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Archive for 31/03/2016


Mercedes-Benz C180

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News


The Awesome Experience 


The Mercedes-Benz C Class – World Car of the Year. Click image to enter the website to know more.

Holy cow.. I’m so in love with the Mercedes-Benz C 180. I rode it for a couple of days and wow, wow, wow!!! It reminds me why Mercedes is always a great comfort for a cruise and plus it packs some power on the road though it’s not much of a use since we can’t break the speeding rules here :p

I kinda find it strange that many prefer the CLA over the C180 because for me, I would take the C180 any day. I’ve test driven both models and the C180 has a slight edge for me. It’s no surprise that the Mercedes-Benz C Class was named 2015 World Car of the Year.

So why would you settle for less? Further more the price of the C180 is pretty reasonable on the road. Even my friends were surprised by the price tag. You’re paying a reasonable premium price for an awesome luxurious car.

First let’s talk about the design. There is so much difference from the previous C Class models and the latest one is much edgier and sleeker especially the front appealing look with the sporty central car embedded in the nose. I love the blue colour of the C180 and it stole some praises from my friends too.

There is so much to like about the interior too – the cockpit and the control panel near the arm rest area. It makes things more convenient for the driver. I could control the ambient lighting inside the car to the climate control. It might take a while to get used to it at first but once you mastered it, it gives you many option as a driver.

I felt comfortable on my seat and it just fits me nicely. I’m not used to the low setting since I’ve been driving an SUV for a decade now. Sometimes it takes me a while to get out of the car even after I’ve reached home because I was too comfortable in the driver seat.


Loving the colour of the Mercedes C180. Caught many eyes on the road.

The driving experience of the C180

Nicely lit during night

Enjoy my ride on a Sunday 😀

Ok, now the drive experience is what gives me a lot of thrill. I love to play with the Agility Select Function, allowing you to choose from Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport +. Of course, I chose the Sport + (Vrrrrrooomm….). The Eco and Comfort modes were fun … for a little while. I just needed some boost on my ride and once I tried Sport+ it was tough to get back to Eco unless the tank is running low.

The Sport+ sharpens the throttle and adds weight to the steering while stiffens the dampers. My passenger buddies were too thrilled when I took them on the Sport+ cruise on the highway. Of course, the AMG C 63 would have better experience on the Sport+ mode with better suspension and steering. The C180 uses the 7G-Tronic Plus transmission which helps to reduce fuel-consumption and emissions without compromising for power.

So ladies and gentlemen, if you happen to drop by Jati Transport showroom, I highly recommend you to test drive the Mercedes-Benz C 180.


The control panel and also where I stuffed my gadgets

Listening to my favourite song/score during all my rides

In the comfort of the C180 after a heavy lunch with Pranika at Red Chillies

The young boys were in for a thrill of their lives

The interior of the C180


Comparing with my brother’s C250 and of course, his car is more powerful than the C180





Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News, RA News



Click to enter Jo’s Indiegogo project


This is the first. I had a quick glimpse of the idea when Josephine On represented it at Pechachuka Volume 6 last December. Today it’s a reality. Her planning has been sublime to say the least because it is close to becoming a reality through means of crowd funding (Indiegogo). If you heard of Kickstarter, then Indiegogo is one of the similar ones. Yes, my friend Jo On has made to the international stage with her prototype.

To me, this is just simply brilliant. To have a local person from Brunei to be selected as one of the candidates to showcase her prototype on crowd funding website. In a way, it makes me wanting to do a similar feat of creating my own kind of prototype and see if it will be demand once it’s up on Indiegogo.

So what is Jo’s prototype? It’s the All-In-One Bag for good journeys under the Goodtabi brand. It’s smarter, better and hassle-free and furthermore, it will feel timeless because of the multiple functions it provides.

Do you know that ideas are created when we face problems? Jo bumped into one during her travels and the rest was history. With the Swanston Bag, your journey will be hassle free. You don’t have to worry about missing passports or even messy cables here and there or even worrying about water bottle leakage that might spoil your gadgets and important documents.

So to my friends, do help my friend Jo in her Indiegogo (crowd funding) project and once she reached the USD 25,000 target, her prototype will be good to go for production and delivery before end of the year. With only less than 24 hours, the Swanston Bag idea has raised USD 1,123 so far which is 4% of the actual target. There are still 34 days left to raise. Let’s hope for your support and click here to find out more.

You can follow on their Facebook Page or instagram @goodtabi or check out the link for Jo’s Indiegogo project.




