The founders of OpenMinds – a marketing technology company that provides business owners with strategies and advice to achieve various marketing goals – share with us on how they are aiding startups.
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Tell us a bit about how OpenMinds started.
OpenMinds started back in 2012 with the goal of bridging marketing and technology. Back then, there were just a handful of us in a small 200+ sqft room servicing a few clients in the F&B, retail and education sectors. We soon grew in size and expanded our services with offerings like digital transformation, customer relationship management (CRM) automation, enterprise tech development and advisory, and across several countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and at one point, even in Kazakhstan!
The accumulated experience and expertise allowed us to work with renowned brands globally with tech projects that span across millions of transactions daily and to develop inward and outward digital strategies for companies to automate, optimise or scale their marketing outreach.
Coupled with a strong passion for education, we launched OpenAcademy to offer practical programmes by industry practitioners targeted towards corporate teams, SMEs and students. During the pandemic, we also launched the OpenAcademy app that makes learning super accessible in under five minutes. It now boasts over 10k users covering topics such as digital marketing, social media, PR, content, tech development, crisis management, branding, entrepreneurship, business and people management and more – provided by some of the best in the industry.
What is the main goal for OpenMinds?
Our mission has always been to create and sustain a workplace where people can do the things they love, benefit from and thrive within the marketing technology space.
On the business front, we are all out as one of the pioneers in MarTech within Malaysia to help even more companies do better with technology. In 2021, we pledged to reach 100,000 businesses through our services and OpenAcademy by launching a series of initiatives as a way of giving back to the business community that we also are a part of.
How does OpenMinds stand apart from the competition?
While many have confused us to be a marketing agency or a software house, we are far from that. Our core competency lies in our ability to turn business objectives and aspirations into actionable plans in a structured and systematic approach. And to achieve that, we conduct an in-depth study using the 5 Pillars: People, Technology, Operations, Business and Data. The outcome of this study will help us pinpoint any business, competency or operational gaps that should be addressed while contributing to the intended outcome. This approach is more advisory in nature which is often unheard of among agencies as most will focus on just the brief. With OpenMinds, we literally unpack the brief and go beyond what was identified to locate key areas that need to be addressed – even if it results with a scope out of expertise.
What are some milestones OpenMinds have reached so far?
We’ve just celebrated our ninth year anniversary in September 2021 despite the pandemic! While COVID19 has proved to be a global challenge, the team prevailed and are now stronger than before, allowing us to expand our offerings and reach compared to 2020. Our subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Singapore and also OpenAcademy have also seen growth this season as a result of true hustle in these trying times.
Since 2012, we have been pioneering different organisational and team management styles, including compulsory remote working arrangements (which benefited us greatly during the pandemic), offering 24 categories of perks as a way to cultivate a balanced life, dynamic team evaluations and even career progression. All of which has benefited us in how we are able to serve our clients better and to excel in what we do best.
This season alone saw us contributing as a speaker at over 150 at global conferences, workshops and webinars, growing opportunities for us to serve a global brand headquartered in Europe and their subsidiaries worldwide, achieve 10k users on the OpenAcademy app in just months, and in total, serving over 120 brands in digital marketing, digital transformation and technology advancement – we have come a long way and are truly blessed by the journey.
What’s in store for the future of OpenMinds?
We are doubling down on our offerings in CRM and marketing automation to become the leading MarTech consultancy firm in the region by closing the gap between online and offline with the suite of products and services we now offer. That said, we are looking out for partners that can scale with us, and to also extend our services to more countries and industries.
Likewise, with OpenAcademy, we are looking to work with education institutions to effectively offer a platform to change the learning and teaching experience for both teachers and students by reducing the need for long, long lectures in this already info-overloaded world.
All in all, we hope to be able to continuously pioneer and challenge the workplace culture in all the countries we are in by setting an example of the many possibilities that can happen in a workplace.
(Image courtesy of OpenMinds – From left to right: Randy Too, Jeffery Ng, Daryll Tan and Jan Wong)