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The Formulation of National Biotechnology Policy


1.0     INTRODUCTION                                                                   3

2.0     NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY POLICY                             4
          2.1     Evaluation on the role played by the main stakeholders
in the formulation and implementation of
National Biotechnology Policy                                      5

THE PUBLIC POLICY   PROCESS                                         8

4.0     CHALLENGES IN BOTTOM UP APPROACH                       13

5.0     CONCLUSIONS                                                                     16


Malaysia is a country that is unique because it is a country that is derived from two regions of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak. Malaysia is a country of different races, ethnicity, religion and culture that reflects the diversity of the country. Malaysia also does not deal with natural disasters that continue to produce and delegated much like petroleum, tin, and so forth. Therefore, Malaysia should have a policy not only to mobilize resources, but can reduce the gap between people and the region will further enhance the relationship between race and religion.

Public policy refers to the act by government to address certain problems affecting members of the public. Various governmental organizations formulate and implement public policy so as to address issues affecting the public. Besides, public administration defines the process of implementing public policy. Therefore, public policy fits quite well in the field of public administration; the study of public administration enables one to acquire knowledge on how to manage organizations, public policy analysis and solving public problems. Public administration involves professional experts for the development of sound public policies that can help in solving, easing or preventing the problems.

Public administration requires skills like budgeting, research and management, which are important in the implementation of government policy. A public administrator oversees the design and execution of government policies. Public policy is just one among the various pillars of public administration. Other pillars include human resource, statistics and ethics. The public administrators are legislators, mayors, public servants among others. This fits well in the agenda of public policy. For instance, a mayor seeks legislation on public policy and undertakes its implementation for the benefit of the general public.

This paper seeks to examine the policymaking process of National Biotechnology Policy, which is aimed to provide a structured guideline in developing the industry. This paper will also discuss the rationale of bottom up approach in the public policy process and the main challenges behind the bottom up approach.
The emergence of new technologies such as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), biotechnology and new material sciences have successfully altered the dynamics, composition and production patterns in the industrialized as well as developing nations (Chaturvedi & Rao, 2004). Biotechnology, in particular, will undoubtedly be the major technology of the twenty-first century. In fact, biotechnology is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and is seen as a major area of investment and target for support by government worldwide (MOSTI, 2006). Over the past 55 years, biotechnology has supported many scientific discoveries and has become an integral component of the economies of many industrialized countries (Glassman & Sun, 2004). There are significant potential benefits to the nations committed to participating in the biotechnology industry, for instance, in term of higher crop yields, better healthcare and better economic returns (Daar et al., 2007).

Recognizing the potential contribution of biotechnology to the economy, many Asian countries, including Malaysia have begun to invest in the biotechnology industry. Although biotechnology can be considered as relatively a new industry in Malaysia, yet it has been identified as a potential engine of economic growth for the nation. Following the lead given by the development of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) which represents a successful investment in the ICT industry, biotechnology is considered as the next growth area in the industrial development for Malaysia (MOSTI, 2006). Hence, with the necessary motivations and great opportunities, biotechnology becomes the subject of public policy aspiration in Malaysia. However, a structured policy is vital as it becomes the key for the implementation of activities in this sector. With a clear direction and indication, the progress and growth of this sector is not only immeasurable but the success will then be proven relative. The Malaysian cabinet then entrusted the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to lead the drafting of an effective policy for this industry.

2.1       Evaluation on the role played by the main stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of National Biotechnology Policy
In general, the formulation of the National Biotechnology Policy can be divided into six phases – Problem Recognition; Appointment of Policy Agent; The Emergence of Policy Network; Interaction; Evaluation and Policy Outcome.

            2.1.1    Problem recognition
The policy initiation phase in the policy process can be extremely a complex one. It includes perceiving that a policy problem exists, identifying the problem context, determining the policy objectives and generating suitable policy agendas. According to Evans and Davies (1999), policy process begins with the recognition by policymakers of the existence problem which requires, due to contextual factors, pressing attention. The policy problems can be in the form of political interest, economic competition, or social need.

2.1.2    Appointment of policy agent
During the search process, an organization may come across a potential policy agent or policy consultant with specialist skills to develop the necessary political and knowledge resources to satisfy successful policy development (Khairiah, 2008). As MOSTI was entrusted to lead the drafting of the biotechnology policy, MOSTI engaged the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) as the principle consultant to accomplish the given task in the best possible manner.

MIGHT is an independent and non-profit governmental organization that is responsible to enable consensus building and coordination for industry-government partnership in high technology such as biotechnology. It is a prominent organization and has strong international links.

2.1.3    The emergence of policy network
This stage in the process of policy making identifies the emergence of an information feeder network which is developed by the appointed policy consultant (Khairiah, 2008). In this case, it was MIGHT. The curiosity of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) as a client was increased through preliminary processes of contact. Thereafter, it is crucial for MIGHT to increase the volume and the detail of information for MOSTI by demonstrating the quality of their access to communication and knowledge network in order to facilitate the formulation of National Biotechnology Policy proposal.

2.1.4    Interaction
In this stage, policy consultants will often be expected to organize forums for exchange of ideas between the client and knowledge elites as well as relevant policy stakeholders (Evans, 1999). This may take a form of representatives of relevant stakeholders who have similar professional beliefs and standards of judgment as well as share common policy concerns (Khairiah, 2008).

Various contexts of interaction can be identified in this case study through which MIGHT, MOSTI and representatives from academia, non-governmental organizations and industrial players discussed issues of central importance in the formulation of National Biotechnology Policy. At least nine important meetings were held starting from the appointment of MIGHT as the official consultant until the official launch of the National Biotechnology Policy.

Figure 1: Chronology of Meetings between MIGHT, MOSTI, and Policy Stakeholders
Source: Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (2009)

            2.1.5    Evaluation
Once the client is satisfied with the degree of intelligence gathering that the consultants have engaged in, the process of evaluation will commence (Khairiah, 2008). The evaluation process is critical in determining that the elements such as policy objectives, structure, contents, and concepts are designed appropriately according to the needs of Malaysian setting.

