Ed­win Chuang

Founder of Sáv Hos­pi­tal­ity

Prestige Hong Kong - 40 under 40 - - Contents -

Busi­ness­man, prop­erty ty­coon-inthe-mak­ing and hote­lier Ed­win Chuang does lit­tle by half mea­sures. When we spoke, his com­pany had just made the record-break­ing sale of Hong Kong’s most ex­pen­sive res­i­dence (a villa on Gough Hill Road) and opened a re­sort in Xi­a­men, but he’s most ex­cited about his re­sort in Cebu.

“We just launched our un­der­wa­ter project — we got some re­ally tal­ented artists and they’re do­ing a sculp­ture gar­den for me to place be­neath the sea near my re­sort,” he says. “We’re do­ing a 12-horo­scope project and sink­ing tons of sculp­tures un­der wa­ter, so when you dive down you can ex­plore the ocean and find your own horo­scope.

“We have an un­der­wa­ter mer­maid statue you can see on my In­sta­gram. It’s not just for tourists but we want to help to re­grow co­ral and marine life in the area — I’m very en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious.”

We love hear­ing from peo­ple who can com­plete the sen­tence, “I just bought an is­land… ” Help­fully, Chuang com­plies. “I just bought two more projects in Palawan — one is in Puerto Princesa, it’s 8 hectares of land fac­ing a nice beach area,” he says. “I also bought an is­land where we’re go­ing to put a ma­rina project, so we can do boat shows.”

Although Chuang used to be known as a hote­lier, he’s ex­panded his port­fo­lio to such an ex­tent that the old ti­tle no longer fits. “Ho­tels are just a part of what I was do­ing be­fore, but now we have a prop­erty in London, and prop­er­ties in Hong Kong and around Asia — so, we’re not just ho­tels. We de­velop and do in­vest­ments. Re­cently, my brother and I have been do­ing ven­ture cap­i­tal, look­ing to in­vest in start-ups. There’s one that caught my at­ten­tion — a wine app that’s launch­ing today for a trial run. I’ve in­vested in a cof­fee shop in Bangkok and then there’s… ” We can barely keep up.

Chuang is also forth­com­ing about ex­per­i­ments that didn’t go ac­cord­ing to plan. “Well, a gym I pre­vi­ously owned closed down,” he says with a sigh. “But I plan to re­lo­cate it to a new place off Cen­tral. I want to re­work that strat­egy and open in a month. I’m re­ally happy with my box­ing gym, which turns into a bar at night. It’s called Pa­per Street — the name comes from one of my fave movies, Fight Club. It’s a sports bar and I’ve got gi­ant screens walling it, so peo­ple can watch the big fights, soccer matches, any sport­ing event.”

Although seem­ingly in con­stant mo­tion, Chuang does get to re­lax with his crew oc­ca­sion­ally — but even then he’s on the hunt for what’s next.

“The two or three hours be­fore my lunch break are the most pro­duc­tive,” he says, “be­cause that’s when we get the most done. I like to take my staff out for lunch, walk around dif­fer­ent sites, and try dif­fer­ent restau­rants and ex­plore. There are so many new things com­ing out, so in or­der to be a good de­vel­oper, we need to look at what’s hap­pen­ing out there.

“Hong Kong is very fickle. You see a shop one day and the next it’s gone. Peo­ple are con­stantly com­ing in with new busi­ness mod­els and con­cepts, so as a de­vel­oper you must al­ways be on your toes.”

“There are so many new projects com­ing out, so in or­der to be a good de­vel­oper, we need to look at what’s hap­pen­ing out there”

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