Timber Land Properties Sdn Bhd – APEA – Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY

Kevin Choo Chung Ing
Managing Director


Timber Land Properties Sdn Bhd
Lot 7694-7697, Jalan Pending, 93450
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
+60 82-331 313
www.timberlandgroup.com.my


“There is a method to the madness of Kevin Choo Chung Ing”. The self-confessed maverick had initially chosen to direct profession and attention to the digital world of information technology when he was unexpectedly caught in the destructive tidal wave of the infamous Y2K bug, whose domino effect rained global chaos on the IT industry. Leaving firewalls behind, Choo chose to convert his life-long passion for powerful engines into currency by joining the automobile industry under UMW Toyota. His meteoric rise in the torque-driven field provided the capital needed to invest in an apartment located in the much sought-after neighbourhood of Damansara Perdana. Choo reflects that subsequent transactions on the early investment had then gone on to trigger a serendipitous affinity to property development, “From that moment, a chord was struck and I fell in love with all things property-related.”

Behind eyes that twinkle with impish delight lies tenacity and grit, attributes that Choo brought from the outset to his inaugural development project, Medan Sentral Commercial Centre, in Bintulu, Sarawak. Although considered unprofitable because of high infrastructure cost involvement and unfavourable topography, Choo turned liability into leverage, confident that the strategic location of the pioneering project would eventually overcome perceived, short-term, physical limitations. In characteristic bullishness, he undertook championing the project whilst still recovering from a broken femur, the result of a freak sporting exercise. Choo reminisces, “I remember walking door-to-door promoting awareness for the project. Within the first two weeks of launching, we had managed to sell 80% of the 97 units of shops in Phase 1 at a price 15% higher than originally budgeted.” Currently a bustling hub, the success of Medan Sentral bears testimony to Choo’s long-range vision to trust instinct through the impossible.

For family-orientated Choo and his wife Emily, the birth of firstborn Christabelle, acted as a catalyst to centre operations in Kuching, Sarawak, the decision of which was firmly entrenched with the arrival of their second daughter, Annabelle. The unhurried pace of Sarawak’s Cat City did little to slow Choo down. With his father’s blessing, the brand-savvy visionary sought to build on a long-lasting legacy of existing family credentials in the property development market by forming Timber Land Properties Sdn Bhd in 2006. Over a decade later, Timber Land Properties’ ever-expanding portfolio across Sarawak includes commercial developments, high-rise office towers, service apartments and luxury residences. As it was with his debut project, so Choo continues to engage insight and imagination with his current projects, developing city peripheries and industrial fringes, proactively looking beyond obvious imperfections in favour of the bigger picture.

Choo has a deep appreciation for creative design. Nurtured from his teens, the interest led him to pursue formally equipping himself with instructive knowledge through the College of Fine Arts (as it was then known), whilst simultaneously studying for his Bachelor and Master degrees in Commerce at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Choo carries his keen eye for aesthetically-pleasing lines into the design and concept of his developments. Understanding the wisdom and purpose behind traditional property dimensions and design, Choo takes cues from history to formulate the future. Far from reinventing the wheel, Choo identifies intentions previously constrained by the technology of its time in order to redeem it with improved materials and advanced engineering. Choo recalls, “Timber Land Properties’ first project in Kuching was Bayang Estate 2 on Jalan Wan Alwi. We had introduced an evolutionary new design inspired by houses in the 1960s, which incorporated a contemporary colour palette not previously delivered at a commercial level. The 41-unit project was a sold out success.”

Choo’s bird’s eye view for design and planning is apparent in the 53-unit, high-end Windsor Estate. A first of its kind in luxury living, Choo’s shrewd employment of out-of-the-box calculations to State-regulated boundary requirements managed to simultaneously maximise land capacity whilst meeting market demand. Rounding up a string of firsts for the veteran of bringing to life novel concepts is the soon-to-be launched Princeton Suites. Inspired by the needs of the geographically-mobile as well as the cross-jurisdictional success of companies such as Uber and Airbnb, the model seeks to distinguish itself from other similar developments by meticulously addressing and fulfilling specific lifestyle requirements of fast-paced young professionals and entrepreneurs. Ever on the lookout to explore collaborations that push boundaries, Choo hopes to eventually take his seemingly unconventional, often provocative approach to property development overseas with particular focus on Australia.

