Karl Mak (Singapore Entrepreneur)

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Karl Mak
Karl Mak HEPMIL.jpg
Born
1988
EducationBachelor of Science (Economics)
Alma materSingapore Management University

Karl Mak (born 1988) is a Singaporean entrepreneur and the co-founder of HEPMIL Media Group, a holding company that owns SGAG, MGAG, PGAG, SGEEK and HEPMIL Creators’ Network. In 2017, he was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list for his contributions in media, marketing and advertising.[1] As of 2020, Karl Mak is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HEPMIL Media Group.[2][3]

Background

Karl Mak (left) pictured with his business partner, Adrian Ang (right). Photo from Marketing In Asia.

Karl Mak and his business partner, Adrian Ang first met in 2005 as classmates in junior college.[4] The duo’s friendship continued into university where they conceptualised their first meme in a university seminar. After completing their studies in 2013, they co-founded SGAG and subsequently, HEPMIL Media Group.[5]

Education

Karl Mak was a student at Anglo-Chinese Junior College.[6] He furthered his studies at Singapore Management University (SMU) where he graduated with a degree in economics and strategic management in entrepreneurship in 2013.[7] While studying in SMU, Karl Mak also doubled as a Business Study Mission teaching assistant for the Middle East programme.[8]

Entrepreneurship

As the CEO of HEPMIL Media Group, Karl Mak leads the business development and international expansion of the company.[9][10] As of 2020, it is reported that HEPMIL Media Group employs over 70 staff members regionally.[11]

HEPMIL Media Group - Co-founder

One of the co-founders' first few viral memes. Photo credit to Adrian Ang & Karl Mak/ Stuff.

In 2012, friends and co-founders Adrian Ang and Karl Mak created a meme (a video or image, typically humorous in nature) in response to McDonald’s running out of its signature curry sauce.[12][13][14] Soon after posting it on Facebook, the meme went viral.[15] The duo incorporated SGAG in April 2013 as a localised version of 9GAG, a Hong-Kong based media platform known for its humorous content.[16] That same year, SGAG continued to produce timely content in reaction to nationwide events like the news of the “7 Million Population” White Paper and the haze.[17][18] In a YouTube video posted in February 2020, Karl Mak shared that:

“... the turning point for us was when Scoot actually engaged us for one of their campaigns.”[19]

This piece of branded content produced for Scoot reportedly went viral once it was published.[20] Since then, HEPMIL Media Group has partnered with large brands like McDonald's and Walt Disney.[21]

Business expansion

Karl Mak and Adrian Ang incorporated HEPMIL Media Group in 2016.[22] That same year, they moved to a larger office space to accommodate a growing team.[23] MGAG and PGAG are the Malaysian and Filipino versions of SGAG started in 2016 and 2018 respectively,[24][25] while SGEEK is a comedy content and technology platform started in 2018 aiming to educate its viewers on gadget and gaming reviews.[26] HEPMIL Creators’ Network, started in 2020, is a program that aims to provide opportunities to independent comedy content creators within Southeast Asia and agencies that wish to reach millennials.[27][28][29]

Public speaking

Over the years, Karl Mak has been invited to speak about his entrepreneurship journey at SGAG and HEPMIL Media Group at various conferences, interviews and summits. The following table is a non-exhaustive list of his event appearances over the years.

Karl Mak (left) pictured at the NUS Enterprise Kopi Chat in 2018. Photo from Medium.
Year Event Organiser Refs.
2020 The Expert Opinion Singapore Computer Society [30]
2019 Wild Digital SEA: The Power of Digital Stories (Panel) Wild Digital [31]
2018 PromaxBDA Asia Promax Asia [32]
Kopi Chat NUS Enterprise [33]
Building a Creative Culture in Startups WeWork [34]
2017 Real Journeys Singapore Management University Real Business [35]
Content Summit Asia GRVTY Media [36]
[email protected] St Joseph's Institution [37]
2016 General Assembly Meets SGAG General Assembly [38]

