President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Affin Bank Berhad
Affin Bank Berhad (AFFIN BANK) caught attention in 2020 when it revamped the company’s logo – projecting a more progressive, vibrant and modern image. The transformation at AFFIN BANK during the past two years, go beyond its corporate rebranding. The personnel of the Bank are feeling energised and have a fresh sense of belief in the direction of the organisation.
These changes are being spearheaded by none other than 51-year-old Datuk Wan Razly Abdullah, who assumed the Bank’s top job as its President & Group Chief Executive Officer in April 2020 – right at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Born and raised in Petaling Jaya, Wan Razly has notched up more than 24 years’ experience in corporate strategy, investment banking, consumer banking, accounting and audit services. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London in 1995 and joined Aseambankers Malaysia (now known as Maybank Investment Bank Bhd) in 2002 before joining CIMB Investment Bank in 2004.
Remarkably, Wan Razly was the Chief Financial Officer at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s Indonesian bank – PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk – for a decade before returning to Malaysia in 2019 and assuming the position of Regional Head of Consumer Strategic Business Management at CIMB.
Driving transformation is no easy task – it is even more difficult when you are faced with unprecedented economic challenges due to COVID-19. Wan Razly took it in stride and got on with the task immediately. He kick-started the first phase of AFFIN BANK’s metamorphosis journey through Affinity in Motion (AIM22) and these efforts are showing the desired results.
“As the Bank focuses more towards promoting innovation technological advancement, its financial products and services continue to be improved to cater to the ever-changing market demands.”
“Sharing a renewed sense of belief in the organisation’s direction.”
In 2021, the Group’s profit before tax jumped 82% year on year to almost RM704 million, while net profit grew by 129% close to RM527 million – its highest in five years. The performance puts it on course to reaching a key AIM22 target of RM1 billion in PBT in financial year 2022, when the three-year plan concludes.
The rapid rise of AFFIN BANK certainly did not go unnoticed with its products and solutions receiving various accolades over the years. Additionally, Brand Finance which is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy has named the Bank as one the top three fastest growing Malaysian brands for 2022.
With the conclusion of AIM22 this year, AFFIN BANK’S transformation journey will continue with its second phase, under the A25 strategic plan, that aims to position the Bank as the most creative financial industry in Malaysia. Wan Razly is committed to further improve the Bank’s profitability and growth, provide value-based banking for its customers and leapfrog the Bank towards providing unrivalled customer service by 2025.
Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz is currently the chief executive officer of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation or known to many as MATRADE. He is a man with a mission who successfully leads MATRADE to a new height by transforming the national trade promotion agency into a thinking organisation under all circumstances through boom or bust.
The visionary leader began his 32-year career in the civil service starting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by the Economic Planning Unit, and Prime Minister’s Department, before joining MATRADE in June 1994. Despite having a wealth of experience, Datuk Mohd Mustafa has always been striving for the best and passionate about leading change to produce extraordinary outcomes be it for the organisation itself, business community or the country as a whole.
Staying firm to the phrase “rain or shine, the show must go on”, he leads his comrades by making the impossible possible. The reputable CEO keeps echoing the undertaken transformation initiatives that are aligned with MATRADE’s three main agendas: Digitalisation, Sustainability and the National Trade Blueprints (NTBp). He strongly believes that solid and powerful storytelling about MATRADErs hard work should be conveyed accurately. “Make no more mistakes!” – The compassionate leader advises fellow MATRADErs to encourage them to deliver excellent jobs always.
“It is not easy to put where we are now, all aspects must be well-thought-out in championing MATRADE’s ongoing duty to be an organisation of excellence which is achievable through having the right attitude, good values, distinctive cultures and work ethics (AVC) in our organisation. I am hopeful that the new characteristics of MATRADE will have a spillover effect on our relationship with Malaysian companies as well as our counterparts in other Ministries and Agencies. It has been our aspiration to place Malaysia as a major trading nation and the centre of reference when it comes to international trade”, the Kaizen believer reiterated.
