The chairman and founder of China’s top real estate firm, Vanke, is now an NUS-practice track professor. Wang Shi, a visiting scholar at Harvard, joins other prominent practice-track professors at NUS Business School, such as former CapitaLand chief executive Liew Mun Leong.
The announcement was made at a joint seminar organised by the School and NUS Department of Real Estate.
During the session, Mr Wang – now Professor Wang – shared his vision about Vanke’s “green revolution”, which includes investing heavily in R&D for prefabrication techniques in an effort to reduce timber consumption and comply with higher green standards.
“The move to developing green buildings at Vanke boiled down to one word – choice,” said the passionate mountaineer who has a global vision for environmental sustainability. He said he made that choice at a time when there were no government incentives or subsidies to do so.
“If we don’t change now, we will eventually be forced or penalised to change by regulation. While the market is still good and investment in research and development is still affordable, adjustment is less painful,” Mr Wang added.
Today, Vanke is the leading real estate company in the country, and has won many national awards including the “China Award for Architecture”. Wang was named as one of the “Fifteen Business Leaders who’ve changed China,” by Fortune magazine in 2011.
An avid trekker, Mr Wang has climbed the Mount Everest twice, and has ventured to the North and South Poles. When asked about what inspires him to take on such risks, he replied, “When you take risks like these, you care more about life as you’re already prepared to face death.”