Space Crusader

The spatial revolution based on the new way we live, work, and play is firing up entreprene­ur Kelvin Lim’s imaginatio­n and fueling his quest for innovative spaces

- by Marc Almagro

Kelvin Lim admits to me that he was somewhat relieved to hear about Singapore going into heightened alert even for a limited time. With new restrictio­ns that reinstated working from home as the default mode, and reduced social gathering participan­ts to just two from the previous five, he hoped that things would slow down a bit. “I’ll finally be able to spend some time alone and do some reflection,” he says, an activity that didn’t fit in his packed social and work calendars.

At LHN Limited, a group of companies in property leasing, logistics services, and facilities management businesses, Lim does wear many hats: he is the executive chairman, executive director, and group managing director, responsibl­e for business developmen­t and overall management, including investment activities, operations, and marketing efforts of the Group. Despite teams of profession­als providing him with support, Lim, 44, is still expected to make the final call, and this is where the reflection bit comes in: Lim likes to constantly evolve new business concepts. These days he is thinking a lot about their self-storage business and how it can be elevated with value added service.

The e-commerce surge has raised the demand for storage facilities, but while e-retailers manage bulk orders efficientl­y in small offices their sizable merchandis­e still has to be handled and stored properly. “Besides storage space and management, we also provide our customers with a set-up within our facilities where they can do some paperwork, as well as last-mile delivery service,” he says. “I think most of them can now use a showroom to display their merchandis­e. Offices are having a hard time staying open, maybe some of them can be converted into display facilities,” he shares with recognizab­le enthusiasm.


Lim joined the family business in 2001 when his father was starting to rent out industrial space. The new venture was an offshoot of the family’s timber trading and sawmill businesses which by then had already waned. As their timber factory was converted into a warehouse, the family business gradually transition­ed into property leasing. Lim was just 20 years old at the time. “I had not finished school (at Singapore Polytechni­c) yet, but I was eager to go into business,” he recalls. His father did not oppose his decision. “He was actually supportive,” Lim says, “but he did not specifical­ly ask me to join him; I was the one who showed interest.”

But the young Lim also saw other opportunit­ies elsewhere, so that while his father ran the leasing business, he began pooling spaces to sub-lease. He entered into master lease agreements with a few landlords, repurposed the properties, and offered them to tenants. This allowed him to grow the business without the enormous capital outlay associated with property acquisitio­n. It also gave him the ideal speed to jump into sectors that were ripe with opportunit­ies.

LHN Group is made up of three business groups: Space Optimizati­on, Facilities Management, and Logistics Management.

Space Optimizati­on comprises industrial commercial and residentia­l spaces for lease, as well as creative spaces such as serviced offices, Greenhub, in Singapore and Indonesia; self-storage facility, Work+Store, in nine locations across Singapore, serviced residentia­l space, 85SOHO, in Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia, and co-living space, Coliwoo, in four central location in Singapore.

Facilities Management is made up of carpark management, LHN Parking, and Cleaning Services, Industrial & Commercial Facilities Management Pte Ltd (ICFM). Finally, Logistics Management includes transporta­tion and container depot management.

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