As the Executive Chairman of Concepts Group and Ancubic Group, Dato’ Low Boon An believes that a little wisdom can generate a little success, and big success depends on attitude. As words of wisdom in a business, such belief is wise, as all things can be done with a combination of wisdom and attitude.
Having worked in Japan as a construction contractor, he soon found his calling starting his own business. Returning to Malaysia in 1990, alongside setting up his business, he too commenced studies for an MBA (Masters of Business Administration). Stating “the experience working with the Japanese helped me a lot,” Dato’ Low’s business in Malaysia was a success since he learnt effective management strategies in Japan, deliver more than expected thus satisfying his customers.
Leading Concepts group, Dato’ Low took the company to new heights, where he envisioned doubling the company in sales and making profits within a five year period. Of course, when starting an independent business, things do not run smoothly and there will always be many hurdles to overcome. Facing many challenges however, Dato’ Low was fortunate that his family had provided support for him, namely, his elder and younger brother, who both took up many responsibilities within the business and more important positions and roles in order for Dato’ Low to overcome such challenges.
In the early days of running the company, manpower was weak, which resulted in him establishing a manpower training centre to ensure that his employees were of quality. Firstly training his own staff, he eventually expanded, having his own strong workforce that included a logistic team and hostel.
With this success, he took his training centre overseas, setting up these centres in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, upon employees who were trained so that their tasks could be performed well. Seeing the potential in the Human Resource market, he then decided to expand to the Human Resource training field, increasing and growing his company. It wasn’t long until Dato’ Low had a workforce of around 8,000 workers, which included the overseas companies. In 20 years, he brought in more than 40,000 in workforce, offering them training and jobs, of which around 180 were highly trained Management staff.
Describing what a business should be composed on, Dato’ Low emphasizes that, “there is the need for a business to have a rhythmic balance in both the attack and defence tactics.” Patience is a necessity and ultimately what was a passive attitude shall become an active one – those were what he gathered from his experience in the property field, which he injected into his own successful business.
One major challenge that was experienced for Dato’ Low was that he had many employees, of which the hardest part of handling theses staffs was the knowledge of how to increase their value and take a junior to the next level of being a leader. Finding a way to be fair to everyone, he put in place a KPI system where he could manage the whole system.
Highlighting that a successful company is not built on only one person, but the whole team of people, communication was, and still is, vital for any company. Each individual has their own strengths and their own potential to grow and develop, and Dato’ Low understood the need to seek this out in all of his staff.
In a working environment, the attitude of just do what the boss asks isn’t enough in this world. From his own experiences, he recognised that the attitude of his staff must change – they must themselves take a jump and dived into their own wisdom and freedom, so that they can achieve better results – better productivity.
During his 20 years of expansion of his company, such attitude of staff – their effort wisdom and productivity was crucial. Listening to their feedback, and ensuring that the staffs were satisfied and content, such feedback was a blessing for his company. His role as a boss, or any boss for that matter should be a role only to supervise and support – to give each individual a platform to shine upon, and give them a chance to achieve their targets and goals. This creates more strength, not only in the individual, but in the company altogether.
“One person alone cannot take on the whole world. We should see each person like a drop of water – it’ll eventually dry and evaporate when blown by the wind, or absorbed by the land. One drop will not get you far, but if you have many drops, it will soon create an ocean, and that ocean will allow you to grow big and great. The ocean is the droplets’ platform – its partner, customer and staff,” shares Dato’ Low.
Stating: “I’m not adventurous” Dato’ Low tends to take the safe and stable route. What makes his company the way it is today is not by his solo success, but from the contribution of help from his very supportive brothers and all his dedicated staff. Without everyone’s input, as he says: “there would be no me today. I feel blessed and am grateful for all the help everyone rendered to me, hence giving me the courage and momentum to lead the company even higher.”
Continuously improving himself, in 2009 he took on a leadership course at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, where upon completion he was deeply inspired. With a profitable and stable company, he soon expanded to other areas including property development, where today, the property market is a market that can give back more to the society. In the past 10 years, the company had already started buying land for such future investment, and when opportunity comes, he approach it with an open heart thought he knows that with any investment, in any business there is also risk, particularly with property, but he’s ever ready to challenge it.
Currently, Bank Negara’s strict loan scheme does have effect on the property market, however for him, he sees it as sustainable, in that it won’t affect the market, but make it grow steadily. Using stability, persistency and sustainability, Dato’ Low continues to grow his property development business. In the 90s in Hong Kong, property selling under construction became popular – where the buyer has to pay a deposit to buy, which then the developer uses that money to build the property. Such a trend sped up the property sales, seeing a huge increase in the property market, and today this is the structure for developing properties globally.
Through all this while, today Ancubic holds onto it’s mission to build on future, reaching out to the community, where “we are doing our best to realize dreams and together we aim for excellence in cost effective, whilst focusing on the exquisity of our development.” The company’s current projects include Kuala Selangor KS Botanic, Shah Alam Suria Jaya e-SOFO, Subang SOFO and Kazen@The Saujana Puchong.
Meanwhile, the up-coming projects on scheduled will be Kazen Puchong Heights, Pantai Dalam Residence Heights, Kota Damansara, Cyberjaya and many more to come. He hope this business adventures will enable him and his team to contribute more to the society which he cares and being playing a part for the growth of our beloved Malaysia! And he values each and everyone’s support to them.