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Faces of Apparel and Merchandising

Bioworld Merchandising
| |Photography by Bret Redman
Photography by Bret Redman

Raj Malik, CEO of Bioworld, had the idea to form a licensed merchandising company two decades ago, mostly because he was a fan of rock music and wanted to give fellow music fans licensed products to collect and enjoy. Initially, his small retail business was just a way to make extra money in college, but it quickly expanded to become a wholesale business. From there, Malik decided to manufacture the products. Why not? No one else was doing any of this at the time.

“It was difficult to get traction, but fortunately, a lot of that same creative talent continues to come up with concepts and products that resonate with fans,” he says. Today, the small company Malik self-started in college has grown to become one of the largest merchandisers of hundreds of big brands, such as Disney, Nintendo, Minecraft, and Warner Bros. Bioworld now has 12 offices worldwide and more than 700 employees and serves more than 100 million consumers who purchase products from 25,000 retail outlets. Up next, Bioworld will continue to focus on its Blue Spoke initiative by investing  in the support of established content creators and current brand partners with a shared services model to integrate brands into its successful and powerful platform.

Malik says his lifelong appreciation for rock music is not any different from most fans’ appreciation for what or who they admire. This is what laid the foundation for his company to better understand fans—the consumers—and what they want. “Once we know what they want, we act quickly for them,” he says. “Music has morphed more into pop culture and content in the past 20 years, but the underlying belief is the same—the power of a great brand and the joy it brings to consumers. Our mission is to amplify brands for the consumers; the medium may change through the years, but the fans’ joy and appreciation have not.”

Malik attributes the company’s culture to its success. “We work with a truly diverse mix of brands, and our culture is built around the consumers and their emotional investment in these brands. We hire the fans of the products we create and encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work. We share ideas and have created an environment that encourages collaboration and teamwork. Creativity is our guiding force. Everyone is a fan of something, including us. The products we make bring joy, and that means a lot to us.”