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From Kuwait to Delhi, Kiwi design company finds global success

Thinking outside the box, or rather outside the country, has seen Christchurch design company Redesign catapult itself onto the global stage. Having opened for business in 1998, and working on everything from logo design to office and commercial fitouts, the company successfully expanded its focus to global markets five years ago. 

And global expansion seems to have treated the company well, with business opportunities opening up in South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australasia. 

“Our design style may not be any different to any other design company in New Zealand, but we have found a niche market," sums up Jo Pennycuick, founder and managing director of Redesign. "We have the ability to project our company not just for its design capabilities, but for its management and service it provides," she adds. 

A big success story for the company has been its bright and bold interior design work for Vietnam’s first Domino Pizza store, which opened in November last year. The store, located in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, is the first in what Pennycuick says is another 20 stores to be rolled out nationwide. 

But perhaps one of the company’s most impressive assignments has been the redesign and construction of the Mumbai International Airport foodcourt in 2008. The contract led to further opportunities, with the company developing more than 24 food and beverage and retail sites at the Indira Gandhi Delhi International Airport earlier last year. 

Its international success was recognised recently when the company was named Champion Global Operator at the recent 2010 Champion Canterbury awards, held to “celebrate business excellence, passion and success”. 

Engaging with different cultures is one Pennycuick’s main drives when it comes to working offshore, but cultural differences aren’t without their challenges. But no matter, says Pennycuick. 

“There are the extremities of the middle east where as a female you are treated differently. But as long as you know your business, can project what you are selling and the service that you are providing, you’ll get respect 

Pennycuick tells her staff that it’s all about how you project yourself. Being confident, talking clearly and knowing your business—that’s what secures contracts. 

“For a small company based in Christchurch and run by a female I find this a huge accomplishment,” she says. 

The company is currently in the process of opening up an office in Delhi, so it can service clients throughout the South East Asia region. In September last year, an office was set up in Kuwait to coordinate the company’s work in the Middle East regions.

“We are out there promoting New Zealand and the talent we have in this small country, so if we can be an inspiration to others then I’m pleased,” says Pennycuick. 

“Yes it’s been very hard work, but it’s so rewarding.”

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