2.1.6    Outcome
After the National Biotechnology Policy draft has been evaluated by MOSTI and the various government agencies and non-governmental organizations, Jamaludin Jarjis, the former Minister of MOSTI presented the policy draft to the Malaysian Cabinet. According to the Principal Assistant Secretary, Finance and Corporate Section, BIOTEK, the cabinet approved the policy draft in the first presentation itself without any amendment since the proposal has been reviewed several times earlier by the various government agencies and was deemed complete.

The bottom-up theories emerged in the late seventies and early eighties as a major approach to policy implementation. Several studies showed that the top-down approach was not able to achieve their original objectives and policy statements. For example, although the New Economic Policy introduced in 1970 assumed that poverty would decrease by providing various tools such as subsidies to farmers and fisherman, many of them were still in poverty. In other words, if providing subsidies would lead to a decrease in poverty, then why did it not happen?

This could be because the policy was developed from a top-down approach and disregarded the complexity of putting policies into action. The top-down approach ignored the behavioral aspects of implementation and, more importantly, the key role played by implementers at the local level such as teachers in schools and local village heads in districts. Moreover, the bottom-up approach contends that if local bureaucrats are not allowed discretion in the implementations process with respect to local conditions, then the policy will likely fail (Matland, 1995).

Bottom-up theorists emphasize target groups and service deliverers, arguing that policy is made at the local level (Matland 1995). These scholars (e.g. Hjern and Hull 1982, Hanf 1982, Barrett and Fudge 1981, Elmore 1979) thus criticize top-down theorists for only taking into consideration the central decision-makers and neglecting other actors. The bottom-up approach, developed by Hanf, Hjern and Porter (1978), identifies the networks of actors who are involved in service delivery in one or more local areas and asks them about their goals, strategies, activities and contacts. It then uses the contacts in order to develop a networking technique to identify the local, regional and national actors involved in the planning, financing and execution of relevant governmental and non-governmental programs. This provides a mechanism for moving from local actors and decision-makers such as teachers or doctors up to the top policy-makers in both the public and private sectors (Sabatier 2005). In terms of policy areas, bottom-uppers examine policies with greater uncertainty in the policy (Matland 1995).
Bottom-up designers begin their implementation strategy formation with the target groups and service deliverers, because they find that the target groups are the actual implementers of policy (Matland, 1995). Moreover, bottom-uppers contend that if local bureaucrats [implementers] are not allowed discretion in the implementation process with respect to local conditions, then the policy will “likely fail” (Matland, 1995). Accordingly, goals, strategies, and activities must be deployed with special attention to the people the policy will directly impact. Thus, evaluation based upon the street-level bureaucrat would be the best practice (Matland, 1995). For example, Matland discussed Hjern’s findings that central initiatives poorly adapted to local conditions failed, and, that success depended greatly on the local implementer’s ability to adapt to local conditions.

Discretion by agents is the underlying premise of the bottom-up approach (Elder, Lecture, 2011). Discretion may be a very good thing, especially when it uses expertise of people impacted by the policy to increase the likelihood of success and approbation. In bottom-up, one size doesn’t fit all cases, and so discretion may enable implementers to activate more useful practices or to ignore policy that will hamper the goal of the program. For example, the safe water drinking act became prohibitively expensive for smaller water systems. Of the 350,000 municipal water systems in Malaysia., only the conglomerates had the financial resources to quickly live up to the law without federal / state aid. However, the size of the water systems meant that a visit from a regulator was unlikely, so the great financial burden that would have occurred with a visit from a regulator was ignored. On the other hand, a regulator using the bottom-up approach in Chicago may overlook minor code violations for a bribe—since the mom and pop shop is out of code but is not a real threat to safety. The bottom-up model is thus a challenge to administration due to the reality of delegated authority, to the discretion allowed to different agents, which invariably causes a measurable variance of goal achievement. The bottom-up approach thus creates ambiguous goals.

Bottom-uppers are at times guilty of two criticisms. First, street-level bureaucrats are usually not accountable to the people. In this case, the local agents may intentionally subvert the elected officials’ policy goals and engage personal sub goals (Matland, 1995). Second, bottom-uppers ignore the fact that many policies are created in a top-down manner, and likely in a manner which reinforces top-down authority. For example, Matland describes Sabatier’s analysis of environmental regulation in the United States, whereas the federal designers of the federal act integrated the necessary clauses to allow for class and individual lawsuits (150). Overtime, it was these lawsuits that adjusted the rule-of-law, not the local implementers.

DeLeon and DeLeon (2001) find that bottom-uppers are more likely to be reflective of community interests, while top-downers are more likely to impose policy narrowly upon focused interest groups. They conclude that bottom-up implementation is “more realistic and practical” and much more “democratic” than the top-down approach. Further, if the policy is indeed meant to coerce people’s behavior, then the bottom-up approach may go beyond informing people of the proposed legislative action to manipulate behavior. In fact, bottom-uppers may garner the consent of the target group before their representatives’ vote for the law.

Citizen e-participating is one of good example of bottom-up approach in public policy process in Malaysia. Figure 2 shows the general overview of public policy formulation in Malaysia and figure 3 shows how the bottom-up approach through e-participating works in formulating public policy.

Figure 2: General overview of public policy formulation process in Malaysia

Figure 3: E-participation framework for public policy formulation

The bottom up-up approach is not free from challenges. Among the main challenges faced by public administrators in the policy formulation and implementation by using bottom-up approach is as follows:

Ego dimension of politicians: The ego of most politicians in Malaysia leads to the twist and turns of policies usually for political survival and perpetuation of party interest. There is needless policy change if not abandonment. New governments come into office and fail to continue with the policies started by the previous opposition government. In rare cases, the best they can do is to change the name of the policy or enlarge it to cover other extraneous societal issues.

On the other hand, politicians in their effort to quickly satisfy the demands of the people formulate policies that provide short-lived solutions and fail to address the actual problem in the long run. The winning of elections is held as more important than the sustainability of policies and the attainment of their core goals (Makinde, 2005).

Bribery and corruption: Bribery and corruption sometimes become problem in bottom-up approach. In the policy setting, it accounts for most of the difficulties faced at the implementation stage. Policy actors both at the top level and at the field syphon financial resources to satisfy themselves. Agents and institutions put in place to ensure accountability are also bribed to falsify their reports and massage their probing. In the end, the system is weakened and the formulated policies are unable to achieve their stated goals (Makinde, 2005).

