Wilson Lim Wei Han ensures business vibrancy in HDB towns as a Senior Commercial Properties Manager. An HDB Undergraduate Scholar, he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Economics from the National University of Singapore, where he is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Business Analytics.
If you are a Singaporean, chances are, you would be staying in public housing. Indeed, these apartments, affectionately known as “HDB flats”, are home to over 80% of Singapore’s resident population, with about 90% of these resident households proudly owning their home.
Most definitely, HDB flats are one of the country’s most iconic features and they have been an integral part of the local culture and way-of-life.
Established on 1 February 1960, HDB’s mission was to provide sanitary living conditions to replace the unhygienic slums and squatter settlements that were prevalent during that era. HDB has since evolved beyond just building functional dwellings; it is now creating homes and transforming towns to create a quality living environment for all.
One of the individuals driving this transformation is Wilson Lim Wei Han, a Senior Commercial Properties Manager at HDB.
Start of a Meaningful Career
An HDB Undergraduate Scholar, Wilson had applied for the HDB scholarship while interning with HDB in the 2nd year of his undergraduate studies. When asked what drew him to HDB, he explained, “I was interested in a role that could make a positive impact on society.”
He added: “I wanted to be with a company that is part of Singaporeans’ everyday lives. HDB’s role in housing a nation and building communities was what attracted me to the Statutory Board.”
His decision to join HDB was further affirmed by his experience during his internship, when he was engaged in meaningful work and positive interactions with his colleagues.
“I was serving an internship at HDB when I applied for the scholarship. The enriching 10-week internship convinced me to pursue a fulfilling career here. The satisfaction you gain from the job is definitely much greater than what a simple paycheck can offer.”
Wilson graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Economics in 2015. His quest for knowledge continues, as he is currently pursuing a part-time Master of Science in Business Analytics at his alma mater under the HDB Postgraduate Sponsorship. He has found the programme to be very beneficial, observing that “Data science and econometric coursework has equipped me with new knowledge and skills in distilling empirical evidence to improve our commercial policies and plans.”
Creating a Positive Impact
Wilson reviews commercial policies to ensure that the residents’ needs are met. He also undertakes research and carries out feasibility studies for commercial redevelopment projects.
Notably, he is part of the team that develops HDB Neighbourhood Centres. These centres provide a range of retail, dining and childcare facilities for residents. Currently, Wilson is involved in the development of Northshore Plaza in Punggol, which will have technological features at different touchpoints to provide a better experience for its visitors.
“While I am trained as a data scientist and economist in school, my work is very diverse and interesting, and extends beyond just these fields. I have opportunities to plan the commercial facilities in a town, design policies that affect the commercial landscape, make use of data science and econometrics techniques to perform quantitative analysis, and play the role of a shopping complex developer and be involved in construction decisions.”
“More recently, I was involved in the outreach to shopkeepers on social distancing measures and the planning of assistance measures to tide Singapore through the difficult COVID-19 period.”
On his most significant achievement at HDB so far, he said: “I was fortunate to be part of the team that developed Kampung Admiralty, an integrated development that won a number of awards for its innovative concept. The project inspired me to think creatively and constantly challenge myself to come up with new innovative solutions for our residents.”
The out-of-the-box mindset and drive for innovation are not limited to just Wilson and his team. He said that HDB as a whole, has a strong innovative work culture.
“To encourage an agile workforce, supervisors are supportive of new ideas and empower staff to take charge.”
For students keen on taking up scholarships, Wilson encourages them to join him at HDB. Beyond creating a positive impact, the organisation gives scholars the chance to learn constantly and experience a wide range of work.
He elaborated: “HDB is a large organisation with various arms that work on different aspects from town planning to policymaking.”
On having a successful career at HDB, he advised prospective scholars: “To keep up with the times, I have learnt that workplace transformation must start with me, and each of us as individuals in the organisation. The work in HDB is very exciting and dynamic, but this also means that we must be willing to adapt and constantly upskill and reskill ourselves in order to effectively contribute towards the achievement of HDB’s mission and objectives.”