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At Mitsui Fudosan Asia, we work to combine strong leadership capable of tapping the extensive knowledge, experience and resources of our parent company with agile up-and-coming talent who possess a solid understanding of local conditions and needs. Each of our offices in Asia is led by managers uniquely positioned to meet the challenges and demands of their respective country, and thanks to the steadfast support of all their colleagues, these managers are paving the way for Mitsui Fudosan Asia’s next phase of expansion in Southeast Asia. Below, you will find a message from each manager about their role at MF Asia and the vision they have for our future in Asia.
As the newly-assigned managing director of the ASEAN-India-Australia region, my primary role is to assess the growth of real estate markets in this region and to allocate the necessary resources to fields where our company can best exercise its capabilities. Mitsui Fudosan Asia is blessed with a remarkably diverse, talented and dedicated team of Singaporean and Japanese professionals who consistently work together to uplift each other through exchanges of ideas and opinions in a welcoming and supportive working environment. This framework of mutual respect allows us to take the best elements of Japan’s and Singapore’s business cultures and seamlessly integrating them into a vibrant and robust whole. Japan’s penchant for detailed planning is carefully balanced by Singapore’s strength for problem-solving and having a macro perspective of business landscape. This unique blend of cultures and ideas, combined with our steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion, provides us with a competitive advantage over other local developers.
While still in the early stages of growth, Mitsui Fudosan Asia is poised to become one of the leading subsidiaries in Mitsui Fudosan Group due to its strategic location. Home to some of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets, ASEAN-India-Australia offers a growth opportunity that I believe will put Mitsui Fudosan Asia on par with the Japan and U.S./European branches of the Group. For all its growth potential, the developing countries by and large will still require time for its markets and legal systems to mature, coupled with numerous challenges and difficulties which stand in the way of advancing business here. With our 50 years of experience in Singapore and extensive business expertise in countries across the globe, we are primed to meet these challenges and lead the Mitsui Fudosan Group into a new era of growth.
Covid-19 has a long-lasting impact on our business environment. Remote work and online shopping via e-commerce platforms are growing at an accelerating rate, and a swift wave of digital transformation even swept over the spectator sports and entertainment industries. Accompanying this, our industry also saw growing pressure to rapidly transform its business model from one that focused on providing “places,” such as conventional office spaces, homes, and shopping malls, to one that delivers “services” to match our clients’ values and behaviors around live, work and play. On top of this, global efforts to create a carbon-free world have been gaining momentum. As a socially responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to incorporate sustainable business practices to support the global efforts to create a better world.
When I first came to Singapore, I thought about how I would apply what I had learned in Japan in a global setting. I soon realized that Singapore and the greater Asia region were in many ways ahead of Japan, in terms of diversity and digital transformation. Moving forward, one of my missions is to mobilize the strengths of Japan and ASEAN-India-Australia into a collective force that will drive our business forward. I hope to transfer the knowledge that I have acquired in this region back to Japan to stimulate further growth for Mitsui Fudosan Group.
I was recently appointed Managing Director of Mitsui Fudosan Asia (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Since joining Mitsui Fudosan in 1992, I have been engaged in a wide range of operations and have spent over half my time in the company running, growing and helping our overseas businesses. I was stationed in New York and San Francisco from 2010 to 2017 and subsequently, worked for the section in charge of our U.S. and European operations in Tokyo, until being sent to Bangkok this year. This is my first experience working in Thailand, and I am extremely excited by the opportunity.
Here in Thailand, Mitsui Fudosan is developing condominiums, serviced apartments, and logistic facilities with our partners. For our condominium operations, we are working with Ananda Development and together we have provided more than 24,000 condominium units to the market since 2013. Needless to say, Thailand offers a unique geographical advantage given its central location within the ASEAN region and is seen as a site of incredible investment potential by international companies across all industries. Enjoying a perennial popularity among foreign travelers, Thailand is also recognized as one of the world’s top destinations. As a result, there is a high level of demand for hotels, and especially in Bangkok, serviced apartments and residences from both domestic and international residents and investors.
As I write this, the COVID-19 pandemic situation is far from over and the situation does not seem to be improving. It has had an enormous impact on the world economy and Thailand is not an exemption. Although Thailand has been successful in keeping the cases relatively under control, its economy, which largely depends on tourism and trade, has been hit hard. The movement of people and products has slowed with the global spread of COVID-19, which has affected the real estate industry in Thailand as well. We cannot lower our guard just yet, but with vaccine distribution on the horizon and a hope of triumph over COVID-19 building, I believe that the flow of people, products, and capital will improve, and Thailand’s economy will begin its steady recovery.