Narrow View in Policy Formulation: Policy formulators using the bottom-up approach focus on very few variables that influence the problem identified. In most cases, they focus on only the political and economic variables failing to include the social, administrative and external environmental variables. Hence, right from the start, the policy is formulated with deficiencies (Makinde, 2005).

Lack of participation by the target group: participation is when the target group which the policy is meant for is given much room to contribute in policy formulation and implementation. However, in Malaysia the target group is usually left out at the policy formulation stage. Only high officials of government and policy actors are made to participate. The policy so defined therefore fails to be client-oriented and gets out of touch from the local people. Ownership of the policy becomes difficult (Makinde, 2005).

Time Required. One of the main problems encountered to the bottom-up process is the amount of time it consumes. In case of financial policy, first of all, individual managers have to create their own budgets, taking into consideration past budgets and spending during the integration of cost projections for the next year. Then, upper-level managers and executives have to review all the budgets submitted by the managers, and also to sum them in order to find out totals. The next phase is the approval or feedback that requires recalculations, meaning that the whole process can repeat itself several times before a final form of a budget is approved.

Lack of Expertise. In this form of policy making, the responsible for policy is likely to have enough experience in policy domain and some confidence working with financial resource allocation. However, a bottom-up approach required managers, who detain professional positions based on their specialized skills in specific fields, to perform the same administrative tasks as those that deals with this kind of skills. Even though there are managers who excellent motivate their teams and specialized in one particular field of business, they could not find cost savings and also estimate expenditures as well as someone else who work all day long with these figures or is higher in the organization.

Lack of Context. Bottom-up process ask stakeholders to elaborate policy without the benefit of context within the issues. stakeholders could have some information about other policy activities but a bit amount of knowledge about main strategic goals and financial objectives for the policy overall. Instead, stakeholders elaborate their main issues in separation or without guidelines from their top order, working to ensure for own structures needs but missing out on what's best for the country as an entity.
In general, the disadvantages of bottom-up approach can be identified as:

a)      The main fault of the approach is that it gives too much autonomy and power to lower-level bureaucrats. This might lead to the lower-level officials misusing their power and deviations in policy implementation or even complete overhaul of policies at the local level.
b)      The street-level bureaucrats are not politicians and therefore do not have to be accountable to the people, should the policies the implement go wrong. They may also thwart the elected officials’ policy intentions and have their own agendas to pursue at the local level.
c)      Policies can be made by local bureaucrats with total disregard to the fact that policies should be made by elected representatives.
d)      The lower level bureaucrats may actually not have much discretion with respect to policy implementation because the way that some policies are structured.
e)      Finally, it is impossible to control lower-level bureaucratic behavior by providing or withholding resources necessary for implementation by top-level policy makers.

This paper generates insights that may help develop better understanding of public policy making in Malaysia, in particular the National Biotechnology Policy. Two observations that can be made from the National Biotechnology Policy formulation process in Malaysia are highlighted here. Firstly, policymakers in developing countries like Malaysia often assume central roles in initiating, shaping and pursuing public policies. They are frequently the most important actors in propelling issues and problems into agenda for government action. Secondly, a well mobilized policy consultants and policy network may make a critical difference in ensuring a successful adoption and implementation of the policy proposal in a multiracial country like Malaysia.

Selecting an appropriate approach to use as the most appropriate approach to formulate and implement a public policy should be determined by reference to the need and suitability issues to be assessed.

Bottom-up approach recognizes that individuals at subordinate levels are likely to play an active part in implementation and may have some discretion to reshape objectives of the policy and change the way it is implemented.  The bottom-up approach sees policy implementation is an interactive process involving policy makers, implementers from various levels of government, and other actors. Policy may change during implementation.

There is no conclusion as to whether the top-down or bottom-up approach to implementation is better. What can be concluded is that both approaches provide valuable information to the implementation process and have their individual strength and weakness.


Chaturvedi, S. and Rao, S.R. (2004). Biotechnology and Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Asia. New Delhi: Academic Foundation.

Daar, A.S., Berndtson, K., Persad, D.L. & Singer, P.A. (2007). How can developing countries harness biotechnology to improve health? BMC Public Health.

deLeon and deLeon, “What Ever Happened to Policy Implementation? An Alternative Approach,” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 12, 4 (2002), pp. 467-492.

Evans, M. & Davies, J. (1999). Understanding Policy Transfer: A Multi-level, Multi-Disciplinary Perceptive. Public Administration.

Glassman, R.H. & Sun, A.Y. (2004). Biotechnology: Identifying advances from the hype. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.

Hanf, K., Hjern, B. and Porter, D. (1978), ‘Local networks of manpower training in the Federal Republic of Germany and Sweden’, in K. Hanf and F. Scharpf (eds), Interorganisational Policy Making: Limits to Coordination and Central Control, London: Sage.

Matland, R. E. (1995). Synthesizing the implementation literature: The Ambiguity Conflict model of Policy Implementation. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Makinde, T. (2005). “Problems of Policy Implementation in Developing Nations: The Nigerian Experience”. Department of Public Administration, ObafemiAwolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

MOSTI. (2006). National Biotechnology Policy: Biotechnology for Wealth Creation and Social Well-being. Malaysia: Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Sabatier, P. (2005), ‘From policy implementation to policy change: a personal odyssey’, in A. Gornitzka, M. Kogan and A. Amaral (eds), Reform and change in higher education: analyzing policy implementation, Dordrecht: Springer.




Executive Summary                                                              3
Business Summary                                                                6
Product Summary                                                                  8
Market Analysis                                                                           13
Marketing Strategy                                                               18
Start-up Phase                                                                               22
Management Summary                                                  23
Financial Plan                                                                               26
Risk and Exit Strategy                                                          32
Appendix                                                                                             34

Creating a flower garden requires too many steps. You need to research flowers that look good and are easy to grow, and then you need to design your lawn and purchase seeds, soil, fertilizer and mulch. Finally, you have to plant everything on your lawn. This is a lengthy process. Imagine how you would feel if the flower garden did not turn out the way you wanted. It is very frustrating.

Quick Lawn is here to solve this problem. We provide lawn owners the ability to create beautiful flower gardens by purchasing one item from the store: our flower sheet. It contains everything that you need to create an aesthetically beautiful flower garden. The only decision you need to make is the color of flowers that you like.