Notwithstanding that he stands at the edge of an international stage, Choo is candid in his desire to invest locally in human potential, namely in mentoring and grooming the next generation of homegrown, forward-thinking, business leaders. Looking back on his own experience, Choo believes that replicating success stories and investing in talent is essential for economic growth, “Young talent who are driven by passion often need a platform to start up and to have shareholders believe in them and back their ideas.” Choo’s advice to up-and-coming, would-be moguls is to reject hiding behind a layered facade of contradiction and to simply be genuine. Adopting his own recommendation, Choo confesses, “At the end of the day, all I can be is honest and transparent, with myself and others, about who I am.”

As Managing Director of Timber Land Properties, Choo’s “work hard, play harder” is a contagious catchphrase that encourages employees to be creative and curious, yet conscientious and committed. Choo himself embraces the mantra through active participation in the local supercar scene and in sports such as cycling and badminton. Consistent with corporate culture, the use of social media during working hours is not prohibited at Timber Land Properties as long as responsibilities are met with accountability.

Choo also believes in the power of effective communication. Significantly shaped by “having the right person in the right job,” Choo’s management approach removes micro-managing from high-level administration, giving him the space to flex entrepreneurial muscles in complementary businesses such as interior design, property management and machinery hire, as well as delve into other areas of interest, namely event planning, entertainment and insurance. In addition to business pursuits, Choo also sits on committees of various NGOs such as the Sarawak Housing Real Estate & Developers’ Association (SHEDA), the Supercar Club Sarawak and the World Federation of Fuzhou Association.

With family at the core of his drive and determination, Choo expresses hope that his daughters “will grow into people who understand the value of investing in communities.” Contemplating that whilst hindsight alone can testify to the fruits of his labour, Choo nevertheless trusts in his conviction that have thus far proved trustworthy in navigating the evolving terrain of property development, “It doesn’t matter what others think as long as you know the path is right.”

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY

Kevin Choo Chung Ing
Managing Director

“There is a method to the madness of Kevin Choo Chung Ing”. The self-confessed maverick had initially chosen to direct profession and attention to the digital world of information technology when he was unexpectedly caught in the destructive tidal wave of the infamous Y2K bug, whose domino effect rained global chaos on the IT industry. Leaving firewalls behind, Choo chose to convert his life-long passion for powerful engines into currency by joining the automobile industry under UMW Toyota. His meteoric rise in the torque-driven field provided the capital needed to invest in an apartment located in the much sought-after neighbourhood of Damansara Perdana. Choo reflects that subsequent transactions on the early investment had then gone on to trigger a serendipitous affinity to property development, “From that moment, a chord was struck and I fell in love with all things property-related.”

Behind eyes that twinkle with impish delight lies tenacity and grit, attributes that Choo brought from the outset to his inaugural development project, Medan Sentral Commercial Centre, in Bintulu, Sarawak. Although considered unprofitable because of high infrastructure cost involvement and unfavourable topography, Choo turned liability into leverage, confident that the strategic location of the pioneering project would eventually overcome perceived, short-term, physical limitations. In characteristic bullishness, he undertook championing the project whilst still recovering from a broken femur, the result of a freak sporting exercise. Choo reminisces, “I remember walking door-to-door promoting awareness for the project. Within the first two weeks of launching, we had managed to sell 80% of the 97 units of shops in Phase 1 at a price 15% higher than originally budgeted.” Currently a bustling hub, the success of Medan Sentral bears testimony to Choo’s long-range vision to trust instinct through the impossible.

For family-orientated Choo and his wife Emily, the birth of firstborn Christabelle, acted as a catalyst to centre operations in Kuching, Sarawak, the decision of which was firmly entrenched with the arrival of their second daughter, Annabelle. The unhurried pace of Sarawak’s Cat City did little to slow Choo down. With his father’s blessing, the brand-savvy visionary sought to build on a long-lasting legacy of existing family credentials in the property development market by forming Timber Land Properties Sdn Bhd in 2006. Over a decade later, Timber Land Properties’ ever-expanding portfolio across Sarawak includes commercial developments, high-rise office towers, service apartments and luxury residences. As it was with his debut project, so Choo continues to engage insight and imagination with his current projects, developing city peripheries and industrial fringes, proactively looking beyond obvious imperfections in favour of the bigger picture.

