Ho Whye Chong: Bridging Gaps In The Interior Designing Industry With Innovation & Creativity

Ho Whye Chong: Bridging Gaps In The Interior Designing Industry With Innovation & Creativity

Ho Whye Chong , Managing Director

Ho Whye Chong

Managing Director

To provide a better lifestyle to the customers and deliver high-quality construction projects, Pena Builders was established in the year 2003. Under the leadership of Ho Whye Chong, the company strives to provide various high-quality services such as ground-up construction, interior design and fit-outs, refurbishment, and renovations. The construction team at Pena Builders have over more than three decades of experience in the interior fit-out and construction industry.

The company strives to ensure excellence in every project through meticulous planning, management, and high-quality materials and aims to achieve the highest client satisfaction by ensuring that each of its projects is completed, not only on time but also within budget.

Ho Whye Chong completed his Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in the year 2001. After completing his graduation, he started working as a Project Engineer in Soil Mechanics Sdn Bhd where he gained experience in structural foundation and piling designs. Post this, he joined Pakatan Cergas (PG) Sdn Bhd as a Civil Engineer and he oversaw project management, structural design, site supervision, and coordinating work for plan approval from the local authorities. In the year 2003, he established his own construction company widely known as Pena Builders with a dream to become one of the leading companies in the interior designing industry. Let’s dive into this interaction to know more.

How would you define Pena Builders as an organization and its current position in the market?

Pena Builders was established two decades ago with a very humble start where we took on small projects like renovating houses, cafes, and offices. Today, after 20 years of hard work and dedication on my team, we are able to take on projects of 100 million dollars. Also, I am proud to say that we are now one of the leading players in the industry. Our mission is to be a growing, vibrant, and dynamic company with influence and prominence in the interior fit-out, furniture, and construction industry.

Our mission is to be a growing, vibrant, & dynamic company with influence & prominence in the interior fit-out, furniture, & construction industry

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?

My leadership approach is providing career opportunities to all my team members and giving them total liberty as well as the authority to take certain decisions on their own. It helps them to learn things more effectively and they always feel extra responsible for the work they are assigned to do. Also, in the last 20 years, I have formed a very good team with productivity and efficiency which I am proud of.

Could you reflect on some of the toughest challenges you have encountered in your journey so far and how did you overcome them?

One of the toughest challenges that I face is not getting paid enough despite having done a good job for the client. This act is very discouraging for the team, and it also makes them less effective. To overcome such challenges, we must be cautious while getting into any deal to avoid such painful and expensive lessons, and today, we are very selective in with which client we want to work. Apart from that, the recent pandemic has impacted most of us in the construction industry, especially with the increasing costs of materials and labours. My sincere gratitude for the understanding team members as we managed to overcome this challenge with temporary adjustments to our staff's benefits. Also, during the pandemic, we have some essential hospital projects which allowed us to carry out our work throughout the pandemic.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

I believe that it's quite challenging for our industry to keep up with fast-advancing technology in this digital world. So, I believe it won't take too much time until we get to a stage where our clients are able to do the design work and they can purchase materials as well via different online platforms. In this case, our priceless on-site project execution experience will bring value for us and therefore, I encourage my team to improve their technical knowledge because it will be the key success factor moving forward. Also, as far as the future destination of our company is concerned, we are planning to move for an IPO listing in the coming years which will bring us to another level of success.

Considering your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to building industry leaders?

I always believe that passion is the key to success. People in this industry are mainly financially or commercially driven and if they are not passionate about what they do then this could deviate from the end results. So, my advice for building industry leaders is that keep doing the hard work full of passion, and the money will come to you as a byproduct.

Ho Whye Chong, Managing Director, Pena Group

An art lover and passionate about doing whatever he does, Ho Whye Chong has established his own construction company to exploit his passion for interior design. Currently, he is the Managing Director of the company and responsible for the supervision of overall company operations and project management, including interior design work, and is actively involved in the business network aspects of the company.

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