Born in Bangsar, KL in 1958, the youngest in the family of seven siblings, Datuk Razeek entered and completed his primary education in Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Jalan Pasar and then onwards to pursue his secondary education in Bukit Bintang Boys School in Petaling Jaya.
As a young boy, he had always dreamt of becoming a lawyer till one day when he watched the famous movie, “The Paper Chase” in 1973, whereupon a law student in Harvard could not handle the pressure and committed suicide. He then decided definitely that Law is not for him.
At that impressionable age, Datuk Razeek want to be everything from a fire truck driver to a policeman. He then decided that since he didn’t want to do law, he might as well as settle on something equally exciting – Civil Engineering. At least this time, the young Razeek had someone whom he could confide in and seek opinion, from none other than his brother in law, Paul Brudy, who is an American and an engineer.
He did well in his Malaysian Certificate of Education examinations, earned a government scholarship and went on to complete his A-levels in Exeter, England and thereafter, pursued his new-found excitement. After graduating in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic of South Bank London, he worked for a Polish engineering consultant W. Paszkowski and Partners in Kensington, London, a nice neghbourhood to be working in. That was indeed good working experience.
He returned to Malaysia in 1981 and worked in an engineering consultant company, Kemas Konsult, incorporated by a New Zealand engineering consultancy, Tonkin & Taylor. Razeek, felt that he had had enough of his hands in engineering and went on to do project management. In his words, life changed when he left the consultancy side of the engineering business.
Fortunately for Razeek, the UBN Complex where Shangri-La Hotel is situated was then beginning to take shape. The company took the opportunity based on his engineering consultancy experience to rope him into the project management team developing the UBN Complex in 1982, which was then, the highest development undertaking in the country.
The old adage that a rolling stone gathers no moss is further from the truth for Razeek as he left to join the greener pastures offered by Sime UEP. He fondly remembers the days of how he was mentored by the company’s former Managing Director, Dato’ Mohamed Sulaiman, who still very much remains as a close and good friend.
From Sime UEP, Razeek embarked on a career with Land & General Berhad under the stewardship of Tan Sri Wan Azmi as General Manager in 1991 developing the successful township of Sri Damansara. This is the second township under his charge, the first being Subang Jaya or USJ during his time with UEP. After 12 years in Land & General, Razeek’s feet got itchy again, this time landing a job with E&O. He was involved in what is arguably the most successful Seri Tanjung Pinang reclamation project in Tanjung Tokong. The achievement saw his appointment as an Executive Director in 1999. It was not all rosy as he had to manage the company through the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis. An experience he vowed never to forget and has since retained the notion; that Cash is King. He admits that it was Dato’ Terry Tham who showed him the ropes where he then became a rounded balanced, properties, project development person.
A stint of a year ensued in Dubai and Cairo in 2008-2009 for DAMAC Properties, the largest private developer in UAE, developing 3 office buildings in Business Bay Dubai, Sheikh Zayed City, the biggest mall in Cairo with 1500 acres, the New Cairo and 2000 acres development on the Red Sea near Hurghada.
His next stop was an appointment no lesser than being the Chief Operating Officer at MRCB and then got duly promoted to become its Chief Executive Officer. It was during his tenure as CEO when MRCB created history where gross revenues pipped the one billion Ringgit mark, with profit before tax hitting in excess of RM100 million.
It was also in his capable hands that saw the construction division make its turnaround to profitability. Razeek continued the great work started by Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, now Chief Executive Officer of the Employees Provident Fund. He had the privilege of completing the first platinum rated green building in KL Sentral.
One of the traits of a successful man is to be grateful for everything one has. As Razeek puts it, he will always be thankful to the government for giving him scholarship to do A-levels and then a degree in UK. Otherwise, he would not have been able to realize his dream of an overseas education because his parents couldn’t afford it with seven children and he being the youngest. He says that it is these kinds of things that change one’s life.
His entry into DRB-HICOM Berhad was not by chance. The management of DRB-HICOM Berhad knew that Datuk Razeek had the kind of exposure and experience to take on a much larger role. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer Properties and Services in 2012.
One of the characteristics one should emulate is that fact that Datuk Razeek says there has never been a morning when he wakes up and dreads going to work. This will only happen when you like the work you do and you are surrounded by people who see things the way you do. Often, these are people who are happy and successful both at home and at work.
Datuk Razeek can be best described as a very particular man who pays a lot of attention to details, often the no-nonsense guy who wastes no time with people who do not deliver. He speaks well, where one word follows the other with relative ease, laced with the occasional dry humour, sharp and wit that explains his quick turnaround with a joke at the right time. He loves music and can carry a tune or two on the guitar. However, his current passion is golf while keeping his handicap secret and his current job allows him the luxury of developing business relationships on and off the golf course.
When asked what makes it worthwhile to work with DRB-HICOM Berhad, his reply was simple, his boss, Tan Sri Dato Sri Hj. Mohd Khamil Jamil, whom he describes as a joy to work with. The other of course is the staff at DRB-HICOM Berhad and in his own words, with the exception of one or two. His motto is “Do what you do with Passion” and in whatever you do, he adds “Amanah here determines the hereafter”. Despite his colossal achievements today, he has always be grateful and accredited his success to his wife and family for the invaluable support and it would have been impossible without their unfailing encouragement and love.