Furthermore, the foresighted leader has always been contributing massively to Malaysian export activities. Among major responsibilities he was held accountable, proving his remarkable leadership quality were:
1. Established the Malaysia Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE in 2001;
2. Reopened the MATRADE office in Osaka, Japan in 2005 after being closed due to economic crisis that hit Asia in 1998; and
3. Established the Malaysia Trade Centre in Doha, Qatar in 2013.
Inculcating the spirit of working together as a team, he was also involved in the nation’s capacity building component together with the consulting team of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in the negotiation of Free Trade Agreements as follows:
1. Malaysia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement;
2. Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement; and
3. ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.
According to the MATRADE’s CEO, all sorts of careers need a good self-leadership trait to be at the top in order to run any operations effectively. The chief acknowledges good talents and steers MATRADE’s transformation and restructures exercise by doing the needful to put the right people at the right place. The perfectionist leader often emphasises on personal brand image among his colleagues, in empowering MATRADE’s brand reputation. Moreover, he fosters spring-cleaning practices among MATRADErs to maintain a clean and decent working environment which leads to better productivity. Datuk Mohd Mustafa has made this very clear to all MATRADErs in understanding that their roles as civil servants inter alia, are also about labouring love for the country, passion, discipline, and right mindset.
As the business trends keep evolving, the zealous MATRADEr regards that it is pertinent for both the public and private sectors to join forces in promoting trade enhancement between Malaysia and other trading countries. The TPO needs to be fast and versatile to deliver the best in serving the business community. Good synchronisation be it trade strategy or smart networking can possibly overcome export challenges.
Alongside Malaysia’s stellar trade performance, MATRADE bagged the “Best Use of Information Technology” award at the 13th World Trade Promotion Organizations (WTPO) Conference and Awards organised by the International Trade Centre on 17 May 2022.
The TPO was recognised for its initiative in organising the first fully virtual edition of the 17th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in 2021. Adding another feather to its cap, MIHAS 2021 was also recognised at the Malaysia Public Relations Awards (MPRA) 2021, clinching the Gold Award in the Best “Pandemic Pivot” or “COVID-19 Communications” campaign category. This shows that under Datuk Mohd Mustafa’s leadership, impactful working culture is adapted and MATRADErs give their best with enthusiasm, ensuring that the TPO excels on the global stage and making it known as one of distinguished Malaysian’s Government Agencies.
MIHAS 2022 which will take place from 7 to 10 September 2022 in a hybrid format will be bigger and better! The MATRADE’s flagship event will showcase a total of 1,196 booths in 13 leading clusters. “Apart from the exhibition, we will also organise the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) which anticipated 400 foreign buyers; from over 50 countries including from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, ASEAN, Oceania and African region, who will engage in business meetings either virtually or physically with Malaysian exporters. Besides that, the prestigious MIHAS Awards is back again. It seeks to celebrate outstanding exhibitors in booth design creativity, innovation in products and services as well as inventions that are making lasting impacts in the global Halal industry”, he revealed.
The recent slew of cost-cutting measures by the government due to the pressure of global inflation and the rising cost of goods have moved MATRADE to embrace sustainable avenues such as the public private partnership (PPP) and private finance initiative (PFI) in forging collaborations with strategic partners in carrying its mandate. This includes the recently launched MATRADE Digital Trade Platform, powered by Fusionex Group – a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) trade platform aimed to reduce trade complexities, foster business interconnectivity and promote Malaysia-made products and services to buyers and partners across the globe.
An addition to his endless efforts, the top-notch MATRADE’s Iron Man, strives to transform MATRADE into a self-sustaining organisation. Datuk Mohd Mustafa is determined in finding solution for the organisation’s operating and development budget at all cost. For instance, one of the revenue streams include Menara MATRADE, a conducive building strategically located next to MITEC – the Malaysia’s largest trade exhibition and conference centre, which is also within the proximity of Solaris Mont Kiara, and Publika – well known residential and shopping addresses for foreign expatriates. The inclusivity building offers world-class facilities along with high-speed internet. For viewing and further details kindly contact Revenue Generation Unit at 03 – 6207 7901 / 7903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.
