‘Not born with a silver spoon is never a hindrance to me ... On the contrary, it serves to inspire me for many a time, people tend to get carried away with the privilege of inheriting a legacy,’ Neoh, 41, tells Malaysian Business.
Although the development of his maiden project — The Heron Reside, in Bandar Bukit Puchong — coincided with the global economic meltdown, Neoh took the challenges well in his stride by completing the project comprising 290 units of service apartments eight months ahead of schedule in January 2008.
'When we approached banks as our end-financier then, many were not willing to be our business partners. We basically relied on self-funding with family members and friends chipping in,’ recalls the Penang-born Neoh who now helms Trinity Group as the company's managing director.
'But having proven our worth, the very same banks are now inviting us with open arms to establish business ties with them,' he added.
A graduate in Urban Regional Planning from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Skudai, Johor, Neoh who is also a Registered Town Planner, is thankful that he is gifted with a knack for identifying the right location for a development project. This coupled with his sense of observation and academic knowledge has proven to be a powerful business tool to Trinity Group.
'During my varsity days, I learned from prominent planning consultants the importance of right costing and delivering quality work,' he points out.
'Along the way, I also enriched myself with the knowledge of business operations and company structure, the need for environmental and traffic impact assessments and dealing with authorities for approvals, among others.'
Neoh nevertheless attributes his prowess in the property development sector to his 14 years of project management exposure with some of the most distinctive names in the industry. At the age of 29 —as he was broke as a result of the 1997 Asian financial downturn — a friend invited Neoh to develop the Vista Prima apartment project in Bandar Bukit Puchong. An instant hit, the Vista Prima project was sold at almost immediately and proved to be a steep but invaluable learning curve for Neoh. When he founded the Trinity Group in 2004, the company's vision was geared towards becoming an integrated boutique developer that is capable of delivering contemporary high-value offerings ahead of schedule and at the right pricing.
'My aspiration for Trinity Group is one of an evolving company on the cutting edge of modern trends and innovative designs yet strives to enhance the lives of customers and the community as a whole,’ philosophises Neoh.
Currently, the Trinity Group focuses largely on pocket-sized developments in the Kiang Valley region. After The Heron Residency, the company embarked on developing the 19 Residency, (also in Bandar Bukit Puchong), which consists of 24 units of three-story semi-detached homes was completed two months ahead of schedule. Having achieved a 79% score for Quality Assessment System in Construction (QLASSIC) ranks 19 Residency in the seventh spot among 262 projects assessed by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) as of Jan 6 this year. Trinity Group's biggest project thus far is The Zest, a residential and commercial development in Bandar Kinrara 9 comprising 720 units of service apartments spread over three blocks, 20 units of shop offices and 24 units of retail outlets. The commercial component is slated for completion by the first quarter of this year while the residential units are expected to be ready by the fourth quarter of 2011. Representing Trinity Group's maiden foray into industrial development, Latitude @ USJ 19 is a low-density, gated development of 14 stylish semi-detached factories (built-up sizes of between 7,613 sq ft and 8,057 sq ft sitting on lot sizes of between 10,987 sq ft and 16,751 sq ft) and one single detached factory unit that are centrally located in USJ 19, Subang Jaya.
A breakaway from conventional industrial designs, Latitude incorporates floor-to-ceiling windows for ample natural light, trailer accessible entrances, additional land for business expansion/ storage as well as two upper levels that can be used as an office or additional storage area. Targeted at end-product manufacturers in the medical supplies, apparel, food & beverage and plastic industries, the 2.3-hectare development is due for completion in first quarter of 2012.
After Latitude, the Trinity Group Bhd will embark on an innovatively designed high-rise residential project in Bukit Jalil, which Neoh describes as 'floating condos’.
According to Neoh, Trinity Group has no qualms in incurring additional cost for the use of cutting-edge technology, innovative design and imported building materials. 'Glass balconies may be pricey but sourcing them effectively from the right supplier can bring down the cost tremendously,' he rationalises. While profits are essential for business survival, Neoh always believes in imparting a decent degree of generosity to make his development projects more liveable.
'All our projects are built from the bottom-up, meaning there will be ample parking lots for residents as well as comfortable moving space within the compound,' he points out.
'Our customers deserve to experience quality living we hope amenities in the likes of additional parking space will in a small way help them in their day-to-day activities.'
The biggest communal contribution by the Trinity Group to date is the construction of a ramp to be built for the convenience of residents and commuters in the vicinity of The Zest development.
To be supervised by Trinity Group until its projected completion in August 2011, this RM7 million ramp will reduce commuters' travel time by an estimated 15 minutes while slashing travel distance to 8 km.
'The ramp is set to change the feasibility of travel in the locality of Bandar Kinrara, while providing ease to neighbouring areas such as Puchong, Old Klang Road, Bukit Jalil and eventually easing traffic in the Sungai Besi vicinity,' explains Neoh.
He also pays tribute to Trinity Group's young team, which boasts an average age Of 35 but has clocked industry exposure ranging from 10 to 15 years.
‘Our staff are people who have gone through the mill, result-oriented and have achieved great heights in their previous endeavours,’ adds Neoh.
To date, the Development Value (GDV) Of Trinity Group's completed projects stands at RM400 million while that inclusive of on-going projects is in excess of RM1.3 billion.
The company currently owns pocket landbanks in excess of 15 ha in USJ, Taman Melawati, Bukit Jalil, Cheras, Klang. ‘We are now in the acquiring stage of a piece of land in Serdang while having our eyes set on a big chunk Of land in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam.’
The criteria Neoh sets for land acquisition include development potential, economic impact, feasibility and the opportunity to create 'something out of the ordinary' for potential buyers.