Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) president and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah, executive director Liew Tian Xiong and team are in good spirits during a Zoom meeting with City and Country one Thursday morning.
“We do our best to stay upbeat and make the most of the situation. Granted, most of us are homebound [during the different stages of the Movement Control Order (MCO)], but we remain active and continue with our plans the best we can,” says Chang as he gives information on the group’s upcoming launches in 2H2020.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the group will be prudent and will launch products that cater mainly for the M40 group.
“In 2H2020, our launches will include high-rises under the new duduk brand called Huni D’ Eco Ardence and Se.Ruang D’ Eco Sanctuary, the 200-acre Eco Botanic II in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor [situated next to Eco Botanic township], and landed homes Co-Home at Eco Grandeur in Puncak Alam,” says Chang.
As at January 2020, the group had a cumulative sold gross development value (GDV) of RM19 billion (since FY2014), with a remaining GDV of RM68 billion and a remaining land bank of 4,376 acres. To date, EcoWorld has a presence in the Klang Valley, Iskandar Malaysia and Penang with 20 projects in total comprising a range of products that include affordable, upgrader and luxury homes, integrated high-rise developments and green business parks. Through Eco World International Bhd (EcoWorld International), the brand has also extended its reach to the UK and Australia.
“We are fortunate in that our future revenue position remained high at RM4.69 billion as at Jan 31, 2020, which will help sustain our cash flow and earnings pipeline during this period. We recorded RM305 million in sales in 1Q2020, which is an improvement over the RM230 million sales achieved in the first four months of FY2019,” says Chang.
“In view of the nation’s ongoing concerted war to contain the Covid-19 spread, which required all Malaysians to stay at home [throughout MCO], we have set an interim full-year sales target for FY2020 of RM2 billion.
“The sales target will be revisited as soon as the Covid-19 outbreak is contained and business activities normalise. This is with a view to increasing the target to ensure that the group’s future revenue position remains consistently strong.”
In response to the Covid-19 crisis and MCO, EcoWorld has activated its business continuity plans to enable its staff to work from home and follow up with customers, end-financiers and solicitors during the restricted movement period, according to Chang.
“The business continuity measures we have put in place will help ensure that once the MCO is lifted, we can hit the ground running with the signing of sale and purchase agreements for bookings received,” Chang notes.
“Our branding, sales and marketing teams will also be pushing hard to unveil both the new duduk brand and Eco Botanic II digitally and on social media channels, with active engagement of all leads generated to ramp up awareness and garner feedback throughout the MCO period,” he adds.
duduk will be the group’s highly anticipated project in 2H2020. Due to be launched by September, duduk will comprise two high-rise projects (priced between RM300,000 and RM450,000) in the group’s existing townships, namely Huni D’ Eco Ardence at Eco Ardence township in Shah Alam and Se.Ruang D’ Eco Sanctuary at Eco Sanctuary township near Kota Kemuning.
The brand will take advantage of the existing infrastructure, built environment and comprehensive amenities within mature EcoWorld townships.
“We strive to be nimble and innovative in our offerings, and we are excited to share our upcoming brand duduk. The idea for this concept first came about at the end of last year as we were getting a lot of enquiries about products that are priced below RM1 million,” says Chang.
“Our target market will be the M40 group and a younger demographic comprising first-time homebuyers, young professionals and young families.
“The products are spacious [1,000 sq ft] and with the attractive price range, value for money. We have studied the psychographics of this target group, and we find that most of them prefer a product that is convenient, practical and hassle-free, hence the units will have smart home features,” he elaborates.
“We have come up with a concept that is fresh and vibrant with amenities [minus unnecessary ones], without compromising on quality, design and our principles.”
Says Liew: “From a branding point of view, what we have to offer [with duduk] is strong. While the units are moderately priced, they are also about branding and lifestyle. duduk is an aspirational brand. The showrooms, kiosks and full-scale marketing collaterals are not ready yet, but once they are, homebuyers will be able to see the difference between the traditional EcoWorld brand and duduk — it will be more fun and approachable.
“The duduk products will also be leveraging the readily available amenities and infrastructures in our existing townships. The products will also be in the prime area [of the townships] and close to the existing parks, shop lots and so on. For example, HuniD’ Eco Ardence will be located just three minutes away from the main entrance of the Eco Ardence township, and not at the far end of it.”
Huni D’ Eco Ardence and Se.Ruang D’ Eco Sanctuary
Located on an 11.72-acre site, the freehold Huni D’ Eco Ardence has a GDV of RM645 million and will comprise 1,728 units of serviced apartments. Due to be completed in 2023, the two 32-storey towers will have units with a standard built-up of 1,000 sq ft with a layout of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Each unit will come with two car park bays and prices will start from RM393,000.
“The units will be semi-furnished, with master room wardrobe, lights and fans, kitchen cabinets, hob, two air-conditioner units, two water heaters and a washer dryer,” notes Liew. “The units will also have smart home features.”
Facilities will include a swimming pool, wading pool, gym, multipurpose hall, guardhouse, surau, playground, barbecue pits and a management office.
Se.Ruang D’ Eco Sanctuary will be situated on a 7-acre leasehold parcel and have a GDV of RM358 million. Due to be completed in 2023, its two 30-storey towers will have a total of 960 units with a standard built-up of 1,000 sq ft and a layout of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Each unit will come with two car park bays.
The units will also be semi-furnished, with lights and fans, kitchen cabinets, hob, two air-conditioner units, two water heaters and a washer dryer. Smart home features and master room wardrobe will be included. Facilities include a swimming pool, wading pool, gym, multipurpose hall, guardhouse, surau, playground, barbecue pits and a management office.
EcoWorld is sanguine that duduk will be a success. “For the coming years, we would like to concentrate on building homes and creating new ways of living within our projects. We hope our products will be more broad-based, people-centric and focused on community building. We will also continue to be innovative in our product designs and keep up with the current trends,” says Chang.
“We are extending our market reach with duduk. It is an exciting direction for us; we are confident that this brand is extraordinary and will be well-received.”