Dato Seri Chew Weng Khak made history by creating the first “Made in Malaysia” home electrical appliances brand – Pensonic – and subsequently the first Malaysian electronics company to be listed on Bursa Malaysia in 1995.
This year, 2022, marks two very important milestones for Dato Seri Chew as he will be proudly celebrating the 40th anniversary of his brainchild – Pensonic and blowing 80 candles by November. “My headmaster from Lubok Buntar, South Kedah brought me to Penang when I was 15 and my first job was with Camel Book Store in Carnavon Street,” recalled Dato Seri Chew of the days when he first arrived in Penang. “Soon I decided to work as a wiring man as I believed that it was important for me to have skills to survive,” he added. After working for two bosses and occasionally earning some extra income by working part time in a radio shop to help fix and repair radios, Dato Seri Chew started Keat Radio & Electrical Co., a small shop selling and repairing electrical home appliances in Balik Pulau in 1965. Although he rented the whole building, he had to sub-let the first floor in order to help pay the rent.
Settling down and marrying Tan Bee Tiang in 1968, his first son Dixon, was born in 1969, followed by Vincent in 1972 and Nelson in 1976. Life was a bit better for Dato Seri Chew then, and he expanded his business to town in Perak Road in 1974. Business was smooth sailing and Keat Radio was a retailer for foreign brands; but soon, these brands decided to set up their own distribution offices and started to market their own products instead of going through local distributors. The local distribution rights were taken away by the principal beginning of 1980.
This immediately made Dato Seri Chew think of what the future lies ahead for local retailers like him as the brands he was representing belonged to the manufacturers, for which he has no control over. It was the year 1982 when he decided to start his own brand – Pensonic, a name he coined, that amalgamated ‘Penang’ and ‘Sonic’ meaning – ‘Sound of Penang’.
“Most of the friends in the same industry tried to talk me out of it, some even laughed at me but I was determined as I believed having my own brand is the only way forward,” said Chew. “We cannot just sell for other brands, open their markets for them to capitalise on this where the brand doesn’t belong to us,” he continued. The Pensonic brand was registered as a trademark in Malaysia in 1984 and in more than 10 over countries globally. Business for this proudly-Malaysian brand started to grow as it gained a reputation of manufacturing quality and affordable home electrical appliances which appealed to the mass market.
On 18 December 1995, Pensonic Holdings Bhd was successfully listed on the Second Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd. Today, Pensonic Group has more than 600 dealers countrywide, covering most offline retailers from traditional to modern trade channels. It has also multiple online stores selling all the brands under its umbrella. It also exports to countries in ASEAN, East and West Asia, and the Middle East. Over the years, besides Pensonic as the core brand, business has expanded to include more brands such as Lebensstil Kollektion, Cornell and the Toush. It holds exclusive distribution rights in Malaysia for internationally renowned home appliances brand, Morphy Richards of the United Kingdom.
Under Dato Seri Chew’s stalwart leadership, the company, as a brand, has received a myriad of industry recognitions, certifications and awards from various establishments for quality, creativity, innovation, sales and service, brand excellence and marketing, amongst others.
On a personal front, Dato Seri Chew was the first recipient of the Putra Brand Personality of the Year Award in 2015 and most recently was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri TYT Tun Dato Seri Utama Ahmad Fuzi Haji Abdul Razak, and YB Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang state executive councillor for tourism and creative economy (PETACE) at the INPENANG International Awards 2021.
As part of Affin Bank Berhad’s (“the Bank” or “AFFIN BANK”) transformative journey, the Bank announced its first affluent segment called AFFIN INVIKTA on 8 March 2021 for its High Net Worth customers in Malaysia. The Bank’s first flagship AFFIN INVIKTA Centre began its business operations in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
Let us speak to the man behind the force, who made this journey possible for the Bank – En. Nazri Othman, Executive Director, Community Banking of AFFIN BANK.
