Category Archives: EZ 44 – captain

Regal Relocator 传递的王者

Leon Hulme
Managing Director of Crown Worldwide Group, Malaysia


“The services in our industry are becoming increasing commoditised but of course our service is not a commodity,at Crown we aim to offer our customers an experience.”

As the managing director of Crown Malaysia, Leon Hulme is at the helm of one of the largest mobility & information management chains in the world.  An evolved and culturally sophisticated individual, Hulme oversees Crown Malaysia’s comprehensive portfolios like domestic and international relocation, secure storage and information management facilities, destination settling-in, immigration services, employee and family support.

Never a tourist but always the traveller in Asia, and now a resident in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hulme originally joined Crown Malaysia in 1999.  He held a variety of roles in several Crown offices in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and most recently Thailand, where he served as Country Manager before being promoted to his current position.

Hulme hails from an industrial Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK, and claims that he never studied.  “I never cared much for school.  I was working at 13 and dropped out of school at 16 to go into full time employment.  At that time I was holding down three or four jobs.”  During his last year in school, his school career officer told him this, “If you don’t end up unemployed and you manage to get a job, let’s say, in a factory, then you would have done very well.”  Unfazed Hulme sat there and thought to himself, “I bet my career ends up being more successful than yours.”

Born in Australia, Hulme left the continent down under for Great Britain when he was four.  “Both my parents are English.”  Not from a moneyed background, Hulme considers himself lucky to have good parents with upright principles.  “There wasn’t a lot of money in the house but my parents were determined not to live off the government, though we would have been more comfortable claiming social security than working in relatively low paid jobs.”

Sound work ethics were instilled in young Hulme.  “I believed in hard work, I believed in proving myself and then things would come as a result of that.  My parents used to say to me – ‘Nobody wants to give a job or work with somebody that they don’t like’.  So if I could get on with people, work hard, be flexible, prove myself, then the opportunities would present itself. I think if you’re street smart, have good work ethics, common sense, the ability to communicate and get on with people are fundamentals that can take you a long way.”

Speaking on mentors, Hulme has this to impart, “Over the years I have met many people who have inspired me.  I am always willing to listen and surround myself with people who inspire me. Jim Thompson, my chairman is one such person.

Jim is serious about work, a great communicator and I really admire his drive for quality, these traits you see in many of Crown’s staff and the Country Managers I have had as bosses over the years.  It is important to Jim and his employee’s that Crown is recognised as the Rolls Royce in this industry.”

“I would like to be able to look back and think that, I had a positive impact on my colleagues and that I might have in some ways helped them surpass even their own expectations.”

Rather than immediate short term financial gains, Crown is more focussed on long term quality services, meaningful partnership with its clients and our contribution to our local communities.  “Our organisation is filled with tremendous people with great experience.  Some of them have been with us and in this industry for more than 35 years and can offer a wealth of information and knowledge to our clientele.  The people I work with in Malaysia are absolutely incredible.  We have known each other for so long that when I came back instead of shaking hands, as a new MD might normally do, we hugged” says the happy expatriate.   

Hulme forecasts a bright future for Crown Malaysia.  “This industry will continue to flourish.  The world is so small.  People are constantly moving.  It is a mobile workforce with a lot of assignees moving around the world.  I have seen a lot of changes in 16 years where we have gone from HR-driven decision making to procurement-driven decision making these days.  Though we are not selling a commodity, our services have become much commoditised, with price as an increasingly key factor.  Of course it is not a commodity because at Crown we deliver an experience.  If someone is relocating overseas with their family, we make sure they arrive at their destination comfortable and focused and not distracted by anything, in order for them to perform in their new assignment immediately.   We are not a commodity trading on the cheapest price, more of a mature quality service that supports you as you embark on the next chapter in your corporate and family life.

To cater to the fine art business, Crown Malaysia is the first to set up an art vault with premium security protocols, climate-control and fire suppression features.  “We have a healthy fine art business and are moving quite a lot of works of high value.  The art vault looks like something you might store gold bullions that only James Bond might attempt to break in,” Hulme shares and chuckles.

