THE LANDMARK PROJECT

Malaysia 2017 | CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Teck Guan Lim, Managing Director of Doka Malaysia, on current projects, building high rises, and the company's worldwide footprint.

Teck Guan Lim
BIOGRAPHY
Teck Guan Lim is an engineer by profession and has an MBA. He has more than 23 years of 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.

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 by 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 is to develop the country through initiatives such as the Economic Transformation Program (ETP), which is also a positive indicator for us.

What is 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 construction projects in the country, with notable examples being the 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 630m high, thus becoming the tallest tower in Southeast Asia and among the top-five tallest towers in the world.

Why did the consortium of Samsung and UEM decide 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 innovative solutions. Out of the top 10 tallest buildings in the world, six have been constructed with the 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 structure, 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 delivering the best quality. We chose to implement the second strategy and surprised people with how well our modern technology works. Soon, developers and contractors realized that it is instrumental to use and invest in advanced technology in all stages of the construction process to build state-of-the-art, 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."