Why AFFIN INVIKTA
“Invikta”, translated from the Latin word, carries the meaning of “The Undefeated and Unconquered”, and the name instantaneously describes what AFFIN INVIKTA is all about. Despite embarking on the Premier Banking segment only early this year, it does not stop us from delivering what matters most – EXCEPTIONAL Service with EXCLUSIVE Benefits. With the tagline of “Venture into a New Banking Horizon”, AFFIN INVIKTA has been designed to deliver not only the best, but also unforgettable banking experience for our customers. We put our best foot forward to ensure that our customers receive undivided attention in every aspect of our banking services.
How does AFFIN INVIKTA support the delivery of exceptional customer experience?
Being part of AFFIN INVIKTA is just as exclusive as it sounds. Membership is by invitation only, with our team of dedicated Relationship Managers who are happy to assist our new affluent members on the onboarding process. Thanks to our enhanced system, the experience is as seamless and paperless as it can be, half an hour is all we need before our members resume their busy schedules and go on to enjoy the finer things in life or, enjoy a warm cup of gourmet coffee freshly brewed at our AFFIN INVIKTA Centre.
From the moment they set foot in the Centre, members will be attended to by our Customer Service Ambassador. There is a palpable sense of stepping into tranquillity, as a refreshing scent imbues the luxurious interiors within. Plush, bespoke armchairs embrace our members as they soak in the charming ambience and appreciate the artwork or simply unwind over a cup of coffee. Whether our members prefer to chat in a quiet spot or have a private discourse in one of our discussion rooms for a personalised financial planning advisory tailored to their needs, our dedicated Relationship Managers would be delighted to assist in any matters.
Of course, AFFIN INVIKTA members who patronise our existing AFFIN BANK branches shall benefit from our Greenlane process – a priority lane service that offers faster banking transactions. En. Nazri explained that rather than having members to wait in line, they may proceed directly to any Greenlane counters flanked with an AFFIN INVIKTA name plaque to sort out their banking transactions.
With the Covid-19 Pandemic, what are the safety measures in place?
All surfaces at our AFFIN INVIKTA Centre are scrupulously inspected and sanitised frequently. We have recently engaged a renowned Indoor Air Quality Specialist to inspect and sterilise the Centre thoroughly with Smart Coat Sterilise Solution treatment application, which covers all touchable surfaces and enhances self-sanitisation ability for up to 12 months so that biological contamination is out of the question. With this, we can safely say that protection is guaranteed for the whole year round.
What other perks can AFFIN INVIKTA
We continue to pride ourselves in delivering the best form of services to our customers for unparalleled banking experience not only from customers’ journey perspective. Our aspiration is to also raise the service delivery standards of Premier Banking which goes side-by-side with growing our members’ wealth via our exclusive product offering, curated financial solutions, preferential interest rates, invitation to private events, and worldwide recognition of AFFIN INVIKTA Credit Cards – just to name a few. We want our members to not only bank with us, but also to discover new business horizons as we progress to more outstanding successes together.
Are you optimistic despite the
While we may be new in the Premier Banking segment, we are not taking any baby steps when it comes to AFFIN INVIKTA. Having launched the segment only on 8 March 2021, we have grown leaps and bounds, with almost 10,000 members to-date, and optimistic that we can achieve signing up to 20,000 AFFIN INVIKTA members by December 2021.
With the unwavering support from our customers, we plan to expand our affluent segment reach nationwide by opening more AFFIN INVIKTA Centres, including one in Penang which is currently in the process of being set up.
This is a testament of our devotion to our premier customers and to elevate our service standards.
Bold. Focus. No nonsense. Always thinking out of the box. These are common descriptions of Kenny Teoh, founder and managing director of Hectarworld Group.
From humble beginnings in Taiping, Kenny moved to Kuala Lumpur during his teenage years with his mother and younger sister after the passing of his father and elder sister, seeking a brighter future in the capital city. Kenny had to work as a part-timer in various jobs while pursuing his studies in economics and IT as he strongly believed that education is the key to success and the best solution out of poverty. Finally after years of hard work and perseverance juggling work and studies, he successfully obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Economics (Hons), Diploma in IT, Economics and Business Administration.
