Persuasion, built on the strength of his own passion, helped Datuk Choy Wai Hin convince his daughter Yuin Yi to join the family business. The pair now helm Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown, bringing a blend of experience and fresh perspectives to the hotel that opened on Dec 2.
Choy, 56, is executive director of Masteron Group of Companies, which built and owns the hotel, and Yuin Yi is the legal manager. Eight months after joining the integrated property developer last January, she was made director of its hospitality division. Her first task was to procure supplies and equipment for Four Points.
“To [whom] much is given, much is expected,” Yuin Yi says with a laugh, when asked about the responsibility placed on her 27-year-old shoulders. “It was just timely because I was working outside the family business for a while and came back to this great opportunity. The advantage of being relatively inexperienced compared with everyone else is you do not have a set way of doing things. I just want to learn from everyone.”
Hospitality may be a steep learning curve but with her eye for detail, procurement is not exactly alien turf for the former associate with Skrine in KL. “I think my dad hit the nail on the head. With my legal training, I can scrutinise all the quotations and read them five times over to make sure we are not being overcharged and that the terms and conditions are watertight.”
Parents who are big on travel and holidays abroad in “the best hotels” have given Yuin Yi pointers on quality linen and the like. It helps that her mother, Datuk Yeoh Soo Keng, started her own career in procurement as well and offers guidance.
Bringing experience to bear is right down Choy’s alley, too, because another arm of the family business is Bursa-listed Federal International Holdings Bhd (formerly Federal Furniture Holdings) where he, the first of three children, cut his teeth. A civil engineer by training, he was six months into working life abroad when his father, Datuk Dr Choy Fook On, “shanghaied” him home in 1988 to help with the business he founded in 1962.
Yuin Yi, herself the eldest of four siblings, convinced Choy that she was ready. The training and professionalism she has acquired through law shows, says her proud parent.
“You were so good at convincing me to come back,” she laughs, before turning aside to whisper, “He’s done well — he’s got two down, two more to go.” She was referring to brother Kin Mann, 26, and sisters Jann, 22, and Quan, 19, both of whom are still in university.
“I think that just seeing the passion dad has for everything he does and all the hard work he has put in — that kind of inspired me to come back and help out. I want to learn the ropes while he is still actively involved in the business,” Yuin Yi says.
Four Points by Sheraton KL
, part of the Marriott International group, has ample room for the third generation to take over and define new working relationships, and draw upon the parent-child dynamic to make good things happen. Add to that its location, where rejuvenation — anchored in Chinatown’s history and heritage — is the buzzword today and they are on the right track.
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