How I Travel: Kelvin Lim

19 Apr 2024

Kelvin Lim is the Executive Chairman, Executive Director, and Group Managing Director of LHN Group

For most, traveling overseas is a once- or twice-a-year affair. But then there are the frequent fliers who are literally living out of suitcases, jetting off at any given moment – for both work and leisure. In this issue, we speak to a handful of jetsetters who let us in on why and how they travel. In addition, they share tips and tricks on making the most out of a tight schedule and packed itinerary.

Tell us about yourself, what you do, and how many times on average do you travel for work and leisure in a year.
I am the executive chairman, executive director, and group managing director at LHN Group, responsible for business development and overall management.

We focus in space optimization, property development and investment, facilities management, and energy business – with space concepts such as Coliwoo and Work+Store, our co-living and self-storage businesses respectively. The unique value of our Group is such that we run an integrated array of businesses where one entity supports the efficiency of another, which in turn derives value from yet another – tapping on the synergies of space optimisation.

On average, I travel about 10 times a year for work and leisure.

What are the main reasons for your work trips? Can you tell us how you manage and organize your schedule to ensure you get work done within a limited amount of time?
My work trips often involve visiting suppliers and purchasing materials. I also take this opportunity to meet the local teams to discuss project progress and observe their needs and challenges in daily operations.

Traveling is an excellent opportunity to observe and learn new concepts. Insights from each trip help me shape the direction of our business offerings, especially in today’s ever-evolving consumer landscape, merging the diverse facets of my experiences into a cohesive vision.

This is especially applicable to our Coliwoo brand as we seek to optimise residential layouts, inspiring our strategy of breathing new life into once-forgotten buildings, furnishing living spaces with beautiful yet functional design, while maintaining their structural integrity. Evidently seen through our 19 Coliwoo properties, particularly Coliwoo Orchard and Coliwoo Hotel Pasir Panjang. 

To ensure that I can complete my work within a limited time, I often prepare a detailed schedule for each day before my trip.

(Related: How I Travel - Aimee Philips)

How do you maintain your energy level, especially if you have a packed itinerary? What kind of leisure activities to you usually fit into your schedule?
When I'm traveling, I make it a point to stick to my exercise routine, sleep schedule, and healthy diet. This helps me maintain my endurance for a packed itinerary. I believe that being efficient with my time is more important than having a lot of it. By committing to my itinerary and staying focused, I am able to accomplish all the tasks on my checklist.

During my leisure time, I enjoy sightseeing and exploring local landmarks. Additionally, I take this opportunity observe the way people conduct businesses and interact with their environment to gather insights for my next space concepts.

When traveling for leisure, what destination do you find yourself always returning to and why? Can you also share some of your bucketlist destinations?
Destinations that I tend to return to are cosmopolitan cities with a good blend of modern and historical architecture like Japan, Hong Kong, and London. I find it fascinating to witness different eras and histories coexist. It requires a lot of efforts and creativity to maintain the balance between preserving the old values and showcasing new ones.

While I currently do not have a bucket list of destinations, I’d be very keen to visit place out of this world, literally! Somewhere like Kepler-442b where it can supposedly support life. Perhaps I can derive at new living concepts from there!

Any important tips/advice that you personally follow to make sure your travels – whether for work of leisure – are stress- and hassle-free?
Be sure to have proper research in order to prepare a detailed itinerary and stay committed to it. By doing so, you’ll be able to utilise your time wisely to be able to accomplish what you want to do and see.

I've also learned that location plays a pivotal role in the overall travel experience. Proximity to transportation hubs, cultural attractions, and local amenities is important.

Staying in well-connected neighbourhoods not only saves time and energy but also allows for a more immersive and efficient exploration around the area – and that is often a consideration we factor in when identifying locations for our Coliwoo properties.

If we go through your carry-on luggage, what kind of essentials will we find?
Medication, toiletry kit, pen and journal, eye mask and earplugs, travel adapter and cable, portable charger, earpieces, warm clothing,  and my laptop.