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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.
I have worked with Mitsui Fudosan for almost thirty years. Over this time, I have had the privilege of overseeing every aspect of the business across most varieties of development. I’m excited about Mitsui Fudosan Asia’s incredible growth potential as greater Asia becomes an increasingly important part of our global portfolio.
Last year, Mitsui Fudosan released its Medium-Term Management Plan for 2025. One of the core components of our strategy is rapid expansion in Southeast Asia and Australia. As of now, Mitsui Fudosan Asia is responsible for 7-8% of Mitsui Fudosan’s overall profits. As the Managing Director of our Singapore Office, my goal is to raise that to 30%. Given the size of the market and the incredible talent here, I’m more than confident that this goal is achievable if we work for it.
As a Southeast Asian subsidiary of a longstanding Japanese company, our fundamental task is to adapt the best parts of our native business practices to the demands of a rapidly developing market. We’re lucky to have incredibly talented and hardworking staff from a wide variety of backgrounds, whose diversity of opinions and experiences really lets our business flourish. Personally, throughout my time at Mitsui Fudosan, I’ve learned the importance of long-term relationships with all our stakeholders--clients, business partners and employees--and I’ve made these relationships a priority here at Mitsui Fudosan Asia. We go into each partnership hoping to make it last a lifetime, and we hope our partners do the same. This approach requires respectful, ethical work, done with a high degree of quality. Again, and again, we’ve found that in the long run this pays dividends.
My favorite thing about Mitsui Fudosan Asia is its people. But beyond that, I’m inspired every day by our line of work. Through concrete projects done well, we’re really making a difference to communities and towns across Asia in a number of sectors, from building homes to commercial facilities and more. Moving forward, I think the three main evolutions in our field are going to be an expansion towards holistic projects centered around towns themselves, a push towards more advanced developments using IT and the internet of things, and a gradual redefinition of “real estate” to include a broader portfolio of relationships and services. With our amazing team and aggressive growth attitude, I’m confident in our ability to tackle these challenges head on and emerge as a leading player in pan-Asian real estate.
I joined Mitsui Fudosan 27 years ago. For the first 17 years, I worked on domestic real estate projects in Japan and spent the next 10 years developing our overseas operations in China and Southeast Asia. In Japan, I gained experience in all aspects of our commercial facility business, from land acquisition and development of commercial property to leasing and mall operation. During my tenure, I was in charge of major projects including LaLaport and Mitsui Outlet Park among other urban commercial developments. I later took up an administrative position focusing on corporate reorganization, capital policy and running Mitsui Fudosan’s general shareholders’ meetings. For our overseas ventures, I oversaw the development of Shanjing Outlet Plaza Ningbo and helped acquire land for LaLaport Shanghai project. In 2013, I took up a new post at Mitsui Fudosan Asia’s Singapore headquarters and developed Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA Sepang. By 2018, I had moved to Malaysia and began work on establishing the first LaLaport in Southeast Asia -- all while engaging in various housing ventures in the mixed-use development of Bukit Bintang City Centre (hereinafter BBCC). Today, I am working on new ventures in logistics in Thailand and expanding our development of commercial facilities throughout Southeast Asia.
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.
After gaining independence in 1957, Malaysia’s ruling coalition remained in control until last year when the opposition bloc led by 93-year-old prime minister Mahathir Mohamad claimed a historic win. This ushered in Malaysia’s first change in political power, with the Mahathir administration embarking on a set of unprecedented policies to reduce the national deficit and reform Malaysia’s tax codes. While his administration is working hard to achieve these ambitious goals, it will no doubt take some time for the political climate to stabilize. 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 Malaysian real estate market is distinctly divided into urban and suburban sectors. Within this, the housing market 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 targeting overseas travellers. 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 travellers and successfully began its second phase of development in 2018 in anticipation of a coming third phase of facility expansion.
In central Kuala Lumpur, we are developing an expansive shopping destination LaLaport at BBCC. 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 and is taking a leading role in promoting comprehensive urban development in the area. We are also looking to acquire other assets that will provide significant added value to the BBCC development project as a whole. In addition, Mitsui Fudosan Malaysia plans to further expand into various real estate assets throughout the country in industries as diverse as logistics and serviced apartments.
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 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.
As Mitsui Fudosan’s first Managing Director on the Australian continent, 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. The 2019 Rugby World Cup was held in Japan the year we were established, and in that rugby fighting spirit of “one for all, all for one,” I promise to do my best to create a win-win for Mitsui Fudosan, our stakeholders and the greater Australian community.