Name: Robert Marek
Position: General Manager
Company: Mulpha International Bhd
Former hotel General Manager with 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Robert’s last posting was as the Director of Operations at a 5-star rated Conrad Hong Kong. Robert was then roped in to become the General Manager of Mulpha International Bhd’s Leisure Farm in November 2013 to raise the level of service and comfort offered to residents. The development is a luxurious integrated strata township that boasts lush landscaping, round-the-clock security and a host of resort-style facilities. Since taking charge, Robert has guided the development to win many prestigious property awards, making Leisure Farm a much sought-after piece of real estate.
You have worked at many world renowned hotels around the world like Shangri-La and Hilton so why the abrupt career shift from the hotel world to property development?
When Mulpha approached me to manage Leisure Farm, I was living in Hong Kong managing the Conrad Hotel. During the interview process I was brought to Leisure Farm and fell in love with the place. I saw the enormous potential and strategic location of Leisure Farm and wanted to be part of this development. Who would not want to work and have the opportunity to live in such a beautiful unique place!
What are the special features at Leisure Farm that sets it apart from other developments?
Leisure Farm is a low-density development complete with parks, waterways and lush gardens. It has a unique Club house featuring facilities such as a stunning infinity swimming pool, a kids’ zone with playground and children’s pool, a fantastically equipped gym, a Pilates Studio, a huge multipurpose field which is used for football, rugby and cricket, tennis courts as well as one softball court. The stables are just adjacent to the Club house featuring picturesque and nice riding facilities through the orchards and lush green gardens all just within Leisure Farm. We are also proud to have KindiZoo Nature Play located at our Bale Club House. They are the first Kindergarten to bring the Forest School concept to Malaysia providing nature-based inquiry and play sessions for children.
Is it challenging to sell your products?
Not really, as most people who visit us fall in love with Leisure Farm which makes the job of our sales team much easier! We are different compared to most developers out there, offering a variety of products which is attractive to a variety of people. The strategic location near Tuas and also close by to Edu-city has established Leisure Farm as one of the most popular places to live for families who move to Iskandar Malaysia because of their children’s education.
What are your thoughts on Iskandar Malaysia’s development as a whole?
I believe Iskandar Malaysia is a unique place with its strategic location next to Singapore. It is exciting to see all these changes over the past few years and knowing there is so much more in the pipeline. All these newly added facilities and future projects will attract more people to move here to live and do business. I believe it is very much comparable to Shenzhen located just of Hong Kong which grew from a small fishing village to metropolis. I strongly believe the same will happen with Iskandar.
What is the makeup of your residences, more locals, Singaporeans or international?
We have about 38 different nationalities living at Leisure Farm, so it is a very international mix of residents. The previous scenario was that many people invested years ago for retirement or holiday homes, but this has changed dramatically over the past years with mainly young families moving to Iskandar Malaysia because of work or education for their children. All this adds on to the demographics.
The property market as a whole has slowed down for the past year. Is Leisure Farm affected by it or is it business as usual for you guys?
Yes, the past year’s business was slower however, over the last few months we can clearly see that the market is turning around a little as the demand is getting stronger again. All the private schools around Leisure Farm help us a lot to bring people to Iskandar region and luckily they really enjoy the safe and green environment that Leisure Farm offers.
The HSR is among the highly promoted benefit of the region, how do you think it will impact Leisure Farm?
We believe the planned station with its CBD located so closely to Leisure Farm will certainly add enormous value for our residents and hopefully attract more future buyers.
What does Robert do when he is not busy being the General Manager of Leisure Farm?
Having spent years in the hospitality industry, Food & Beverage is one of my passions. My wife and I love to explore the huge variety of restaurants and local food stalls in Johor. Other than that, in my spare time I love the outdoor environment and take most of the opportunities to go and explore the fascinating and stunning nature in Malaysia.