After graduation, Kenny was hired by an ICT MNC for an entry-level job and quickly rose through the ranks after working with a few top 500 Fortune MNCs. Within a short period of time, he was overseeing Asia and Oceania regions. It came as a surprise to many when he decided to resign from his high-flying position after 8 years – because deep inside, he knew that this was not the dream that he was chasing. He left this comfort zone and joined the real estate industry where he started from the bottom again – as a real estate negotiator. Coupled with his never stop learning attitude, he continued his studies to pursue his Diploma in Real Estate Agency by BOVAEP. It was not long before he started his real estate company and other real estate related businesses, bringing with him his years of vast managerial experience and innovative, technology driven approach.
Under Kenny’s leadership, Hectarworld Group has now involved into everything real estate related – including real estate agency, property management, training and education, end-to-end real estate investment services and co-development with property developers. With some 1000 members and staff, the Group is able to provide service coverage in the northern, central and southern regions of West Malaysia, together with a service delivery team in Australia and affiliates in Singapore.
Kenny envisions to make Hectarworld Group the leading real estate company, a fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm. It is also in his goal to bring the Group to the next level – by expanding its wing to the South East Asia region in the near future.
Developersand designers have to understand that the olden ways of just building four walls with basics are not applicable in this ‘New Normal’ era.”
Malaysia has had its fair share of key players in the property market, whom are either highly respected seniors or are next-in-line to succeed their parents’ empires. However, a new group of young and successful individuals have emerged and made a name for themselves. They may not be as well known and experienced as the former, but they are definitely a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
ZNEN Group Director Tan Wei Xin is among the emerging that has shown significant results in the Penang property scene. This small yet mighty property company led by Tan has propelled through the current COVID-19 crisis and even sold the Metropol development achieving 95% of secured sales. Metropol is a 30-storey development with 326 units serviced apartments and shops which is expected to be completed in 2021. Moreover, Tan has also started another project – Grains Residences, which is scheduled to be officially launched in 2021. Grains Residences will be the tallest building in Bukit Mertajam with an astonishing 45 storeys consisting of 401 units serviced apartments and shop lots. Remarkably, all shop units have already been booked.
During these few months, Tan has expanded his property development portfolio by investing in Hectarworld Group and eBox Group. “Collaborating with Hectarworld is an important strategy to create a customer and client centric platform where property developer, agents, buyers and investors can come together in an effective block chain synergy,” said Tan. He further added that joining eBox Group is another strategic move coinciding with today’s technology world. “Investing in PropTech or property technology does not only allow individuals and companies to conduct efficient research, buy, sell and manage real estates through data analysis, but this digital innovation also helps connect SMEs and start-ups to new potentials.”
Having a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a Master‘s Degree in Applied Finance from Australia, Tan applies modern concepts with an emphasis on creating a lifestyle instead of just constructing a building. His perspectives stem from studying at Monash University in Melbourne, which was also where he met his wife Yan Chen. Tan believes that by living in the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne, he has gained valuable insight on how Australians strike balance between work and life. “I am grateful that my parents sent me to Melbourne, but I felt on top of the world when Yan Chen agreed to come back to Malaysia with me,” Tan explained with a big smile on his face. They have now been married for six years and have two beautiful children.
Tan and Yan Chen always wanted to share their experiences and happiness back in Penang. “We want to create a contemporary yet artistic lifestyle feel once the residents enter the main gate. A place they can look forward coming back to after a long day. A place to rest, recharge and spend quality time with their loved ones. Not only in their apartments but also being able to enjoy the facilities, environment, and artworks around,” said this loving couple. When asked about the new expectations of consumers moving forward, the young entrepreneur answered: “Developers and designers have to understand that the olden ways of just building four walls with basics are not applicable in this ‘New Normal’ era.” Lastly, Tan stressed that “We need to make Penang the next world’s most liveable place.”
“Correctly and practised honourably, feng shui can change the course of one’s life, avert disasters and pitfalls. When the yin and yang is in perfect harmony, then one can have the best of everything.”
