Saturday, 5 June 2010
Thomas Kwok, Business spotlight series at LBS 3June 2010 - a set on Flickr
It was a brilliant event and it showed, as he apparently do not repeat his speeches and prepared for 2hours specifically..
Key messages were:
1.) RE should be nurtured like a baby rather than purely treated as an asset class
2.) much can be learnt from projects like London's Canary Wharf, Blue Water.. but key is 'integrated' developments and create clustering effect so people will visit it and realised they did not need to go elsewhere. Jokes was on no traffic at Canary Wharf during weekend.. I see mostly window shoppers at IFC (even from their tenants, a fellow CXO, from day one who since moved out!)
3.) focus on software (human capital) rather than hardware only.. its the process & eye-to-details and executions that count! key to attract, convert (invariably convince them to move to secondary locations at a premium) and retain tenants!
4.) create products based on what market need, rather than sell what you 'think they might need'. having the SHKP Club helps.
5.) that the real estates industry need more new blood and new business model(s)..
these are the key ones I remember anyway..
he certainly likes the signing ceremonies and wining & dining with dignitaries.. who can blame him!
One thing that he touched on but I think should be key for not only real estate businesses but also all businesses is the monitoring the cash flow, not only can company survive economic downturn but also is key for growth.
what I did not manage to ask him afterward (yes, he was typically mobbed like most good speakers) was how the 'eco-system' of secondary city/area work, likes of SHKP's IFCs and others like Canary Wharf where a different area of the key cities creates the clustering effect, how does that affect positively or negatively in the surrounding areas and how do those peripheral developers work with the main company that 'bring in' new population and change the face of that area/city?
As I see it, the flats (mostly higher priced ones) near Canary Wharf is now over supplied, and also the infrastructure in the locality has sadly not as expanded as quickly as those properties being developed, which means that surely, a more concerted and eco-system approach would have better served the area? I would have loved his thoughts/insight in this.
IFCs in HK was much easier, and same for their new development in Singapore off Orchid Street..