Joseph Lau: Driving Sustainable Development In The Real Estate

Joseph Lau: Driving Sustainable Development In The Real Estate

Joseph Lau, Group CEO

Joseph Lau

Group CEO

The real estate industry plays a significant role in shaping the landscape of communities and urban development. It involves the construction, sale, and management of properties, ranging from residential to commercial spaces. In this ever-evolving and dynamic sector, one individual stands out as an exemplary leader - Joseph Lau, the Group CEO of PARKCITY Group, a renowned property development and investment company with a strong regional presence. Joseph Lau's leadership acumen is distinguished by his extensive experience in the realms of real estate and retail.

His exceptional skills in negotiation, budgeting, planning, operations, and customer service have been instrumental in propelling PARKCITY Group's success and growth. Leveraging his entrepreneurial background and accounting expertise, Joseph has been the driving force behind the company's commitment to sustainable development, leaving a positive impact on the environment and communities alike. As the Group CEO, Joseph's leadership philosophy revolves around placing the needs and well-being of residents at the forefront of PARKCITY's endeavors. By prioritizing the creation of enriching spaces and fostering a holistic living experience within the townships developed by the company, he ensures that PARKCITY remains not just a provider of properties but a genuine contributor to the quality of life for its residents.  

In the following interview snippets, we delve deeper into Joseph Lau's insights, experiences, and journey to becoming a leading figure in the real estate industry.

Can you provide a brief summary of your professional journey?

I have a Bachelor of Business degree in Accountancy from Curtin University and am a Fellow member of CPA Australia (FCPA). After graduating in 1988, I worked in various commercial accounting roles in Australia, ranging from Management Accountant to Regional Financial Controller. In 1995, I returned to Malaysia and joined the Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA/IKANO Group in Southeast Asia, where I played the role in establishing and driving the growth of the IKEA retail business in Malaysia and the IKANO shopping center business in Southeast Asia until 2010.

In July 2010, I joined PARKCITY Group as the Group Executive Director. Then, in 2017, I took on the position of Group Chief Executive Officer for PARKCITY Group, a regional property and investment company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company has successfully launched developments with a Gross Development Value (GDV) of over RM 6 billion, including masterplan community projects in Malaysia and Vietnam. Through our visionary approach, PARKCITY Group’s brand has been brought to new heights and we have prioritized sustainability within the organization. By focusing on connectivity, convenience, and sustainability, we have led the creation of multiple award-winning townships in Malaysia and Vietnam, elevating the concept of community living and serving as a model for future projects.

How would you define PARKCITY as an organization and its position as a regional property development and investment company?

PARKCITY Group is a socially responsible property company that focuses on sustainable development and creating spaces that enhance community lives. As a regional property development and investment company, PARKCITY operates through three key business units. The Development Unit is responsible for designing and constructing integrated townships and infill developments that are highly desirable. These communities are well-planned, and diverse, and offer a range of amenities to improve residents' quality of life. The Investment Unit manages retail and commercial assets that complement PARKCITY's developments, generating recurring income. These assets are independently managed by specialist providers, allowing the Group to focus on its core business. The Education Unit is responsible for overseeing and managing PARKCITY’s education assets, providing educational facilities within its communities and offering convenient access to quality education for residents. By incorporating education, PARKCITY aims to create a well-rounded living experience for its communities.

Tell us about the approach you follow in the execution of your projects.

PARKCITY’s developments are all designed around three key principles -- building for diverse communities, ensuring excellent connectivity within the addresses as well as to the wider locality, and incorporating thoughtful conveniences. In executing our projects, we prioritize foresight, innovation, and agility. We introduce unique and unconventional products that align with current market trends in the post-pandemic era. Embracing sustainability and driving transformation while maintaining a clear vision is crucial in the new normal. We focus on rethinking open spaces and taking a holistic approach to prioritize the well-being of homebuyers and the protection of the environment. Our goal is to create more than just living spaces; we aim to craft a way of living in all our residential projects. Understanding and meeting the lifestyle needs of our customers and residents through carefully planned amenities are essential to our success in the new normal.

As the Group CEO, what are the factors you check when developing effective corporate growth strategies?

The growth strategies we adopted revolve around putting the community at the forefront of our corporate growth strategies. To stand out from our competitors, we have developed unique and distinct strategies tailored to the market. One of the pillars of our approach is ensuring that we connect deeply with our communities and constantly engage in efforts and initiatives to manage and enhance the landscape, parks, schools, and communal spaces. An essential aspect of our strategy is actively listening to the community, and understanding their wants, needs, and concerns. We also take into account the prevailing market sentiment and environmental factors, adapting and adding value to meet the specific requirements of the given context.

Our aim is to provide seamless connectivity, safe & secured environment, thoughtful conveniences & a communitycentric culture that enhances the residents' experience & contributes to capital appreciation

Beyond community engagement, we are driven by the vision of crafting spaces that cater not only to human inhabitants but also to pets, flora, and fauna. Our approach involves creating self-sufficient townships and carefully selecting and introducing species that enhance the overall ecological balance. What truly sets us apart is our commitment to holistic living in our developments and genuine care for the well-being and lifestyle of the community. By embracing this leadership approach, we foster a sense of belonging and a thriving environment for the community, and for a prosperous future for PARKCITY.

How do you foster a learning culture in your team to enable them to draw valuable insights from the market to ensure the company stays relevant and stable amid market fluctuations and trends?

To foster a learning culture within our team, we consider ourselves the PARKCITY family, aligning everyone with our brand values and common goals. Our masterplan townships are governed by our Brand DNAs, ensuring the comprehensive needs of our communities are consistently met. This approach allows for innovation and adaptation to local preferences. We prioritize listening to our customers, continuously adapting and implementing sustainable and cutting-edge strategies. Our aim is to provide seamless connectivity, safe and secured environment, thoughtful conveniences, and a community-centric culture that enhances the residents' experience and contributes to capital appreciation.

Where do you see PARKCITY headed in the upcoming years? What is your future roadmap?

In the upcoming years, PARKCITY aims to maintain its position as a benchmark-setting brand and reach new heights. With over 20 years of experience in developing our flagship master-planned township of Desa PARKCITY in Kuala Lumpur, we are committed to continuously enhancing and improving our townships for the benefit of the community and society as a whole. Additionally, we have a rich and diverse pipeline of innovative masterplan developments, all centred around our core premise of inspiring our community to live life to the fullest.

Joseph Lau, Group CEO, Parkcity

He is an experienced and accomplished leader in the real estate and retail industry. Joseph is committed to sustainable development and creating spaces that enhance the lives of communities.   

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