Arcadis aims to grow SEA Hub in Greater Kuala Lumpur

Arcadis country head Justin Teoh (fourth from right) and the company’s regional leadership team based in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

15 December 2017 - GLOBAL consultancy business Arcadis continues to make positive contributions towards Malaysia’s vision of becoming a high-income nation by 2020.

Arcadis is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and, through its affiliates and related companies, has been established here since 1948.

This year will mark the 70th anniversary of the company‘s presence in Malaysia.

Arcadis provides professional services such as cost management and quantity surveying, programme and project management as well as business advisory services in a wide range of sectors, namely, building, infrastructure, water, environment and energy.

Arcadis has successfully delivered numerous projects across Malaysia over the last seven decades and continues to steadily increase its investment here, according to Arcadis country head Justin Teoh.

He said Arcadis, in collaboration with its local affiliate JUBM Sdn Bhd, currently provides professional services for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Lines, Kuala Lumpur Eco City and Tun Razak Exchange projects, among others.

Notable completed projects that the company has been involved with include the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Damansara City, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and Ritz Carlton, Langkawi. Ever since 2015, the company has published the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index, which ranks 100 global cities on three dimensions of sustainability — people, planet and profit.

“As far as future investmentis concerned, Arcadis is working towards growing the Southeast Asian Hub (SEA Hub) in Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL) to serve as both a centre of excellence for its business activities as well as a shared services administrative office” said Teoh.

“At present, one of the major initiatives of the SEA Hub involves developing and enhancing software tools to address the growing and immense impact that digital technologies will have on the sectors in which we operate in.

“A good example of this is the work we are doing on ‘augmented reality’ for use with BIM (Building
Information Modelling) models for real-time interactive sensory experience on construction projects,” he

When looking to set up the SEA Hub, Arcadis sought the advice and assistance of InvestKL in the restructuring of its local business entities so as to realise greater operational efficiency.

“InvestKL has been of tremendous help with the setting up of our SEA Hub ever since we first mooted the idea in 2014. They have provided great networking opportunities for us here in Malaysia and connected the company to the right people. They have also facilitated placement of foreign expertise into our Malaysian business,” he said.

Teoh said the primary drivers for the company’s decision to establish a SEA Hub here were geographical location and the depth and quality of the labour force.

“GKL is centrally located in Southeast Asia. The infrastructure and connectivity within and around GKL, as well as between GKL and other major cities in the region, means that we are well-positioned to efficiently and effectively provide support to our regional offices, whether they be located in neighbouring countries such as Brunei or Singapore, or even further a far in Hong Kong or China,” he said.

Teoh said Malaysia also provides a large pool of highly educated and mostly English speaking graduates with multi-lingual capabilities to select from, whether they be for the company’s core business activities or for its enabling functions.

“Our operations in Malaysia are predominantly managed and supported by locals, which make things very cost-effective. In situations where we do have foreign colleagues working out of the SEA Hub, they are able to fit right in as Kuala Lumpur is a modern and cosmopolitan city, with rich cultural diversity,” he said.

Some of Arcadis’s notable projects are Ritz Carlton, Langkawi, (top) and Damansara City, Kuala Lumpur.

" InvestKL has been of tremendous help with the setting up of our SEA Hub ever since we first mooted the idea in 2014. They have provided great networking opportunities for us here in Malaysia and connected the company to the right people. "

Justin Teoh, Arcadis country head

Teoh also said the costs associated with relocation are manageable, largely due to the lower cost of living and housing when compared with neighbouring countries.

Global Strategy 2018-2020

On Arcadis’ overall global strategy and plans for the future, Teoh said: “In November 2017 we launched our new global strategy 2018-2020. The three pillars of this strategy are People and Culture, Innovation and Growth, and Focus and Performance.

“There are several aspects to this. We want to be the employer of choice through continued investment in our people.

“We also want to step up investment in digitisation to become a digital forerunner in our industry. We will continue to leverage our global experience and deep client relationships to drive organic growth .

“Finally, we will focus on where we can lead based on relevance for clients, local markets and global positions.

“Insofar as our business in Malaysia is concerned, we are well aligned with the strategy. We hope to be a role model for a locally Malaysian managed professional services firm operating under the umbrella of a global organisation,” said Teoh.

Source: New Straits Times

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