We have a founding group that will create the products and build a business around it. Our goal is to acquire startup capital to build the initial stages of this business and create a profitable enterprise.

1.1    Market Overview
Out of 31 million homes in Malaysia, 20 million of them have a yard or garden. Of that 20 million, 36% have a flower garden. Of that 36%, about 62% (22 million) created it themselves. On average, each home is spending around USD400 per year on their lawn and garden. Approximately USD75 of this is for their flower garden. Therefore, flower gardens represent USD1.65 billion of annual supply sales in Malaysia. With annual revenues of USD1.65 billion, this confirms that there is a market for flower gardens. The current market is already large enough to allow us to establish this business.

1.2    Competitive Advantage
We will apply for two patents, one covering our business method and the other covering specific products. Our business model is centered on the ease of selecting and creating a flower garden. This patent covers our unique approach to sell everything needed in one package, requiring minimal effort from consumers. Our second patent will be a set of many design patents covering specific combinations of flowers on our product.
Quick Lawn is the first service that can empower customers to design their flower garden without the hassle of measuring, weighing and purchasing the materials separately. In one year, customers are able to visit our website to select pre-determined designs or customize their desired combination and pattern.

1.3    Distribution Channel
Our products will be sold through major retailers such as Ace Hardware. There are more than 4,600 stores in 50 states and more than 70 countries. We contacted representatives from Ace Hardware and obtained information for product entry to their store. More information is located under the market analysis section of our business plan.

Some of Quick Lawn’s products will be retailed on our webpage. The webpage sells user-customized flower gardens which allow customers to design their own flower garden from their home. Consumers are able to create a pattern or specific flower preference on our website. We will ship those products to our consumers within one week.

1.4    Management Team
Quick Lawn’s management team consists of four highly passionate and driven individuals. Each individual holds a unique skill set from his/her experiences and undergraduate education in a prestigious institution. Their desire for success has been a major driving force toward multiple business endeavors in the past. Quick Lawn will be a huge success under the vision and leadership of this founding team.

1.5    Financial Projection
Year 1: Research & Development, product production and testing, improve on product details and marketing materials

Year 2: Similar with year 1 and include selling through Ace Hardware in Kuala Lumpur to test our product, obtain feedback and finalize our product

Year 3: Expansion to 3 new states, total of 4 states

Year 4: Spreading to 4 new states, total of 8 states

Year 5: Penetration into 4 new states, total of 12 states

Year 6: Penetration into another 4 new states, total of 16 states

1.6    Investment
According to our financial projection, our business will start breakeven in year 4. Our projected profit will increase exponentially in year 5 and year 6. In order to ensure smooth operations in the first three years, we are looking for a USD 550,000 investment. Quick Lawn will provide investors with a 20% equity stake for this investment opportunity.


Quick Lawn is an early stage product development company targeting the simplification of lawn and garden creations. The company intends on creating prototypes and commercializing them. Our current source of funding are the effort put in by the founders and no capital raises. We intend on using capital raised to develop our products and to initiate our testing phase.

            2.1       Company Ownership
Quick Lawn will be registered as a limited liability company (Sdn. Bhd.) with equal share among the four founders of the company. Capital will be raised through the issuance of an equity stake.

2.2            Start-up Cost
Quick Lawn start-up costs includes all expenses needed to start the business in the first year. The Sdn. Bhd. start-up fee is required to register Quick Lawn as a Sdn Bhd Company in Kuala Lumpur. Patents and trademarks are crucial to provide uniqueness to our business. These costs are necessary and will be sufficient to file a number of claims in the first year.

The materials needed for start-up is for the research and development phase. We need a large number of materials to test and refine our product, hence a higher cost.

We plan on hiring internal computer science students from our institution to design and create our desired webpage. This cost reflects the quality of the website that we desire. The breakdown of the start-up costs is illustrated as the following:

Start-up Cost
  Legal Fee
  Website Design
Total Start-up Cost



Quick Lawn is a convenient, easy-to-use, low cost full size flower sheet. This product allows consumers to create a flower garden with less effort compared to the traditional method. Our product requires consumers to clear the ground, place our flower sheet, cover it with soil and add water. The sheet includes fertilizers and seeds, and has the capability to trap moisture within the sheet to enhance seed germination.

3.1            Value Proposition
Quick Lawn’s product delivers value to consumers in many ways:

1.      Reduces time
Time is the only thing consumers cannot purchase. It can only be used more efficiently and allocated differently.

By utilizing our product, the only decision consumers need to make is to decide on the color and variety of the flowers. Once decided, they can purchase the flower sheet from the store shelf. Everything that they need to create an aesthetically pleasing flower garden is included in that sheet. The traditional process of creating a flower garden takes at least 5 hours, including research and travel time to purchase materials. Our product requires at most 2 hours. That saves consumers 60% of their time.

2.      Reduces stress when creating a flower garden
Creating a flower garden should be fun but the worst is when their creation did not turn out the way they wanted it to. Consumers should not be stressed or frustrated when creating a flower garden.

The flowers for our product have been pre-selected depending on the condition of the soil and temperature of that region. Further research enables an increase in probability of growth of our product. This reduces stress from creating an aesthetically pleasing flower garden. We provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee to our consumer. We will provide a new product for free to the consumer if the sheet did not work.
3.      Reduces labor workload
After purchasing all materials needed to create a flower garden, this process requires manual labor. Consumers need to dig holes in the ground, and ensure even seed distribution and space between seeds. This process is very labor intensive. Our product requires consumers to clear the ground, place our flower sheet, cover it with soil and add water. It is simpler and can be completed with less effort, relative to the traditional method.

Furthermore, consumers do not need to carry heavy bags of soil or fertilizers from the store and around the garden. Preventing this strenuous activity allows consumers to spend their energy on other daily activities instead.

3.2  Competitive Comparison
Creating a flower garden requires too many steps:
      • Creating a design
      • Selecting flowers that look good and are easy to grow
      • Purchasing flowers, soil, fertilizer and mulch
      • Applying effort to plant everything

This is a time consuming process Quick Lawn provides consumers with the ability to create an aesthetically pleasing flower garden with less effort, time and cost. The consumer only needs to make one decision: which colors and variety appeal to them. The next step is to select products with that color to create a beautiful flower garden. The types of flowers are already researched and preselected on the factors of appearance, ease of growth, and color coordination. The consumer simply purchases a package and takes it home. Consumers do not need to worry about buying additional products for fertilizing and seeds as they are already incorporated in a single product.

