Wargabiz had the opportunity to speak to Dato’ Aw Yong Kai Jan, founder and also Chief Executive Officer of JYC Holdings about the construction & property industry and also what it takes to thrive in the current economic situation.
Dato’ Aw Yong had his roots in construction since he was a young kid. His father was also a main contractor for various developers. However, his father met challenges during the 1997 financial crisis and decided to step out of the construction industry. Years later, he somehow steps back into the construction line, resuming what his father did best.
“I have no interests in school and being fresh out with no proper qualifications, I didn’t have much choice. So I started being an apprentice for a contractor. It was not easy. I had to get my hands on, laying bricks or pouring concrete. Then at one point, unfortunately, my boss at that time passed away due to a disease and I decided to step out and set up my own company.”
JYC: Growing from a sub-contractor to a main contractor
And with that, JYC was started in 2008. JYC stands for JY Creative, and the acronym J & Y actually stands for Jan and Yuan, which are the names of Dato’ Aw Yong and his wife, who are also the founder and co-founder of the company respectively.
JYC then went on to bag local construction jobs around Seremban, and subsequently grew from being a sub contractor to become a main contractor. As the business grows, JYC continues to expand their portfolio, being awarded jobs to participate at Genting Premium Outlet, Genting Cable Car stations and also the Bukit Dukung MRT Multi-Storey Car Park. But it doesn’t stop there, as Dato’ Aw Yong seeks to lead the company to greater heights.
“We like to deal with challenges. We are always thinking on how to grow as a corperate. And it so happened that we were given the opportunity to be a developer. And I thought, why not? That’s how we stepped into the developer role.”
From building houses to building a brand
Speaking about the differences and challenges of JYC’s new role, Dato’ Aw Yong says that it is indeed a new experience for both him and the company, highlighting the amount of work and the time as well as the financial backings required to execute a project.
“As a main contractor, it’s just about ‘production’. We build the house and hand it over to developer and we are done. But as a developer, so much more are involved from the inception, followed by obtaining the land parcel, getting permission from authorities, and to design the building, up to the marketing strategies and sales of the project, you have to works extremely careful in order to be resilient in the market.”
Aspire to be creative and different from the rest
Being a rather new name in the property developer line, Dato’ Aw Yong highlights that they are always looking to be creative and different from the rest, in order to compete with the other more prominent players.
“Others are always looking to start new projects around the ‘golden area’. Instead, we look to make our projects ‘golden’ and special for our buyers. For example, this Bayu Temiang project, we chose to build a condo in the Seremban town, which is the first condominium in Temiang with facilities and brisk taking environment. Another example is our Merdeka Residensi at Kuantan. Upon completion, it will be one of the tallest building standing in the middle of town and offers extraordinary night view of the city.”
JYC provides top-notch service
Besides, Dato’ Aw Yong also pride their roots not as just a quality contractor, but offers alternatives to construct at cheaper price without compromising quality standards. As the builders behind the scene they used to be, they understand the importance of delivering quality builds to their customers with the price at comfortable level.
“We were involved in construction. We know what kind of workmanship developers and buyer expect from us. Hence, we would deliver nothing less. For me, it’s about ‘3 wins’ in every project. A win for the buyer, a win for the developer, and a win for the main contractor.”
Tough times and how to tackle it
As COVID-19 impacted almost all businesses across the globe, Dato’ Aw Yong says that the property industry is no exception. It was because as the economy shrinks, people tend of tighten their belts and reduce spending.
However Dato’ Aw Yong quoted, “how worst it would be or how terrible the market will be, there are strong belief that potential customer had the foresight to hunt for good product where we are quite confident and optimistic with”. He added, developers are always creative with ideas and packaging the sales in order to attract people, thereby it should not be that negative as it always see rainbow after the rain.
Recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic
But the business had to go on. Dato’ Aw Yong say although it is tough, he is thankful that his team stuck through the thick and thin with him. He is also thankful for the investors trust in him. And as business resumes, besides going with the usual promotions, JYC decided to market the business with a more creative approach.
“As I said previously, we are always looking to do things differently. So we thought, instead of waiting for people to walk in to our sales gallery, why not we bring it to them? And that is how the idea of our ‘Mobile Sales Gallery’ was conceived.”
As the name goes, the Mobile Sales Gallery is much like every property road show you’ll find in every shopping mall, except that it goes on wheels. Built inside a truck, JYC moved the Sales Gallery across various locations, to promote their projects to potential buyers across the whole peninsula Malaysia.
Words of wisdom
When asked about advices for those who want to venture into the construction line, Dato’ Aw Yong advises youths to be determined and persistence in whatever they’re doing. He reinstate that the path to success are always going to be challenging and tough. There are no easy ways and shortcuts.
“Do not give up on small challenges. Remember, no pain no gain. If you want to ‘gain’ something that is big, be prepared to endure corresponding kind of ‘pain’. Stay focused on the goal and work towards it.”