Outside work, the Englishman in him plays football, and does a bit of cycling.  He beams as he speaks of his family.  “My wife Akiyo is Japanese and I am very lucky that she is willing to give up her career as a successful production manager for a television commercial company in Japan to follow me gallivanting around the world. Akiyo is a very strong woman and adaptable to move with me to Korea, Thailand and now Malaysia.  We are really a team.  She manages everything that could potentially get in the way of me focussing on my work.  My son Noah is six years old.  He speaks English, Japanese and Thai as he was born and raised in Thailand.”     

As a worldly corporate warrior, Hulme would like to be able to look back and think that, “I had a positive impact on my colleagues and the people who worked with me, and that I might have, perhaps, in some ways, helped them surpass their own expectations.”

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就任嘉柏国际集团马来西亚董事经理,Leon Hulme 掌握了世界上最大的流动和电子信息管理。作为进化和尖端文化个体,他监督着集团马来西亚区域的综合国内外搬迁传送、安全存储和信息管理设施、目的地处理、移民安居服务,职工管理和家庭支援等业务运转。

他在1999年加入嘉柏集团马来西亚,现居住在吉隆坡,从来不是一名旅客,但总是在亚洲旅行。他分别在香港、日本、韩国及最近的泰国担任各种各样的角色,在现任职位之前,任职驻外经理。

来自英国第二大工业城市伯明翰 ,他声称从未注重读书。“我从不关心学业。我13岁开始工作,16岁就辍学进入全职就业。”当他最后一年在学校,学校的就业咨询人员告诉他,如果最终没失业,他是能得到工作,比如在工厂就业,肯定能做得很好。Leon 当时回答:“我想我以后的工作肯定比你还成功。”

出生在澳大利亚,由于父母是英国人,Leon在4岁时就定居英国。虽然不是富裕的背景,但他认为父母传递了良好的正直原则。“我们家里没太多钱,但是我父母决心不依靠政府,尽管获得社会保障相对微薄工作收入来的更简单舒服。”

这种职业道德灌输予年轻的他,Leon相信努力工作和证明自己,然后好事就会上门。父母曾经说过:没人愿意提供工作或者和他们不喜欢的人一起工作。如果能与人相处,努力而灵活的工作来肯定自己,机会将显现。他认为靠着街头智慧、职业道德、常识与沟通能力,并且懂得与人相处,就是让人可以走得更远的不二法门。

“这些年来遇到许多激励我的人,我愿意倾听并且让周围的人鞭策着我。我们的创始人兼主席Jim Thompson就是这样一个人。Jim认真工作,是非常伟大的沟通者,我钦服于他的驱动能量,而类似特征造就集团的壮大,尤其是我多年来遇上的许多精英员工和驻外经理。Jim和所有员工都是让嘉柏集团成为此行业领域“劳斯莱斯”的缔造者。”

“我们的服务业趋势越来越商品化,当然嘉柏集团的服务不是如此,我们目标是为嘉柏客户提供一种体验。”

嘉柏集团的企业宗旨非看重眼前的短期财务收益,而是注重提供长期优质服务,以更有意义的形式与客户合作,并且贡献当地社区。

“我们的组织由强大兼富有经验的人们组成,其中一些人在这行业已超过35年,可轻易提供大量的知识和资讯予客户们。我们在马来西亚工作团队的人们都是了不起的人物,而长时间的聚集,我们已不再握手,作为新董事经理,我与他们拥抱。”这名快乐的外籍人这么说。

他预测着集团在马来西亚的灿烂前景。“这个行业将继续蓬勃发展,因为世界是如此之小,人们不断移动,世界上有许多迁移的劳动力与流动的委托人。我亲眼目睹这16年来的巨大变化,我们已经从人力资源驱动转为采购驱动决策。虽然我们并非在卖商品,但服务已转为非常商品化,价格是关键因素。当然这不是真正的商品,因为嘉柏是提供经验,如果有人与家人迁移到国外,我们将确保他们到达目的地的舒适度,不被任何事情所干扰,可以更专注并快速执行新工作。我们并非廉价的商品交易,而是以更成熟的优质服务支援你的公司事务和家庭生活。而为了迎合艺术品业务,嘉柏马来西亚首次设立艺术品库与更优质的安全协议,温度环境控制和消防灭火功能。

