dr Jason Teo who opened his clinic?"
"No, no," the wife said. "Lion dances are for the Chinese."
"Ok, how about horse or donkey dance?" I asked as I had seen such events during my travel to Mandalay from a resort military garrison town.
In this practice, a big pre-owned car had been bought for $60,000 cash. Renovation of the 3-storey building would be at least $40,000. Two water tanks, a well dug and sewerage pits must be planned unlike in Singapore.
Sometimes, it is penny wise pound foolish in starting up a vet clinic. James said he would buy the auroscope but not the opthalmoscope because his wife objected. I told the wife that was not the right thing to do and she gave permission. Asian wives can be quite powerful as James hand over his pay to his wife and get an allowance.
Still, there is much more to having a pretty modern veterinary clinic and an experienced vet like James. Will the clinic be able to sustain its profitability? There is the marketing part. The business development part. The technical part. If the clinic is not profitable over the years, it is a white elephant and James' wife would have lost a lot of money..