SGX Market Dialogues

Author: SGX   |   Latest post: Wed, 31 May 2023, 10:47 AM


LHN: Optimising Space for Live-Work-Play Paradigms

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For real estate veteran Kelvin Lim, the twin touchstones of adaptability and diversification are critical to future-proofing a business, and ensuring its continued success amidst constantly evolving industry dynamics.

“Adaptability and diversification are key to the success of any business,” said Lim, the Executive Chairman and Group Managing Director of SGX-listed real estate management services group LHN Ltd. 

“When I joined the company in 1997, its focus was subleasing of spaces. However, I understood that in any kind of business, diversification and adaptation are important for sustainable growth, especially in a fast-changing environment like Singapore. We cannot simply focus on one industry because if we do, our growth will be limited,” he recalled.

“As a result, from a humble set-up with a simple business model of subleasing family-owned warehouses or factory space to industrial users, LHN has expanded into space optimisation, with facilities management and logistics services, to supplement the Group’s operations.”

In the same vein, Lim, who has accumulated over 25 years of experience in the property leasing, logistics services and facilities management businesses, believes in being an open-minded and versatile leader. He was appointed the Group’s Executive Director and Executive Chairman in 2015.

“The world is ever-changing, but with an open and flexible approach, we are always mentally prepared to overcome any challenge,” he added.

LHN has grown from its humble saw-milling roots into a real estate management services company, listing on SGX Catalist in April 2015.

Under its Space Optimisation segment, LHN secures master leases of old and under-utilised commercial, industrial and residential properties, and through re-designing and planning, transforms them into more efficient usable spaces. These properties are then leased out by the Group to its tenants.

“This allows us to grow the business without the enormous capital outlay associated with property acquisitions,” Lim pointed out.

“We further enhance the value and functions of these spaces by providing a full range of value-added services, such as facilities management, car park management and last-mile delivery service, which offer our tenants safe and conducive environments in which to operate and achieve maximum returns from their core business activities.”

LHN’s Facilities Management segment offers cleaning and related services,  including pest control, repair and general maintenance, and car park management services to properties the Group leases and manages, as well as external parties. This business segment also offers energy management and worker’s dormitory management services.

The Group’s Logistics Services segment was established in 2003, and initially provided transportation services for base oil and bitumen to oil majors in Singapore.

“Today, we are Singapore's leading ISO tank logistics and transportation provider, with a self-owned fleet of over 400 vehicles. We offer container depot and container depot management services at four large container depots in Singapore and Thailand, with a capacity of up to 27,200 TEUs,” Lim noted.

With its niche market focus and strong financial performance, LHN Logistics successfully listed on SGX Catalist on 29 April 2022.

“Thanks to our lean and agile corporate structure, we have the advantage in trying new things, learning fast and moving forward. That’s why we’ve constantly explored new areas, and kept ourselves ahead of the curve,” he added.

Leveraging Co-Living Trends

So far, the Group’s outlook remains bright, thanks to rising demand for co-living and self-storage spaces. “The pandemic has resulted in an increased uptake of co-living spaces from local working professionals, young millennials, Singaporean couples and foreign expats,” Lim noted.

“Given these trends, we aim to gradually expand our Space Optimisation business network by adding to our portfolio 1,000 co-living units annually and 1,000 self-storage units biennially.”

Aside from rolling out six Coliwoo properties in 2022, the Group has also unveiled a brand new Coliwoo Hotel concept through the launch of its first co-living hotel property at 40 and 42 Amber Road. It will also subsequently unveil 115 Geylang and 471 Balestier as part of the Group’s Coliwoo Hotel portfolio.

“Our co-living hotel concept will differ from a typical hotel, focusing on creating a community living experience for flexible stays,” Lim explained.

“We expect this segment to grow, with more expats returning to Singapore as borders reopen. We also aim to provide flexible and affordable residential offerings, on the back of the continued increase in rental rates in Singapore.”

For storage spaces, the Group’s Work+Store has seen a steady increase in demand from various target groups, including individuals/homeowners and e-commerce businesses. 

Work+Store is an innovative storage concept that meets the needs of small businesses requiring smaller workspaces with fully integrated storage capacity, accompanied by warehousing, facilities, and last-mile logistics services. 

“As the e-commerce industry continues to thrive, there needs to be a conducive all-in-one space for daily storage and logistical operations, to maximise productivity and efficiency,” he noted.

