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I founded the Mediazone Group in the year 2000 with a view to bringing global attention to local and foreign, best-achieving corporations and pioneers in Hong Kong. I came to Hong Kong in the early 90s to serve in an editorial capacity with a huge American trade publisher with a large Asian footprint. I later moved on to a luxury lifestyle magazine publisher where I took on a Special Projects role that included marketable editorial, overseas publicity management and China-specific media relations all of which brought me a wealth of experience with which I founded the Mediazone Group. We now have a distinct identity that is recognised today globally as much for its distinctive Shepherd Boy logo, as for its innovatively titled publications.
Drawing on my humble beginnings and the obstacles I faced when I entered the known world, I decided that the main purpose of Mediazone Publishing would be to find, nurture, empower and guide professionals disadvantaged by the establishment. like I believe I was. Nobody wanted to help me when I was looking for professional opportunity, so I know how it feels to hope and wait in despair. When I came to the global marketplace I was judged by everything but my ability. It was then that I decided that I would create if I couldn’t find, an opportunity where I could find value for my ability. After years of being used and abused, I decided to found Mediazone Publishing - a company that would employ simple, straightforward people who wanted to rise above themselves and prosper without having to ingratiate themselves to anyone (including me) and focus on learning, improving and getting fair value for their time and effort. More importantly, I wanted to reach out to those who had failed or fallen and to those who the world preferred to ignore or forget. I wanted to give these people a second chance. I quickly learnt that compassion also carries a price but is well worth the rewards. I made the now famous Shepherd Boy, my company’s corporate logo - a symbol of love for the lost.
Since then the Mediazone Group has proudly employed the services of disadvantaged/undereducated at home and abroad, who have produced results more outstanding than their more educated, well-placed counterparts serving established companies. While, I concede that Mediazone Publishing is not a towering economic miracle like Apple or Microsoft, it was not meant to be and neither do I think myself capable of making it one. My role in life, I believe, is to do whatever I can for my needy fellow man. In the very act itself I find my peace. I need nothing more.
The journey has been hugely rewarding despite all the setbacks we’ve had. In hindsight, the setbacks continue to be blessings in disguise so all I can honestly and humbly report is…progress. Our darkest days have only reassured me that the following morning would be brighter and more fragrant than the earlier ones and that disappointment, ingratitude, failure, sadness, rejection and setback are merely fires that temper the metal and get it ready for the Master’s hand. It is my unshakable belief that love has no equal in bed or battle. If there is to be a legacy I leave, let it be this that ‘even the smallest prayer is heard and answered’ and all we will ever need is — faith.
Mr. Glenn Rogers, C.E.O & Editor-in-chief
“May we always be united in progress and the spirit of enterprise of the Hong Kong people remain an example to the world.”
— Glenn RogersC.E.O and Editor-in-chief of Mediazone
The Group hosts Asia’s First Smart City Forum at which major global brand names showcased their technology. Hosted at the Gold Coast Hotel in Hong Kong, the Chief Guest of the Forum was Dr. Bernard Chan, Under Secretary for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong Government, and several dignatories from the public and private sector. The foundation is laid for the Group’s upcoming Distruptive Innovation in Hong Kong and China Forum.
Copycat companies emerge to produce cheap imitation Awards programs but loyal Mediazone Group customers are quick to spot the fakes and the Group’s business rises in response. With support from Hong Kong’s and China’s governments, key industries rally to support the publisher’s new initiative – the Showcase of Emerging Technology.
The Group grows in strength on the back of growing interest from European and American companies keen on promoting their services in Hong Kong. The Awards soar to new heights as more personalized-services join the list of winners.
2015 – The Mediazone Group
Officially now a major player in the publishing industry, the company celebrated 15 years of committed service to Hong Kong at the HKMVC Awards held at the 5-Star Harbour Grand Kowloon Hotel and the who’s who of the business world attend. In an opening speech I relive the 15-year journey and provide a glimpse of what’s to come. Our online magazines developed social media pages of their own and begin attracting advertising revenue for their reach.
Much speculation of a change of management follow but the Group acts rather than confirms or denies. Though the year ends to record performance better than expected, it also brings sadness at the loss of one of its strongest well-wishers.
2014 – Organic Growth
After much negotiations we decided not to partner with China investors in exchange for control. While we remain open to expressions of interest, it remains a priority for us to grow organically and pragmatically, true to our core values. HKMVC reaches new heights and Mediazone officially becomes a Group of Publications with the formation of our online-daughter publications catering to key market segments.
