10 min­utes with...

ASHISH MANCHHARAM, founder and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, 8M Real Es­tate (8MRE)

Epicure - - EPICURE NEWS -

What’s the sig­nif­i­cance be­hind the name ‘8M’? The ‘8’ in 8M refers to in­fin­ity and the stylised ‘M’ rep­re­sents an open door­way to in­fi­nite op­por­tu­ni­ties.

As a real es­tate de­vel­oper, how have you helped to breathe new life into the lo­cal F&B and bou­tique ho­tel scene? The two busi­ness lines re­quire two dif­fer­ent vi­sions. For the ac­com­mo­da­tion strat­egy, we’re cre­at­ing a smart and lean al­ter­na­tive stay prod­uct by fo­cus­ing on qual­ity rooms, good de­sign and great value while keep­ing the op­er­a­tions tight. By us­ing new digital tools like self-check in and key­less en­try, we al­le­vi­ate the re­liance on the front desk, al­low­ing our hosts to bet­ter fo­cus on the guest. As land­lords, we strive to keep up the mo­men­tum in Singapore’s thriv­ing F&B scene by cre­at­ing ideal spa­ces for tal­ented restau­ra­teurs, fo­cus­ing on in­fra­struc­ture, lo­ca­tion and phys­i­cal cu­ra­tion, so that they can con­cen­trate on find­ing qual­ity man­power.

Some of our most suc­cess­ful and no­table projects in­clude his­toric en­claves like Ann Siang Hill, Gem­mil Lane, Amoy Street, Hong Kong Street and Tan­jong Pa­gar Road.

Does your affin­ity for shop­houses stem from hav­ing grown up in one?

Yes. I grew up in a shop­house, my fam­ily has been in­vest­ing in shop­houses and work­ing at them for years, so they not only hold sen­ti­men­tal value for me, but also cap­ture my cre­ative and busi­ness imag­i­na­tion. I get very ex­cited think­ing about the un­locked po­ten­tial of a new con­ser­va­tion project. The plan­ning and de­sign phase is very chal­leng­ing and re­ward­ing. Cre­at­ing a fresh, func­tional and in­spir­ing prod­uct out of some­thing fun­da­men­tally old while re­spect­ing the in­tegrity of the space is some­thing I’m in­cred­i­bly pas­sion­ate about.

What do you look for when ad­ding a con­ser­va­tion prop­erty to your port­fo­lio? Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion. I love walk­ing the streets of Singapore be­cause prices aside, we need the right sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture too. We know ev­ery cor­ner of the ar­eas we in­vest in, and that’s the key to our suc­cess. Whether an MRT cur­rently ex­ists or is in the pipe­line, is an im­por­tant fac­tor in our de­ci­sion mak­ing process. With this laser-sharp fo­cus and on-the-ground ex­per­tise, we make metic­u­lously in­formed in­vest­ment de­ci­sions. Our prop­er­ties are al­ways within five min­utes of trans­porta­tion hubs, so that we can con­cen­trate on the Down­town Core where peo­ple live, work and play.

What’s your weak­ness when it comes to food?

As a true Sin­ga­porean foodie, my com­fort foods are straight from the hawker cen­tre – chicken rice and car­rot cake.

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