As we continue to grow as a company and find ourselves charting unfamiliar territories, the ability to utilise the knowledge gained from past experiences will help us navigate to even greater heights.
Someone who has grasped this progressive mentality, after almost 20 years in the industry, is Alvin Low, Vice President, Head of Operations, Commercial & Retail, Frasers Property Singapore. Armed with an arsenal of analogies, he shares with us key steps to attain shared goals and how he plans to implement new practices positively.
Building trust in new relationships
“I recently joined Frasers Property Singapore five months ago. Since then, I have taken it upon myself to absorb and comprehend as much of the concerns and needs of my colleagues across our properties. I am what you call a sponge. I encourage everyone to approach me and to always be open with their issues. Only then can I make recommendations to tackle the problem at hand and move forward.
I also serve as an advisory role by providing strategic guidance to all levels, from building managers to the maintenance technicians. My job requires me to understand a vast scope of specialisations ranging from engineering to marketing, and even leasing. I add value by rolling out initiatives at the right time, setting standard operating procedures and maximising cost efficiency.
While I recognise that it takes time for everyone to be receptive to a new person, I am happy with my progress in integrating with the different business units. I have also gradually built rapport with our retail properties such as Waterway Point and Northpoint City, where more team members are approaching me to get my inputs on certain matters."
Drawing from own perspectives
“My past career experiences have shaped the way I have developed my approach to people. I spent my first decade in the construction industry. From there I moved on to mechanical engineering, building maintenance and finally property management.
With more responsibilities and decision-making in my current role, I value feedback from all levels and appreciate everyone’s contribution. While we may differ in our levels of experience, we must not let that mindset cloud our judgement. When I was younger, I felt that I received unreasonable demands from my seniors. It was difficult for me to view things from their perspective. Now that I am in a reversed situation, I have to let people see that the decisions I make are actually in their best interests.”
Collaborating through learning
“I’m excited to have joined the company during this period. It is an interesting time because Frasers Property is evolving. Now that some of the malls have undergone Asset Enhancement Initiatives, I am looking to implement new measures that will bring fresh, memorable experiences to our customers. One of the initiatives we are looking at is to implement Wi-Fi at all our malls. We also hope to streamline our security resources in the near future. Instead of physically deploying our officers, our security vendor will be able to advise on strategic locations requiring officers based on remote monitoring from their command centres.
Future plans aside, I also recently collaborated with our Workplace Health & Safety Senior Manager, Ritav Koh. She was one of the first few people I worked closely with since I started here. We were working on making the rooftop air-conditioning units at Anchorpoint safer for the maintenance team. She recommended some safety-oriented ideas while I contributed suggestions based on my knowledge of engineering feasibility. The outcome saw strategic placements of new design features that assisted the maintenance team as they moved around the structures. This reminded me to always adopt a receptive mind set and never to stop learning, training and gaining knowledge.”
Keeping oneself active and motivated
Alvin shared that in order to maintain a conducive environment of inquisitive individuals, it is important to have an active mind and body.
“I often attend courses and encourage my team to do the same. These events help us meet individuals from the same industry and helps us learn about their best practices. I’ve have forged many friendships over the years, and we never hesitate to call each other for advice. I also try to keep abreast of the latest updates in the industry by reading regular e-newsletters, sent to us trade associations that I am registered with.
I believe that your physical health moulds your mental health. An active sports enthusiast myself, I enjoy participating in sports activities such as the OCBC Cycle. One of the items in my bucket list is to run in a half marathon this year. I also do some dirt bike riding! My friends and I participate in the four-hour long races through the dirt trails in Malaysia, but we take time to enjoy the experience, rather than attempt to win it.
These days, it is about balancing my work, family, friends and hobbies. Whether it is having dinners together, engaging in sports or just simply interacting with people, these activities allow me to keep a positive outlook and contribute to a vibrant workplace.”