Yen Foong Lee: impacting the real-estate Industry by leveraging his Enriched knowledge & skills

Yen Foong Lee: impacting the real-estate Industry by leveraging his Enriched knowledge & skills

Yen Foong Lee, Chief Operating Officer

Yen Foong Lee

Chief Operating Officer

From sustainable buildings to modern amenities, the real estate industry is constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible in order to deliver exceptional value to their customers. With a focus on building holistic environments that foster thriving communities, TA Global is a prominent property developer in Malaysia. Yen Foong Lee, Chief Operating Officer (COO), TA Global is a visionary leader with a track record of achieving exceptional results, Lee is wellpositioned to drive TA Global's continued success in the industry.

He started off his career with TA Global as a Management Trainee before serving as the Project Director spearheading the awardwinning Damansara Avenue masterplan in 2016, the success of which has later propelled him into the upper echelon as the COO of the company. Since rising to the helm, he has led TA Global to make bold moves, forging ahead with strategies that help establishes its unique position as a premier provider of holistic and innovative spaces. Yen Foong is a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom and has earned a Master’s degree in Real Estate from University of Malaya.Yen Foong Lee engages in an exclusive interaction with the CEO Insights Asia Magazine.

What are the lessons you have inculcated from the University of Malaya and carried in your professional journey so far?

In 2013, I enrolled in the Master's in Real Estate program on a part-time basis at the University of  Malaya, thanks to a scholarship from my company. Juggling work and academics was a challenge, but it taught me the value of endurance, discipline, and a positive attitude in overcoming hardships. The program, accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in the United Kingdom, enriched my knowledge and decision-making abilities in real estate development, investment, and appraisal. It paved the way for my current position in my career and the industry, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have pursued this valuable education.

Describe your leadership approach.

I firmly believe that success in business is all about focusing on people and treating them with respect. A competent and motivated workforce is the key to propelling a company from being merely good to truly great. For me, leadership is all about integrity and authenticity. It means leading by example and not being driven by the need to impress others. To be an effective leader, you need to show your people that you are committed to the purpose of your company and that you are able to express and transmit that purpose to those around you. This is the essence of true leadership - inspiring others to work towards a shared goal and creating an environment where everyone can succeed and thrive.

Define TA Global as an organization and its position in the market.

TA Global is a distinguished boutique property developer who is creating unique and impactful living experiences by inspiring spaces to provide an urban living experience. From developing landed residences, high-rise luxury condominiums, and commercial projects to building hotels in prime locations, the company offers very creative and innovative designs. Apart from property development and hospitality, TA Global is involved in property investment in Malaysia and Canada  where we own office towers, retail, and commercial buildings.

What are the factors you look into to ensure the smooth running of business operations?

In today's business environment, strategic and cashflow planning is critical to ensure that a company is able to navigate economic downturns and remain financially prudent. It is also important to constantly assess and address the ever-changing market landscape and develop contingency plans for a wider range of possibilities. Equally important is the need to build strong relationships with all stakeholders and create a working environment and culture that is built on trust and transparency. This not only ensures smooth business operations but also fosters a sense of collaboration and mutual respect that can drive long-term success. By prioritizing planning and relationship building, a company can position itself to thrive even in the most challenging of times.

What is the future destination you are heading towards? What is your advice to upcoming industry leaders?

We will be launching the next phase of the Damansara Avenue masterplan this year which is a 15-acre mixed-use development featuring a mall, office towers, residential towers, a medical center as well as senior living apartments. We are also looking at launching our highly anticipated project in KLCC this year. The development comprises private residences, hotels, and serviced apartments. As an innovative property developer, we are committed to continuing to do what we do best which is building iconic and sustainable developments and creating differentiated experiences for people.

Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses

As an upcoming leader, it's important to remember that the path to success is not paved with gold, but rather with perseverance, dedication, and hard work. To truly prove yourself as a leader, you must go above and beyond what's expected, seize every opportunity that comes your way, and inspire others to follow you willingly, not just because of your title or position. Success is not a one-time event, but a continuous journey of improvement and development. So, embrace the challenges, learn from your mistakes, and always stay hungry for more. With these qualities, you can achieve greatness and inspire others to do the same.

Yen Foong Lee, Chief Operating Officer, TA Global

Yen's journey from a management trainee to becoming the COO is a testament to his hard work, commitment, and perseverance. Prior to assuming his current position, Lee worked in various roles with TA Global, including Project Manager, Project Director, and General Manager. Through his dedication and demonstrated ability to drive results, Lee has established himself as a valued member of the company and a leader within the industry. His journey serves as an inspiration to all those looking to advance in their careers.

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