CO-FOUNDER &

FORMER CHAIRPERSONS

 
Dato' Seri Mukhriz Mahathir

A graduate of Boston University, USA and Sophia University, Japan. A former bank executive, telco infrastructure provider and Co-Founding Chairperson of the ISC Group from 1994 to 2003 when he started his political career and subsequently became the Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry of Malaysia and currently, again, the Chief Minister of his home state of Kedah, Malaysia's oldest state.

TAN SRI RAFIDAH AZIZ

A Bachelor's and Master's Degree holder in Economics from the University of Malaya, and was in Government Service for 32 years before becoming the longest serving Minister of International Trade & Industry of Malaysia from 1987 to 2008 and Chairperson of Air Asia X. She initially served as Chairperson of the ISC Group from 2009 to 2011 and of ISC Innovators from 2011 to 2013 after ISC ended its joint-venture in TBWA-ISC.

MANAGEMENT

 

TUNKU DATO' KAMIL IKRAM BIN TUNKU TAN SRI ABDULLAH – CHAIRMAN

Grandson of Malaysia's first King, Tunku Dato' Kamil completed his Diploma (OND) Hotel & Catering Management in 1976 and Professional (HCIMA) Hotel Management in 1978. He also went on to earn a Diploma in Marketing in 1979. In the summers, he trained and worked at the 3-star Regent Place Hotel in London's West End and later at the Chewton Glen, a premium 5-star hotel in New Forest, Hampshire. In 1990, he graduated with an Executive MBA from Boston University, Graduate School of Management, in the United States.

 

Tunku Dato' Kamil has been ​involved in his family’s ​diversified business organisation, Melewar, since the early 80s as its Group Operations Director. Following the acquisition of two public-listed companies, Granite Industries Bhd and Malaysian Assurance Alliance Berhad (now known as Zurich Insurance Malaysia Berhad) in the mid-80s, he was appointed as their Special Projects Director and oversaw several ventures, covering different industries and disciplines. He also briefly served on the Board of TDM Bhd during his “teething” years in the 80s.

 

Since then he has had vast industry experience (in hospitality, marketing and PR, construction and land development, travel and tourism, restaurants and F&B projects, transport, beverages and bottling) but most importantly is able to leverage on connections in local and federal government circles, and government-linked organisations. And as his family enterprises’ Associate Director of Business Development, Tunku Dato’ Kamil also spends his time evaluating new projects including finalising plans to develop his beachfront property in Cherating, Pahang.

 

He is also the past President of the Negeri Sembilan Cricket Association, sits on several Boards of the Melewar Group as a Non-Independent, Non-Executive Director and is a Member of the Group’s Risk Management Committee. He also is on the Board of several other private limited companies, including as a Director and Chairman of ISC.

AUSTEN ZECHA – CO-FOUNDER/PRESIDENT & CEO

Austen Zecha has been a pioneer and a major presence in the local and regional advertising scene for nearly a half-century. He has helped bring literally millions to these shores with the creation of one of the international tourism industry’s most famous and recognisable slogans: 'Malaysia, Truly Asia'. That thematic line is 20 years old in 2019 and still going strong!

 

A Malaysian Permanent Resident born in Indonesia of Dutch, Indonesian, Czech and Chinese ancestry, schooled in elite secondary and tertiary schools in the United States, and launching his earlier journalistic and speechwriting careers for Robert F. Kennedy, Austen’s worldview is both broad and deep. He is a marketing maven, maverick and - with a little bit of Mad Men thrown in - has founded and helmed 11 advertising, design and public relations entities which formed part of, or were later sold to, leading multinational agencies' entries into the region.

 

Innovation, combined with a dynamic, nimble, and robust approach has distinguished Austen’s leadership style. Not just staying ahead, but thinking beyond. And the international president of TBWA\Worldwide, the worldwide agency he sold his last agency to, even referred to him as a "unique...charismatic leader" within that leading worldwide network. 

 

He is one of the first to adopt an integrated, multi-disciplinary communications strategy for his clients. He also recognised early on the transformative nature of separate, independent media companies as well as digital and social media entities. And today he regards the trending decline of large global agencies replaced by smaller, lean-and-mean management consultancies as a welcome “disruptor", including management and financial consultancies' buying creative agency networks.

 

All of which he has incorporated into his latest and perhaps most personally gratifying undertaking - ISC. It’s all there in the name: Integrated. Strategic. Communications. Innovative. To which Austen adds copious portions of love, enthusiasm, passion  and an incredible Southeast Asian network for the advertising business.

 

And be warned - around him, it’s contagious.

