7 settembre 2015 alle 5:11 AM #81065pinkggfesBlockedMessaggi: 26
FAVOURITE childhood activities can sometimes grow into a business. Just ask Dr Khoo Kien Ling, 37, who switched jobs from being a researcher with the UK Defence Ministry to being a self-employed wedding planner.
Khoo, who founded Adamas Weddings Sdn Bhd, said she started her own company in 2008 because she found she was more passionate about planning events like birthday parties, anniversaries and wedding than being in a lab.
When asked how her training as a scientist in the electrical field (atomistic simulation techniques, to be precise), is applicable to an industry more concerned with matters of the heart than body of facts, Khoo jokingly points to the four, science-based steps she had formulated on making an event successful.
“We start by doing an analysis, and as researchers, we do literature review. As for the business, we begin by understanding the client.
“Secondly, we design the simulation method and source for the right software as a researcher. For my business, we conceptualise a theme for the event, do budgeting and source for vendors based on the allocated budget.
“Thirdly, researchers carry out the simulations, analyse the results and so on, whereas for my business, we work closely with our vendors, from the designs and quotations, choose the right attire, food etc.
“Last but not least, the final outcome for a researcher is to showcase the actual results in visual display and to compare with other test results, whereas in this business the showcase is the event itself, from the decoration, food and emcee, to the overall coordination with the photographer, live band and others,” she says.
But it is the idea that she can create a one-stop solution for weddings and other family related events such as anniversaries, proposals, family reunion and others that got her motivated to start the business.
Khoo says the projects she has undertaken range in budget from RM250,000 to RM500,000 for a spectrum of services including venue, attire, stationery, F&B, wedding car and photoshoot, with her consultation fees at between RM18,000 to RM24,000.
What motivated you to start Adamas Weddings and the Adamas School of Weddings?
Since young, I’ve always loved to plan my own birthday party. I also planned our yearly family gathering. I would prepare games and presents for friends.
We started the wedding school as we believe only by proper training can a group of professionals with the same practice and mindset can be generated. Wedding planners have never been a professional career, unlike engineers, doctors, accountants or others, with parents encouraging their children to take up these fields.
What were the early challenges?
When I first started, it was very challenging to get students. Existing wedding planners would not attend our programme as they had more experience than me. I was lucky to meet the founder of an international association for wedding professionals from the US during a conference in Singapore. He suggested I approach students myself by sharing with them my vision and what I was going to share in class.
I then started a website and hired a PR consultant to assist in advertising and promotions activities. I was lucky to be interviewed by most of the newspapers in Malaysia, and the radio and TV stations. With that, we received more enquiries.
How are things going now?
We received many enquiries from SPM-holders whose parents were very concerned about the future of their children. We liased with colleges and universities, and in 2012 signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Open University Malaysia to start a 10-month programme on Wedding and Event Management. We also have the franchise license for Wedding Management and Training, and we are ISO 9001:2008 compliant.
We have successfully opened our first franchise shop in Penang early this year.
How different has it been from dealing with technical matters like currents and atoms?
Wedding is a matter of the heart, but the management of the event, the bottom line, is still technical. The decorations may appear romantic but making them involves details. Our wedding planners need not be very creative to manage an event, but there are steps to follow.
Apart from that, weddings can never be perfect. What we cannot predict, we have to be smart about and solve. Usually I let our clients decide what they want, not what I want.
What’s your advice to couples planning for a wedding?
Before saying “I do”, you have to ask yourself: Do I really love this person? Also, the wedding is just the beginning of a marriage. Do not overspend, as there is no point in spending so much for one night for the wedding dinner, and having to pay off the credit card after the wedding.
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