The founder of the art learning brand globalart, Mahair Goh, believes that persistence truly pays off.
After all, one of the biggest challenges he faced when running globalart was the initial startup process of promoting the brand to others.
“It was a hard time as we lacked funds and various institutions were also reluctant in accepting the globalart teaching concept,” shared Mahair.
This left the founder in despair, and he was on the brink of giving up on his business idea. But he chose not to.
“I had a strong belief in my programme and a determination that knew no end, so I stepped up on my initiatives and began taking my programme to the streets. I started knocking on doors and approaching every art centre that I could reach,” described Mahair.
His persistence finally paid off when a couple of art centres agreed to conduct a trial basis with his art and creativity programme.
globalart began its journey in Malaysia, starting in 1999 with one art learning centre. With Mahair’s efforts, globalart today is an international franchise brand known for its innovative and effective art enrichment programme learning system for children ages three to 17.
“So I would say that the franchise business sort of happened and this gave me hope that the globalart learning methodology could be a new trend in art and creativity,” said Mahair.
Creativity at its best
At 22, most of us would either be pushing through our final year in college or enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Starting a business, however, would definitely not be on the list.
For 22-year-old Mahair back then, he wanted to start a business after discovering that he had a passion for teaching art to younger children. Thus, he went on to establish his first art centre.
The first year proved to be fruitful with an intake of 100 students, which eventually also proved difficult to single-handedly manage.
Mahair went on to hire instructors who could help tutor the children. The method did not work out so well as there was a demand for his sole expertise in teaching art.
“I realised that I needed to develop a standardised teaching technique that would monitor and guide my students effectively as well as train my teachers to be better equipped with my teaching style,” he explained.
That teaching and learning method soon materialised into the revolutionary globalart programme it is today.
Mahair’s vetting process for his teachers is pretty straightforward. He does not emphasise his teachers having high qualifications. Instead, his only requirement is that all of his teachers love children and enjoy working with them.
“Creative thinking is my motto and the heart of my entire programme,” he shared.
This extends to their teaching style too, whereby the brand claims to be different by promoting and developing children’s creativity at their own pace. They do this by using a step-by-step approach and guidance.
Growing a local programme globally
Within one year of launching globalart, the brand’s programme was implemented by 60 franchisees. By 2000, there was also a total intake of 8,000 students in Malaysia.
“News on the effectiveness of my programme was widely circulated within the business community. The impact was so great that globalart became recognised and was endorsed by several prestigious art institutions,” expressed Mahair.
Currently, globalart has made its presence known in 21 countries. These include most of the Southeast Asian region, extending all the way to Canada, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the US, China, and more.
What started out as a home-based business, has now transformed into a local and international franchise-based business.
Additionally, one of Mahair’s proudest moments includes being recognised and awarded “Franchise of the Year” by the Malaysian Franchise Association for the past three consecutive years.
“It was definitely my plan and mission to expand the business as there was a demand and a need for the personalised teaching style introduced by me,” shared Mahair.
Taking a personalised teaching method, the brand’s core programme (Visual Art) comprises Junior, Foundation, Pre-Basic, Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.
Beyond fostering their creativity, these encourage and develop children’s critical thinking, problem-solving, discipline, focus, and self-learning skills.
Branching out further
The pandemic brought on negative feelings for many of us, and Mahair was no exception to this. When the first MCO took place, the founder faced many challenges and had to find a way to de-stress.
“I started painting and I came to a realisation that art therapy had a calming and soothing effect on me. I then realised that this could be an important form in helping individuals de-stress,” shared Mahair.
Hence, Artime was founded in 2020, and it serves as a means to provide adults with a place to enjoy art and release stress. With it, Mahair has secured his market standing in the creative industry, both for the target audience of children and adults.
Moving forward, globalart has plans to expand its services to other even more countries. “However, my main priority is still focused on innovating the programmes to benefit children and to let them embrace creativity,” Mahair summed up.
- Learn more about globalart here.
- Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: globalart