With a mixture of hard work, talent, and a dash of luck, Kawan Creative leapt right onto the world map from the day they began.
When Kawan Creative International first registered itself as a business in 1996, it was one of the rare few businesses with international in its name. In that same year, Kawan Creative had already scored the organisation of a unique fashion show sanctioned by the French HauteCouture Federation, in Paris.
The man behind this venture is Aziz Mohammad. With approximately 2000 local and 700 international events under his belt, Aziz fondly recalls when Kawan Creative first started working with BMW in 1997.
“In 1997 we were invited to the BMW head office in Munich,Germany, to deliver a presentation about ourselves. Fortunately, they were impressed and asked if we would like to be part of their exhibitions group,” said Aziz, “There are only five companies in the world that handle motor exhibitions forBMW, Kawan Creative is one. The other companies are in Germany,Japan, and Eastern Europe.” Besides BMW, another big motor name Kawan Creative has also organised for is Volkswagen in the Beijing Olympics.
Despite the immediate entrance to the global market, Kawan Creative did face some challenges when they ventured into China (Kawan Beijing)and Indonesia (Kawan CreativeIndonesia). Aside from adapting to the different working cultures, Aziz advises those with the intention, to start forming relationships whenever they attend business trips.
“Once you make genuine connections, your network will grow,”he said, “It doesn’t matter if you need them for your business, what matters is you have the network SHOULD you ever need them.”
In a world where events agencies are a dime a dozen, Kawan Creative has learned to push boundaries, and found a way to stand out.
“You have to keep yourself abreast with all the latest technologies. We were once featured in Berita Harian for a distinctive event we organised in China,” said Aziz. He described how they built a set and projected a hologram in the image of the car, on an empty stage.
“It allowed us to show features of the car without the physical car, turning it into a futuristic exhibition,”he described.
When asked why he chose to use the Malay word for friend (Kawan) in the company name, Aziz laughed and said, “Before starting the business, my partner and I always addressed each other as Kawan,” he added on,“Ultimately, it’s just a name. The client won’t work with Kawan if not for us.”