In 2002, William Ng and Ryan Ooi founded a business in Malaysia focused on organising exhibitions, such as education and career fairs. As it flourished, the pair decided to formally incorporate the business as AIC Exhibitions.

Around the same time, Ng and Ooi also established a sister company, AIC Media, to publish lifestyle magazines. It was eventually rebranded as Business Media International (BMI), focusing on business-to-business (B2B) titles such as SME Magazine, HR Asia and Capital Asia.

Besides the magazines, BMI is perhaps best known for organising various business awards such as the SME100 Awards and the HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia Awards. The awards segment accounts for more than 85% of its revenue over the last three years.

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