Urban builder, 37
Giving a new lease of life to heritage sites and using the income generated to serve the community is what Zaini Osman, CEO of Warees Investments, the real estate development arm of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), finds most satisfying. Having studied architecture at the University of Melbourne, Zaini has always been fascinated with the built environment and heritage preservation — and it seems working in real estate investment has brought these interests together: At Warees, high-potential assets — some of which are heritage sites — are refurbished and income produced goes into initiatives for the poor. “The best and most rewarding part of this job is when we disburse proceeds to social beneficiaries at the end of the project, seeing the smiles and the positive change impacting their life,” he says. Zaini is now preparing for Warees’s year-end launch of a semi-detached cluster-housing development in District 10. Also in the pipeline are “built-to-suit heritage enhancement projects” in the tourist and conservation areas.