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A Master Years In The Making

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How does the Director of Operations at United Malayan Land Bhd Zulkifly Garib feel about the property industry? He describes it in one word – Interesting.

With an engineering background, Zul as he likes to be called has a natural knack for building things from the ground up.

A true blue engineer at heart, Zul says, “I got into property, I got hooked,” telling how property is hand in hand with engineering and how they complement each other. Four years now at UM Land, Zul has more than 15 years of experience in the property field under his belt. Having served under various corporations like UDA Holdings and PLUS Expressway Bhd, Zul had more than sufficient time to master the ropes of the property industry, most notably from his 10-year stint with Land & General Bhd.

Zul took a moment to reminisce when he used to work with their very own Razeek Hussain, the current CEO of Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, when he first stepped into the property circle saying, “He was my first boss.”

Today, as Zul holds a firm rooting in the property scene, we had to ask, “How was it like to climb the ladder thus far?” He answered with a smile, “It’s mostly luck and opportunity,” being the light-hearted and enthusiastic man that he is. I could see where he was coming from, as opportunities don’t come on a silver platter in life, continuing he said, “One just needs to know when to take those opportunities and advance.”

As we sink into an even more relaxed conversation, I asked Zul what are his principles in life, “Family, family is first, I really need to spend less time at work,” he answered jokingly. Zul really does appreciate time spent with his family when work allows him to, as work would sometimes bind him down. He goes on to say, “Being more productive at work is the best way to find more time for the family.”

In business, his top priority is honesty, “Never short-change your customers,” he says, explaining that property at the end of the day is all about the customers and their belief is the key to any business’ success.

It has been smooth sailing for the most part of Zul’s career but not without a few bumps along the way. It was very much a learning process; he encountered projects which did not live up to expectations, experienced the trials of pleasing a wanting customer and even felt helpless in face of financially stricken projects. But all in all it has been a fruitful ride for Zul, as he has managed to cope and take his chances well. Today the man stands proud where he is, an avid learner and an ever ready leader, a product years in the making. “Being more productive at work is the best way…”