Datuk Lai Voon Hon
Life is full of failures and successes, this is how we can learn and grow. To ensure we continue to achieve success, we need to have big dreams in life so that we can continue to strive to achieve our dreams despite setbacks and obstacles.— Datuk Lai Voon Hon
Datuk Lai Voon Hon is group managing director of Ireka Corporation and a recipient of Malaysia Tatler’s Most Promising 2004 award
The man who was once recognised as Tatler’s Most Promising in 2004 begun his venture into the hospitality industry by opening the Westin Kuala Lumpur that same year, to much acclaim and accolades. “I vouched there and then that the award would further inspire me to introduce more innovative products to Malaysia’s hospitality scene,” Datuk Lai Voon Hon says. Since then, Ireka has proceeded to develop 3 trend-setting hotels—Aloft KL Sentral, Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan Hotel, and the RuMa Hotel and Residences, which opened late last year.
“I am happily surprised by the speed we have achieved the #1 spot on Trip Advisor in less than 5 months since the soft opening. I was trying to create a uniquely Malaysian hotel with not only local design characteristics but also our renowned, charming hospitality, and I am happy to say that the final product has largely met my expectations.”
With environmental sustainability uppermost on his mind, he ensures that Ireka’s projects are benchmarked to Green Building Index standards. In his mind’s eye, Ireka will continue to do its part by placing great emphasis on sustainability in all their design, development and construction activities. In the mid and longer term, it will also actively promote a new business direction of providing urban transportation solutions to cities, towns and urban communities using green technology. “We hope that by promoting better connectivity and the use of public transportation, we can help contribute to improving the overall sustainability of our environment through lowering the use of fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint,” he says.