LTS: Founded in 2009, overcoming many difficulties of architecture, GK Archi (GKA) has gradually affirmed its prestige and become a strong brand in the design consulting market.
Not only for the domestic market, GK Archi has conquered even the most demanding clients in Thailand, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. By the end of 10/2016, The Atrium in Yangon (Myanmar) by GK Archi was designed by Propertyreport.com (specializing in architecture in Asia) ranked Top 5 architectural attractive investment of Asia. Currently, GK Archi is ranked as the architectural firm with the largest design floor space in Myanmar by YCDC (Myanmar) to date.
Sabinco is the owner’s project from Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. GK Archi designs ideas and protects with investors. After overtaking five rivals from other countries and Bangladesh, GK Archi won the first design prize and was assigned to design the project.
Starting from the process of establishing in other countries is the great effort of the members of GK Archi. Architecture Magazine would like to introduce to readers about the interesting story of GK Archi, through the sharing of two founding members: Master of Architect Nguyen Trung Kien and Master of Architect Le Nguyen. Huong Giang.
1. Beginning is always difficult.
For the design consulting and architectural profession – planning, the biggest difficulty of the main architects is the capacity profile. As experienced architects, the capacity profile of a start-up business is still a zero (0). Therefore, participating in bidding for large projects is almost “impossible duty”. In order to have a project, maintaining the business at an early stage is entirely dependent on available relationships (more or less, based on capacity, seniority of the business owner) and seeking opportunities from Design Contest Ideas Contest.
Sabinco is the owner’s project from Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. GK Archi design ideas and protects with investors. GK Archi has overtaken 5 rivals from other countries and Bangladesh won the first design prize, and finally GK Archi was assigned to design the project.
The next difficulty is the social relationship of the Architect – From the role of Architect now adds a new position as business owner, the connection with other business owners, investors, with management, management, communication … is really a difficult transition of the Architect.
Everybody knows that an architect is an artist, working sometimes arbitrarily, emotionally, but when you become a business owner, the reality is that you need to be more professional, First, there are many problems that may arise in the process of operating and managing the business. The difficulty of moving between the three core elements of a start-up business is often money-work-personnel.
A new company, starts with no money and does not attract good, experienced architects. If we can not hire people, the work will not be smooth, leading to passive money.
These three core elements always exist and contradict each other. Sometimes, when the business is relatively financially comfortable, but it is not, it is inevitable that the architects depressed and abandoned to work with other businesses. Or at work, but the liquidity of the project is not good, payment schedule is not timely, no money to pay for personnel. The 3 core strengths of human resources – work – is always a difficult and challenging problem for business owners, especially for architectural consulting firms.
2. The story of starting a business in Myanmar is both an opportunity and a big challenge for GK Archi.
GGV Hotel: The hotel is in the prime location of Yangon (opposite to Shwedagon, the famous Buddhist symbol of Yangon). GK Archi designs interior for the entire space of the hotel including: bedrooms, restaurants, bars, reception halls.
Getting started is just a testament to the GKA‘s quest for new directions; But that is also a bold decision for a young business but dare to challenge the environment abroad when the domestic market is difficult.
GK Archi was founded in 2009, when the whole real estate market of Vietnam is frozen and going down. In order to keep the business alive, it is imperative for the business owner to be proactive and take timely action.
GKA decided to try out the international markets in the vicinity. According to market estimates based on economic data, GK Archi decided to choose Cambodia and Myanmar. After 3 months of “clinging to” the Cambodian market was unsuccessful, until September 2012, GK Archi decided to “encroach” into the Myanmar market. Then (in 2012), Myanmar has just moved from dictatorial military regime to democracy, the construction market in Myanmar, especially the city of Yangon is booming. There are many opportunities, but GKA has faced many difficulties when entering the Myanmar market:
- There is no list of projects, projects designed by GKA in Myanmar for investors reference: It is the biggest difficulty when starting in the Myanmar market. It is not enough to rely solely on the capacity profile of the projects designed in Vietnam. To introduce to the Myanmar investors, GK Archi must do its best to demonstrate their competence, knowledge and experience.
- Difficulties in the knowledge of laws, design regulations in Myanmar: Regulations, construction design laws of different countries. When designing, especially the first projects in a new market, is extremely difficult. In addition to satisfying the owner’s aesthetics, the design must ensure proper compliance with the law so design documents can be submitted to the management agency;
- Cultural differences, aesthetics, hobbies, customs and habits: Each country will have a different belief in religion and indigenous culture. When designing, it is necessary to capture preliminary basic customs. In Vietnam and Myanmar are Buddhist countries, but in two different sects (Hinayana and Mahayana). So the views are also quite different;
- Difficulties in working collaboratively with local engineers and architects: In addition to language barriers, expert understanding between GK Archi’s Architects and Architects and Engineers in Myanmar Is also a difficulty in the early time. It takes one – two projects so that two groups of architects can get used to the way they work, express and read the drawings to coordinate well in submitting the application to the competent authority for approval or Local contractors.