Monthly Archives: August 2014

Face to Face with ABRA Visual Merchandising & Store Designs CEO – Karuthedath Govindan the Man behind Dubai’s Luxurious Store Designs

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Abra VMSD was launched in 1992 by the sheer determination of the founder and an incredibly hardworking team dedicated to quality assurance.

I had the pleasure of working with Abra VMSD 5years ago when I started my Events company in the region and since then have been regular suppliers for my Fashion Shows and their Home Décor line was showcased in my Art Exhibit as well. Their specialty however, lies in Store Design and Visual Merchandising, they have been the team behind some of the most visually stunning mall displays and window displays. In this Blog, I wanted to offer stories of inspiration and this interview with Mr. Karuthedath Govindan offers that and more. Before following my calling as an Entrepreneur, I worked in media operations, which included booking campaigns on TV and Press for TMI(Tihama Al Mona a JWT affiliate which JWT bought over later)

ABRA VMSD – Establishing the Business  – I thrived on the knowledge I had first had which was in Advertising and that’s when I started ABRA (Initially Zebra) it was an advertising & production agency which specialized in screen printing- doing customized watch dials and full color process screen printing. It did not specifically cater to VM & SD, rather VM & SD at that time was still in its infancy and unheard of in this market. With a dedicated team and a vision to grow we started exploring and venturing in to VM & SD – we have now transformed to one of the most sought after Visual Merchandising & Store Production companies in this region.

We started like most passionate entrepreneurs do, it was in a two room apartment that we operated from, with an office room for myself and the others used for printing. We were 4 –5 people in the first year, and I was extremely hands on, I used to do sales, deliveries, purchasing, sometime even helping in printing.

Currently we are 150+ personnel, its been an incredible 20 years and we are proud of the growth we have enjoyed.

Guiding Force behind the Success of ABRA VMSD  – My family has been one of my biggest support, I think with every successful businessman, there is a woman, my wife who has throughout my journey encouraged and supported me and when she was expecting our second child, I wanted to ensure that my family gets a quality life.

One Word that descrbes ABRA VMSD – Quality, Quality & Quality – Something which I always put emphasis on from the beginning was to do anything we do, with Quality. This aspect I believe has stood us well on the long term. ABRA is synonymous with quality.

Dubai the City of Dreams & Opportunites – Being, in this vibrant city of Dubai, which is the epicenter of all the marketing activity in the region, has surely been an advantage. Most of the Marketing Offices of multinationals & luxury brands that we aim to work with are based here, which is an impetus for growth.

Growth in ABRA VMSD – There is a buzz these days in ABRA.  Its not often the son taking over the mantle of the company that father started. Moving to IMPZ, though with its financial implications has been the right thing and my son Anand has been heralding the change admirably ably supported by his mentor Gireesh who has always offered valuable advice and guidance to the young businessman but even the other employees have warmed up to Anand and embraced his vision for change.

I always thought some day we will have 100+ employees. Today we have far exceeded it and I believe there is still room to grow, its always worthwhile to work with a team that is equally benefiting from the companies success and growth. However, I have to state that my most enjoyable experience till date is when my son joined Abra at a very critical stage, and bringing about the change to be what Abra is now. Couldn’t ask for more.

The biggest achievement in line with the current vision of the management would be to become No.1 in the UAE in the chosen field of work, a place where reputed clients will willingly bring their work with the confidence that their projects will be looked after. Ideally, would love to see Abra as a company that clients want to work with and employees want to work for.

Advice For the Young Entepreneur – My advise to the young entrepreneur will be to have absolute focus on what you do, have a clear vision as to what you want to achieve,  do what ever you do with honesty and dignity. Your people are your strength – when you motivate yourself , motivate your staff too.

ABRA VMSD:-

Tel +9714 4494064 I Fax +9714 4494063 I P B 485017 IMPZ Dubai

Web: http://www.abravmsd.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ABRA-VMSD

Instagram: abravmsd

 

 

 

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Chatting with Dubai in a Frame – Dubai’s very first Video Blogger “V – logger” by Gyaan Guru

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Shweta Dembla

Shweta Dembla – Founder of “Dubai In A Frame”

I have been lucky to be a part of this beautiful journey from the beginning. Its not easy to leave a cushy job and go after your passion for story telling. The strength and face behind “Dubai In A Frame” – is solely Shweta Dembla, a young Journalist with skills to capture and highlight the best of what Dubai has to offer.

