Overcoming new challenges

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Mr Joseph Low, GM of Operations at Keppel Land Vietnam, appreciates the opportunities for personal growth and cultural exchange that come with living and working overseas

“A happy coincidence”, mused Mr Joseph Low, GM of Operations at Keppel Land Vietnam, when he recalled his posting to Ho Chi Minh City in 2014. Having explored a myriad of roles from helming the Asset Management team at Keppel REIT to heading the Corporate Development team at Keppel Land’s head office in Singapore, Joseph was keen to push himself further and readily seized the opportunity when offered a role in Vietnam.

Despite having been to Vietnam for business trips, Joseph had to grow new muscles to overcome the day-to-day challenges of living and working in a foreign land.

He shared, “Overseas experiences are wonderful in helping you break out of your comfort zone. Compared to Singapore, living and working in Vietnam is a whole new ball game. For one, it is more chaotic, which is a big change from the extremely structured and well-planned environment that I’m used to. There were also a lot of cultural and social norms that I had to learn – even for simple activities like crossing the road!”

Nonetheless, Joseph has assimilated well into the Vietnamese way of life. “With the help of my colleagues and new friends, I have learned more about the Vietnamese culture and have begun to appreciate its nuances,” he said.

For Joseph, the highlights of his time in Keppel Land Vietnam include leading the team involved in the opening of Saigon Centre retail mall in August 2016. He also has fond memories of working closely with colleagues to spearhead the launch of various projects such as Estella Heights and Palm City, as well as Linden Residences and Tilia Residences at Empire City.

“It is definitely a new experience working in a team comprising colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures. Banded by Keppel’s Core Values and Operating Principles, the team was able to overcome the challenges of working in a cross-cultural setting, and instead find strengths in our differences to achieve much more,” Joseph reflected.

In his free time, Joseph enjoys reading and jogging, interests that he had carried over from Singapore. These activities provide him with a sense of comfort and familiarity despite the huge change in environment.

“When I’m jogging or engrossed in a good book, I always feel at home,” he enthused. “Jogging also allows me to explore new and interesting neighbourhoods, and experience HCMC’s vibrant city life.”

With a positive and meaningful experience in Vietnam under his belt, Joseph remains open-minded to future overseas stints. He shared, “I am enjoying my work in Vietnam and have not given much thought to working in other countries after this, but who knows? After this experience, I’m eager for more adventures. We’ll see!”