Trend Group has worked across multiple industries and market sectors, and undertaken projects for some of the most well-known global companies and brands. As a result, it has built up an impressive track record of working with international clients. The list includes the likes of Facebook, Google, Citibank, Red Bull, Uber, BBC, Coca-Cola, Bloomberg, Unilever, Mediacom, Bidvest, Porsche, and King Price, to name but a few.
Building on the success of recent projects, Trend Group has been awarded the full fit-out of the WeWork offices in Rosebank. WeWork’s first office in South Africa will occupy six floors of the brand new Rosebank Link, owned by Redefine Properties. It will cater for businesses from various sectors looking for shared space. Trend Group is completing the full fit-out, including bright and airy conference rooms, and sleek private offices and shared open workspaces. The Rosebank WeWork space will be designed specifically to reflect the Johannesburg culture.
The requirements of international clients range from a vacant office that needs to be designed and fitted-out, to an existing design that simply needs to be built, to international clients with their own in-house design teams that require roll-out assistance. Trend Group often competes against a number of competitors, right from the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, but its capability to offer a full turnkey design-and-build solution is a key differentiator.
“Our flexibility in being to able to respond to the specific requirements of our clients, in keeping with their corporate identities, and adding a uniquely African flavour at the same time, is what sets us apart,” Director Mohamed Okasha comments. The needs of international brands are quite specific and unique. Hence it is very important for Trend Group to understand international brand guidelines and corporate identity, while at the same time being able to communicate local nuances to global corporates themselves.
International clients require global consistency in terms of branding. Understanding that a brand is a company’s most valuable asset is critical in realising this, and taking due care to protect a brand’s reputation and integrity in the process. Being a proudly South African company, certain brands are reassured by Trend Group’s vast experience and knowledge, as it means all of their required design guidelines are achieved locally.
Trend Group has a stringent procurement process run by its in-house quantity surveyors, ensuring clients’ benefit throughout the process “We choose our suppliers on price, B-BBEE status, quality and delivery, which are critical. We always strive to match the best supplier with the most suitable products for each specific project,” Okasha notes.
Trend Group often has to take into account a brand’s own international standards and specifications for its regional facilities. Often due to the tight timeframes, and in order to reduce lead times, locally-sourced products are identified wherever possible. This is also in keeping with Trend Group’s mandate to promote local craftmanship and manufacture wherever possible. “We definitely have both the skill and capacity to meet international standards locally,” Okasha emphasises.
“Our design team spends time fully understanding a brand’s corporate identity through extensive interviews and meetings with the client to run through a detailed workspace questionnaire. Through a workspace analytics program, we collect important information that will assist in designing an environment that supports your organisation and its people.”
Frequent communication is essential when working with internationally-based clients. Trend Group maintains extensive liaison with its client so as to facilitate the entire process from start to finish, submitting weekly progress reports and communicating regularly via Video Conferencing (VC). Keeping the client in the loop continuously is critical to the success of a project, Okasha highlights.