“我们有一个健全的艺术品业务体系,并传送许多高价值的艺术品,而坚固的保险库房完全可以储存黄金,估计只有007占士邦可以试图破门。”

“我让同事们可产生正确积极的方式和想法,而且我会以某种方式帮助他们,甚至超过原订的期望 。”

工作外的闲暇时间,这名英国人爱好踢足球和骑单车。他微笑地叙述家庭。“我的妻子Akiyo是日本人,我很幸运,作为一名成功的电视广告公司制作经理,她愿意放弃在日本的事业,跟着我全世界到处走。Akiyo是一个非常坚强的女人,可以适应和我搬迁到韩国、泰国和马来西亚,我们是一个团队,她管理一切琐碎事务,让我可以集中工作。我的6岁儿子Noah,他擅长说英语,日语和泰语,因为他在泰国出生和长大。”

作为身经百战的企业战士,Leon回顾与希望积极影响他的同事或一起工作的人。“我可能或也许在某种程度上,协助他们超越自己的期望。”

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Taking The Hospitality Industry to Another Level 升华酒店业新概念

Dato’ Eric Lim

Managing Director and CEO of Cititel Hotel Management


The hospitality industry is a challenging one that can be susceptible to external factors as well as local factors but after 44 years in this industry, Dato’ Eric Lim Hock Kheng has got the ups and downs pat to be able to face any challenges without any qualms.

Dato’ Lim first became involved in the hospitality industry in the tours and travel sector in early 1971. What first piqued his interest for the travel industry was the few times he helped visitors around the island when he was younger. “I used to drive my father to work and after that, I have his car at my disposal so I could drive around and when I saw visitors looking at maps and confused, I stopped to help them, I even gave them lifts,” he said.

The interest to help visitors grew into a lifelong passion that lasted over four decades and there is no sign of him regretting going into this industry. Dato’ Lim joined Shangri-La International in Penang in 1979 and for the next 18 years, was instrumental in the development of the Shangri-La group of hotels in Penang.

“I have been in the hospitality industry right from the start and till today, the passion is still there,” he shared. On top of leading CHM as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Lim has also served in various other capacities that included the formation of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, Penang chapter in 2001. He has also served in various trade bodies such as the IMT-GT Tourism Sectorial, Pacific Area Travel Association, Penang Hoteliers Association, Penang Tourist Centre and State Tourism Council and one of the founding members of Upper Penang Road Society.

He was last based in Shangri-La International in Bali, Indonesia before moving back to Penang to spearhead the Cititel brand name in 1996. Since then, Cititel Hotel Management Sdn Bhd has grown in leaps and bounds with over 3,800 rooms under its portfolio of hotel brands that included Cititel, Cititel Express, MiCasa and St Giles.

Taking a leaf from the highly successful St Giles London and Heathrow and The Tuscany and The Court, New York,  Cititel Hotel Management (CHM) imported the group’s UK St Giles Brand to Asia by introducing a 512-room St Giles Makati in Philippines in mid-2010. It also rebranded The Boulevard and The Gardens Hotel & Residences as St Giles Hotel. Just recently, St Giles The Wembley was opened in George Town, adding another 415-room to the island state.

Prior to this, CHM introduced its second brand, Cititel Express, to fit into a different market segment. This is a value-based budget accommodation, complete with functional and basic amenities, with a “Smart, Clean and Simple” concept. There are now Cititel Express in Kota Kinabalu, Ipoh and most recently, Penang.

CHM also expanded its reach into the extended-stay segment with its two serviced residences that included the MiCasa All Suite Hotel in Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

“This means we have more options to offer,” Dato’ Lim says of the additional rooms. The hotelier may have been in the industry for many years but he does not become complacent. He continues to watch the market trends like a hawk and is always a step ahead in anticipation of what’s next.

“We’ve been through several cycles in our industry and it is very vulnerable to all sorts of developments, from politics to economy to diseases,” he said. One has to always be alert to market demands and changes to be able to incorporate marketing intelligence into the hotels’ strategy.