Sporting his signature pencil beard, beret and scarf, David Xuan looks like a worldly French artist, but most people know behind that renaissance look is a highly intelligent, sensitive and intuitive artist, a master craftsman of Chinese geomancy or feng shui – the art of energy flow, orientation of designs and environment. A mind so attuned to the universe, he probably might have a special preview into the next dimension. Light-hearted and bubbly in personality he is intensely serious, analytical and astute when it comes to the realm of feng shui and metaphysics.
On the right side of 50, the world-renowned Xuan is based in Penang and has achieved recognition within corporate organisations and private clients. His disciples and students are in far-reaching countries like Russia, America, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Besides being an advisor to numerous companies, he has been invited to do consultative and investigative works in the geographical study of feng shui and to give talks in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Interestingly Xuan started as a businessman but soon grew weary of the material world. Devoting his life to spirituality, he joined the monastery as a monk. Amidst deep meditation, oil-lighting and flower-bathing duties, Xuan heard a guiding voice. A few days later one feng shui master walked into his monastery. Xuan implored him to share his knowledge. Hence his professional journey into the science of feng shui and traditional Chinese metaphysics began in 1991.
The protégé dived into the study of the I-Ching Divination, Eight Trigrams, Eight Mansions, I-Symbol feng shui, San Yuan San He, Water Dragon, Xuan Kong Da Qua, Four Pillars of Destiny (Bazi), Zi Wei Dou Shu, Flying Stars, Eight Gates (Qi Men Dun Jia), Plum Blossom Oracle, Yin and Yang Yang feng shui, Meteor and Mountain Methods.
Constantly improving himself, Xuan incorporates modern technical devices in feng shui with science and logic. “Feng shui is not a religion but closely related to science and geography. It is a study on spatial arrangement, natural elements and energy flow. I’m always studying, researching and consulting with science professors and lecturers in universities about the diversion of chi flow on surfaces. Most of them fully agree with me. My techniques are compliant with science.”
Xuan’s mission is to share the authentic and organic knowledge of feng shui and Chinese metaphysics to create meaningful spaces within environments, improve professional and personal relationships, provide better health, lifestyle and happiness besides increasing wealth and success for other people.
Some say David Xuan is arrogant. His famous quote “If I cannot achieve a certain feng shui task, then most of my peers would not be able to accomplish it either” did not go down without criticism and smirks. “I’m not arrogant. For the last 20 years, most of my waking moments have been spent on compiling, studying and researching feng shui principles extensively. I scoured all the books in depth as well as laterally and I’ve gone through all the lineages of the art. My comprehensive system and approach can support a one-stop feng shui establishment. If I come across a stumbling block or problem, you can be sure that I’ll persevere to the ends of the universe to solve it. I never give up. If I can’t do it, then it simply cannot be done.”
Besides tenacity, being ethical is paramount to him. “My aim is to give all my clients effective and realistic audits. I do not hold anything back, not even with my students and disciples. I am open and I teach them everything, reveal every secret and weapon in my arsenal, in the hope that they will be better than me. I’d feel proud if they are.”
In this information and technology, Elon Musk-era, would feng shui ever be obsolete? Not according to Xuan. “Everyone and every living thing need feng shui. It is the basic building block of equilibrium and balance. The right feng shui can harness and propel you to unbridled success, boost your energy and life force. Everyone needs this supply, this awareness.”
Sadly, there is a dark side to feng shui. “Some people manipulate the principles of feng shui to do hocus pocus, to equate it with religion or to run scams. However, applied correctly and practised honourably, feng shui can change the course of one’s life, avert disasters and pitfalls. When the yin and yang is in perfect harmony, then one can have the best of everything.”
Success to Xuan has never been about materialism. “My ultimate goal is to see the world in peace, harmony and prosperity, to see a happy, healthy and better world.”
Founder of Doux Visage, Dr Goh Cosmeceutical, PhD in TCM
by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik
“I want to research, study and improve because my patients deserve more accurate and comprehensive answers.”
