[:en]| Wednesday, August 17, 2016
“生意就像是逆水行舟。他别无选择；要么勇往直前，要么挫败倒退。”美国商会主席Lewis E. Pierson这一段取意于中国《增广贤文》“学如逆水行舟，不进则退”的金句在被《福布斯》杂志引用之后，被美国商业社会的奉为经典。而这次，我们的故事要从将“他”改为“她”开始。
Leslie Zhang和Lucy Sun，这两位乍看性格和风格完全背道而驰的女生，却能凭借默契和坚持，在男性主导的建筑设计界，让看似遥不可及的梦想化为了现实。这个关于贯注热情，追逐梦想的故事叫做《Mi2》，献给那些还在等待别人为自己创造奇迹的人，也给那些一直想要了解Mi2的人。
6年过去了，Mi2的故事还在续写，而开始于这里每一个笔触，都将构筑未来的经典。故事未完待续， Mi2总裁Desmond Tan，其优秀的专业背景以及丰富的项目管理经验让Mi2实现了多元发展，并在亚洲迅速扩张。他将于下周在另一个维度，向你继续讲述Mi2这个梦想故事。
Design & fit-out are still very much male-dominated sectors. So when a brand-new start-up, with a bright pink logo, run by two young ladies, won a prestigious contract to design and build a new office for one of China’s leading internet portals, it aroused a great deal of curiosity within the industry. Who was this new company? And who were the two glamorous young founders behind it?
The company is Mi2, and its two founders are Leslie Zhang and Lucy Sun — two individuals whose character and style have always run contrary to conventional norms.
Mi2 was born in Beijing in 2000. At that time, Leslie was running her own integrated fit-out design agency — “Master Builder”. A keen fashionista, she cuts an unorthodox figure in a strongly male industry, regularly clambering across construction sites wearing designer dresses and stilettos. Lucy, meanwhile, had recently returned to China from the US. On returning to Beijing, she founded “iVaxo”, an architecture firm, where she faced a constant challenge balancing her own avant-garde design instincts with the often-more conservative expectations of her clients.
Although they had never met, both ladies were in similar situations: young entrepreneurs working long hours to deliver projects, and therefore lacking the time to chase their own dreams and aspirations. They didn’t know it, but they also worked in the same office building.
The pair were introduced by a mutual client. When they realized that they were young female entrepreneurs with similarly big ambitions, they jokingly suggested that they should go into business. Take the first letter of Leslie’s company, “Master Builder”, then the first letter of Lucy’s, “iVaxo”, add in the number of founders, and voila: Mi2 was born.
Neither likely realized on that first day just how serious a business proposition they had entered into. The internet portal pitch was their debut project together, and the competition was fierce. But Leslie and Lucy’s rare combination of skills – precise architectural design; technical planning; high-quality construction; project management; plus delivery – enabled them to win the day.
Plenty more happy customers have since joined the list. As an integrated architecture and fit-out company, Mi2 has garnered rave reviews from its clients by combining outstanding, innovative designs with top-quality construction. Its designs manage to achieve a minimalist, innovative sense of spaciousness, while ensuring maximum functionality. At the same time, each and every one of Mi2’s spaces are a clear manifestation of the client’s unique corporate and brand personality.
Nowadays, Mi2’s presence extends well beyond Beijing and Shanghai. It has delivered more than 1,800 successful projects across the Asia-Pacific region, encompassing Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. It now counts more than 300 companies and retail brands from the Fortune 500 among its clients, spanning sectors ranging from aircraft manufacturers to auto makers, logistics to renewable energy, banks to real-estate developers.
But while running a successful business and hitting financial targets is clearly important to founder Leslie, she hopes that, above all else, Mi2 can continue to make its mark on the design world by becoming a hub for the next generation of talent. Or as Leslie puts it: “As well as delivering first-class projects and high-quality service, we also want to be a platform for young architects and designers, from a range of backgrounds, and with different styles, to express and explore themselves creatively.”
Sixteen years on from their first meeting, Leslie and Lucy continue to drive Mi2 forward. And, in order to further develop the business, they have brought in a new Group Managing Director: Desmond Tan, a Singaporean with a wealth of project-management experience. With Desmond on board, Mi2 is confident that it can continue its rapid expansion into south-east Asia, as well as enlarging its project management capacity and expertise. Desmond will outline the next chapter of Mi2’s remarkable story in the coming weeks.