Choo has a deep appreciation for creative design. Nurtured from his teens, the interest led him to pursue formally equipping himself with instructive knowledge through the College of Fine Arts (as it was then known), whilst simultaneously studying for his Bachelor and Master degrees in Commerce at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Choo carries his keen eye for aesthetically-pleasing lines into the design and concept of his developments. Understanding the wisdom and purpose behind traditional property dimensions and design, Choo takes cues from history to formulate the future. Far from reinventing the wheel, Choo identifies intentions previously constrained by the technology of its time in order to redeem it with improved materials and advanced engineering. Choo recalls, “Timber Land Properties’ first project in Kuching was Bayang Estate 2 on Jalan Wan Alwi. We had introduced an evolutionary new design inspired by houses in the 1960s, which incorporated a contemporary colour palette not previously delivered at a commercial level. The 41-unit project was a sold out success.”


Timber Land Properties Sdn Bhd
Lot 7694-7697, Jalan Pending, 93450
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
+60 82-331 313
www.timberlandgroup.com.my


Choo’s bird’s eye view for design and planning is apparent in the 53-unit, high-end Windsor Estate. A first of its kind in luxury living, Choo’s shrewd employment of out-of-the-box calculations to State-regulated boundary requirements managed to simultaneously maximise land capacity whilst meeting market demand. Rounding up a string of firsts for the veteran of bringing to life novel concepts is the soon-to-be launched Princeton Suites. Inspired by the needs of the geographically-mobile as well as the cross-jurisdictional success of companies such as Uber and Airbnb, the model seeks to distinguish itself from other similar developments by meticulously addressing and fulfilling specific lifestyle requirements of fast-paced young professionals and entrepreneurs. Ever on the lookout to explore collaborations that push boundaries, Choo hopes to eventually take his seemingly unconventional, often provocative approach to property development overseas with particular focus on Australia.

Notwithstanding that he stands at the edge of an international stage, Choo is candid in his desire to invest locally in human potential, namely in mentoring and grooming the next generation of homegrown, forward-thinking, business leaders. Looking back on his own experience, Choo believes that replicating success stories and investing in talent is essential for economic growth, “Young talent who are driven by passion often need a platform to start up and to have shareholders believe in them and back their ideas.” Choo’s advice to up-and-coming, would-be moguls is to reject hiding behind a layered facade of contradiction and to simply be genuine. Adopting his own recommendation, Choo confesses, “At the end of the day, all I can be is honest and transparent, with myself and others, about who I am.”

As Managing Director of Timber Land Properties, Choo’s “work hard, play harder” is a contagious catchphrase that encourages employees to be creative and curious, yet conscientious and committed. Choo himself embraces the mantra through active participation in the local supercar scene and in sports such as cycling and badminton. Consistent with corporate culture, the use of social media during working hours is not prohibited at Timber Land Properties as long as responsibilities are met with accountability.

Choo also believes in the power of effective communication. Significantly shaped by “having the right person in the right job,” Choo’s management approach removes micro-managing from high-level administration, giving him the space to flex entrepreneurial muscles in complementary businesses such as interior design, property management and machinery hire, as well as delve into other areas of interest, namely event planning, entertainment and insurance. In addition to business pursuits, Choo also sits on committees of various NGOs such as the Sarawak Housing Real Estate & Developers’ Association (SHEDA), the Supercar Club Sarawak and the World Federation of Fuzhou Association.

With family at the core of his drive and determination, Choo expresses hope that his daughters “will grow into people who understand the value of investing in communities.” Contemplating that whilst hindsight alone can testify to the fruits of his labour, Choo nevertheless trusts in his conviction that have thus far proved trustworthy in navigating the evolving terrain of property development, “It doesn’t matter what others think as long as you know the path is right.”