Aristotle once said, ‘Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference’. Dr Jenny Goh is the epitome of that quote in all manner of interpretation. If we can package beauty, health and wellbeing in a universe, Dr Goh would be the master of that universe.
A child of hardship many years ago, she was one of four siblings that helped her parents run their family coffee shop in Sri Petaling, Malaysia, at the age of seven. At a crossroad, after high school, she was torn between pursuing a career in the travel or beauty industry.
She became a beauty therapist but yearned to learn more. “When I flicked through my beauty course books I realised that this was what I liked – learning about anatomy, skin structure and its treatments. I Told myself – if I cannot be a doctor then I can be a skin doctor.”
A qualified acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner today, Dr Goh has garnered over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry since 1996 and 17 years in the field of TCM since 2003. She received her PhD in TCM (Acupuncture) from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine with a focus on hormones, stroke, cancer, cardiovascular and skin disease in 2017 and is currently undertaking her second PhD in TCM (Chinese Medicine) with emphasis on cancer, dietetics and cardiovascular issues. “I firmly believe in addressing health issues internally and externally. To treat a person adequately, I must address the fundamentals behind each problem and not just treat the symptoms. That was how I conceived the idea of combining the best of both worlds, eastern and western therapies – to include TCM into regular facial, slimming and total body wellness. My clinical treatment Doux Visage® stemmed from this belief – the combination of eastern acupuncture with western modern technology for total body wellness.” .
An advocate of natural and self-healing, Dr Goh highly recommends acupuncture and chi balancing to achieve true beauty and wellness. “I don’t believe in injections nor invasive surgery. I believe in TCM because it is my heritage and I’ve studied and researched the subject extensively. More than 5000 years of treatment cannot be wrong. Now some western doctors are also endorsing acupuncture, chi and energy flow as alternative treatments.”
Besides being published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture Moxibution in 2015, Dr Goh also won the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) in 2016. With all that success buzzing around her, she manages to stay grounded. “I was very happy and excited but tried to remain calm and not be distracted from my work.”
Dr Goh is the SOBA AWARD WINNER 2016 (Most Promising Award for Doux Visage Sdn Bhd), 2017 (Female Entrepreneur of the Year) and 2019 (Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Most Promising Award for Dr. Goh Cosmeceutical Sdn Bhd).
Her philosophy in life is simple and effective. “Do things right. Keep on learning. Stay happy. Don’t set impossible goals. Go with the flow and more importantly – adjust and balance your chi before you have to seek treatment.”
Dato’ Mark Yeoh Director of YTL Hotels and Resorts
Good hotels are everywhere. The edge is always customer service. You can have gold taps and diamond chandeliers. At the end, what matters in hospitality is always the service.
Scion of the formidable YTL empire, Dato’ Mark Yeoh is the youngest son of the late Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, a billionaire and philanthropist who founded YTL Corporation. Executive director of YTL Hotels and Resorts, Dato’ Mark Yeoh is also part of YTL Power International’s mergers and acquisitions team involved in the acquisition of ElectraNet SA (Australia), Wessex Water Limited (UK), PT Jawa Power (Indonesia) and PowerSeraya Limited (Singapore).
Born in Klang, young Yeoh grew up in Kuala Selangor with his early education at Pasar Road School before attending Victoria Institution. Completing his A Levels at Brighton College UK, he went on to read law at King’s College London and passed the bar exams at Grace Inn. “I was the only son who was not gainfully employed at that time, therefore was summoned back to help the family. I started the hotel business without knowing a single thing.”
At his first ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair in 1988, Malaysia was unheard of and often confused with Malawi. Dato’ Yeoh took steps to place Malaysia on the map with the help of the Ministry of Tourism which launched many projects to promote Malaysia. Three decades and many welcoming slogans later, YTL Hotels and Malaysia finally established a respectable position on the world tourism barometer. “Competition is very tough now. Vietnam which never used to be a market is now an aggressive player. My first trip to Maldives, there were hardly any resorts, and I still remember the pillows made from coconut husks.”