3.3  Technology
Our product consists of three layers. The bottom layer is an absorbent tissue-paper like material with starter fertilizers embedded at the bottom of the sheet. The middle layer is an all-natural adhesive substance to enhance germination along with the seeds. The topmost layer is a biodegradable sheet to contain moisture. Our consumers merely need to place our product on the ground, cover it with soil, and water the soil. The buds of the flowers can be seen in 4 - 6 weeks, depending on the type of flower. We are currently working on our first prototype and the goal is to produce sample products by March 2012.

Future product expansion plan calls for adding different design combinations, such as a Malaysian flag. These will allow the consumer to grow flowers in various patterns by creating a personalized flower sheet. Our vision is to enable enthusiastic lawn owners to visit our website and provide us with their desired drawings and designs. We would then develop their custom flower sheet design.

3.4  Fulfillment
Quick Lawn plans to be distributed through Ace Hardware. Ace Hardware will manage the store inventory and we will provide customer support to the customers. This is accomplished through an 800 number listed at the back of our product. We will focus on distributing through Ace Hardware because of the value and people in Ace Hardware. They focus on providing reliable service, advice and products to customers and have good relationships with their supply chain (Ace Hardware Corporate Info). Additionally, Ace Hardware is a local hardware store owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is easier for our product entry to Ace Hardware compared to Home Depot.

After the first year of operations and testing, we will establish a website that enables customers to order a customized flower sheet. That allows customers to design and create a flower garden of their choice through our online platform. The fulfillment of this product is completed via shipping and handling to consumers. This website only sells user-customized products and will not sell any premade product sold in Ace Hardware. This prevents competition against our distributor and would be an additional revenue stream for Quick Lawn.

3.5 Future Products
Quick Lawn dedicates the first year of operations to testing, research and development. That allows us to test the market and to constantly change our product depending on consumers’ feedback. With that information, the following are additional products that Quick Lawn plans to innovate:

1)      Create different flower designs and arrangements
The ability to personalize a product is gaining popularity in the recent years (Retail Customer Experience, 2008). Zazzle, an online retailer that allows users to create their own merchandise, is recognized as one of the “Hottest Silicon Valley Companies” (Lead411, 2010). The website’s traffic doubled in the past twelve months. This shows an increasing trend towards personalized product creation.

Quick Lawn will introduce this product after our initial testing state in the first year. With that information, we will launch a website that allows consumers to design, create and personalize a flower sheet of their choice. An example would be a consumer who wants a Malaysian flag design flower garden. The consumer can visit our website and design it themselves or he could select a design that has been archived by another user.

2)      Herb and Vegetable sheet for home gardening
Home gardening has been trending upwards. USA Today reported that vegetable seed sales are the nation’s biggest seed sellers this year. Recent reports of salmonella and E.Coli breakouts are infecting grocery stores’ vegetables. Therefore, with the tough economy, consumers drove seed sales in 2009 (McCarthy, 2009). Furthermore, Wal-Mart reported an increasing number of sales in herb gardens, tomatoes and pepper seeds. Quick Lawn will investigate this opportunity in the future.

3)      Gardening with Minimal Water
The demand for clean water around the world is outstripping supply. This brought an emerging trend known as xeriscaping. Xeriscaping grew out of environmental concerns in Colorado, and its practice has spread throughout the U.S. Xeriscaping involves the use of native vegetation and reduced use of water in landscape design (Wilson & Feucht, 2007).

Our product captures moisture within the sheet allowing less water to be used relative to normal planting. Therefore, this would be an advantage for our product to penetrate that market.

FIGURE 1: Concept Quick Lawn Product


Lawn care is a 2 billion dollar industry with a long term annual growth of 3.7%. The industry is coming out of a struggling economic condition. This is expected to help the industry grow as consumers will have a larger disposable income as we exit the recession. Over the next 2 years, the average number of housing starts is expected to increase by 81%. That is a 385,000 increase in housing starts which correlates to a USD4.8 million dollar increase in sales in three years.

            4.1       Customer Analysis (international market)
Out of 131 million homes in the US, 100 million of them have a yard or garden. Of that 100 million, 36% have a flower garden. Of that 36%, about 62% (22 million) created it themselves (Solutions, 2010). On average, each home is spending around USD400 per year on its lawn and garden. Approximately USD75 is for its flower garden (Viveiros, 2006). Therefore, flower gardens represent USD1.65 billion of annual supply sales in the United States.

Quick Lawn target customers are new and existing home owners who do not have the time or resources to plant their own flower garden. Our customers care about the look of their home and also want to spend time with their families. The average person spent 7.9 hours a day working. The average female spent 2.6 hours on household activities and men spent an average of 2 hours. Of that, 20% of the time they are working on lawn care. That is approximately 2.8 hours a week per person (United States Department of Labor, 2010). It takes at least 5 hours to create a flower garden using the traditional method. That correlates to approximately two weeks.

Our product enables consumers to complete their flower garden creation in 2 hours. That allows consumers to create their desired flower garden in one week.

4.2            Market Segmentation
Quick Lawn market can be divided into three groups:
·         New homeowners
·         Existing homeowners: self-created flower garden
·         Existing homeowners: hire landscaper

The first group consists of homeowners who create their own flower gardens. This group consists of homeowners who know the pain of creating a flower garden and those who enjoy the process.

The second group consists of new homeowners who recently purchased their new home. They care about the appearance of their new home but are under a tighter budget due to their new home purchase.

The third group consists of homeowners who hire landscapers to create their flower garden. They could afford it and will not require our product.

4.3            Target Market Segment
Although our market segment is very large, we plan to focus our attention on new homeowners, particularly first time home buyers. Within this group, our target segment is newly married couples and single females between the ages of 24-44. We have identified this group as a segment that cares about the appearance of their new home.

