Founded by the Penang-born Dato’ Roslan Khalid, an entrepreneurial architect-turned-developer with over thirty years of experience in the industry and more than RM850 million GDV of completed and successful projects, the KB Group is an investment holding company specialised in property and resort development. Besides property development, its businesses are numerous and varied: construction, project management, hotel and retail management. The group can count on several fully-owned subsidiaries, as Kinta Berkat Sdn. Bhd. and AsiaSwiss Hotels and Resorts Sdn. Bhd., which add to the expertise of the whole company.
Let’s see how it all started.
‘It was not an easy journey, but I never gave up’ – The origins of KB Group Holdings
It was 2000 when Dato’ Roslan Khalid decided to start his own development business to answer the crisis that had affected the Malaysian market just a few years before. Long-time architect with many important projects on his shoulders, he was a PAM Gold Medalist at the School of Architecture in UiTM, achievement that earned him a position as Assistant Architect at a famous firm, Seniwisma. Known to be a hard worker, the ‘Seniwisma Express,’ as he was named by colleagues, recalls of that period: ‘I would probably be working in the office putting in 48-hour working sessions without sleeping, three or four times a month.’
Perhaps that is the reason why just a couple of years later he was appointed Senior Manager in charge of property development projects for a Chinese developer. He worked on the design of about 1,000 units of houses in Sime UEP Subang Jaya, on Mutiara Oriental, Puteri Villa, Putera Villa, Wickham Manor and the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in the Klang Valley. But the crisis struck hard and at the age of 31, facing the possibility of losing his job, Roslan Khalid set up an architectural consultancy, AK2 Runding Sendirian, with two other architects. It was 1987.
Some years and an MBA later, he went on to establish his property development company, which is now completing a luxury resort for families and businessmen in the region of Perak. Ramada Lumut is the name.
‘We want an integrated resort where adults and children can have a full day of fun’ – The Ramada Lumut Resort
Located in front of Lumut forest, the Ramada Lumut Resort will stand between mountain and sea, offering a wide range of activities and amenities for both adults and children. Indeed, the concept and main inspiration revolves around family. A 4.7-acre resort in Perak that includes not only a swimming pool or a gym, but also wall climbing, flying fox, trekking, rafting and island hopping.
The resort will house 269 serviced apartments (786 – 1,824 square feet), 170 serviced suites (380 – 532 square feet) and seven exclusive forest villas (1,949 square feet), with a starting selling price of RM400,000, or RM770 psf, and a guaranteed net rental return of 72.9% over a 10-year period. The project will be completed by the end of 2018 and, upon completion, it will be backed by Wyndham Worldwide, the world’s largest hotel company with 7,700 properties in seventy-one countries.
Yet Dato’ Roslan Khalid’s plans do not stop here. He has more aces up his sleeve.
‘The east coast… has more upside potential than other coastlines in the peninsula’ – The plan moving forward
Apart from the Ramada Lumut Resort, the KB Group is also working on another project: a five-star spa hotel in Ipoh, with an estimated GDV of RM600 million. It will consist of two towers, the name has not been chosen yet. The two projects have Dato’ Roslan Khalid’s full attention: ‘It is important for us to focus on these two projects. I want to ensure everything is in order and has good quality, and we deliver what we promised to the buyers.’
This is just the beginning. ‘We will start in Penang, and then move to other states in Malaysia,’ says the founder of the KB Group, adding, ‘Those experienced in investments know the crisis is not the end of the world. Things will turn around in the next one or two years.’