Employer Spotlight: Axension Studios (HelloHolo)
A peek into reality at a mixed-reality consultancy
Axension Studios is a consulting firm that specialises in digital turnkey solutions, and HelloHolo is an extension of its solutions in the mixed reality space. HelloHolo came about from an “accidental business idea”, in the words of founder Kee Cheng Heng, describing how the demand for mixed reality solutions propelled them into starting HelloHolo. Its unique focal point led to the success of HelloHolo, and since its inception, HelloHolo has blossomed, providing immersive media consultancy to a variety of organisations, and was officially appointed Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Partner.
L: Aircraft engine hologram R: Vehicle hologram
Inspiring leaders who walk the talk
Time management is crucial when constructing a company from the ground up, especially when one has multiple responsibilities. Cheng Heng has always had to split his time between the company and other obligations. When developing and designing Axension Studios, Cheng Heng was in the Singapore Army. Subsequently, Cheng Heng went onto obtaining his Bachelor’s degree at SMU, while once again, simultaneously running Axension Studios. When speaking to Cheng Heng about how he managed to juggle his commitments, he described his typical day which comprises running the company when out of class and sometimes having to answer client calls when in an online lecture. It was all about prioritization and how to get the best possible outcome with time.
Interns comprise close to 40% of the employees, and since 2018 when Axension Studios had established its first office in Woodlands, interns had always been a big part of the company. With leaders who know first-hand that juggling time between work and school can be tricky, the company offers interns flexibility and autonomy, trusting that they are capable of managing their own time.
“Cheng Heng was briefing me on a project when he suddenly excused himself because, and I quote, "[he was] supposed to be taking an exam". It was then I truly internalized how insanely hard working the people at this company were. So many of my coworkers were balancing full time studies with their positions at HelloHolo. Never had I imagined such a feat was possible. This collection of diligent individuals was quite the source of inspiration." - Krystal, ex-developer and art intern, who also managed to land a conversion to a full-time role after her internship at HelloHolo.
Personal growth is encouraged to keep engagement high
Interns are required to spend 70-80% of their time at work focusing on business-related projects, but for the remaining time, each individual is encouraged to explore other areas of their choice. The company believes that employees perform best when they have a strong interest in what they do, and this translates into HelloHolo’s recruiting, where candidates are asked about their aspirations. Positions are only offered to candidates when the company feels they are able to support the candidate’s aspirations. At the same time, employees are empowered to work when and where it is most productive for them. Since remote working was already encouraged as part of its operations, HelloHolo employees adjusted quickly when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and working from home became the norm.
The environment set for employees is competitive but supportive. Seeing others hustle helps to motivate and drive each individual to want to do better. “Whenever I had problems or issues, I could comfortably approach anyone and discuss with them. There was no distinction between interns and full-timers, and everybody was treated equally, which was what I really liked." - Ying Ting, ex-business intern.
HelloHolo at SMU Odyssey 2020
HelloHolo has expanded its operations rapidly since it started in 2018, with the support of interns from programmes such as the Global Ready Talent Programme (GRT). The team at HelloHolo are always on the lookout for passionate and driven interns in the areas of business development, marketing, software development and digital art.