Our work with hotels gains more prominence and we celebrate a decade of serving hotels across the globe.
2013 – At Your Service
We recognized the importance of creating a special spotlight for the Services Sector, recognizing that Hong Kong is a services-based economy. Market applause was instant and the curtain rose on the first ever HKMVC Services Awards at a prestigious Pan-Asian restaurant in Wanchai.
It was a year of personal strife for me but the sun came out again to show that my work was as yet undone. Both the Services and the Brand Awards were held that year and the impact on the print edition was clear. HKMVC had by now become the only business annual of its kind and the decision to go bi-lingual was hotly debated.
This year also sees the growth of our Mr. Hospitality brand – one built on my passion for the role hotels play in our lives.
We moved office to our first ever fully owned premises in One Midtown, Tsuen Wan.
2012 – Change is Coming
While the HKMVC Awards grew in popularity, the title grew in acceptance amongst Hong Kong’s very well regarded business elite and the foreign business arena. We published a flurry of special reports on and for many companies and our iconic Shepherd Boy logo ensured that more professionals joined our merry band leaving behind broken dreams of making it with the establishment. We took on talent at home and aboard on pure merit. Though customers, partners and well-wishers applauded our success, we remained level headed, never allowing the illusion of success to cloud our mission.
2011 – Global Spotlight on Hong Kong’s Achievers
After much trial and error, the first ever HKMVC Awards became a reality thanks in no small measure to one our senior executives without whose commitment and perseverance, this milestone may not have been reached as soon as it was.
Thanks to our media partners – the Hong Kong Standard and the Sing Tao Daily, the HKMVC Awards were held at The Box, in the heart of Hong Kong’s commercial district. The result was a resounding success as nearly 30 best achieving companies proudly held high HKMVC’s Trophy of Excellence. Instantly, photographs and news of the Awards rode high on every social media channel and interest from Mainland investors began to trickle in. Kudos from key industries came in and that’s when we knew we had reached a turning point and expansion was no longer a matter of choice.
2010 – On Track, Full Speed
What didn’t kill us made us stronger. HKMVC grew in size and stature to become the voice of Hong Kong’s commercial sector, across all major search engines. Social media began having a serious influence on readership behavior and it became obvious that HKMVC had to rise to the challenge. We moved office to Kam On Building, Central.
2009 – Test of Wills
The flu pandemic hit Hong Kong and for the first time, the Mediazone Group decided to form a board with a view to broadening scope and scale of coverage. Consequently, China coverage grew which resulted in improved relations across the border. A better understanding of a growing China gave our editors a new perspective of cross-border relations. It also drew criticism. HKMVC’s progress drew envy with foreign publishers flaying the title alleging bias. We continued on our mission to report and publish what we knew to be true.
2008 – Fresh Challenge Awaits
HKMVC becomes clear front-runner as the biggest and most widely accepted business annual and we begin exploring its online potential. The Asian financial tsunami took its toll as many publishing houses closed doors. Hong Kong entered the recession and we responded by shifting focus to SMEs with a view to helping them stay afloat. The Mediazone Group pondered diversification but decided the time was not yet ripe. Strategically, the Group began accepting expressions of interest for possible equity sale but eventually no offer was accepted.
2007 – Decade of Chinese Rule in and of Hong Kong
Mediazone Publishing secured rights to publish ‘The Future of Business in Hong Kong’ a publication that tells the true story of 10 years of Chinese progress. In keeping with our heritage, Swiss luxury timepiece and jewelry maker Chopard sponsored this historic record of commercial prosperity under Chinese rule and the book flew off the shelves in less than one month of release.
2006 – HKMVC Goes Regional
Print circulation of HKMVC went beyond local readership and the spill-off brought interest from fellow Asian tigers. Singapore, Thailand, Japan, China, Taiwan & Malaysia show interest in attracting tourism from Hong Kong and a media partner to help. We began planning our comprehensive Asian tourism promotion footprint to showcase the best and beautiful to our readers. That year saw the second edition of HKMVC where we feature a tall gold trophy-cup on the cover, perhaps fate’s way of showing us what lay ahead.
