Words of wisdom from Malaysia's property trailblazers

The Edge, December 31, 2018

Dato' Victor Yeoh Seok Kian
YTL Land & Development Bhd Managing Director

What have you learnt from your journey in property development?

The property and construction sector have experienced a number of dramatic shifts since the 1980s. The knock-on effects varied with each cycle but we recognised our limitations and strategised to weather the adverse effects of each downturn. In this industry, brand positioning is important due to the long-term nature of properties. As generations evolve, values and buying attitudes change. Developers cannot ignore or fail to address the different dynamics that this reality brings. No industry is immune to the effects of digital revolution in today's rapidly changing business landscape. Companies are driving innovation at unprecedented speeds; similarly with property development where we don't have the luxury of time.

What advice would you give the next generation of property developers?

The next generation is full of entrepreneurial drive and spirit. They are young and energetic, fast and ambitious, creative and bold. They would outperform my generation as they embrace new technology to inspire breakthrough innovations, create value and secure new markets and competitiveness. However, they must remain guided by a vision to define their aspiration and create clarity of purpose. While land and property are fundamentally very sound investments, unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in this business. Regardless of economic cycles or uncertainties, they are all in a race to see who reaches the tipping point first. It's the survival of the fastest.