In 2014 there were 2.3 million homes sold (iProperty, 2015). Of those 2.3 million about 42% were first time home buyers. That comes to 1.2 million first time home buyers. In 2010, 51% of all first time home buyers were married couples (Deis) and 25% are single females. Assuming that the percentage of buyers remains the same in 2010, our target market would consist of 1.7 million households. That is a sufficient market size to start this business

On the other hand, out of the total number of first time home buyers (1.2 million), 73% of the group belongs to our age target segment, 24-44 (Deis). This shows that a majority of new homeowners consists of people within our target age group.

4.4            Market Trends
Between 2004 and 2008, landscaping service revenue grew at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 3.4% (Mardi, 2011). The following table provides annual revenue for landscaping services as a total, in thousands.


There are 6 factors that primarily impact the market: Economic environment, lifestyle trends, regulation, environmental factors, competitive forces, and demographic changes. Specifically, environmental factors and regulations will be changing. There is a strong focus on conservation of resources, sustainable design, reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers, and green building. Regulation may become a big factor as well, because of immigration laws that affect the cost of labor as a component of installation and maintenance.

In addition, due to the current economic conditions, households for sale would invest in our product. According to Serbajadi Gardening, the largest manufacturer of garden care products in Malaysia, a beautiful looking lawn can increase property values by up to 15%. This is a great incentive for household owners to utilize our product.

4.5            Competition
The current competitions are seed mats that have a scattering of seeds. They do not offer intricate designs and many of them do not have the correct amount of constituents to provide for effective flower growth. Comments on their products mainly fall into a negative feedback category. Current competitors also do not provide for the opportunity for consumers to create a customized design for their lawn, instead settling on whatever limited variety of seeds are prepackaged. The following table describes our competitors, their pricing and product type:

Quick Lawn couples a superior and economically priced package at USD50 per one hundred square feet product. It provides a unique service that is not matched by any of our more expensive competitors. Each product is carefully researched for optimal results based on regional soil types, and compatible flowers species. This gives us the marketing edge that makes gardening results more effective, efficient, and pleasurable.

Quick Lawn is the best product for people to buy because our company personalizes the product for the consumer’s individual needs.

4.6            Competitive Advantage
Quick Lawn will be the first service that can empower customers to design their lawns without the hassle of having to create, measure, and purchase the materials separately. Customers are able to visit our website to select pre-determined designs or customize their desired combination. In the future, we plan to allow designs to be displayed publically on our website with our customers’ permission. Other customers would be able to select and purchase that design if they so desire. The creator of that design would be given a stipend from that sale. This would provide more incentives for consumers to utilize our webpage.

Besides that, this is the only product in this market space that produces an entire flower garden. Similar products only cover a fraction of an average flower garden (less than 10%). From our market research, we identified that our competitor’s products are not reliable and utilized ineffective marketing strategy. We plan on rebranding our product in a positive manner, providing excellent customer service and excellent product satisfaction.

We will apply for two patents, one covering our business and the other covering specific products. Our business model is centered on the ease of selecting and creating a flower garden. This patent covers our unique approach to sell everything needed in one package, requiring minimal effort from consumers. Our second patent will be a set of many design patents covering specific combinations of flowers on our product.

Besides that, the cost of utilizing our competitor’s products to create a 100ft2 flower garden is USD179. Our suggested retail price of our product is USD50 (RM185.00) and our cost of production is USD10 (RM37.00).


Quick Lawn will position itself as a reliable full size flower sheet that is convenient, easy-to-use and low cost. Due to the number of negative reviews from competitors, it is crucial for us to build our brand and gain trust from consumers. Quick Lawn will obtain endorsements from numerous plant associations and product magazines. It will also advertise positive reviews from its consumers (with their permission) in order to build its brand awareness. On top of that, it is crucial for it to participate in tradeshows to further promote its brand.

An important message that we plan on sending to our target audience is that our product has been used and proven to look good. Our research, trials and testing will provide sufficient credibility to our brand.

            5.1       Contract with Ace Hardware
Our team spoke with representatives from Ace Hardware corporate headquarters. The process of placing our product on their shelf is as the following:

·         Send product information and prototype to Mr. Lim Chee Wei in department 7D
·         Mr Lim will contact us to schedule a meeting
·         Once we receive approval, they will advertise our product on their corporate website. Here is where Ace Hardware stores around the world are able to purchase products for their store

Quick Lawn will speak with store owners in Kuala Lumpur to obtain interest before sending product information to Mr. Lim Chee Wei. This will provide him with evidence of demand from his franchise owners. Once accepted by Ace Hardware, we will speak to store owners in other states in line with our penetration rate.

5.2            Entry Strategy
Quick Lawn plans to target first time home buyer, specifically married couples and single females within the 24-44 age group. This is our most aggressive market because they are under a tighter budget after purchasing their homes and are inexperienced at taking care of their new home. Our product’s price is inexpensive and fits into their budget to make an affordable improvement on their home. Our product will be available at Ace Hardware. This would be a great place for our target market to purchase our product due to the existing large number of stores across the country.

5.3            Marketing Strategy
During our first year of operation, Quick Lawn will be in a development phase and will test our product in the market. During that period, we will be attending tradeshows to constantly keep up with the industry and new products in the field.

After our first year, we plan to obtain endorsements from multiple plant associations such as Selangor and Federal Territory Gardening Society in Malaysia. This would increase the credibility of our product and enhance our brand.

Besides that, Quick Lawn plans to promote its product using targeted internet advertisements to our website. That would increase the number of unique visitors to our website. On top of that, our ads will be featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine and website to reach our target audience. The location to purchase our product will be listed on the website and magazine.

Furthermore, we noticed that our competitor’s products received bad reviews because their product did not work. Therefore, we plan on utilizing “groundswell” to promote brand recognition. We will do so by adding success videos of our product on Youtube, identifying customers who write reviews and providing them incentives to test our products and write more about us. Customer testimonials and reviews are very important and we plan on placing them on our packaging to enhance the product’s credibility.

5.4            Sales Strategy
As a product manufacturer, we plan on including a label on our product allowing consumers to provide us feedback. Additionally, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our products to ensure customer satisfaction. Our customer will be able to receive a new product for free if our product did not work.

Quick Lawn plans to distribute our products through Ace Hardware and our website. Ace Hardware has a large distribution channel in the Malaysia consisting of 30 stores and 4600 stores in the United States. It is essential for us to build continuous strong relationship with Ace Hardware to ensure our product’s shelf space in its store.

