Another country, another experiment

We started Blak Labs in 2010 as an experiment to see whether senior creatives could actually succeed in building a business here in Singapore. The team comprises myself, Koh Hwee Peng, Justin Lim, Nick Tan and Elsa Peck. Our model is different in that we provide our clients with the attention of five seasoned creative directors, designed to get the heart of the matter and iterate a creative solution quickly and effectively.

Well, here we are almost 5 years into our experiment. Clients like the fact that the business partners work directly with them to find a better way. We’ve built good relationships over that time and retain many of the clients who believed in us, and our experiment, at the start.

And as it happens, we’ve just started our latest experiment. This one’s taking place in Yangon, Myanmar — the country formerly known as Burma and the city of Rangoon.

We’ve just moved into our office at Hotel Yangon. We’ve got wifi, a big table, some chairs. We’ve got a team on the ground with Ruth, who’s helping us get the business up and running. And we now have our first local hire, a bright young mass-comms student from Myanmar, Sett Kaung.

As for clients, we’re slowly building our list. Our first work is already in the market and making the competition nervous — our clients’ competition that is.

These are exciting times for Myanmar. There’s an election towards the end of the year. Understandably, the big question is whether “The Lady’s” party will get voted in, or will the ex-military politicians continue to rule? Only time will tell.

For Blak Labs, these are exciting times too.

We have many questions and much to learn. Will our ideas successfully cross borders? Can we price ourselves right? Can we find the right people to partner with for services like digital development, content, printing and production? Are we meeting the decision makers, and more importantly, can we convince them that our way is better?

Again, only time will tell.

Exciting times indeed. Watch this space.

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