Building Every Opportunity
Founded in Penang in the year 1959, Bob Agency has blossomed into the largest real estate agency in the Northern region of West Malaysia. Run by the second generation leaders, the company was renamed New Bob Group in 1973 and is currently involved in a wide range of related businesses including property development, property management, assisting expatriates to obtain legal residency, hospitality and providing car rental under its various subsidiaries.
According to Dr. Lee Ville, Director of New Bob Group, the island city of Penang offered a huge room for growth for the company over the decades. It is the second largest city after the Klang Valley and remains a firm favorite for many investors. However, Penang has been grappling with diminishing supply of viable building land and the state government has been looking for new ways to spearhead growth.
Lee believes that Penang will become even more promising once the state government’s plan is put into action and the infrastructure and public transportation transformed. The group’s current diverse portfolio of business has allowed it to synergise internally to enjoy outstanding growth as it offers the group flexibility in options such as managing properties for rental returns and going into providing managed commercial suites or hotels.
If properly managed, this aspect of the business will be able to generate steady income for the group. The group will also be looking to build affordable homes with great features that will cater to the future demand from the market. The group will focus on affordable housing (those below 500,000 ringgit) but will have to look for more affordable location on the mainland due to the island’s skyrocketing land prices.
The need for sustainable development is also getting increasingly pressing due to depletion of natural resources and the raising environmental awareness. Lee hopes that the group’s effort will encourage more people to go in the same direction and make affordable green homes the trend in the future.
Lee sees huge potential in medical tourism as people become increasingly health conscious and are willing to spend for better healthcare services. In fact, medical tourism has already became a huge pillar of Penang’s economy as it has captured some two-third of medical tourists to Malaysia. Moving forward, the group will provide affordable accommodation and other related services to complement the facilities.
There is an old Chinese saying that maintaining a business is more challenging than starting one, and this is truer for a developer as the business cycle is relatively long and the scale of challenges are often larger. Lee adopts a transparent and clear communication within his company and the surrounding community they operate in. After all, the group is in the business of providing for the community and he believes that the cooperation between all parties will ensure that the group will continue to prosper.