COVID-19 has brought significant changes to how people live and work. We can expect more structural shifts in conventional living and working styles in the future, as evidenced by the growth of e-commerce, changes in housing needs, and explosion of telecommuting this year. Preferences for the types of real estate products we deal in will surely change, but with change comes the opportunity for innovation. We must focus on the new society that will emerge post-coronavirus and challenge ourselves in adopting various new initiatives that capitalize on the changing landscape and trend. I will continue to discuss with our group companies and also with our local business partners concerning the implementation of these new initiatives, and I promise that Mitsui Fudosan Asia (Thailand) will work tirelessly to improve the quality of life of all who live and work in Thailand by always delivering captivating, high-quality real estate.
I joined Mitsui Fudosan 28 years ago. For the first 13 years, I worked on development of domestic residential projects in Japan. In Japan, I gained experience in all aspects of our residential business, from land acquisition, development and accounting. In next urban retail properties department, I have been in charge of land acquisition for 11 years. For our overseas ventures, I oversaw the cooperate planning about China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. After working at Australia, I am working on expanding our business in Malaysia today.
Malaysia is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and other world cultures. A multitude of differing religions and traditions all coexist within the borders of a truly diverse nation. We must be ready to quickly adapt to any changes in Malaysia’s real estate market, while actively expanding our business in a measured and strategic manner.
The housing market in Malaysia is further segmented into developments for local Malaysians and overseas investors. Urban upscale condominiums are particularly popular among foreign investors, whereas the majority of suburban housing projects are targeted at and occupied by locals.
In the commercial sector, urban districts feature numerous luxury brands. By contrast, suburban areas are dotted with large-scale shopping centres tenanted with local and international brands for the local residents’ needs. Malaysia is a car country and, for the time being, shoppers rely on automobiles to access commercial facilities in both the city and the suburbs. Nevertheless, Malaysia continues to develop its mass transit system. As its network of railways continues to expand, use of public transport is only expected to grow.
One of the projects Mitsui Fudosan Malaysia is directly overseeing is the Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA SEPANG, which was inaugurated in 2015. This shopping mall is popular among locals and foreign travelers and opened third phase of facility expansion in April 2022.
In central Kuala Lumpur, we opened shopping destination LaLaport BBCC in Jan 2022, and approximately 400 stores will open in sequence. We plan to make this our flagship mall offering visitors an interactive and lifestyle-focused shopping experience. BBCC itself is a large-scale mixed-use development project composed of shopping mall, office buildings, residences, hotels and more. Mitsui Fudosan Malaysia is directly involved in the BBCC’s core commercial facility operations. In addition, Mitsui Fudosan Malaysia plans to further expand into various real estate assets.
Against this backdrop, Mitsui Fudosan Malaysia provides an open and welcoming workplace where each employee is actively engaged in their respective projects. We are always eager to undertake new ventures, and our entire staff is excited to take on any challenges that come their way. Our company takes a team-centred approach to its projects, and our true strength lies in the quality of our teamwork.
We work day in and day out to create a working environment that encourages communication and provides a platform where everyone can feel at ease. We also guide employees to be aware of work outside of their personal or team projects.
In my capacity as Mitsui Fudosan Malaysia’s MD, I will continue striving to create a healthy and supportive environment where all employees can work passionately and freely. Moving forward, I promise to build a society that provides a better, more vibrant life for our staff, their families and our customers.
I am making every effort to build a solid foundation for our future growth here. Our office was established in July 2019, and we have been working ever since to gather insights into this unique market and to determine where we can provide the most value as a company.
Working in this country is so different from Japan. It has provided an extraordinary opportunity both to rediscover Mitsui Fudosan’s strengths and to encounter Australia’s innovative business practices and customs.
For example, in my day-to-day work I often interact with employees of other businesses and have noticed the family-first approach they take to balancing their professional and private lives. I feel this can really add a positive element to the workplace and, when integrated with Mitsui Fudosan’s core values, is sure to be a part of our recipe for success here.
Australia is also home to many major global players in the real estate industry and offers a business environment that is extremely transparent, stable and growth-oriented. Furthermore, the country’s population is projected to enjoy sustained long-term growth, which is rare among developed countries and a highly-promising trend for an actively expanding company like Mitsui Fudosan Asia.
Given all of this, I am extremely excited for the unparalleled opportunity that awaits us in Australia. Our office started with just three employees, with communication and teamwork at the heart of our operations. I hope to maintain this as we expand and move forward and to ensure that each member has a clear role and set of responsibilities.