My colleagues and I (second from left) visited Mount Fansipan, the highest mountain in Indochina; We were tested to our limits and learnt precious lessons of perserverance, team work and problem-solving along the way
My colleagues and I (standing, third from left) also had a trip to see the limestone caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang in Middle Vietnam; I have come to appreciate more nature and the basic necessities; The Earth is generous with exquisite greeneries and landscapes, but is also ever so fragile if not treated with careArticle is contributed by PHAM Ngoc Thanh Ngan Polly, Executive - Investment and Asset Management, CapitaLand Vietnam.

This is a personal reflection of my two-and-a half-year development with CapitaLand so far. I have to say, the journey has been an ever-diversifying one with lots of learning experiences and excitement.

When I joined CapitaLand in 2010, I was only a fresh graduate with little knowledge of what I was to do. I started off as a Strategy and Planning Executive. My job was to coordinate inputs from Sales and Marketing during the project study phase and drive the department’s joint efforts during development phase. After that I was transferred to Investment and Asset Management as a Research Executive. This time I was tasked with conducting economic and market research, a responsibility I still carry out today. Recently I started participating in investment initiatives, working with business development leads to secure land for future projects. When CapitaLand Vietnam launched our first Value Homes project, PARCSpring, I was a member of a special taskforce. The taskforce was made up of staff from various departments, with an aim to tap on different ideas and diverging skill sets to drive marketing and sales activities. The success of this taskforce led to another being formed, The Vista taskforce, which I quickly became involved in, too. To date, we are still brainstorming and rolling out initiatives targeting the project’s sale and leasing results.

Growing Professionally

Lately, my job scope has expanded again. I joined the leasing team for The Vista’s commercial components. It was quite a different experience. Being a non-technical person, the challenges were somewhat overwhelming. I seemed to lack the technical knowledge and experience. For example, I was unaware of the market norms for the handover conditions of retail space, or the different expectations when it came to rent-free periods by F&B; and office tenants. I was not so much in touch with the local retail businesses and their respective strategies. And I have never had to differentiate between a FCU (Fan-Coil Unit) and an AHU (Air Handling Unit).

Fortunately enough for me, I was working with very experienced, knowledgeable colleagues, each an expert in their field and were more than willing to extend their help. Over the past few months, I have immensely benefitted from the sharing of technical expertise by the Project Development colleagues. I have to thank them for being so patient in explaining the “so obvious”. I have improved my knowledge of the market and industry by learning from my peers and supervisors. Within the team, we tried our best to share resources and experiences, especially when most of us were new to leasing. Any knowledge recently acquired, or lessons just learned by one immediately became the team’s. We also took the initiative to hold regular team lunches to try out new stores, to better understand our potential tenants and enjoy getting to know the team better as well.

Growing as a Person

The people I work with have contributed a great deal to my overall development at CapitaLand. They are not only my colleagues; they are also good friends of mine. After office hours, we often gather for drinks, bowling, karaoke, movies, etc. Occasionally I would go on holiday with those who share the same enthusiasm for travel. Together we have set our footprints in places like the limestone caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang in Middle Vietnam, Mount Fansipan in Northern Vietnam, Bangkok, Beijing and Inner Mongolia. Observing my colleagues in casual settings, I get a chance to see their individual perspectives in life and get to know them better on a personal basis. To me, it is also about learning from a different angle.

Over these two-and-a-half years, I have become more experienced and matured. Certainly, there is still a long way to go, with many more areas to receive, explore and improve upon. Coming from an economics background, I am grateful to have been given many opportunities in a growing real estate business. In a way, I feel proud that I am trusted with so much responsibility. I think my story truly reflects an important principle of our organisation: “Building people”.

This new column entitled CapitaDNA is a platform for everyone at CapitaLand to share their experiences and thoughts on the company’s core values and corporate principles by contributing articles to CapitaLand INSIDE Different Geographies.

CapitaDNA entails our 6 Core Values. These values and guiding principles represent how CapitaLand does business, how it treats its stakeholders and how the staff interacts in the workplace. As the Group continues to grow, this DNA is crucial in differentiating itself from the rest.

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