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“Arrested” by His Calling

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When calling precedes ambition.

Richard Chan

Always sharp to think on his feet, Richard Chan is a man who has persevered through much obstacles, highs and lows to get to where he is today. The Director of RCMC Sdn Bhd and former President of the Association for Shopping and High-Rise Complex Management (PPK) from 1987 to 2006 always found that his passion was in retail. At a time when the industry was still in its early stages, an unexpected twist of fate has favorably brought him onto the path that he walks on today.

Richard was a manager at Ampang Park Shopping Center back in 1980 where he diligently spent ten years in this position, sharpening his skills on the way before moving on to manage Atria Shopping Centre in 1990. “We turned Atria around,” says Richard, who spent 4 years with Atria before heading to Penang to work with a developer where he acquired insights about the planning and development side of property. Richard then came back to Kuala Lumpur around the year 1999, where chance brought him to meet a friend that was in need of a mall manager but could not afford to pay a manager’s wage. As a favor to a friend, Richard agreed to take on the role of consultant; ironically, this is the spark that will eventually lead him to become one of the most successful retail consultants in the industry.

“I am very lucky to be able to do what I love. Even if it’s by chance, I have no regrets.”

Many would be surprised by the fact that Richard originally aspired to be a police officer when he was young. And a number more will be surprised that he actually joined the volunteer police force and resigned as Chief Inspector back in 2004. He continued his journey in property and retail where his true calling lied, and it was smooth sailing from there.

He describes his role as a consultant as providing clients with “comprehensive, A to Z information” leaving no stone unturned, provide data studies and give clients options for their next step. “A lot of developers think that we are agents. We are not agents, we are consultants,” Richard tells. He derives a great sense of accomplishment in what he does and helping the smaller retail fishes in the industry pond to grow provides him with great fulfillment.

“This is what I want to do. It is quite fulfilling to help the malls that are in bad shape and turn it around.”

When asked what his advice is on how to make it in the world today he says, “You have to be smart, and you must have passion in what you are doing.” He goes on to advice the younger generation to be more patient, “These young people jump from one company to another. Have patience, learn what you can. It will be more valuable.”

“You have to be smart, and you must have passion in what you are doing.”