PAUL LINGAN – EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Paul practically grew up in the world of advertising, having spent lots of time in agencies where his mother worked as Executive Creative Director around the region in the 70s and 80s. By the time the 90s rolled around, Paul initially started in client service but then successfully switched to copywriting with the enthusiasm of a new grad and the knowledge of an advertising veteran.

 

After more than 25 years in the industry, Paul has grown (not in height, unfortunately, but in experience) by working on an exciting mix of global brands such as AIA, Citibank, Motorola, JW Marriott, Westin, Haagen-Dazs, Microsoft, Pedigree and Whiskas, Standard Chartered Bank, Audi, IKEA, Panasonic, Chivas, Salem, Winston and Camel, to name only a few. He has also worked on high-profile Malaysian brands such as 'Malaysia: Truly Asia', the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, PROTON, Telekom Malaysia, DiGi mobile, OSK and the Sepang F1 Circuit, among others. Paul was part of the team that created, nurtured and built the ‘Malaysia: Truly Asia’ campaign, the most awarded tourism campaign in the world to-date, quadrupling Malaysia’s tourism arrivals to more than 25 million visitors and quintupling the country’s tourism receipts to more than RM56 billion from 1999 to 2010.

Prior to joining ISC, Paul was the Deputy Executive Creative Director at TBWA\TEQUILA Malaysia, and before that the Creative Director at ISC Innovators. Since becoming ISCs’ ECD, Paul also was “seconded” as the ECD to both Bates Malaysia and Chuo Senko from 2012 until 2014. And he currently serves as ISCs’ representative to the Malaysian 4As.

 

On weekends, Paul is either catching up on much needed sleep, getting involved with the KL Saracens Rugby Club or failing miserably at golf.

EDDY LIM  – PLANNER

Eddy comes with more than 19 years of marketing & communications experience. He started out in Creative and, as a rare case, moved to Account Management, with experience across branding, activation, digital and social media in local and global agencies.

Eddy, a serial award winner, managed brand campaigns that won the Promotion Marketing Awards Asia for 2 years in a row (2008 & 2009) for Michelin Malaysia, the 2012 MARKies Best Idea Retail for Havaianas ‘Flip Flop Test Drive’ and Best Idea Consumer Event for Standard Chartered’s ‘This Is Anfield’ campaign. Havaianas was also an Order of Merit winner at the PMAA 2012 for Best Trade Campaign Covering Retail, Key Account or Channel-Specific.

From FMCG to trade-driven markets like Michelin, Eddy has the experience and street-wise knowledge to deliver communications that provide results. Most recently the Cadbury ‘Say It With Chocolate’ campaign was a big winner in the awards circuit, an idea created in the KL office and adapted across regional markets.

 

Retail/Trade marketing and Digital/Social Media are some of the key expertise in Eddy’s locker. In recent years, Eddy drove the Maxis Channel Marketing business, helping the brand ride the 2016-17 data explosion and emerging with a higher net profit against the previous year.

Previously Eddy led teams on JTI and BAT brands in Malaysia, namely Winston, Camel and Dunhill, specialising in consumer engagement, digital and channel marketing. And in 2017-18 Eddy was the business lead on Colgate Palmolive, Jaguar Land Rover and Caltex Malaysia.

Eddy loves football, independent movies and indie music - and never misses a Liverpool FC game.

CRAIG WAKELIN – CREATIVE DIRECTOR

An award-winning Creative Director with 26 years in the advertising industry, Craig has a wealth of knowledge on many client businesses across many markets in Asia as well as East Africa. 

 

He was a Creative Director at TBWA-ISC Malaysia, working on accounts such as Tourism Malaysia, IKEA, Suzuki and Nivea.He has what it takes to communicate ideas across many mediums that are surprising and relevant to the target audience. He is responsible, active, diligent and passionate, with the ability to work in team-oriented environments. Craig is focused on winning for his clients, as well as for the company.

Craig also spent 10 years in Nairobi, Kenya as Executive Creative Director of J. Walter Thompson.

ZULEIKA AZIZI – ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

Zuleika, or Chica, as she is fondly called by friends, colleagues and clients, is a 30-year veteran in the field of advertising, specializing in Tourism & Travel.

 

Chica has had considerable service with JWT, Bates, Young & Rubicam and TBWA-ISC, where she was the Account Director for the agency’s international work on ”Malaysia: Truly Asia” for Tourism Malaysia.

 

She has also previously serviced both the Malaysia Airlines account and British Airways as well as a number of corporate and financial accounts such as Bursa Malaysia, Maybank and Invest Malaysia.