Besides that, we plan on creating an online platform that focuses on customize flower sheets with different patterns and designs. On our website, we will allow users to provide us with feedback to ensure we provide excellent customer service. We are committed to ensuring 100% customer satisfaction.

5.5            Pricing Strategy
The production cost of our product is USD10 (RM37). We will sell it to Ace Hardware for USD20 (RM74) and our suggested retail price is USD50 (RM85), in contrast to our competitors that range from USD150 to USD481. This would provide Ace Hardware with a 60% profit margin and a 50% profit margin for us.

The production cost of our internet customize product is on average, USD40 (RM148). We will be selling it to consumers for USD99 (RM365). That would provide us with a 60% profit margin.

5.6            Sales Forecast
Unit Sold
Store Sales (USD)
Internet Sales (unit)
Internet Sales
Year 1: Research & Development, product production and testing, improve on product details and marketing materials. We want to refine our product to ensure successful product launch. Hence, there are no units sold yet.

Year 2: Our goal this year is to test a local market to determine how consumers react to our product. We will sell our products through Ace Hardware in Indiana before launching it to other states through Ace Hardware. Additionally, our website that allows customers to create a personalized flower sheet will be launched. This creates additional sales for our product.

Year 3: Expansion to 3 new states, total of 4 states. An increase in market awareness of our online platform sees an increase in sales.

Year 4: Spreading to 4 new states, total of 8 states.

Year 5: Penetration into 4 new states, total of 12 states

Year 6: Penetration into another 4 new states, total of 16 states

Upon expansion to a new state, we assumed that we are able to penetrate 1% of the households in that state. This percentage doubles every year that we are in that state and is capped at 6.6%.

We will grow by 4 states every year until we have penetrated the entire U.S. market. Beyond that, our growth will be determined by our ability to improve our marketing campaigns and the overall growth of the landscaping services market.


Quick Lawn plans to dedicate our first year into research & development to test our product and obtain consumer feedback. The goal is to have sufficient time to improve on our product before selling it to the mass market. The following is the timeline and the cost required for this process:

     6.1       Timeline

It takes 3-5 years for a patent to be approved and 10 – 18 months for our trademark to be accepted by United States Patent and Trademark Office. During that pending process, we plan on developing and refining our product starting August 2015, testing the market in March when the weather gets warmer and start mass production in October 2016.

Quick Lawn will identify a number of key partners in this process, primarily in the manufacturing industry. The goal is to build key relationships in order to utilize their manufacturing capabilities for our product.


Quick Lawn is a Sendirian Berhad Company that is owned by four owners at equal percentage. The organization chart of the company is as the following:

     7.1       Management Team

CEO, Founder: Malik Bin Yatam, a selling & sales management student with the certificate of entrepreneurship. David is the founder and CEO of one company with strong background in sales/telemarketing. He had experience working as a supervisor at Universal Service Concepts, realtor with Century 21 and a sales intern at Mass Mutual providing him with strong team management skills. His desire for success and his passion for starting and managing new businesses drive his motivation for this company.

CFO, Founder: Ogentheran, is a management student studying finance and accounting. Upon graduating in May 2011, he will be eligible for the CPA and CFA certifications. His experience includes creating and selling a business similar to an ISP and making court fillings in the Six Flags Chapter 11 corporate restructuring. He is currently on the board of directors at Purdue Student Publishing Foundation. In May 2008, he created a prototype for a new invention that dispenses liquids in the microliter range and completed a request for a round of investment. In pursuit of his passion in accounting, he was an International Financial Planning Intern at Hershey Foods last summer. He created forecasting reports for international businesses at Hershey. His experience starting businesses and managing financials brings great value to this company.

COO, Founder: Idraaki Azlan, a chemical engineering student with the certificate of entrepreneurship. Alvin is the inventor of HydroGreenTM (a product to reduce hydroplaning), has had experience in manufacturing as an intern at Frito-Lay with a strong background in product development, and has participated in chemical engineering research for the past two years. He is currently the Chairman on the board of directors at Purdue Student Publishing Foundation, a Staff Resident at Hawkins Hall and a team leader for multiple projects including Trust by Danone, a student business challenge. His passion in product development along with a high degree of self-motivation allows him to develop new and innovative product for Quick Lawn.

Research & Development Director, Founder: Safarina Mawar, an environmental engineer and the inventor of SwirlzTM, a nutritional color dispensing flavored straw and SoyaTM, a clothing protector. Her experience participating in innovative competitions and engineering projects in the community has provided Quick Lawn with great insight towards solving environmental concerns. On top of that, Safarina has six years of lab experience working as a research assistant in multiple college-level projects with pending publications. Her goal to provide innovative solutions to solve environmental concerns and her experience in the research world enables her to create new products and applications for Quick Lawn.

For legal advice, we will be consulting Puan Nurbani, the Principal at Law Faculty, Universiti Malaya.

7.2     Board of Advisors
Technical Advisor: Dr. Karim Abdullah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, owning several patents in his research field. He earned his BS in BioSystems Engineering from the University of Nebraska, and his M.S. and Ph.D in Purdue’s School of Agriculture and Biological Engineering. Dr. Karim was also a Ph.D. fellow in the Innovation Realization Laboratory at the Stanford School of Management.

Marketing Advisor: Mr. Ujang Hassan, also the proud owner of his own patent, is an instructor in the Certificate in Entrepreneurship Program, Open University for Entrepreneurship. He earned his B.S and M.S. degrees both in Purdue’s Krannert School of Management. Mr. Ujang is the creator and owner of the successful consulting firm: Kencana Consultant.

7.3     Personnel Plan
Quick Lawn plans on hiring two new people per year starting year 2013. The new hires will support our expansion in operations and manufacturing.


The following sections lay out the details of our financial plan for the next six years. Quick Lawn’s projected financial statement is based on Scotts Miracle-Gro’s financial information. Scotts Miracle-Gro is the largest manufacturer of garden care products in the United States.

