Leading the Way
Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria Steers Worldwide Holdings Towards Being a Key Player in Selangor’s Development
As a State-owned firm, under the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), Worldwide Holdings plays an important role in driving socioeconomic growth in Selangor, while being a profitable corporate entity at the same time. Under the leadership of Group CEO Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria, Worldwide Holdings has become a leading conglomerate in the State, focused on four core business sectors – property development, environmental management, medical devices manufacturing, and utilities.
Since joining Worldwide Holdings, Datin Paduka Norazlina rose up the ranks to become the organisation’s first ever woman Group CEO in 2008. Her appointment to the post was welldeserved, given her tremendous experience in various management roles in finance and administration, business development and corporate strategy.
Datin Paduka Norazlina also played a key role in growing Worldwide Holdings. In fact, one of her earliest contributions was to drive the list of the company on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) in 1990. This resulted in Worldwide Holdings becoming the first Selangor-state owned subsidiary to be publicly traded.
Since she has taken over the Group CEO portfolio, Worldwide Holdings has grown from strength to strength. For instance, the company has consolidated its position as a leading property developer, with a landbank of 1,700 acres valued at RM9.5 billion in the Klang Valley. In addition, it has also extended its reach overseas to Perth and Sydney in Australia.
In addition, Worldwide Holdings has also established its name in waste management,responsible for disposing and treating 6,000 tonnes of domestic waste in Selangor. In this respect, Datin Paduka Norazlina has spearheaded the company’s move in introducing innovative solutions such as building and operating Malaysia’s first ever sanitary landfill, repurposing closed landfill to a community park, rehabilitating dumpsites and commissioning Malaysia’s first ever power plant to use landfill gas (LFG) which produces 2MW power. Worldwide Holdings will be generating a total of 7MW of Renewable Energy from landfill gas when the next development phase is completed in 2020. The holistic approach adopted by Worldwide Holdings contributes to greenhouse gas reduction and ensures sustainable development for Selangor.
Worldwide Holdings’ focus on championing sustainable management of waste is also reflected in the RM1 billion Integrated Solid Waste Management Centre (ISMWC) project at the Jeram landfill in Kuala Selangor. Part of this include recycling facilities and a WTE plant, the first phase of which is scheduled to be completed by 2022, and which will generate 25 MW of renewable energy from 1,200 tonnes of solid waste each day. This is enough to power 25,000 homes.
Looking forward to 2020, which also marks Worldwide Holdings’ 30-year anniversary, Datin Paduka Norazlina is focused on taking the company further down the road to greater and more sustainable success.
For instance, in the property development field, Worldwide Holdings aims to cement its reputation as a provider of quality homes,and she revealed that she is encouraging her team to “be creative in design and concept, as well as to embrace technology in providing smart solutions for homes and offices, and maximise it for our business”.
For environmental management, Datin Paduka Norazlina explained that the company will strive to remain relevant by adopting new technologies. While she acknowledged that the ISWMC project will be the main focus for the next 10 years or so, she is looking further ahead than that to expand regionally.
When it comes to medical devices manufacturing, Datin Paduka Norazlina is pleased that Worldwide Holdings’ VESTI branded sutures have become widely accepted among the local medical fraternity. Her aim is for the company to become recognised as a global suture player, stating,
“We have put in place all that necessary to be at par with our competitors by meeting stringent global medical device requirements.”
As for utilities, Datin Paduka Norazlina has identified renewable energy (RE) as a key focus area, saying “We will proactively look into RE such as hydro, biogas and solar power as 20 percent electricity generation will come from renewable energy (RE) sources by 2025. This is in line with the government’s commitment to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy in electricity supply towards reducing consumption of fossil fuels, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” In addition to its 25% shareholding in Kuala Langat Power Plant, Worldwide Holdings is strengthening its foothold in the industry via participation in a new power plant in Selangor.
For Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria, Worldwide Holdings is more than just an ordinary company, given that its main stakeholder is the Selangor State government. As such, it is not enough for it to be profitable, it must also play an active role in advancing the State. As she puts it, “We need to drive an organization with a techsavvy workforce to stay ahead of competition and keep abreast with the latest trends. Our drive is to be a leader in all sectors we are in. All sectors must aspire to be the best in creating a smart, progressive and successful Selangor.”