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Her Vlog covers, Artists, Media Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Fashion, Events, Restaurant ratings and more. Drawing inspiration from a City that refuses to settle down, over the past 3years Dubai in a frame has also gone to new heights- It has been Voted as UAE’s Top 5 Blogging Sites by Pose – http://www.posedubai.com/top5/top-5-dubai-blogs.html

According to : http://www.livingindubai.org/top-10-best-dubai-blogs/

“Shweta Dembla is a citizen journalist in Dubai who uses her blog, Dubai in a Frame, to capture all the happening moments in the city. The blog, or more accurately, video log, focuses on food, art, fashion and wellness events taking place in Dubai and also features the next generation of emerging talent in each of these fields. The blog has a calendar full of events that will capture your attention, making you drop whatever it is you are doing at the moment and seize the opportunity to indulge in whichever field grabs your interest.”

 I have been lucky enough to bump in to Shweta through work, which transpired in to a relationship of respect and friendship. Therefore, when I decided to take the leap in to Blogging myself – her story of inspiration was one worth sharing!

  1. The Beginning of the Journey

I felt that there was a void in the broadcast journalism industry here, in Dubai. Hence, I thought I’d start a video blog – my way or foray into video journalism / reporting if you will. Although, its not conventional ‘journalism’ by its very definition, I am more like a Video reporter, giving a voice and face to the stories and people in this city.

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  1. Highlights of Video Blogging

Although, I still don’t feel that I am skilled at doing this, the last three years have been utmost eventful and inspiring. A thorough learning experience in every way. And, I am very grateful for all the experiences and people that I have met thus far.

 Cannes: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull - Premiere

  1. Is there a Gender Divide in Blogging – are Women more invested in this Profession?

I’m not sure that blogging is gender specific. I have met many male bloggers in my outings (as a v-logger) too. ‎And no, I have not felt any sort of an ‘up’ being female in this industry. If anything, when I’m amidst a zillion male photographers at a celeb-laden event, it becomes that much harder to (wo) man-oeuvre your way around to get that perfect shot!

  1. What has been the hardest part of blogging?

The idea of ‘blogging’ itself now seems to come with a kind of a jaded tag. ‘Oh! so you blog? But, what do you really do for a living?’ I am still trying hard to make a vocation out of it, especially since I am, willingly, behind the scenes, and not a micro-blogger -celebrity!

 In the UAE specifically, PR agencies look at you, the person, and how you are dressed etc, not you, as a blogger, or in my case, a v-logger. They sometimes fail to see and comprehend that I am a ‘lifestyle v-logger / video reporter’ and not a fashion blogger, so I don’t necessarily need to look the part or dress fashionably, or in this region, expensively, to attend and cover an event. Since when did reporters need to be stylish? So, the toughest part is apparently looking the part, in my experience. Because of the above, I get missed out on ‘luxe’ events in Dubai, where I typically would be the only v-logger giving the brands unique content. I say this confidently, as I see no video coverage of these events.

  1. Have you had second thoughts about V-Logging?

 Many times actually. PR agencies here, as I mentioned before, look for the ‘fashionable’ note, not ‘fashion bloggers.’ So, not being considered one, hence, not being taken seriously sometimes has made me rethink of the idea (of being one). Although, I am a lifestyle blogger, who has video posts but still, agencies here seem satisfied with the run-of-the-mill type of content.

 Being Unique is Important

  1. What makes you sure that V-logging is your thing?

 The fact that I am still one of the few v-loggers in the region and that people still tell me that I have something ‘unique’ to offer. Most importantly, the passion to capture and my over-curious nature keeps me motivated!

w2w Networking Event

w2w Networking Event

  1. Your 5 Gyaan tips to new Bloggers / V-Loggers in the region

1. Networking is Key

2. Attend as many events as you possibly can, to show face, meet peers and fellow bloggers

3. Get those followers! Work hard on building a follower-ship on all your social mediums as, in this industry, it is all about the numbers

4. Be frequent in your blog posts from three to five posts a week, at least.

5. Know your strengths, know your topics / what interests you, well enough to blog about. The rest will take care of itself. 

  1.  Where can we find “Dubai in a Frame?”

 web: www.dubaiinaframe.com

Face book: Dubai in a Frame

Twitter: @dubaiinaframe

YouTube: dubaiinaframedotcom

Pinterest: dubaiinaframe

Instagram: dubaiinaframe