The following assumptions were made:
  • The penetration rate of our product for every state is 1.0% out of the all households with flower gardens in that state
  • The penetration growth doubles every year until it reaches a maximum of 6.6%
  • In our second year of operations (year 2016), we will be selling our product in 1 state (Kuala Lumpur) for beta-testing purposes
  • In our third year, we will expand our business to a total of four states
  • In our fourth year, we will expand our business to a total of eight states. This will expand to twelve and sixteen states in the following years.
  • Our supplier will provide us 50% of the inventory at credit and another 50% immediate payment

8.1 Start-up Funding
Quick Lawn hopes to obtain financing in the amount of USD300,000. This amount would provide us with sufficient financing to start-up this business for our research & development period. We will issue equity stake worth 20% of the company for the funding above.


Start-up cost
Research and development for year 2015
Expenses for year 2015
Research & Development for year 2016
Expenses for year 2012
Total Funding Required
*Numbers in thousands

In our first year of operations, we plan on establishing the company by registering the Sendirian Berhad. On top of that, we would file for patents and trademarks and develop a small lab for research and development purposes.

In our second year of operation, we will be selling our products to the Indiana market for beta-testing. We will improve on our product based on the feedback that we receive. Therefore, we will not be earning a large enough profit to support our operations at that point. The USD550,000 will be utilized to support our first and second year of operations.

8.2            Break Even Analysis
Our projected profit and loss statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement are located in part A of the reference section. By looking at our projected profit and loss, we are projected to break even in year 2014. The boost in projected sales from year 2013 (USD 499,000) to 2014 (USD 1,351,000) is the main contributor to our analysis. The large increase is due to:

·         Expansion to four more states and in sales in one state in 2016 and three other in 2017 (USD792,000)

·         projected increase in internet sales from 600 unit in 2017 (USD59,400) to 1,200 unit in 2018 (USD118,800)

8.3            Projected Profit and Loss
The following is a list of projected expenses in the company:

Payroll Expense: The founders of Quick Lawn will receive a total salary of USD80,000 for year one and two. The total salary will increase to USD100,000 in year three and four, USD150,000 in year five and USD300,000 in year six. In order to expand at our projected rate, we will hire two employees every year starting year 2017. The projected total cost is USD35,000 per employee per year.

Marketing Expense: Quick Lawn will allocate USD50,000 in marketing materials starting year three. This amount will be used primarily to build customer awareness using multiple sources such as Better Home and Garden magazine and other groudswell techniques. The amount allocated will increase at the rate of USD30,000 every year.

Rent Expense: Quick Lawn will allocate USD600/month to rent an office space. This location will be used primarily to develop our product and to store our inventory. We assume that the rental price increases by 10% every year.

Utility Expense: The only utilities expenses that Quick Lawn has to pay are electricity and phone bill. We allocate a maximum of USD100/month for this purpose. We assume that the rental price increases by 10% every year.

Manufacturing Expense: Quick Lawn plans to partner with a manufacturing facility to meet its production demand. This partnership will start in year 3 when we expand our coverage into four states. We assume that we would need to pay the manufacturing facility 5% of our total sales annually.

R&D: In our first year, we will focus on improving our product before launching it to the market. The materials purchased (USD15,000 included in our start-up cost) will be utilized for R&D purposes. We will research on the states that we plan on expanding one year before penetrating to those states. This correlates to an increase from USD21,000 in 2011 to USD60,000 in 2012 as we will expand to 3 additional states in 2013.

Tax: Taxes are only on profit. Therefore, we will not be taxed in the first, second and third year. Furthermore, we will receive tax credits for the losses in the first three years, which should carry forward to future years.

     Projected Profit and Loss Statement







Cost of goods sold







     Start-up Cost


Earnings before taxes



Net Income



Revenue projections are derived from 2 main variables: The number of states that our product is sold, and the how long we have been in that market. In year 2015, we will be in only 1 state; however in year 2017, we will be in 4 states. Our penetration rate in individual market will grow with time spent in the market, correlating to an increase in market share. The penetration rate in a new state increases from 1% in year 1 to 2% in year 2, and 4% in year 3. The maximum penetration rate in each state is set at 6.6%.

8.4            Projected Cash Flow

Net Income
Change Acts. Pay.
Change Inventory
Cash Flow from Operations
Issuance of Stock
Total cash flows
*Number in thousands

From our projected cash flow statement, we will be cash flow positive in year 2019. Quick Lawn will break even in 2018 but will be profitable in 2019 because we will be purchasing inventories for the next year.

            8.5       Projected Balance Sheet

Total Assets
Accounts payable
Common Stock
Retained earnings
Total Liabilities and equity
*numbers in thousands
Our assumptions include 50% credit on inventory from our suppliers. This allows us manage our cash flow and required capital to operate the business. We included USD550,000 in cash needed to be raised through equity sale to fund our operations in 2017 and beyond.

A comparison between the profit loss and cash flow statement will indicate a large, and growing, gap between the two reported numbers. This occurs because our inventory is initially growing very rapidly, and this is a use of cash. Over time, this gap will converge due to matured growth and increased trade credits available, which frees up cash for shareholders.


            9.1       Risks
            The following are the risks involved with Quick Lawn:
·         Increasing number of competitors and imitators
·         Competitors creating similar sized product
·         Bad weather conditions throughout the year preventing home owners from growing flowers
·         Insufficient market demand for product
·         Seasons in different states

9.2            Risk Mitigation
There are a number of competitors in the market that have similar product types. The issues with our competitors are the unreliability of their product, bad brand image, lack of marketing and poor customer relationships. Furthermore, our competitors fail to recognize the different element involved in creating this product, primarily, weather and soil conditions.

To ensure product reliability, Quick Lawn is currently researching on:
·         different soil conditions in different states and different weather conditions
·         different product materials to further enhance germination
·         warmer states to be able to market our product throughout the entire year

Besides that, Quick Lawn plans to:
·         Apply for patents to prevent similar product ideas in the market
·         Establish brand image with endorsement from national gardening associations
·         Utilizing “groundswell” to further enhance brand image and reliability
·         Provide excellent customer service to every customer
·         Beta-testing to refine product to meet market demand
·         Attend tradeshows to learn more about other products in the market
·         Review and refine business model weekly to avoid complacency and obsolescence

9.3            Exit Strategy
The exit strategy in place is to sell our business to larger companies such as Scotts Miracle-Gro or Centarus. As soon as Quick Lawn starts profiting, other companies will see the value of this company and will be interested in either partnering or acquiring our company.


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