Another important factor to remaining strong in the industry is to always encourage and train up a workforce that is as passionate about the industry as he is. It is no easy task with fewer young employees having a passion for such a demanding industry but Dato’ Lim is not one to give up easily.

“I will continue to encourage and motivate our personnel to keep the passion alive and the professionalism intact because our human resource is an important component of the industry.”

Looking forward, Dato’ Lim said CHM will continue to seek opportunities in key Asian cities to build up its portfolio of hotels especially in the three and four star categories. “We are always looking towards adding more rooms and hotels in and outside of Malaysia,” he said.

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以障碍赛来形容酒店行业可谓非常贴切,充斥未知与布满荆棘,极易受到外界因素侵袭和影响。但对于鏖战酒店领域44年,历经行业高低潮的拿督林福庆来说,应对挑战已是毫无疑虑,驾轻就熟。

1971年初,林福庆开始踏足酒店旅游业。而激发他加入行业是源自槟岛年轻热情时代的经历。“我载送父亲上班后,就开着他的车子到处逛,当目睹困惑的游客们看着地图,我常主动停车协助,甚至让他们搭顺风车。”

这个简单纯粹的兴趣却成了维持40年的激情所在,并且无怨无悔。他在1979年加入香格里拉国际集团,往后18年间落力推动着香格里拉酒店在槟城的业务。

他说,从开始到现在,对行业的热爱丝毫不减。作为带领CHM的董事经理兼首席执行员,林福庆展现多样领导魅力,包括2001年成立马来西亚酒店协会槟城分会。他也参与各种贸易旅游组织如印马泰成長三角旅游部、太平洋区域旅游协会、槟城酒店业者协会,槟城旅游中心和槟州旅游委员会,也是槟榔路上环协会的创始成员之一。

1996年,林福庆回到槟城担任龙城酒店(Cititel Hotel)的品牌推广先锋,在这之前,他驻扎于印尼巴厘岛的香格里拉国际集团。此后,龙城酒店管理有限公司(Cititel Hotel Management Sdn Bhd)飞速增长,逾3800间客房的酒店连锁品牌,其中包括龙城酒店、龙城快捷酒店(Cititel Express)米卡萨酒店(MiCasa)和圣吉尔斯酒店(St Giles)。

而取经于伦敦、希思罗,托斯卡纳与纽约圣吉尔斯酒店的成功模式,龙城酒店管理(CHM)也积极“进口”英国的圣吉尔斯(St Giles)品牌到亚洲,首先在2010年中旬引入一家拥有512间客房的圣吉尔斯酒店在菲律宾的马卡迪(Makati),接着采取品牌更名,将The Boulevard、The Gardens和Residences等酒店转为圣吉尔斯酒店。而拥有415间客房的圣吉尔斯温布利(St Giles The Wembley)最近在槟城乔治市盛大开业。

此前,CHM推出了第二个品牌-龙城快捷酒店,作为抢滩市场的策略。这项廉价预算的住宿,包含完整功能和基设,推广“精明、干净和简单”的概念。目前龙城快捷酒店分布在哥打京那巴鲁,怡保和槟城。

CHM也延伸扩展2项酒店式长居住宅,其中也包括吉隆坡市中心的米卡萨酒店(MiCasa All Suite Hotel)。

“这意味着我们有更多的选择。”虽然这名酒店业宿将身经百战,但他并不自满,犹如鹰隼般观察市场趋势,然后迈步命中目标。

“我们是不断历经各种周期的行业,脆弱而容易受到多方面状况的影响,从发展、政治,经济乃至疾病。他们必须始终警惕市场需求和变化,才能够将营销情报融入酒店策略”

另外,关键因素是这个领域总是鼓励与培训员工,尤其和他一样热爱行业者。这并非易事,具备类似热情的年轻员工占了少数,但林福庆绝非轻言放弃的人。“我将继续激励我们的人员,维持活力激情和完美专业,人力资源是行业最轴心的组成部分。”

至于展望未来,林福庆认为CHM将继续在亚洲主要城市寻找机会,建立符合投资组合的酒店,特别是3-4星级类别。他对EZ表示,他们期待在马来西亚内外增设更多酒店和客房。