MCG's Expansion in APAC; Next Stop Singapore!

7th March 2017

We always knew that Asia was a market that MCG would do well in. Or at least that was the plan from the outset. Taking the ethos of an agency that was born in the emerging markets of Dubai eight years ago, Justin and the wider MCG team were aware of many of the pitfalls and troubles that any ‘new’ agency would face. It’s not been easy, far from it, however after six months we are pleased to announce that MCG Hong Kong is doing brilliantly. We have started to carve out a niche within the design and creative sector (my background) whilst capitalising on some of MCG Groups wider disciplines such as Digital and PR. This has resulted in us placing talent from designers to client service as well as strategy and business development in Bangkok, Shanghai, Singapore, Guangzhou, and of course on our home turf of Hong Kong. Of all these markets we feel that our next natural office choice should be Singapore.

We will of course continue to work on roles thorough China and other key APAC hubs with our partner agencies however to call out our ‘second office’ it looks like Singapore has shown itself as the winning hand. With an enviable all year round temperature in the early to mid-30’s, more ‘sunshine’ recorded days than any other city hub in the world, a plethora of agencies and clients calling Singapore their HQ all coupled with a safe family environment, and being the gateway to cheap weekend breaks to Bali what’s not to like? It’s a highly attractive place to work for both local Singaporeans and those expats looking for a family friendly city to work in whilst maintaining a strong and credible position in the industry.

Providing an attractive city to relocate to if you are an expat, generally well paid roles with relatively low tax, great weather, a vast array of globally recognised businesses to work with and a modern, clean, spacious way of living there are many parallels to be drawn between Singapore and MCG’s HQ; Dubai.

Justin and I have just returned from what could only be described as a whirlwind tour of the city where we managed to squeeze in some 17 meetings over just three days. Seeing some friendly faces that I personally have worked with over the years was great, as was connecting with new contacts wanting to understand how we can help retain and nurture their talent long after we have found them new recruits. MCG’s portfolio of businesses within the Group combined with the recent addition of Nick Clements, ex Bates and Ogilvy, to run and oversee MCG’s newest sub-brand ‘MCG&Knowledge’ was received with genuine interest! Well, some 40 proposals out in Dubai alone in the past few weeks means we must be doing something right! Obviously at the heart of MCG is the recruitment business that we all know and love and this is where I will spend the majority of my time continuing on developing Hong Kong’s offer combined with building the brand in Singapore.

Since coming to Hong Kong, MCG had the opportunity to carve out focus on pretty much any of our disciplines given the connections that we have in MENA, however after 6 months it’s has become apparent that Design, Digital and PR have proven the most successful so far. I’m delighted to have Tom Watterson, one of MCG’s most successful Associate Directors join me as Director from the start of May. Tom’s recruitment experience is bolstered by the fact he was a well-respected Senior Account Manager at Grayling, one of the world’s best known and well respected PR firms. Tom will work with me in developing senior relationships in our three key sectors, allowing us to further develop Singapore to build on the foundations already laid. In addition to the three key areas we have identified, Advertising, FinTec, and of course Client Side recruitment will be the next area of focus mirroring MCG Dubai’s success.

The great news is that we are new. But our experience isn’t. We have some of the most successful and talented consultants working for MCG that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and they all have their candidates and clients best interests at heart.
Having been born in an emerging market MCG are fully aware that many agencies may not have had the best relationship with recruiters; or even used them! I’m confident that we can provide a service that goes far beyond that of just ‘recruitment’ and know that 2017 will be an incredibly exciting time for us as well as all for our partner agencies. We are thrilled with the success of Hong Kong so far and can’t wait to build on the success of Hong Kong’s office across APAC; next stop Singapore!