Iqbal Ameer’s venture Livescape is challenging the norm, creating memorable and talked about events.

What’s your story?
It all started during my university days back in Australia where I was inspired by how international events were organised. I wanted to make a difference in the event industry back home so when I returned to Malaysia, I gathered some people and that’s how Livescape came about. Today, I am proud to say that we’ve made it into an awesome 40 member team and Livescape is now spread across 3 different countries – Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Ever since then we’ve brought in and we’re still bringing in, some of the world’s biggest and most well-known artists, such as Armin Van Buuren. We’re also fortunate enough to have partnered with globally renowned brands like Youtube, MTV, Uber and Carlsberg.

What excites you most about your industry?
The feeling of building something out of nothing; going from zero to a hundred and a hundred to thousands. We take empty spaces and turn them into memorable experiences for the public. Crafting that journey for people and seeing the wide smiles on their faces once our events are done, or before it even starts, makes it all so worth it.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Malaysian, a very proud one. Livescape has the advantage of being able to grow in Asia strategically because of our team’s extensive knowledge of the local sphere. Our in-house brands like, It’s The Ship – Asia’s largest event at sea and also Rockaway – Malaysia’s largest rock festival, have had tremendous success because of our ability to navigate locally.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Jakarta. It is a huge market with a lot of potential and so many people in the same industry want to work together to create win-win situations for everyone. Business talk aside, the people are lovely and the food is wonderful too!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received and I would like to share with everyone else, would be that you should never think that you know everything. Even after being in the industry for 7 years, there’s still plenty for me to learn and absorb. We have to constantly innovate our brands in order to keep up with the times. Many businesses fail simply because they think they know everything.

Who inspires you?
No one else inspires me more than books do. To me, books are the greatest source of inspiration.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
How the whole world of private equity and venture capitalist works. Some of Livescape’s in house brands like, Rockaway, are ready for expansion and I’ve just started to learn how this industry works. It is a whole lot of numbers and negotiations and I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned into Livescape’s future events.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would’ve definitely chosen my team more carefully. Any business in any industry is always about its people. I’m so thankful and am glad to say that we now have an extraordinary group of talented and passionate people across 3 countries. I only wish I found these guys sooner!

How do you unwind?
Reading graphic novels. I’ve been a huge fan for as long as I can remember and I’ve been collecting them since I was 7 years old. I have tonnes of graphic novels back at home that it takes up a whole room! Reading them really helps my brain shut off for a while and allows me to take a breather as I travel into these imaginary worlds of made up characters. It’s like directing your own movie in your head.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Oh, this is a no brainer, Redang Island in Malaysia. I can safely say that this is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. One is forced to chill and be laid back there as time feels like it’s at a standstill. Everything passes by so slowly in Redang, your body will adjust to the whole environment and you’ll become the most relaxed human being ever.

Everyone in business should read this book:
27 Powers of Persuasion by Chris St Hilaire. The key skillset that any entrepreneur should possess would be persuasion. You have to be able to sell your vision, your goals and your dream to the people within your company and you also have to be able to persuade your clients to trust you with their brand. Of course, everybody in the industry does this but funnily, nobody actually focuses on it.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’ve become one of Southeast Asia’s largest event companies by believing in creating experiences and conversations for the events we do. We want them to be memorable and more importantly, effective. We don’t believe in doing things normal and we dare to challenge the norm as we go beyond to bring you the best experience of your life.

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How can people connect with you?
Email me! I’m online 24/7, my email is [email protected].

Twitter handle?
You can follow and tweet us at @livescapeasia!

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

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