 

Chica is a graduate of the MARA University of Technology, a mother of three grown children and also an avid traveller.

THOMAS BLUM – COPY CHIEF & EDITOR

Lord I was born a ramblin’ man...

Tom left L.A. for a 3-year gig as CD with DMB&B, KL. One thing led to another, and, Holy Guacamole—it’s 25 years later! Kicked around several agencies during that time, taught at two colleges, and was editor-in- chief of The Hilt, Hilton KL’s lifestyle magazine.

Effective ad scrivening? Like good writing in general. Clear, to the point, no more (or less) words than necessary. Avoid clichés like the plague. And uh, try not to sound like a copywriter. Irony? Humor? By all means, delight and excite! Most importantly, tell a story. A good story. One with a surprise ending even better. That’s what the best stories do. Take you places you never expected (or dreamed) to go.

As Tom used to encourage his advertising and design students to do when they infiltrated, er, entered the workforce: Go forth, and be “bombthrowers”. Figurative, of course. And, if your story can “close the circle,” somehow return whence started, but from a different or heightened vantage, better still. For as the Zensters say, In the end is the beginning.

Ah…ramblin’ again.

CHRIS ZECHA – DIGITAL DIRECTOR

From DJ to Divemaster, paintball pro to published editor, medical responder to alpine ski patrol, and a whole host of (mis)adventures all over the world and everywhere in between, Chris sets the bar pretty high for the other so-called jacks-of- all-trade. 

 

Managing social media campaigns since 2002, Chris worked with the ISC group when it was part of the TBWA group of companies at Tequila\Myalo. Specialising in events, digital advertising and new/social media, Chris brings a collective total of ten years of experience in retail marketing and advertising & communications. With ISC since returning to Malaysia in 2012 from Hawai’i where he graduated in Entrepreneurial Business from Chaminade University, Chris has worked on numerous social media accounts, from being the country lead for the Absolut Vodka Global Facebook page to helping create and now stewarding the Naturally Langkawi page. Chris has managed FB pages with over 6 million fans (including but not limited to Bata Shoes, Chivas Regal, CHi Fitness, Nobu Restaurants, TalentCorp, & G.H.Mumm Champagne). With a deep interest in transformative technology and digital developments, Chris is our go-to guy for anything tech.

JAAP SNOECK HENKEMANS – SEO MANAGER

Originally from the Netherlands and with Bachelor’s degrees in IT and in Psychology, Jaap has spent most of his career in senior IT management roles which brought him on long-term assignments in France and India, prior to Malaysia.

 

For the past five years, Jaap has been living and working in Malaysia. His IT and Psychology degrees combined have made him a specialist in Digital Marketing and, in particular, Search Engine Optimization. Jaap has been running online, social media and SEO campaigns for clients such as Royal Grass, EcoOutdoor and SENGENICS, among others, and has subsequently assisted in their businesses’ double digit growth.

 

Jaap is currently working closely with the ISC digital team on various client projects.

WAN HATARI – ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR

With a Diploma in Business Management, it comes as no surprise that Hatari is a man of broad experiences. He started his career more than 20 years ago in sales and marketing. In 1998, Hatari joined Creative Workshop magazine as a Media/Advertising Executive, selling advertising space, servicing clients and working closely with the DTP/Design department. Ten years later, he moved to Filmpoint where he served as Senior Account Manager on the Tourism Malaysia and Mah Sing Group accounts. Prior to joining ISC Innovators, Hatari was Account Manager at Vodka X Communications where he handled the Gamuda Land, Wynkids, and MedaPharma accounts, among others.

 

At ISC since 2015, Hatari has been managing the PROTON, BERNAS, Sime Darby Property and Langkawi Tourism & Kedah Tourism accounts, showing a distinct preference for hospitality clients and a penchant for travel. In his free time, Hatari roams the Malaysian countryside on his motorbike and spends time with his kids.

JACOB WEBER – COPYWRITER & SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST

A Spanish & Business Studies graduate from the UK, Jacob got two years of recruitment consulting (and a “Top Biller” award) under his belt in London before the suit and tie started to itch and he decided to swap corporate for creative life. Looking for something that better suited his passion for travel and writing, Jacob found an Editorial Internship at a luxury travel company before moving back to KL (where he spent a very happy childhood) in search of a new career and better weather, joining ISC as a Copywriter and Social Media Strategist. From developing radio scripts to TVC storyboards, developing content calendars to writing high-impact headlines, Jacob has been working on the PROTON, Langkawi Tourism, TalentCorp, Bata Shoes, and Idemitsu accounts.

