NJ, you’re the Creative Director of MixMediaWorx (MMW), which is part of MixMedia Group. What’s MMW in a nutshell?
NJ: We’ve always been a creative agency, although we did offer specialised services before through different entities.
MMW started with you, though, Azlan. Now you’re Head of the MixMedia Group. At the start, was it just you?
Azlan: I’d been working as a designer for different industries when I finally struck out on my own. It was painful! Things like the back office stuff, and the actual running of a business, were new to me. I needed help, which meant hiring people. So eight years back, Creativa was born. We started with four people. Growth was slow, limited by our running costs. We had to get investors in. That’s how MixMediaWorx Sdn Bhd came about. We started to hire more people and were able to invest in assets and new businesses. NJ came in after the second year.
Tell us how the business evolved.
Azlan: We’ve rebranded to MMW. MixMedia started first, and it was all about design and advertising. Then when our clients asked for help with their websites we created MixMedia Interactive, MINT. We used to have a division dealing with videography, called MAGIC, and international projects, called Catalyst. But they’re independent now. Four years back, we helped to set up BHC magazine, a Butra Heidelberg Cement initiative.
Then, two years ago, we started Mixel, which is our digital advertising division with the idea to build sustainability into the business. Now we also have a Social Media division, too, called Hashtag. I believe we have set a standard in the company whereby we have conviction over our ideas. Being a small company, it’s been a big journey.
NJ: It’s a new culture and feel. We’ve unified everything – MINT, MIXEL, Hashtag and BHC Magazine – coming together at this new office in KHub. So, now we go out together as one agency.
What’s trending now?
Social media and digital is the way to go. Digital advertising takes a lot of investment but we have the foundation already. We have programmers, copywriters, creatives who can create the content. Recently, we were awarded a project to put together a digital experience at the airport. It’ll be a good challenge.
[related] How do you keep it fresh?
Azlan: Yes, how? (laughs)
NJ: Do NOT follow a routine. Do things you don’t normally do even if you think it’s uncomfortable or even impossible. And do something that makes you happy, gets your energy going. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and consider different scenarios.
Where are you headed from here?
Creative Services is still our core. Today, the team is more capable and resilient; whatever project comes our way, we can do. Moving forwards, imagine MMW offices in KL, Jakarta and other cities.
Sounds exciting! To end, what does progressive mean to you?
Azlan: Consider more than one side; building up the team comes together with educating the market. When you have demand but you cannot supply, there’s no progress. And of course, build your capability and your confidence. That leads to conviction and helps uplift the market.
NJ: For me it goes back to doing something uncomfortable. It’s only when you are uncomfortable that you tend to approach a thing differently, solve differently, produce new ideas. Don’t settle for same.