“This allows for greater flexibility, especially when our users need to upsize or downsize their space to minimise costs and hassle. We will continue to update our offerings – services and facilities – for this target group as their needs evolve in tandem with the growth of the e-commerce industry.”

For its Facilities Management segment, the Group will continue to secure more external facilities management contracts by offering integrated services covering estate and building management, repair, maintenance and cleaning, pest control, as well as sanitisation and disinfection to its customers. 

“We also plan to grow our market share in our carpark management business by offering smart parking solutions to optimise space utilisation,” Lim said.

In terms of its Logistics Services segment, LHN will continue to explore opportunities to expand its transportation fleet, container depot network and logistics customer base in Singapore, Malaysia, and rest of ASEAN.

“Overall, my vision is for us to be a S$500 million market cap company by the end of this decade, with a footprint that spans beyond Singapore, across the ASEAN region and Greater China, providing customers with the right solutions for every stage of their business life cycle,” Lim said.

Smart Talent Management

Despite robust prospects, competitive pressures remain intense, Lim acknowledged.

“Our strategy is to cultivate a lean, adaptable and innovative workforce that is in touch with the market, who can understand and anticipate what our customers need, and constantly evaluate suitable technologies to value-add our services,” he noted. “This has enabled us to compete effectively against our peers.”

Given the Group’s focus on developing its talent, the Great Resignation Wave that swept the globe in 2021 stoked management’s concerns of losing skilled personnel.

“Our employees are our most valuable asset. We believe highly skilled employees drive productivity, and happy employees grow business profit,” Lim pointed out. 

“Hence, it’s crucial for us to constantly look into the personal and professional priorities of our staff, listen to their needs, and support them in developing the career path they want to pursue. Apart from financial incentives, building a nurturing and caring work culture ensures they remain motivated and empowered.”

Apart from its day-to-day operational needs, the Group is also focused on meeting its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets. 

By restoring old buildings and recycling them into useful, modern spaces instead of demolishing them to build new ones, LHN is already advancing its ESG goals. “By doing so, not only do we increase their rental yield, we also save resources and reduce our carbon footprint,” Lim added.

The Group is also investing about S$1 million to set up 200 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across its properties over the next three years. Solar panels have also been installed across some of its developments. 

“We’re looking to cover most of our rooftop spaces with solar panels by rolling them out in at least three more sites each year. We’re also exploring energy storage solutions to utilise untapped electricity generated by our solar panels to supply power to EV charging stations,” he added.

Work can be all-consuming, but when this 45-year-old father of six is out of the office, self-care and family time are his priorities. 

“Maintaining a healthy body is fundamental to achieving mental strength and resilience,” he said. “That’s why regardless of my busy schedule, I try to maintain a strict exercise and diet plan.” 

Lim also makes it a point to spend quality time with his children. “My advice to my staff is this: Spend as much time with your family as you possibly can. A happy family brings positive energy and results in a great work performance,” he noted.

“A happy family is essentially the motivation for you to overcome all challenges in life.”


LHN is a real estate management services group, with the ability to generate value for its landlords and tenants through its expertise in space optimisation, and logistics service provider headquartered in Singapore. The Group currently has three main business segments: (i) Space Optimisation; (ii) Facilities Management; and (iii) Logistics Services. Under its Space Optimisation business, the Group primarily secures master leases of unused, old and under-utilised commercial, industrial and residential properties and through re-designing and planning, transforms them into more efficient usable spaces, which are then leased out by the Group to its tenants. The Group’s Facilities Management business offers car park management services and property maintenance services such as cleaning, landscaping, provision of amenities and utilities, and repair and general maintenance principally to the properties it leases and manages, as well as to external parties. Under its Logistics Services business, the Group provides transportation services, container depot management services and container depot services. The Group currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

The company website is: lhngroup.listedcompany.com

Click here for the company's StockFacts page.

For the full year ended 30 September 2021 financial results, click here.


About kopi-C: the Company brew

Text: Jennifer Tan-Stanisic
Photo: Company file

kopi-C is a regular column on the SGX Research website that features C-level executives of leading companies listed on Singapore Exchange. These interviews are profiles of senior management aimed at helping investors better understand the individuals who run these corporations.

For previous editions of kopi-C: the Company brew, please click here.  

For more information, or if you would like your senior executives to be featured on SGX Market Dialogues, please send suggestions to jennifer.t@sgx.com.


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