The largest Malay-language publisher in Malaysia, Karangkraf owns 20 magazine titles that capture roughly 60% of the Malay magazine market. 80% of the titles cater to women, but there is something for everyone: There is a men’s lifestyle magazine (MASKULIN) and others that cover religion (Majalah I), fishing (Umpan), technology (Majalah PC), gardening (Laman Impiana), and K-pop (Klik). Today, the Karangkraf Media Group sits on a 12-acre piece of land in Shah Alam, enjoys an annual revenue of half a billion ringgit (USD130 million), and has 1,500 employees. The group also owns several related companies, including Ultimate Print Sdn Bhd, which contributes 30% of the group’s annual revenue. Although they publish books, too, the heart of the enterprise is its magazines.
What explains Karangkraf’s success? The staying power of Karangkraf’s magazines can be directly attributed to one thing – its distinctly aspirational, distinctly Islamic content. “We show that you can be an ordinary Malaysian and still be rich and famous,” Rashdan Rashid said, gesturing around the large expanse of the editorial floor. The general manager of the advertising department, Rashdan is a confident and flamboyant personality who sports long white locks à la Karl Lagerfeld and a brown leather Coach handbag on his arm. He has been at Karangkraf for more than a decade and knows the group’s magazine business like the back of his hand.
“Other magazines like to feature Westernised rich and famous people,” said Rashdan, almost to the point of “vulgarity.” In Asia, glamour and wealth are often depicted in the likeness of Western culture, with short skirts, cleavage, and alcohol-laced parties. All this can be alienating for followers of Islam craving aspirational references of their own, leaving a market gap for millions of aspiring Muslims. This is where Karangkraf comes in.
Read full article here.