The Business Year

Teck Guan Lim

MALAYSIA - Real Estate & Construction

Sky High

Managing Director, Doka Malaysia


Mr. T.G. Lim is an engineer by profession and has obtained a master’s of business administration. He has more than 23 years experience in the formwork industry working in various positions in Malaysia and abroad. Prior to assuming the position of managing director of Doka Malaysia, he worked as project engineer, technical manager, and sales director.

"We have been growing at a compound annual rate of about 30% since our establishment."

How has your business advanced since you localized your operations here?

We started our business in Malaysia in 2012, and before that we managed our projects here from Singapore. To date, we have invested more than MYR150 million, mainly in our stock and equipment. The construction sector, both in the public and private domain, is growing rapidly, and we believe that this momentum will continue. We have been growing on a compound annual rate of about 30% since our establishment, and anticipate this figure for the next few years. Looking at the healthy growth rate of the Malaysian construction industry, there are plenty of rooms to grow for the next decade. Business has grown significantly since our establishment, and we seek new premises for our headquarters and warehousing. The government-backed first metro line, MRT 1, is currently under construction, and the second and third line will follow. The MRT projects are among our main reasons to establish ourselves in Malaysia. The strong and clear outline of the government to develop the country, such as the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) is also the positive indicator for us. Doka is an Austrian company, and the embassy has been instrumental in providing support to open our office here.

Can you tell us more about your involvement with landscape defining high-rise construction projects in Malaysia?

At this moment, about 60% of our projects are on buildings, which include high rises and 40% are in civil engineering. The latter contain projects like dams, bridges, metro lines, and elevated platforms for public transport, which are generally developed with the government. We are one of the leaders in supplying formwork and safety system for high-rise constructions in the market because of our vast experiences, advanced technology, and construction management support. To date, we have been involved in more than 50 high rise constructions in the country, with notable examples as are PETRONAS Tower 3 (267m), the W Hotel (235m), the ILHAM Tower (274m), the Platinum Park — NAZA Tower (216m), and the recently constructed St. Regis Hotel (205m). Our latest and most prestigious project is Merdeka PNB118, the new signature tower in Kuala Lumpur. It will be approximately 630 m high, thus becoming the tallest tower in Southeast Asia and among the top five tallest towers in the world. On top of that, we have secured also the second highest tower in the country, the TRX Signature Tower. With these two projects, we are proving ourselves to be the specialists in providing innovative formwork system solutions for complex high-rises.

What are your defining strengths why the consortium of Samsung and UEM decided to contract Doka for the Merdeka PNB118 project?

We were involved in the tender process from the beginning and were the first to submit our proposals. We showed our commitment to constructing it faster, with highest safety standard and quality. Contractors are practical and pragmatic in the way they look at a proposal and the value they will receive. Our bidding was the highest, but we were chosen nonetheless for our know-how and innovation solutions. Out of the top 10 tallest buildings in the world, six have been constructed with Doka system formwork. The Burj Khalifa (830m) in Dubai is one of our landmark projects, which was delivered on time and with great accuracy. For the Merdeka PNB11 project, we have brought in our latest innovation, Doka Intelligent Formwork using Doka Concremote.. This technology can measure concrete strength development and transmit this data to the relevant stakeholders, like consultant engineers., project managers, and the site supervisor. This ensures the high quality construction of the construction structure, and thus enhancing the lifespan of the asset. As a latecomer to the Malaysian market, we perceived two strategies to penetrate the market; either competing on pricing or to deliver the best quality. We chose to implement the second strategy and we surprised people how well our modern technology works. Soon, developers and contractors realized that it is instrumental to use and invest in advance technology in all stages of the construction process to build state of art architecture of high-rise buildings. Often, we understand better than contractors how the building will look like and what the challenges will be. This is underlying our business principle as “the formwork experts.”

How would you assess the regulatory framework for contractors and developers?

Safety is always a challenge in countries such as Malaysia, where there is plenty of cheap foreign labor employed. They might not understand the safety training and a great deal of companies need to bring it up to the required standards. The authorities are enforcing stricter regulations, which is a good sign. Enforcement remains another challenge, but we see things getting better, stronger, and faster. With regard to safety, there is also an increasingly vocal society. Nowadays, access to information is broader, and accidents are reported quicker. This has led to pressure on the government to increase safety standards. Singapore has strong enforcement of its regulation because of the strong enforcement and high penalties. It makes companies invest more on safety; it is better to spend on safety and have a safe project than to save your money there and then get fined. Doka is renowned for its high standards and according to studies; every EUR1 million invested on safety will result of average EUR2.2 return-on prevention.

What are your ambitions for the years ahead?

The last four years have been good for our company and we have a strong financial position. Looking forward, we want to further extend our influence on the market with our technology, know-how and setting new quality standards. We believe this is good for all stakeholders involved; developers, contractors, suppliers, and the society at large. With our technology, the construction industry can work faster, safer, and with higher quality.



You may also be interested in...

Brendon Lee

MALAYSIA - Tourism

500% Revenue Growth Over 5 Years


General Manager, Connexion Conference & Event Centre (CCEC)

Erik Stoel

MALAYSIA - Tourism

Strong Foothold


Managing Director, British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia

Nerine Tan Sheik Ping

MALAYSIA - Tourism

Whole Lotto Love


CEO, Berjaya Sports Toto Berhad

View All interviews