12 December 2019
ACV15: From Corporate Lawyer To 7 Michelin Stars And 5 Boutique Hotels (Loh Lik Peng, Founder of Unlisted Collection, Part 1)
Dynamic hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng (instagram: @pengloh) was born in Dublin, Ireland. He attended Law school in England, University of Sheffield and Postgraduate at London School of Economics followed by bar exams in London before returning to Singapore in 1997. Loh became a corporate litigator upon his return before leaving the profession to step into the hospitality industry. Since then, Loh has started ventures across Singapore, Shanghai and London under the umbrella of his company, ‘Unlisted Collection’. Presently, he has 27 restaurants with a combined 7 Michelin stars and 5 hotels across 6 countries.
On this podcast, I talk to Loh Lik Peng about building a team with decentralised leadership, finding unique locations for his projects and balancing passion with practicality.
3 THINGS I LEARNED
- Fear is a crucial element of success. Loh notes that the times he was complacent were the times he fell flat on his face. So having some level of fear is essential in keeping you at your best, by forcing you to constantly re-examine why you are doing what you’re doing.
- Take things one step at a time. You are never going to have every issue solved when you start a new project, and navigating the learning curve often means taking one step forward then two steps back. All you need to do is keep going, address problems as they come and not mess up too badly along the way.
- Make choices for you. In building his first hotel, Loh was guided by his own interests and desires for a hotel, not necessarily to be successful. It’s this thinking that helped him find a gap in the market between 5-star and budget hotels, and inspired his room design choices.
- Hotel 1929, Singapore – Loh’s first hotel: https://hotel1929.com.sg/
- Keong Saik Road – Infamous former Red-Light District: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keong_Saik_Road
- New Majestic Hotel, Singapore: http://new-majestic-hotel.bestsingaporehotels.net/en/
- Asian Financial Crisis 1997: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Asian_financial_crisis
- Global Financial Crisis 2007-2008: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932008
- Town Hall Hotel, London: https://www.townhallhotel.com/
- Waterhouse Hotel, Shanghai: https://www.designhotels.com/hotels/china/shanghai/the-waterhouse-at-south-bund
- Wanderlust Hotel – Singapore: https://www.uniqhotels.com/wanderlust-hotel
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Outbreak: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome#Outbreak_in_South_China
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