Hubert Burda Media

Prestige Heads East: Erica Lim

When love and a sense of belonging override passion and childhood dreams

“I’ve always had a strong passion for language, especially Japanese. It allows me to connect with the fascinating culture and people of Japan. Also, it gives me a new perspective to see the world. By the age of 14, my dream was to lead a life in Japan,” Erica Lim replies regarding her childhood ambition. “And seven years later, upon completing my degree in Australia, I was able to pursue my dream and embarked on the journey to Japan.”

Erica continues to narrate how she was beyond bliss to be able to indulge her everyday life studying and working in Tokyo. However, everything changed when she received that one fateful call from home. “To me, joining Interland Properties is all about timing and opportunities. When my father asked if I was interested in helping him in his new business venture in property development, I thought to myself, ‘it’s a new challenge but let’s do it!’”

However, the mystery remains on her willingness to sacrifice her childhood dream just to head back to Sabah. “Throughout my time abroad, I’ve learnt different ways of doing things and know that while I can be flexible, I need to be rigid too at times to get things done effectively,” she laughs, adding that she initially had a reverse culture shock during the first few months back but quickly felt right at home again. “No matter how much love I have for Japan, the sense of belonging was never there. Here, I can immediately feel my roots; it’s a place I can truly call home.”

And to that, the witty youth has been vigorously learning the tricks of the trade. “No doubt that I’m grateful towards my parents who are able to provide me with a solid platform to move forward in life. It’s easier to stay in your comfort zone but it pays to leave. You have to go the extra mile from there to carry yourself to the next level; or at least be on par with your parents,” Erica explains.

Being part of a property development company parked under the umbrella of TP Group, which was founded by her father in 1975, Erica proudly informs that Interland Properties has just completed its first development, namely Harrington Suites, earlier in April and was awarded The Best Condominium by the Asia Pacific Property Award last year. “As a first-time developer, we are extremely honoured to be given such a recognition and this is definitely a big milestone for the company.”

While sales and marketing is her main portfolio, Erica reveals that she was fortunate to have participated in some of the technical meetings and provided her two cents during the initial design phase of the project. “I’d learnt so much just by watching and listening,” she replies gratefully, “also, the experienced and senior directors are very encouraging. They’re constantly supportive and always ready to provide me with strategic guidance.”

Presently, the company is seeking opportunity in the hospitality industry and already has a project in the pipeline. “It’s still at a preliminary phase but we are extremely excited and will be announcing more details in the near future!”