Liew: S P Setia’s entrepreneur spirit won Battersea

PETALING JAYA: S P Setia Bhd president and CEO Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said it was the company’s entrepreneur spirit that won the Battersea project in London.

Speaking at The Edge Billion Ringgit Club’s (BRC) “Meet the CEO” talk yesterday, he reasoned that what the group lacked in technical expertise was more than made up by its entrepreneur spirit.

“Professionals in the UK are very strong technically. Their technical knowledge in engineering and architecture are superior. But they somewhat did not have the entrepreneur spirit to take on risk. They are more structured society,” he told university students at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus here.

He said this had given S P Setia the opportunity to break into the London property market.

“Not because we are better than them technically but because we have strong entrepreneur determination.”

Liew said Malaysians have an advantage against those in other countries because they are able to build a strong foundation in their business here.

He reasoned that this was due to the exposure from growing up in a multi-racial country which in turn allowed Malaysian professionals to see situations differently.

“If you can survive in Malaysia, then you can survive anywhere in the world, because here, we learn to adapt and adopt different situations and cultures,” he said.

The “Meet the CEO” series session is being held in conjunction with The Edge BRC awards. The main sponsor for the awards is OCBC Bank.

During such sessions students are given the opportunity to meet and engage with CEOs of corporate Malaysia.

Liew fielded several questions during the session that lasted more than an hour. The questions ranged from how he manages S P Setia to which leader he admires most.

Initiated last year, CEOs who have taken part in the series are CIMB Group Holdings Bhd group CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, former Malayan Banking Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Seri Wahid Omar, Petronas Dagangan Bhd CEO and managing director Amir Hamzah Azizan and QL Resources Bhd managing director Dr Chia Song Kun.

The talk is designed to enable students to learn and be inspired by the experience of the CEOs and in the process, gain invaluable knowledge beyond what the textbooks offer.


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 02, 2013.


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