2005 – Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies
The first edition of Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies (HKMVC) was born thanks to unprecedented support from the private and public sector. The first issue’s cover suggested the wealth Hong Kong offers to its partners with the symbolic diamond on its cover. 100 companies adorned its pages and each purchased 100 copies for distribution ensuring a record 10,000 copies were sold in their first week of release. Market reaction suggested Hong Kong was thankful to have its own showcase that told its own story, objectively. The Internet was growing increasingly popular and we decided to move to digital printing in Hong Kong. This was a fateful year as it brought to the company the most unlikely of people, some of whom would be destined to play an integral role in its leadership.
2004 – Turning Point!
Industry Leaders was published once more alongside its full Chinese version which made the title even more popular. The formula worked and Mediazone Publishing became accepted as a recognised publisher. We began offering overseas representation services in Hong Kong. While the new title pleased many, constructive feedback suggested a missing link. We began a global consultation via the Internet, enquiring what sweet spot our title missed. We invited introspection. Finally, the answer came. Our title had missed the most important, single-most element that Hong Kong was globally recognized for. Value! That was it! That was the answer!
2003 – Death of Hong Kong?
Much sentiment against Fortune’s Cover Story on 1997 helps Mediazone Publishing spot a niche for a Fortune 500-type of annual showcase of corporate success in Hong Kong. In consultation with public and private sector we launched the first ever English-language business annual of its kind titled — Industry Leaders of Hong Kong. We published the first addition with support from major local Hongs including the iconic Maxim’s Group, Lee Kum Kee and other well-known institutions. The title immediately found acceptance amidst the business elite and copies sold at nearly HK$600 a piece in book-stores across Hong Kong. Mediazone Publishing moved to its first proper office in Central and began appointing publicity agents in Asia.
SARS hit Hong Kong hard and the publishing industry suffered a major setback. Were it not for our lean size and out source-based model we might not have survived.
We outsourced editorial, production and distribution retaining only advertising in-house. We hit record sales in Advertising, Promotions and Copy Sales. This was perhaps the most humbling year for us as it underscored our defiance of norm, a conviction in our beliefs and a reassurance that often it is from manure that the sweet fragrant rose of opportunity will grow.
2002 – Against all Odds
We published Best of South Africa and British Champions in Hong Kong - a special tribute to Queen’s Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee. Then British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent his wishes for the success of the publication. Both books were published in record time and exceeded sales and advertising targets. It was a year that endeared the Mediazone Publishing brand to book lovers in Hong Kong since we filled a niche. By then we had grown from a ‘one-man-band’ to a staff of three. We had expanded ‘multifold’ but fought back the urge to tell the world about this surge in growth. The year brought a wealth of knowledge not least of which was revelation that the public sector is not all its cracked up to be. Our quality of publishing was apparently becoming a threat to the various the Chambers of Commerce who produced their own in-house publications. The danger (to them) was the steady migration of interest from their member’s companies toward our ‘open market’ publishing. Brands/companies expectedly and clearly wanted to invest to promote amidst new prospects instead of ‘advertising to the converted’. Our success did not go down with the heads of many chambers of commerce who began maligning our efforts when they were not championing a ‘level playing field’ in Hong Kong.
2001 – Vive La France!
The French business community in Hong Kong began to show interest in having a similar showcase of French contribution to Hong Kong. With support from Paris, the French consulate supported the endeavour and the French Visionaries in Hong Kong became a reality. Air France supported the title as did huge French companies like BNP Paribas and Louis Vuitton. French SMEs too gladly backed the initiative and its release was a huge success. The economy was not its best and advertising dollars were growing hard to come by. Yet, the publication registered record sales and attracted the support of France’s most proactive companies in Hong Kong.
2000 – In Faith We Trust!
Mediazone Publishing released its first publication in Hong Kong to showcase the contribution of Switzerland in Hong Kong. The title (Swiss Visionaries in Hong Kong) was supported by the then Swiss consul general, the late Mr Peter Vogler and John Buser, then Head of the Swiss Chamber. Then Switzerland’s national airline Swissair’s Hansueli Meili backed the publication which till date remains one of a kind. The then Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, Mr Donald Tsang endorsed the effort underscoring the close bi-lateral relations Hong Kong enjoys with Switzerland. The more proactive of the Swiss business community threw their support behind this effort and within the first six months of its release the book grossed record revenue in terms of sales at home and abroad. The beauty of this project was that it was published single-handedly from just a table space in an old dilapidated building in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.