A keen sports and fitness fan, Jacob also writes freelance travel articles in his spare time, so can usually be found making his way through the menu at one of KL’s bars or restaurants. He swears it’s in the name of “research” – and he likes to be thorough.

SAM SIONG WEE – SENIOR ART DIRECTOR

A 15-year veteran of the art and design industry, ‘AweSam’ started out as a visualizer at Grey Worldwide, making the jump to DDB International as a Designer 3 years later before joining TBWA and finally ISC as an Art Director. Sam has seen – and drawn – it all, having worked for major Malaysian and international clients across all industry categories. Previous clients include Air Asia X, Maybank, Panten, Rejoice, Panasonic, Perodua, Genting Highlands, Courts Mammoth, Volkswagen, Macao Tourism, OSK Investment Bank, Chivas, Martell, Absolut, Winston, Camel, Digi, Häagen-Dazs, and Malaysia Tourism. Currently, Sam is leading our work on the Bernas, PROTON, Sime Darby, Langkawi Tourism & Kedah Tourism accounts. A strong, silent type whose work speaks volumes about his talent, skill and love for ideas.

ANDREW NG – GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Andrew is our young, eager, enthusiastic—and multi-talented—designer, with a penchant for creativity and quick turnaround time.  

 

He graduated with a Diploma in Digital Animation from Point College, where he studied tv and video production & editing, 3D modelling, and illustration. He also found the time to do freelance work, thereby expanding his knowledge and gaining experience in a range of complementary disciplines, including eleven years of Chinese calligraphy and Western drawing.

 

He gained further experience with a media-based company, keeping abreast of new media formats and learning how to incorporate them into brand and sales promotion campaigns.

BATRISYIA AZIZAN – DIGITAL EXECUTIVE

Batrisyia completed her Bachelor of Mass Communication (Honours), majoring in Broadcasting and minoring in Journalism at Taylor’s University. She joined us as an intern in early 2019, and showed so much promise and enthusiasm – we just had to hire her! She currently works in our Digital realm, where her fluent millennial lingo (although she likes to say she’s “technically a Gen Z”) helps her do double duty as a translator for the older folks. Batrisyia has been working on St. John’s International School, Sarawak Tourism, Perak Tourism, and Langkawi Tourism.

LIZA AB RAHMAN – BUSINESS MANAGER

The head honcho of human resources, the office ombudsman, our secret CEO – Liza is responsible for keeping all of us in running order, keeping more wheels turning than a Formula 1 mechanic. Liza grew up in convent schools across Malaysia, giving her the priceless experience of learning all kinds of cultures and values of people from all walks of life. With a diploma in Advertising & Marketing from Stamford College Malaysia, Liza joined the business of advertising in 1990 at Union 45 (now Publicis). She then was recruited to The Ball Partnership in 1992 before joining ISC in 1995. Prior to returning to the ISC family in 2013 as Business Manager overseeing the Admin as well as Human Resources requirements of the agency, Liza was the Business Manager of CEO Solutions International, a consultancy group formed by ex-CEOs multinational corporations in the oil & gas, IT, engineering and communication industries.

MICHELLE KWAN – FINANCE MANAGER

ISC’s compensation queen, our princess of the payroll, the Aphrodite of accounting. Without Michelle, we’d be fighting over the last remaining pencil in the stationary cupboard after spending all our money on entertaining clients. Michelle is an integral part of ISC, having joined in 2012 and looking after the financial needs and health of the agency. Born in Sabah on the island of Borneo, Michelle went to Singapore to finish her high school and college education in Accounting. Michelle has more than 20 years of Accounting experience in the printing, trading, travel and advertising industries.

ALIA ZECHA – EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO CEO

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Alia was shipped off to boarding school in the US as part of her family tradition at 12 years old. She spent 17 years in the States, with the last 10 of those in Hawaii, before returning to her stomping grounds in KL. She graduated with a BA in Marketing Communications from Chaminade University in Honolulu and then worked at ISCI’s sister agency, OLISC, on Oahu as its Production Manager prior to her return to Malaysia in 2012. It was a tough life juggling work and play with beautiful beaches and breathtaking hiking trails right in her Honolulu backyard. 

 

When there aren’t any visitors or clients in the office, you can spot Alia sporting her preferred footwear reminiscent of her beach bum island days, Havaianas. She loves bulldogs, spicy food, running and a good sense of humour.

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INNOVATORS

Level 3A.01C

Menara BRDB, 285 Jalan Maarof

Bukit Bandaraya, 59000

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

© 2020 ISC (Southeast Asia) Sdn Bhd

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