Being thankful for who he is and where he is now, Dato’ Colin Tan June Teng, the Group Managing Director of Hatten Group owes his gratitude to his parents and H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Being well-versed in the art of business, Tan was not only well equipped with business strategies and plans but also in having a humble heart. In a recent interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, this outstanding University of Dublin graduate shares his life story and insights on how he has journeyed to become a successful entrepreneur.
Dato’ Colin Tan will never forget how his father and Guru had imparted their wisdom and knowledge to propel him to become the successful young entrepreneur that he is today. “My father is a man whom I look up to in many ways as his experience in life and business is abundant. He also taught me what it takes to be successful and to be well respected by others,” says Tan. Among the lessons his father taught him was to work diligently, be confident, persistent, maintain integrity, and most importantly, to be humble and be grateful. “My Guru, Tsem Rinpoche of Kechara has also never failed to remind me on how important it is to be kind and generous by helping others,” Tan adds.
Tan is a firm believer in giving back to society thanks to the teachings of his Guru. This can be seen in the many charity works and corporate social responsibility activities that he is carrying out. It is because of his Guru’s teachings that he has learned how to value the importance of connecting with and giving back to the community. Therefore, Hatten also focuses on giving back to the community. CSR activities are constantly organised to raise awareness on the environment, health initiatives and social welfare. After graduating from the University of Dublin with a degree, Tan gained valuable experience in the knowledge he needed to pursue what he wanted.
“My father, Datuk Wira Eric Tan acts as a mentor to me and my brother; Dato’ Edwin Tan is an invaluable help to me in the area of business. This has stood us in good stead in the property development sector,” says Tan. The Hatten Group, established in 2005, had accomplished great success since its formation 13 years ago. Soon, the brothers were granted the chance to begin a property developer company in Melaka. Their first opportunity to start a project was in the form of an abandoned shopping mall in Melaka. It has now evolved into the well-known Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall with around 17 million shoppers a year. The Hatten Group has also grown dramatically and has become Melaka’s leading property developer. They were also ranked among The Top 10 Property Developers of Malaysia and are listed on the Singapore Exchange.
Hatten forms a group of companies which are involved in property development, asset management and strategic investments. The name ‘Hatten’ means ‘growth and development’ in Japanese and it signifies its mission and vision in growing and advancing to be a market leader across multiple industries and delivering value to their stakeholders.
Hatten now owns and operates mixed integrated developments, shopping malls, a number of joint venture developments in Johor and Seremban. International investors are welcome to be part of its vast growing connection.
A number of Hatten projects are still ongoing. This includes the Phase II of Hatten City, which consists of integrated mixed development, Imperio Mall and Imperio Residences. The Imperio development, with a gross development value of RM1.16 billion, has a unique cascading rooftop track for joggers and runners to enjoy in the midst of nature’s beautiful landscapes and fresh air. Hatten is also looking to launch the final phase of Harbour City, by the end of June. This unique development which consists of a mall that has each of its floor replicating different ocean platforms; Trenches, Abyss, Midnight, Twilight, Sunlight and Coastal while atop the mall podium is Melaka’s first indoor and outdoor theme park. Harbour City is built in the form of a cruise ship and was inspired by Melaka’s maritime history.
Apart from that, another project which Hatten is currently working on is the Satori mixed-development which represents Hatten’s first step in venturing into health and wellness tourism. Hatten not only wants to provide physical treatments but also services and facilities that contribute to inner peace in order for people to discover balance in mind, body and soul. It will house 192 unit residences, a premium 336-unit suites and a wellness mall podium. Meanwhile, the interior will include top-notch facilities such as a meditation hall, spas and traditional medication while the exterior will comprise a mixture of parks, herb gardens, stone walks and sky lounges among nature. This will enable Satori to stand out in the tourism health market and thus create opportunities for investors.
Besides its newly-launched Satori development, Hatten also has an upcoming project in Cyberjaya as a step further into the health tourism sector. In addition, Hatten’s other new projects also includes an upcoming convention centre, the Melaka International Convention Centre project. Tan is working towards making Hatten a household name for property investments on a global scale and he is looking to expand to Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and China. Other than that, Hatten also has plans to grow its education, arts and culture division.
Hatten’s success is also due to its constant innovation, teamwork, exploring undiscovered investment areas and maintaining quality standards. The group has won over 50 international property awards such as the Top 10 Property Developers in Malaysia as well as an Outstanding Developer for Southern Region. Another milestone which was proudly achieved is the successful completion of the Hatten City Phase I development which consists of a mall, 2 hotel blocks and Hatten’s first residence project, SilverScape Residence. The Group is also planning to expand its business within Malaysia and other parts of South East Asia. The growth of Hatten inspires Tan very much. “I would gladly encourage young entrepreneurs to dream big and that nothing is impossible to achieve,” remarks Tan.
As a property developer, one of the most notable challenges Hatten faces is to stay above the competition. This is one of the reasons why Tan focuses his attention on Hatten’s brand of quality, integrity and innovation to ensure the Group’s sustainability. “I also strongly emphasise on teamwork, motivating each other while working towards a similar goal and vision. Our vision, ‘Building Tomorrow Together’, is about making a positive impact and enhancing the standard of living, adding value and boosting the economy.”
Another challenge faced by Tan is achieving a desirable work-life balance. “As a father, I want to be there for my kids. However, work has taken a lot of my time. Thus, I try to integrate both as much as I can. I’m blessed to have an understanding wife who is strong-willed and takes care of our kids and household with grace. Her support has been an enormous help to me,” says Tan with a distinct note of gratitude in his voice. Meanwhile, on a personal basis, Tan is glad to have fulfilled his father’s dream of having a listed company.
When asked on his advice for young people who are just starting out in business, Tan has this to say: “Nothing is too big or too bold, if you believe; plan ahead and remain focused. You will succeed and achieve your goals. You would also need to stay persistent and try not to give up at the slightest challenge or obstacle and even negative feedback from critics. Most importantly, remember where you came from and the people who helped you along the way. In return, we must also lend a helping hand to other entrepreneurs in their journey to success.”