There is a secret formula that holds YTL Hotels in good stead. “Our tagline ‘treasured moments, treasured places’ means that we are the purveyors of dreams and fantasies. We have every moment count. That’s the mantra we’ve been driving into our staff. Our hotels’ high occupancy rates reflect the popularity of our properties and our abilities to fulfil guests’ wishes.”
Hotel business is like fashion, there is no cookie cutter approach. You need to reinvest and reimage every seven years, to stay relevant and profitable.
For someone who started with not knowing a single thing in the hospitality industry, Dato’ Yeoh certainly has been put through the wringer. Yet he emerged an effective and revered leader and entrepreneur. “We call our staff stars. In most leadership structures the boss is the head of the pyramid. Ours is a reverse pyramid. I’m the most unimportant person in the company because I don’t see the customers. The moment my team wear the uniform when they start work, they are on parade. The show starts and they must smile, greet, be courteous. The challenge is to produce stars who understand our philosophies. That’s why we have the YTL International College of Hotel Management where we invest in training and hotel development programmes. Youth is the future of our business.”
With properties in Asia and UK, Dato’ Yeoh’s brand of management is holistic and immersive. “Working with partners like The Marriot and Hilton allows us to be more focussed, where we can dissect and segmentise our areas of expertise. The universal distribution system in the world is such that the big will get bigger so it’s good to have partnerships with these giants.”
Dato’ Yeoh’s superpowers in the hospitality realm are evident in some of his latest triumphs. One of them the Monkey Island Estate, a centuries-old retreat in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire that nestles on an island in the River Thames; The Academy, London is a charming collection of five restored Georgian townhouses centrally located in London’s West End and finally the Higashiyama Niseko Village will be opening in December 2020, channelling unparalleled luxury to Japanese skiing in a hand-selected hideaway destination.
Dato’ Dr Nick Ng Founder of Mega Fortris Malaysia Sdn Bhd
The reason for our success is because we had went through a lot to get there and most important of all, we keep to our integrity and principles
Ng has always had an adventurous streak and he attributed most of his success to the adventures he had as a young man. He literally left home to see the world at the age of 18 years. With little money on hand, he took a ship to India and from there, made his way to Europe. It was a trip that formed who he is today. It taught him perseverance and a die-hard attitude. What he remembered most about that epic journey that spanned several years was how he had to suffer and starve in the beginning due to shortage of money. “I was adventurous and I was determined to make it, I don’t give up easily so no matter how much I suffered, I refused to go home, I wanted to stay on,” he said.
If one were to tell Dato’ Dr Nick Ng that he would reap huge success in selling security seals back when he was young, he would have laughed it off. Never in his imagination had he thought that his eventual success in life was from selling security seals that initially only earned him a few sen of profit per seal.
Ng had ventured into the security seal business with his brother Adrian, who is 15 years younger than him, in 1996. When he first started, he was quite sceptical of the profit as each security seal costs about 9 sen which they had to sell at 12 sen. “Yet, we had to push on, we wanted to penetrate the market,” he said.
The brothers persisted and thanks to Adrian’s sales skills, Ng said they started making it big and soon they were venturing overseas. Before long, Mega Fortris was manufacturing its own security seals and exporting it to various countries. It is now one of the leading security seal manufacturers in the world.
“I was adventurous and I was determined to make it, I don’t give up easily so no matter how much I suffered, I refused to go home, I wanted to stay on,”
Even after he came back to Malaysia, Ng found it hard to stay put in Penang. Life here was monotonous and boring so he left again and this time, he went to United Kingdom to work as a window cleaner for three years.
He came back to Malaysia from that stint and tried a few businesses which failed. This never deterred him. Instead, he pushed on with his die-hard attitude as he believed he would eventually make it.
The Ng brothers started Mega Fortris with a RM2 million debt and it was their joint hard work that led to their success today. ”The reason for our success is because we had gone through a lot to get here and most important of all, we keep to our integrity and principles,” he said.
His advice to the youths is to venture out and take risks. “I was bold enough to take risks and this was where I learned important lessons about life,” he said.