Get to know our EXCO: Mark Low

Mark Low is Vice President of Product and Strategy, keeping innovation in product design at heart and maintaining Urbanland's leading position in the competitive market. 
Over the past five years, Mark has played a pivotal role in propelling Urbanland and HKA+ Partners forward with his experience in architecture and design.

In this interview, we have uncovered the untold story of Mark's responsibilities, revealing intriguing facts about him that most people are unaware of. It has been an awe-inspiring journey, delving into the depths of his experiences and accomplishments and highlighting the remarkable person he truly is. Buckle up for an unforgettable ride through the life of this humble individual.

Can you tell us about the journey of your career and how you started with Urbanland?

Fresh out of graduation in 2001, I started my career as an architect in Singapore. Since then, I've been working in architecture and design for over 20 years. Prior to joining Urbanland, I've worked as a design architect, a resident architect on site, a project architect, an architect of record, a project manager for a developer, and a property development consultant. It was during my last job as a property development consultant that I got to know Urbanland.

At the time, I started off consulting HKA+ Partners and working with them on the first phase of the KMH Park masterplan, as well as the designs for the first generation of KMH Shophouses, K Mall, and ISI Tower. Gradually, I was asked to work with Urbanland to look at product development, starting off with Borey Chankiri. I worked with Urbanland and HKA in this capacity for about one and a half years.

Over time, as I got to know Urbanland better, I realized that their focused approach and dedication to driving positive change and enhancing the lives of Cambodians deeply resonated with me. Inspired by this, I made the decision to join Urbanland full-time at the end of 2019 and become a part of this transformative journey.

What is your professional philosophy?

Generally, I like to be as prepared as possible for any given enterprise. Which means constantly trying to stay abreast of the things happening around you, making sure you have the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with the things you're likely to encounter at work, but also trying to look at trends and try to imagine the knowledge and skills you might need in the future and try to acquire them ahead of time when you might need them.

Having said that, while you can try to prepare as much as possible for your work, in today's fast-changing and uncertain business environment, covering every eventuality is impossible. So, a certain amount of flexibility and agility are needed to navigate the work environments of both today and tomorrow.

You have been working with Urbanland as well as in Cambodia for some time now; what are the important yet lasting lessons you have learned in life and your career?

Through the course of the last 20 years, I've had the privilege of working in many countries in ASEAN and the Asia Pacific, and what I've learned is that every work scope and environment is different and carries with it its own unique characteristics, challenges, and quirks. As such, it's important to be open-minded and receptive to different work methods, cultures, and norms.

Cambodia is a country in transition, and in many regards, Urbanland and other companies like us are at the forefront of this transition. As such, we are constantly balancing on the edge of pushing and staying within boundaries, testing, and experimenting with the limits of what is possible and what is acceptable. This makes it a far more difficult exercise than following an established formula for what works or what success looks like. Nonetheless, the lack of an established rule set in some ways also presents lower barriers to innovation and execution, which makes Cambodia an exciting place to work.

If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I often pondered whether I should have been more focused during my younger years, as I bumbled from one job opportunity to another in pursuit of engaging and fulfilling work. In hindsight, though, these "unfocused" moves took me to interesting places and presented unique opportunities in work and life. So, all things considered, I will remain focused on moving forward and unafraid to seize opportunities for change when they present themselves.

What are your dreams for the future?

The same dream I have had since forever is to enjoy and savor every part of life, be it the people around me, especially family and friends, the work I do, the food I eat, the places I visit, the nature I immerse myself in, and the countless other simple pleasures and experiences.