05 Mar 2018
Behind the completion of each of our development lies collaboration, dedication and determination of many colleagues with diverse experiences coming together. The same can be said for Waterway Point, the iconic retail hub located along the picturesque Punggol Waterway.
Having witnessed the mall transform from a construction site into a successful retail haven, Wong Chee Hwa, General Manager of Waterway Point shares with us some memorable moments and challenges faced during the making of the one-stop lifestyle and retail hub in Punggol.
Wong Chee Hwa prides himself in witnessing the completion of the mall
“I joined Frasers Property Singapore as a Senior Centre Manager in 2015, when Waterway Point was still under development. It has been a challenging but also satisfying experience witnessing the mall to come to life.
My first order of business at the time was to ensure that the mall had the correct tenant mix and a healthy occupancy three to six months before its opening, to allow time for tenants to renovate and set up their shops. This required a lot of coordination and determination across all team members to make sure things stayed on schedule. Today, occupancy at Waterway Point is the second highest among all of Frasers Property Singapore’s malls, at 99.93%.”
Learning and sharing
Having been in the retail industry for over 20 years, Chee Hwa acknowledges that retail is in his blood.
He said, “Each mall brings with it a different atmosphere and a different challenge. Before joining Frasers Property Singapore, I was based in Malaysia. I also spent some time in China. The experience of working in different markets taught me the importance of collaboration. Different team members bring to the table different perspectives, based on their own experiences. As a team, we must collaborate effectively and harness everyone’s unique inputs to create greater value for our customers.”
Chee Hwa highlights that Centre Management is an all-encompassing role. It exposes one to the main aspects of management: finance, operations, leasing, and even advertising and promotions. Gaining exposure in these diverse areas has made this job fulfilling for him.
One Team, One Dream
“The success of Waterway Point is a collaborative effort. Over the past few years, we have grown from a small team of two to a strong team of 20 members now. Currently, seventy to eighty per cent of the team is made up of dynamic young members. I do my best to share my experiences and skills with them and groom them to become future leaders of their respective fields. I also share constructive feedback with them so that they can learn and be inspired to perform better.
To prevent everyone from working in silo, the team is always in constant communication. We share the company’s vision and our objectives with one another. This helps to ensure that we are all working towards a common goal. Occasionally, we hold after-work activities and gatherings and these activities strengthen our bonds as well as solidify our team relationship.”
The team at Waterway Point team often dine together as a chance to bond outside of work.
Chee Hwa believes in creating an environment that can help develop and grow his staff.
Embracing a career with passion
Even after 20 years of being in retail, Chee Hwa remains passionate about the industry. “My day-to-day interaction with others keeps me going in my career. Networking, meeting tenants, and talking to shoppers, are parts of my job I particularly enjoy. In my line of work, the mall tenants are among the most important stakeholders. I spend most of my time engaging with them, over the phone or at their stores, to find out how else I can help them achieve their objectives. Maintaining a good relationship with our tenants goes a long way in making sure we have a positive working relationship.
I am passionate about what I do and to me, my work means more than just meeting the job requirements. During the first two years after the opening of Waterway Point, I made short visits to the mall even on the weekends to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Knowing that all team members are putting in their best is additional motivation for the whole team to go the extra mile.”
Focusing on what really matters
In one of his travels at Wall Street, US
Sharing his philosophy to happiness, Chee Hwa said, “In life, it is important to stay contented. When you start comparing yourself with others, you will find yourself losing track of all the important things in life. I have learned through personal experiences, we are happiest when engaged in activities that we enjoy.
On most weekends, I scour Singapore for the best hawker food. Other than that, I set aside time to travel at least once a year. I enjoy exploring cities and discovering cultures previously unfamiliar to me. It also provides me with a change of scenery to re-focus on what really matters.