Just last year, a thunderstorm ravaged parts of Bukit Jalil and sent fellow Malaysians into a state of shock.
I’ve always felt that Malaysia was getting hotter and hotter as years go by. In fact, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded 2016 as the hottest year ever recorded since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.
I began to contemplate my purpose in this world as an entrepreneur. In Christmas 2016, we made the conscious decision to appoint the Picha Project as our caterer. They are a social enterprise. The food was prepared by refugees from war-stricken countries who were seeking refuge in Malaysia. This deliberate decision not only brought food to our table but helps to support refugees who were unable to provide for themselves.
This spurred me into building a social enterprise. A business that serves the people, saves the planet and provides profit at the same time.
And so the story started to unfold after a conversation with Calvin Ngai, a friend who is a veteran in the accommodation management industry.
The Power of Collaboration
I’m passionate about education while he is passionate about hospitality. How do we combine two seemingly polar opposite interests?
We thought of combining our strengths to create a hotel that stands for what we believe in. We created Artisan Eco Hotel, an environmental-friendly hotel based on the concept of upcycling. The hotel will feature upcycling elements in the hotel. Travelers and adventurers will be educated on how to turn trash to treasure in a stylish manner.
But first, what is upcycling?
Upcycling is the clever reuse of discarded objects or materials. It is aimed at creating a product of higher quality or value than the original.
An example of upcycling would be the Artisan Eco Hotel logo, built entirely from discarded wine corks.
There are even more upcycling examples I’d like to show you. But I’ll leave it as a surprise at the launch of Artisan Eco Hotel.
How viable is this idea?
According to a survey by TripAdvisor.com conducted with 1,300 U.S. travelers,
62% often or always consider the environment when choosing hotels, transportation and meals.
69% say they plan to make even more eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months.
64% of respondents said that they rarely or never feel informed about whether hotels are truly eco-friendly.
Location of Artisan Eco Hotel
Calvin called me in January 2017 and told me that he found an ideal location.
It is located just a mere 250 metres away from Sunway Lagoon.
Within close proximity to Sunway Pyramid and Sunway Convention Centre.
In 2015, Sunway Lagoon recorded 1.5 million visitors,
and is expecting double digit growth from the Greater China market.
His existing 3-star hotel venture is Resort Suites at Bandar Sunway. It is just within walking distance from the proposed location.
Considering all of the above, we figured that this was the perfect place to kickstart our new enterprise!
The Birth of Artisan Eco Hotel
We started speaking to friends who are interested in the idea of co-owning a hotel. Friends with similar core values that wanted to contribute to this business. Eventually, people within our circle started to get involved. Artisan Eco Hotel made upcycling easy, accessible and convenient for everyone.
We brought in other partners to build this idea together.
One day, Calvin posted this on his Facebook.
Existing Progress Updates
As we see our social enterprise come to live, we are excited to look out for like-minded partners to join us. Individuals or companies who are into upcycling, environmental awareness and green governance – we want to work with you!
If you’re interested to joint venture with us in our future projects, please drop us a call at +6012-6728073.
This story is as told by Jonathan Quek, first published in www.jonathan-quek.com.