Expert Series with Gerard Soosay – Importance of personalisation plus affordability

When it comes to Iskandar, the thinking is that only the Chinese developers (from China) are there. This is INCORRECT. There are many local developers there and they have to stand up to competition from both the international and other local players. One of them is Sunway Iskandar. They believe customisations to the home we want to buy can still be done, affordably. Today, we speak to Sunway Iskandar’s chief executive officer, Gerard Soosay.
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1)  Is customising your own high-rise unit something common outside Malaysia? If yes, where. If no, then why is Sunway trying out this new concept? 
We are not aware of any developers who are practicing a similar concept. The concept was mooted by the younger team who conducted research into the needs, wants and preferences of today’s millennials, We are heartened by their diligence and are proud of their courage to experiment with innovations.
Culturally, Sunway comes from a long history of innovation – with our Founder and Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Jeffrey Cheah AO, being one of the key advocates. Sunway City itself, as a City is undergoing constant evolution – from mining wasteland to thriving township, to Malaysia’s first sustainable township, to being the first private-driven smart sustainable township over a span of a little over four decades. As we continue to grow, technology and innovation will continue to be the foundation of our sustainability and also for the communities we serve. Besides the innovation teams we have in our business units, we have also recently set up the Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) which is specially tasked to harness the capabilities of our youth towards this.
2)  Who are the GRID’s targeted buyers?  Why do you say so? 
GRID’s targeted buyers are the younger demographic who are digital natives and are keen to adopt new concepts. They are also priced with the younger market in mind.
We designed this product to be appealing to the millennial with some unique features :
Vibrant colours : Most developments in Malaysia follow a “safer” or more “conservative palette with hues of grey, emerald, and blue being examples. Sunway GRID stands out with its yellow and black contrast, with yellow representing vibrancy and youth. This has resulted in a refreshing, cool place to live.

  • Unique floor plans: We have introduced the loft concept in Sunway Iskandar, where affordability is upscaled. Unlike the conventional 6-meter loft, we have have designed a 4.5-meter high loft with 772 sq ft built up along with two complementary car parks which would consume less energy for ventilation. The key highlight is that we allow customers to customize their number of rooms and preferred furnishing options – which appeals to However, the main selling point is we allow customers to customise their number of rooms and preferred furnishing option. This automatically unlocks the various possibility of customisation suiting to the target market.


  • Strategic Location: The project is located near to the centre of the Sunway Iskandar development; right next to the Marketplace Precinct, Big Box Village, Sunway International School, petrol kiosk, X-park and close to the Coastal Highway Southern Link.  Without needing to drive, residences may now enjoy these amenities within walking distance.

3)   Is it more expensive to do it this way? If no, then why are other developers not doing it? If yes, then why is Sunway doing it? 
Yes, with the build-and-buy concept, we are challenging conventional construction methods by allowing customization. However, the construction challenge was resolved by creating modular designs to cater up to three rooms for customisation.
We have controlled construction cost efficiently as we are building this project within construction grid line with the most optimum building efficiency. This is also how the project name originated.
We have always invested in innovations and will continue to do so. Innovations has served us well, as the foundation of our sustainability. We belief that in the long run, a concept such as this would deliver cost efficiency and service quality, and ultimately deliver improvements in competitiveness in the long-haul. Any business’s future now depends on technology.
4)  What is your expert view about the state of the property market in Iskandar currently?
While we are aware of the current cautious sentiments, but we believe that in the long-term, the demand will balance out. The population is expected to increase to three million in 2025, and we are business and investment-friendly nation, which would translate to more job creation. Sunway Iskandar is a long-term play for us, as it is with any of our other developments as we develop townships on a unique Build-Own-Operate model. With this model, we are co-investors and will seek to drive the growth of the township. In the next five years, we are investing another RM 1.1 billion into Sunway Iskandar.
5)  In your own opinion, would the RTS or the BTS help your developments in Iskandar?
Yes, connectivity, as we know is always a major factor for socio-economic success and the sustainability of this success. We anticipate the improved connectivity to Singapore and around the region itself to be beneficial to the development. These would shorten travelling times, from home to work for example; making it a very attractive alternative for people who are already commuting to work within Singapore itself. For Sunway Iskandar, our goal will be to link up or enhance these available public infrastructures. We have engaged Causeway Link bus to provide bus services from Sunway Iskandar to Singapore through the Coastal Highway Second Link (CHSL).
6) Tell us more about Sunway Grid?
Introducing market-driven innovations has been one of our key strategies for the Iskandar region. Prior to this, we have brought in the first Canadian (Ontario) curriculum in the southern region with Sunway International School, and built the first luxurious prefabricated homes in Malaysia using Japanese technology – the Sakura Residence homes. Sunway Property will look continuously to power Sunway Iskandar with globally-recognised elements. This includes Sunway GRID, the first build-and-buy home online concept, Big Box Village – the first large format retail village, X-Park -the first extreme park in Iskandar Malaysia, and the first infirmary for the community in the next phase of development.
The integrated Sunway Grid collection targets the younger demographic, and spans 5.2 acres. Our first project in the Marketplace Precinct, which represents the next vibrant and robust commercial area in Sunway Iskandar where the community can come together to exchange innovation; the residences is the first build-and-buy home online concept launched in the Malaysia and Singapore market. This concept will allow purchasers to customise their units online before purchase, which means that customers will be able to purchase and design their homes from anywhere around the world without visiting the show gallery.
The personalisation factor, combined with the most affordable price of less than RM400,000 in the vicinity of Medini, is expected to attract the influx of youthful demographic that is anticipated to be in Johor. The entire RM374 million GDV development comprise 501 units of apartments, 74 units of offices and 41 units of retail lots. The residences will be complemented with the Sunway GRID flexi suites and shoppes which is already open for viewing since June 2017, is designed for entrepreneurs and startups who require medium spaces for their commercial activities.
Always understand what is being offered before we decide. Here’s what Sunway GRID has to offer. 
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