Datuk Mohamad Danel Abong, Managing Director, Global Upline Sdn Bhd
Datuk Danel recharges his CEO batteries every month at Vistage meetings. His renewed energy spills into business growth and life balance.
Datuk Danel Abong, finds it extremely refreshing for a CEO to stop and smell the roses every month. He relishes the monthly Vistage meetings where he can sit the whole day with other CEOs to get new perspectives, trade intellectual challenges and find solutions to problems.
Datuk Danel admits that he does not get any stimulus from business books or attending lengthy conferences. But he finds great motivation from Vistage meetings. ‘Day in, day out, you go through the motions in running a business, you can be in Zombie mode. Stop one day in a month and see what is around you, be aware of the surroundings,’ he explains. That, he summarises, is Vistage’s valuable contribution to his life.
An electrical engineer trained in Melbourne, Australia, Datuk Danel has his hands full overseeing infrastucture projects, mostly in East Malaysia. His company Global Upline Sdn Bhd secured its first turnkey project in 2000, building the Bintulu airport, Sarawak. The flagship project, completed ahead of schedule earned the company a sound reputation. Since then, the company has built projects worth close to RM3 billion covering hydro dam, highways, airport terminals and infrastructures and buildings. In 2008, Global Upline scored another first by building and owning a Four Points Hotel by Sheraton in Kuching, Sarawak. The 4-star, 12-storey hotel with 420 rooms was completed in an astonishing 12 months.
Looking back, Datuk Danel recalls that Vistage has helped him to structure his company as it grew through the years. ‘When you are small, the normal entrepreneur approach will do, but when growing fast, we need structure to deliver… Now my people know what to do without tripping over each other,’ he notes. The company’s management structure and ISO 9001:2000 certification keep operations in proper order.
As CEO, he continues to pay attention to growth potential for the company. Besides new projects, his challenge is to seek new building technology and equipment to deliver projects fast, without comprising cost and quality.
But it is not all work and no play. In his spare time, Datuk Danel indulges in hunting for great bargains in paintings, appreciating classical music and watching action movies. The monthly rejuvenation that he experiences from Vistage Meetings has made him more aware of other facets of life.
He has found it meaningful to give to the less fortunate by setting up his own charity foundation to provide assistance to poor students and schools in Kuching. ‘ I grew up in a family who was not well to do and had gone through hardship that I do not wish others to go through. I have been blessed with many achievements so far… I am aware there are still people who do not have enough to eat, so I give back to society by helping kids, and in my small way giving them a greater chance to succeed,’ he explains.