It used to be only select few Malaysian companies had the resources to venture abroad. Overseas ventures were a game only for the big players. Nowadays, going abroad is almost necessity for any Malaysian company looking for growth in profit. Malaysian companies are looking abroad to take advantage of the globalization following the rising labour costs and a limited domestic market – Malaysia only has 22 million people compared to countries like India and China which each has more than 1 billion people. There is also another factor to be considered. Liberalisation also forces open markets, giving more opportunities and competition around the globe in the spirit of globalization. Increasingly more foreign companies are coming to Malaysia hence the competition is also becoming stiffer in the domestic market. The YTL Corporation Berhad celebrated its 52th anniversary in 2007, and in more five decades since its inception, has grown from a small construction firm into a sprawling business empire that features five subsidiaries governing various operations. Today, YTL Corporation Berhad is one of the largest conglomerates listed on the Bursa Malaysia boasting a track record of 55% compounded growth since its listing in 1986, and together with its five listed subsidiaries has a combined Market Capitalisation of about RM30 billion (US 9 billion ). The companies are YTL Corporation Bhd, YTL Power Bhd, YTL Land Bhd, YTL Cement Bhd and YTL e-solutions Bhd. The company was also listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1996, the first Asian non-Japanese company to do so. 70% of the revenue from YTL Corp comes from outside Malaysia, therefore YTL Corp is pretty much a global player to reckon with. YTL Corp is an integrated infrastructure developer with core activities including power generation and transmission, owning and managing water and sewerage facilities, property and hotel development, cement manufacturing, construction contracting and e-commerce initiatives. In line with its strategy of acquiring regulated assets operating under long-term concessions, the Group owns a 33.5% stake in ElectraNet in Australia, a 100% stake in Wessex Water in the United Kingdom and a 35% stake in P.T. Jawa Power in Indonesia in 2004. YTL Corp also has cement manufacturing, property development and hotel interests in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
2.0 Building an Empire
In a true sense, to know a company we first need to know about the key people who manage the company’s success through their charismatic leaderships. The group was founded by Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay’s father Yeoh Cheng Liam in 1955. Yeoh, a charted builder, is a leading light of construction industry both locally and regionally. He has been the honorary life president of the Master Builders Association Malaysia since 1988 and is the past president and life member of the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors’ Association. Currently acting as the group's executive chairman, he is credited for the company's rise in the 1960s and 1970s before handling the reins to his son Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping. Francis Yeoh has been in charge of the group for over two decades, nurturing the company into the corporate titan it is today. Since being appointed managing director of YTL in 1986, his father's company, at just 24, he began YTL Corp's expansion and diversification first from construction into the cement manufacturing business and from there on into power generation and hotels. Francis Yeoh has transformed it from a single firm into six companies centred on construction and utilities, spreading as far afield as Australia's ElectraNet and the UK's Wessex Water. But it is his creativity in the world of travel that has most captured popular imagination: he is the force behind the Malaysian resorts of Pangkor Laut, Tanjong Jara and Cameron Highlands; in 1993 he became one of the partners in Orient-Express' launch of the Eastern &...
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