Advice Hot Off the Press
Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer, CapitaLand China, Mr Lucas Loh, breezes into the room with a big smile and brings with him a warmth that emanates from his very being. His reputation for being humorous precedes him although he reveals right at the start that he is, in fact, quiet by nature.
“I did one of those personality tests once and it revealed that I was an introvert. In truth, given a choice, I prefer to be quiet. I’m a simple person,” he shared. “But when my colleagues found out about the results, they accused me of getting my secretary to fill in my profile. They didn’t believe that I was an introvert.”
Mr Loh admits that often, his extroversion is a function of his job, one that he has been doing since 2007. He is responsible for the company's real estate investment and asset management in China and also its real estate development business in South China.
For six years before that, he was the Managing Director for The Ascott Limited in China and the man under whose tenure the business nearly tripled, expanding from just eight to twenty-two properties.
When asked about the secret of his success, Mr Loh was modest.
“It was the right time,” he demurred. “The market was ready to recognise and endorse the products. I won’t claim a single credit for this. It was the timing, us capitalising on Ascott’s well-known brand name and the team’s hard work in securing contracts and investments.”
Hot Investment Tips
That Mr Loh is good at what he does is evident in the numbers.
When asked about the hottest sectors in China to invest in, the astute market-watcher considered his options and said, “The energy sector, the medical sector and, of course, the real estate sector.”
He went on to explain that as China expands, its energy needs would increase, making the sector a lucrative one particularly for new sources of energy that goes beyond coal. The medical sector was a natural choice given the sheer number of people in China. Finally, the real estate sector is a result of economic growth.
“Other than housing needs, the rest are derived demands – people need offices to run business, factories to produce things, hospitals for medical care, malls to buy their necessities,” he reasoned. “With increased urbanisation comes an increase in demand in the real estate sector.”
Other hot developments in China to look out for, says Mr Loh, are the rising number of Raffles City developments which stand at four now but will double in number in the next few years.
“As the city matures, their need for integrated development will increase. We have an edge in not just developing mixed development but also running it. This is where we can differentiate ourselves in China,” said Mr Loh.
Keeping Cool under Heat
When things get heated at work, it is his family that helps Mr Loh keep his cool.
“Looking at my wife and kids helps me to see the important things in life,” he confided. “My home is my oasis.”
He also relaxes by watching his wife cook and eating her food.
“She makes very good curry, especially fish head curry. In fact, she makes all the Singapore food that I can’t get in China. So whenever I am not travelling, I make it a point to go home for dinner. She cooks so well, that is why I look like this,” he laughs, gesturing at his figure. “I was very skinny in school.”
Whether dispensing advice, investment tips or life lessons, this man whose warm personality endears himself to all certainly knows how to keep his cool in the hot seat.