“Without love and happiness, material abundance alone does not equate to success,” says Kelvin Lim, executive chairman, executive director, and group managing director of LHN Limited. Get to know this member of the Robb Report Singapore Thought Leaders community
It’s a firm testament to Kelvin Lim’s astute leadership qualities and keen business acumen that LHN Group has grown from a humble sawmill factory, to the thriving real estate management services group it is today. Recognising the need to deviate from a traditional space leasing model, Lim chose to adopt a more progressive and diversified approach instead, expanding into the space optimisation, facilities management, property development and energy sectors.
Alongside novel space concepts like 85SOHO and Work + Store, its flagship co-living brand Coliwoo is one of its most successful space concepts to date. As a second-generation custodian of the family business, Lim’s decision to evolve the company helped LHN Limited cement a strong presence in the region with a portfolio of over 2,000 keys, and is a leader in Singapore’s co-living market with over a quarter of the market share.
Give us an insight into modern space optimisation.
Space optimisation has the potential to be a sustainable real estate solution, as it’s based on a business model of recycling old and underutilised spaces. In doing so, we’re able to improve a building’s aesthetics and usability without tearing it down, while accommodating more tenants through thoughtful designs. With technologies like solar panels, smart energy management systems and built-in energy storage facilities, we’re also transforming buildings to become increasingly self-sufficient and less reliant on fuel energy.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in the space optimisation business thus far?
A breach of trust is one of our worst nightmares in the space optimisation business. After placing millions of capital expenditure into a property, it’s devastating to learn that the landlord intends to have the property taken over by others once the first term of lease is up.
Through experience, we’ve learned to protect our investments by building strong relationships with our tenants, providing them with high-quality service and solutions on a consistent basis. At the end of the day, tenants choose a property based on the people and the business solutions that a property operator can value-add to them.
How do you keep up with change?
The only constant in life is change. When faced with obstacles, calculating risks prudently and managing expectations skilfully are pivotal in attaining optimal outcomes. I believe that risks are opportunities in disguise, which can lead to positive results only if they are managed effectively.
How do you stay grounded?
Without love and happiness, material abundance alone does not equate to success. One has to stay down-to-earth and be open to innovative ideas. According to Chinese beliefs, the three essential factors that determine the success of any undertaking involve being present at the right place, the right time, and having harmonious relationships. To attain long-term success, always remember to be grateful and treat those around you with care and respect.
Photography by Eugene Lee, Enfinite Studio
Hair & Makeup by Sophia and Victoria, Suburbs Studio