Newly appointed WTCA board director Irmohizam Ibrahim to position Malaysia as hub for business events industry

His primary goal is to strengthen ties between WTCKL and the global business community.

Irmohizam: Each phase of my career has provided unique insights and skills that played crucial roles in shaping my current one (Photo: Sam Fong/ The Edge Malaysia)

Options: Congratulations on your appointment to the board of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), the first Malaysian to hold this position, we believe.
Datuk Seri Irmohizam Ibrahim:
 Thank you. Being appointed to the WTCA Board was indeed a moment of great honour and responsibility for me. It was recognition not just of my individual capabilities but also of Malaysia’s significant role in international trade. I also feel a deep sense of pride to be able to represent the country on the global stage. Having said that, the honour comes with a responsibility to contribute meaningfully while upholding the values of the WTCA. My primary goal is to strengthen ties between WTCKL and the global business community and position Malaysia as a hub for the business events industry. I also envision creating more opportunities for young talents, capitalising on all our assets in this economy.

You have had quite a varied career path, from law to public service and now with WTCKL.
It has been a truly enriching and diverse experience. Each phase of my career has provided unique insights and skills that played crucial roles in shaping my current one. Law, for example, helped me develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills. The transition to public service instilled a sense of responsibility towards the community while emphasising the importance of contributing to the greater good. Now, with WTCKL, I can draw upon these multifaceted experiences to facilitate international business partnerships and contribute to economic development.

What was your original childhood ambition?
I just knew I wanted to positively impact society. Hence, the legal profession could provide a platform for advocating justice while contributing to the betterment of the community. Growing up in a village in Kampung Kuantan, Kuala Selangor, lawyers seemed to be noble. This was how they were portrayed in crime prevention television shows, anyway.


His primary goal is to strengthen ties between WTCKL and the global business community and position Malaysia as a hub for the business events industry (Photo: WTCKL)

You mentioned creating more opportunities for young talents. What advice would you give to those just entering the workforce?
Proactively cultivate diverse skill sets and remain adaptable in the ever-evolving business landscape. Competition is fierce so early preparation is crucial. Fill your toolbox with skills that are not only relevant to your chosen field but also transferable across different industries. Embrace and be committed to learning throughout your entire life. Building a strong professional network is equally important, so connect with mentors, colleagues and professionals. Above all, maintain integrity in your professional interactions, which is key to building trust and credibility.

Is there someone whose vision you look up to?
As per his biography, Elon Musk serves as a compelling example of an entrepreneur who has not only driven innovation but also emphasised the importance of partnerships and collaborations. His sustainable practices align with the current need for organisations to minimise costs while maximising profits in a rapidly changing landscape in order to survive.

What are you listening to right now?
Speeches by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes as I find inspiring and valuable insights from their perspectives, especially in the post-Covid landscape. Schwarzenegger is a legendary figure in both the entertainment and political areas and encapsulates determination and resilience. Fernandes, meanwhile, is known for his leadership in the aviation industry. I believe their combined resilience and acumen serve as a powerful source of motivation and incorporating lessons from these influential figures can only enhance our strategic approach at WTCKL.


Pagi tadi saya telah mengadakan mesyuarat bersama Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL), En....

Posted by Dr. Irmohizam Ibrahim on Friday, January 12, 2024


Do you have any key work memories to share?
In 2014, I had the privilege of accompanying a former prime minister during the bilateral diplomatic mission between Malaysia and China, marking 40 years of Malaysia-China relations. Meeting President Xi Jinping was an extraordinary highlight and gave me insight into China’s remarkable growth and development. Winning industry awards and accolades also validates my efforts and serves as a source of pride and motivation to continue striving for excellence. And this is not work per se but each of my graduation ceremonies — three PhDs and four masters degrees — represents the culmination of years of hard work.

What are your travel plans for 2024?
Quite diverse as they will include the WTCA AGM and 54th annual WTCA Global Business Forum scheduled for March in Bengaluru, India. The 63rd ICCA Congress will take place in Abu Dhabi this October. Beyond these engagements, I am actively planning visits to foster connections with international organisations within the business events industry. Complementing this initiative, WTCKL is poised to participate in renowned expos like IMEX 2024, emphasising a commitment to networking and collaboration. I am targeting more international exhibitions and conventions to be held at WTCKL and in Malaysia this year. This is in line with my aspiration to make both a legacy destination in the industry, which I hope will boost the country’s GDP in 2024.

Describe your idea of a perfect weekend.
My ideal weekend is a harmonious blend of rejuvenation and strategic preparation, weaving together moments of relaxation and readiness for the upcoming workweek. At its core lies dedicated family time, forming a strong support system crucial for achieving professional success. Engaging in activities that simultaneously soothe the mind and energise the body, such as cycling or hitting the gym, ensures peak performance in the demanding corporate sphere. I also derive great joy from caring for my pet fish. I have 13 koi in my pond at present, with several measuring approximately one foot in length.


This article first appeared on Jan 8, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.

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