The team behind Illaria Hillside Homes

Nadia Zuraida 

From left to right: Muhammad Fahd (PMD), Lim Chee Kean (MSD), Muhammad Khaliq (PMU), Sueway Tan (MSD), Cindy Tan (MSD), Winson Ooi (MSD), Marcus Yuen (MSD). 


On the morning of 9th September, all of us in Menara Gamuda received a pleasant surprise, being greeted by balloons, coffee and cakes. The Illaria team definitely knew how to make an impression for a product launch. 

Behind every great product, there is a team transforming an architectural vision into a reality.

The team behind the new Illaria hillside homes comprises a young and dynamic group from Product Management Unit (PMU), Project Management Department (PMD), and Marketing and Sales Department (MSD).

What inspires you to do this? 

Sueway, Winson and Marcus (MSD): The product itself is attractive, so, prior to the special preview for staff, we wanted our colleagues in Menara Gamuda to start talking about Illaria. Word-of-mouth is a more convincing way to project an image of Illaria. That’s how the idea to do a nice surprise came about. It was satisfying to see happy faces on that day, everyone’s expression was priceless! 

Khaliq (PMU): For us, it is more of creating a product that we know can meet the new norm of what people want for their homes. We conducted preliminary research to understand how the market has changed, and the outcome – home design and layout are shaped by the post-pandemic trends. It is exciting as this will be the first time that we are tasked to re-think our home space.

What were the challenges faced by the team? 

Khaliq (PMU), Jess and Fahd (PMD): We had to be agile and quick to adapt to many changes within a short timeframe to roll out Illaria according to the new market norm. There were many limitations especially when we had to do rounds of discussions to plan and design – all these happened during the MCO when everyone was working from home. Our team come together under the guidance of our General Manager, Chu Wai Lune to deliver Illaria. We anticipate a growing need for flexible home design where people can easily convert their homes into a working space, an extra bedroom for the grandparents, hobby room or children’s study area – all these were incorporated into the new Illaria design. 

Winson (MSD): Similarly, we were racing against time to roll out Illaria. We had finalised our plans to reach out to people digitally during MCO as we did not know when it will be lifted. Upon entering RMCO, we adapted our plans, sought vendors to fabricate our material as well as planed the detail of our guerrilla marketing to maximise impact. Besides that, our team also needs to look into submission to local authorities for plan approvals, advertising permits, etc. This is still an on-going process for us. 

How did you overcome the challenges? 

Khaliq (PMU), Jess and Fahd (PMD): We had many discussions with our management as well as took reference from news and research that are available online to consider the criteria of a good home based on people’s changed lifestyle. Also, our team members contributed their own lockdown experience so we took them into consideration when designing Illaria. Ultimately, we went through the list and deliberated the best approach for planning this phase before finalising the plan. It was an arduous process but necessary for us to truly breakthrough with a product that is compatible with the new norm. 

Winson and Marcus (MSD): Over the years, we have worked with many vendors and they were helpful to take on this challenge with us to design and print our marketing material, to fabricate our Illaria booth set-up as well as the gift boxes and balloons. We also planned the logistics to deliver the surprise to our colleagues who are based on site. The team came together to overcome all obstacles to achieve a successful pre-launch registration drive for Gamuda employees. We received good responses and enquiries for Illaria in the two ensuing weeks. 

Would you say that the campaign was successful? 

Sueway, Cindy and CK (MSD): Definitely! The pre-launch we had at Menara Gamuda definitely got people talking about Illaria so I consider that was a huge success for the team! The staff preview event on that very weekend received an overwhelming response as many people were curious about Illaria. 

How would you describe the whole experience on this product development and launch? 

Khaliq (PMU), Jess (PMD), Sueway and Cindy (MSD): It was very challenging, yet it felt so rewarding when the digital launch gained so many registrants! Under the leadership of our GM, we learned a lot and motivated each other to overcome conflicts. We always believe that when we respect each other’s differences and opinions, the work outcome will be great because we are able to assess ideas more holistically. That’s the power of teamwork which the team had from the start. Hopefully, we can keep up the momentum for the upcoming official launch of Illaria! 

“No task is too great, no accomplishment too grand, no dream too far-fetched for a team. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.”  
John C. Maxwell