References/ Citations

  1. "Karl Mak & Adrian Ang Jin Yong, 29". Forbes. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  2. "Karl Mak". LinkedIn. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  3. Singapore Management University. "#TalentsOfSMU: Karl Mak & Adrian Ang, the Duo Behind SGAG & MGAG". YouTube. May 14, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  4. NubbadTV. "Zero to One Million Likes, The SGAG Story | Nubbad TV | SGAG". YouTube. February 12, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  5. TEDx Talks. "Building a company of laughter | Karl Mak |[email protected]". YouTube. November 13, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  6. "Karl Mak". LinkedIn. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  7. "Karl Mak". Singapore Management University. December 18, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  8. "SMU Alumni Shares on the Secret Sauce of SGAG’s Success". Singapore Management University. October 19, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  9. Singapore Management University. "#TalentsOfSMU: Karl Mak & Adrian Ang, the Duo Behind SGAG & MGAG". YouTube. May 14, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  10. "SMU Alumni Shares on the Secret Sauce of SGAG’s Success". Singapore Management University. October 19, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  11. Kartina Rosli. "Get To Know Karl Mak, CEO And Co-Founder Of Hepmil Media Group". Marketing In Asia. May 18, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  12. TEDx Talks. "Building a company of laughter | Karl Mak |[email protected]". YouTube. November 13, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  13. Mah, Paul. "How I hire: SGAG's co-founder Karl Mak". Wantedly. August 28, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  14. NUS Enterprise. "SGAG’s Journey — No Laughing Matter". Medium. September 11, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  15. NubbadTV. "Zero to One Million Likes, The SGAG Story | Nubbad TV | SGAG". YouTube. February 12, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  16. SGAG Media Pte Ltd”. SGP Business. n.d. Accessed on 6 August 2020.
  17. TEDx Talks. "Building a company of laughter | Karl Mak |[email protected]". YouTube. November 13, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  18. NUS Enterprise. "SGAG’s Journey — No Laughing Matter". Medium. September 11, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  19. NubbadTV. "Zero to One Million Likes, The SGAG Story | Nubbad TV | SGAG". YouTube. February 12, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  20. Khairani Afifi Noordin. "Millennials: Tackling the youth market with comedy and memes". The Edge Malaysia. July 20, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  21. "Our Partners". HEPMIL Media Group. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  22. Hepmil Media Group”. BizFile. n.d. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  23. HomeRenoGuru SG. "Office space of Hepmil Media Group by De Style Interior - HomeRenoGuru Commercial [HomeRenoGuru.sg]". YouTube. June 8, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  24. MGAG Media Sdn Bhd”. Experian. n.d. Accessed 6 August 2020.
  25. Lim, Shawn. “Is laughter the best medicine? Hepmil Media Group on using humour during coronavirus”. The Drum. May 4, 2020. Accessed 5 August 2020.
  26. Lim, Shawn. “SGAG launches SGEEK to provide ‘light-hearted and accessible’ coverage of all things tech and games”. The Drum. March 6, 2018. Accessed 5 August 2020.
  27. "Hepmil Media Group Launches Creator’s Network For Independent Comedy Creators". Marketing In Asia. April 29, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  28. Brand & Business: Hepmil Media Group Launches Creator’s Network to Champion Indie Comedy Creators on Tiktok, Facebook, and More”. Adobo Magazine. April 22, 2020. Accessed on 5 August 2020.
  29. Tan, Janice. “SGAG and MGAG parent network unveils Tiktok-first content arm”. Marketing Interactive. April 22, 2020. Accessed 5 August 2020.
  30. Singapore Computer Society. "Take the leap and upload your content - Karl Mak". YouTube. March 23, 2020. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  31. "Programs for Event "Wild Digital SEA". Wild Digital. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  32. Promax Asia. "FEATURED SPEAKER: KARL MAK". Facebook. September 10, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  33. NUS Enterprise. "SGAG’s Journey — No Laughing Matter". Medium. September 11, 2018. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  34. "Building a Creative Culture in Startups". Peatix. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  35. SMU Real Business Love for Ideas. "We are delighted to have Karl Mak, the co-founder of SGAG...". Facebook. September 8, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  36. "Here's What You Missed At Content Summit 2017 - Part 2". Vulcan Post. 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  37. TEDx Talks. "Building a company of laughter | Karl Mak |[email protected]". YouTube. November 13, 2017. Accessed on 13 August 2020.
  38. "General Assembly Meets SGAG". e27. Accessed on 13 August 2020.