ARMED with only a primary school-education, Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong has managed to transform Hunza Properties Bhd into a group worth more than RM770mil after its privatisation in 2016.
Note that when the group was listed in 2000, its net tangible assets were valued at about RM80mil.
The Penang-based developer is a recipient of the World Chinese Lifetime Achievement Awards for Leadership In Property Develop-ment and Shopping Complex.
Khor ventured into the property development business with RM500,000 capital in the mid-1970s.
Prior to that, he was in a different sector.
He started his first fish trading company, Syarikat Soon Seng Fisheries, when he was only 16 years old.
Over time, his business expanded into processing and exporting of frozen seafood under Soon Seng Frozen Foods Sdn Bhd, which generated approximately 3,000 job opportunities in the Kerian District in Perak.
Khor’s venture into the property development business was not smooth-sailing.
“Soon after investing in the first piece of land, the country entered into a serious depression, which affected my business plans. This was the most challenging experience in my life.
“I had to streamline the core business, which was in the processing and exporting of seafood, to pave the way for Hunza Group of Companies,” he shares.
Hunza Properties Bhd was one of the first property developers that listed on Bursa Malaysia after the Asian Financial Crisis.
In 2013, Hunza Group successfully completed Gurney Paragon, a landmark shopping mall on the Penang island.
To date, Khor has built over 10,000 units of houses, shophouses, condominiums, medium-cost apartments, and low-cost flats in his career as a property developer.
Khor, who is the founder and executive advisor of Hunza, received the award during the recent World Chinese Economic Summit 2017 on November 13 in Hong Kong.
The World Chinese Economic Summit Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2011 to honour individuals who have made significant contributions in their respective field of work.