The Swanston Bag is pretty multi-functional

Water resistant material



The Interview with Jo 

RA: You mentioned that you traveled a lot. The idea of the Swanston bag came from your travel experience. What is the biggest tick-off moment for you when it comes to traveling with a hand carry?

Jo On: Function is the keyword. I like to keep my belongings organized, so I know exactly which pocket to reach for if I need something specific. One of the biggest reasons why I founded Goodtabi is due to a silly, silly mistake I made during a trip to Taiwan back in 2013. I had one of those backpacks with only one single large pocket so naturally, I packed my essentials, gadgets and coffee bottle in the same place. It was during then this bottle cracked open and leaked all over my backpack, causing damage to everything I had inside. The damage to my camera was irreversible. Not to mention my backpack was drenched in the fumes of coffee throughout the first half of the trip.

I do also like to travel light at times, hence the Dual-Strap feature was born. The Dual-Strap feature allows smaller standalone bags to be attached and detached from the main bag. One of the detachable items is a zippered clutch that can fit important items such as passport, phones, cash and cards. So once I arrive at my travel destination, I can leave the main bag at the hotel and just carry the clutch around.

Another must-have during my travels is comfort. If I’m carrying a backpack, I need the shoulder straps to be padded and wide.

RA: How long did you take you from the moment of your idea to the day the idea is out on Indiegogo? Are you happy that it’s finally out and visible to millions online? What else are you feeling after being live on Indiegogo?

Jo On: I spent the entire 2014 just looking around for backpacks and also doing some research on what is currently on the market as well as observing the ever-changing habits of travellers. By the end of 2014, I was dead-set on creating my own line of travel products. 2015 was a year of designing, prototyping, factory and warehouse visits.

Before and even after the Indiegogo launch, I’ve still got butterflies in my stomach every single second! I have to say, the preparation part was especially stressful as there were a lot of things to consider with regards to the elements that go into the campaign.


Jo On with the prototype bag, Swanston

RA: Your project will definitely inspire many local entrepreneurs like yourself to take up the challenge and present their ideas to the world. Do you feel that you could be the “kick-starter” for many locals to showcase their ideas?

Jo On: I’ve seen a lot of local entrepreneurs who are good at their craft. I hope this will spur them to act on their ideas on a global scale, no matter how big or small. I firmly believe in taking chances. You won’t know if you don’t try, even if it results in failure. Crowdfunding, from what I understand, is probably one of the less risky ways of getting your ideas out there, in the sense that you don’t need to fork out a large capital and also have a chance to gauge if your product will actually work on the market.

RA: How was the preparation? I notice a few videos and photos as well as the content for your product. How much have been invested in this project?

Jo On: Definitely a lot of time was invested! The branding, design and video production were done by Hoco Creative, a creative agency I co-founded, so that helped accelerate things with regards to the production. A lot of the preparation to the campaign went into developing sample prototypes and the brand / identity. A few months were lost because of the long shipping time it took for the prototypes to reach me (they were sent by sea!). I could have gone for courier services but that would’ve left a huge dent in the bank account, especially when there are a lot of back and forth changes. But once everything is finalised, courier services make most sense as it is very important to get your product out there asap.

Money-wise, at least BND8-9k has been invested, inclusive of prototyping, transport, accommodation, website, video production and graphic design. The bulk of it went into prototyping, transport and accommodation.


Jo On gave some sneak peaks during the Pechakucha presentation last year

RA: Where did you source your product and materials? And is the design created by yourself?

Jo On: I contacted a few Chinese manufacturers through a couple of different online sources and from there, we started exchanging Whatsapp and Skype messages. Of course, to be on the safe side, I had to fly over to visit the factory in person. I was glad to find out that my manufacturer primarily handles European clienteles, mainly from Scandinavian countries and a few big brand names as well.

Through many failed prototypes, I spent a lot of time looking for the right material before I settled on the final one. Every time I ship the prototypes over from the factory to Brunei, I would ask the manufacturer to include their material swatches so that I could have a first hand look and feel of the colours and texture. I am big on texture so the previous materials I had tried were either too heavy or didn’t suit the outcome I wanted.

The design was handled by myself. As a graphic designer myself, I had a bit of an advantage as it helped me produce drawings that the manufacturers could understand well enough to proceed with production.

RA: If you didn’t reach your target of funds (of USD 25,000), will this project still carry on? Or perhaps another similar product?

Jo On: If the funding does not succeed, I will definitely look back on where I went wrong and try my best to rectify the problem. I’ve worked a bit on Plans B and C if things don’t go well but of course, plan A is most ideal 🙂 Regardless, I will carry on this project as I am super passionate about travelling. I want to keep producing products that make life easier, hassle-free and less stressful.





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