"Good day Michael. We have received recommendation from our principal for conducting the featured interview with you. Kindly introduce yourself particularly on your educational background and your current business."
/As a professional interior designer in the industry for almost 2 decades, many people don’t really know interior design wasn’t my first course. When I graduated from high school, I actually started out as an architecture student. During those years in the college, being exposed to the world of design, spaces, building etc and that’s when I started to realize my real interest is indeed interior design. After obtaining my diploma, I took a bold turn and enrolled myself in interior design course. I am glad to say that I made the right decision and here I am as the interior designer with architecture background. After graduation, I worked as the in-house interior designer in an optical chain store focusing on the store design. That’s where I started to build my network as an interior designer cum contractor. Two years later, I quit my job and set up my own ID firm, MX DESIGN.
"MX Design is easily related to creative & designing industries. What is the story behind the amazing brand? Is there any particular reason or ideas when you first create the brand name? What are the focused areas for MX Design?"
/MX DESIGN is an award-winning, turn-key interior design firm based in KL which was established in year 2003. We provide one stop solution for a range of designs in commercial, retail, hospitality and residential projects. We specialize in interior design consultation and renovation works covering space planning, concept-building, 3D conceptualization, material selection and purchasing as well as customized furniture etc all under one roof. We cater to niche market because we value ‘quality’ more than ‘quantity’. MX Design is greatly recognized as the bespoke ID firm who helps you to get the best out of your space in terms of interior design topped with personal style. I have been asked frequently about my company name. Well, the ‘M’ obviously stands for MICHAEL, and the ‘X’ actually stands for EXCHANGE, it’s an expression we wanted to give to our clients namely ‘to inspire and to be inspired’- giving ideas and receiving another inspiration in return. When it comes to design, I personally believe there is creativity implanted by everyone in certain way. In this sense everyone whom I met such as house owner can be my inspiration. Well, I get inspired first by listening to their design story before I can create something that perfectly suit their desired lifestyle.
"Over the years, BCI Award is no stranger to top notch interior designers due to the nominations in particular categories stood out to be notably prestigious. Please share with our audience the awards & certifications you have received to-date."
/Speaking of awards, we have won several ID awards in the country throughout the years. The main award that I particularly proud of is the BCI Asia Award 2018 for Residential Category which I dreamed of for a long time. It was a great achievement and I am honoured to be the recipient. Another award which I wanted to share with you is the very first award we won in year 2007 – International Interior Design Award (IIDA) Malaysia, GOLD award in residential category. This was a truly surprising moment for me as I didn’t expect to win anything at all! Not only I won the gold award for residential category, I took home with Best Lighting Award too that particular year.
"Interior designing job isn't easy; how do you manage to complete all the works following the stipulated timeline? Any particular skills set deemed importance in ensuring the project completion and prompt delivery?"
/Interior designing job isn’t easy-you are extremely right about this! The task is very challenging and it takes years of practice to master. As you know for now, we are not only specialised in interior design, but we are also the contractor/builder ourselves. Not only we have to be an expert in design, we have to be experienced in other areas when handling the work, such as quality (design and workmanship), durability and flexibility (in terms of material selection to manufacturing and installation), practically (space planning and design), budget control and time management.
"Throughout the years managing various portfolios, is there any particular project you wish to highlight or credit-mention to..? Kindly share with us the Top Three projects."
/Well, there are indeed quite a number of projects I personally fond of. The two projects were the residential house that brought me my very first IIDA Malaysia Gold Award 2007 and the BCI Asia Award 2018. There are two different residential portfolios which turned out to be my own houses. I designed them with a clear mission particularly to win award and they did. The best part to work on my own house is I am able to design ‘ANYTHING’ I want completely without having to consider budget issue, or other preferences. The other one is a KARAOKE lounge which we were shortlisted as the finalist in IIDA Malaysia 2008 under retail category.
"How do you define entrepreneurship? What is it all about to be a successful entrepreneur? Kindly share with our audience the Top Five advice or specific insights."
/We all know what entrepreneurship is despite the term which is being used at all times. The thing is different people have different interpretation and you can’t be very technical about this word in the real world today. My definition is simple, I see it as a motivation, vibes that keep us moving forward and take ownership of our lives, inventing our tomorrows and working on something that we are proud of. I couldn’t tell you what it is about to be a successful entrepreneur reason being I am not there yet. However, I can tell you what it takes to ‘be’ a successful entrepreneur.
1. Set your goal and be passionate in pursuing it. Passion is the main drive that keep us moving forward without fear and tiredness.
2. Stay focused 99% all the time in doing just one thing. In general, people talking about diversifying their businesses by having separate incomes and don’t put all eggs in one basket etc; Yes it is true undeniably, but before you get there, let’s just focus on that one thing first which can make you stronger.
3. Being an entrepreneur is not easy, it is HARD. So bear in mind, get over it and get on with it. Remember, straight roads never made skilled drivers.
4. Make yourself irreplaceable in the business as much as possible because my belief is – your profit is proportional to your level of irreplaceability. The harder you could be replaced in the business, the higher profit you going to get because you proved your worth.
5. Be ready at all time because opportunity never knocks twice. If you are not ready when it knocks on the door, next thing you realised it has already been given to other people.
6. Be optimistic and don’t worry too much about achieving your goal. Just stay focused due to the journey towards success is destined to be yours because most people gave up at the beginning or not even started at all.