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Friday, November 30, 2007

Malaysia's very own property dot com

When Asim Qureshi came to Malaysia for a holiday with his wife in 2003, little did he know that they would be moving to Malaysia and setting up a business here a few years later.

The Oxford graduate and British-born Qureshi, who is now marketing manager and co-head of said, “My decision to move to Malaysia was not only business. When I came to Malaysia on a holiday with my wife, we decided casually that we would want to live here some day.

Qureshi: The opportunity was staring me in the face

We were interested to buy a few properties but struggled to find what we wanted. "I realised that the Internet is an ideal medium to both buy and sell property - - it's instant, easy-to-list, and buyers and tenants can create narrow searches rather than waste time looking at long lists of properties. It will soon become the most popular method to find property in Malaysia — this view is supported by analysing trends in most developed countries. I felt Malaysia didn’t have the type of quality property website that I had seen in the UK, so the opportunity was staring me in the face.”

Qureshi resigned as vice-president of investment banking giant Credit Suisse in London to set up AIQ Global — a property management and development company, with his French wife. “Everyone at that time thought I was insane. But I’d say it has, so far, proven to be amongst the
best decisions in my life”, he added. They have since managed to purchase a few properties in Malaysia.

Kashif Chowdhree, an old friend of Qureshi, loved the idea of the website and assembled the team within days. Chowdhree, chief technology officer and cohead of my, is a highly experienced web developer whose previous work experience includes designing web
infrastructures for some of Wall Street's top companies including JP Morgan.

Chowdhree: Loved the idea of the website

Chowdhree said, “Our development team is working flat out at improving the website and the results will be obvious as each month goes by. Our website is already revolutionary in many ways — in terms of website design, the site’s components change their size according to the size of the screen, the way photos are displayed (you are taken through a slide show if you click on any of the property photos) and the way the search engine at the top scrolls away if it is not
needed. It’s the small touches throughout the site that make it a revolution in design. In terms of functionality, the site has everything from blogs to forums, articles to news and it’s free – it’s the combination for a property website that is revolutionary”.

He added that they wrote the property-related articles in the site including guides on selling, buying, renting and renovating property. Qureshi was unwilling to disclose what they would like to achieve in the future but added that they’re a very young and aggressive team.

“I believe Malaysia is going through a major upward property correction — a property boom. I think the strong increase in values we've seen in ultra-prime areas such as KLCC and Damansara Heights will spread to other parts of KL, and then spread throughout the country. Typically, in any property boom, the prime areas in the major cities go up first, the rest of
the country follows. The stock market is near an all time high, foreign investment is soaring, GDP growth remains robust — all the signs are there. These price increases will probably bring in further foreign investment, as well as create further interest from the domestic market, which will further increase prices and it becomes a cycle. All of this would of course be fantastic for — the more interest in Malaysian real estate the better”, said Qureshi, commenting on the current property market situation in Malaysia.

“Our primary targets are real estate agents, property developers and real estate buyers. We’re also soon to open up to a whole new target base soon, but if I told you about that, I’d have to kill you!”

By theSun (by Rosalynn Poh)

1 comment:

Anonymous said... looks really funky.