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Global Brand and Design Company Seeks Growth in Asia through Hong Kong

UK-headquartered FITCH has acquired StartJG Hong Kong and made it the largest Asian office in its international creative network

At the end of 2016, retail and brand consultancy FITCH, part of British multinational advertising and public relations company WPP, acquired a majority stake in StartJG in Hong Kong, formerly part of the Start Group. After rebranding, the Hong Kong operation became one of the 16 studios in the FITCH network and the biggest in Asia.

Global Brand and Design Company Seeks Growth in Asia through Hong Kong

Jonathan Cummings, who opened StartJG in Hong Kong in 2009 and built it up into a successful company awarded by Marketing magazine as Brand Consultancy of the Year in 2014, is now Chairman, Hong Kong and Group Business Director South East & North East Asia of FITCH. He said: “Our studio has brought to FITCH greater presence in Greater China and the knowledge to help the firm to grow in Mainland China. The second thing is our specialism in digital. We are not just adding another office but a genuinely expanded capability to the FITCH network, regionally and globally.”

FITCH has six other studios in Asia, in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai. The Hong Kong office, which has a 48-strong staff, will be central to the expansion of FITCH in Asia.

“We want to at least double the size of the business within the next four years. My goal is to build on the success we have had so far, and continue using Hong Kong as the platform for further growth.”

He commented that the city is increasingly embracing innovation, which makes for a favourable environment for a business like FITCH to grow.

“Hong Kong is a very dynamic place – people are always looking forward and moving forward. There is an ever-growing and thriving startup community, and big organisations are building innovative labs and starting to inject the culture of innovation into their organisations. That is brilliant and gives us access to a lot of partners and collaborators.”

And he sees a lot of opportunities ahead as the retail sector is becoming competitive. “Brands are seeing the need to invest in differentiating themselves, to refine their proposition and their retail experience, and to really make themselves stand out. That’s where we come in,” he said.

InvestHK has a long working relationship with Cummings, and it was also present at the launch event of FITCH in Hong Kong.

“To have that support from the government made the team feel very valued and very special, and it showed our clients that they were working with a business valued by the government. That’s really important for a small business like ours,” he said.

“The best thing about working in Hong Kong is accessibility to people, whether it’s potential clients, partners or collaborators. It is an open market, and that makes work fun, as well as good for business,” he said.

Monday, July 10, 2017

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Fast Facts

  • One of the 16 studios in the global network of FITCH and the largest in Asia
  • Leading the growth of FITCH in Greater China and the rest of Asia
  • Plans to double the size of its business within the next four years

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