Elaine Young, CEO of Shama, one of Asia’s
leading serviced apartment providers has been presented with the
‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ by the prestigious RBS Coutts and
Financial Times, Women in Asia Awards 2009.
The Women in Asia Awards aim to promote, inspire
and recognise the growing ranks of successful women around the
region who have used Hong Kong as their springboard for regional
and global success. Selected from a highly competitive shortlist
of finalists Elaine Young was distinguished for her successful
With a diverse, hugely successful
background in property and sourcing plus a superior sense for
style, it is unsurprising that Young was honoured with such a
prestigious and highly regarded award.
“It is a
great honour to be the recipient of this award, especially knowing
the calibre of inspirational women that were nominated,” said Ms
Young. “I owe much of my success to the electric and energetic
business environment of Hong Kong; there really is nowhere else
like it in the world.”
Young originally came to
Hong Kong from London in 1986 and after gaining first-hand
experience in the real estate sector, developed a keen sense for
the Hong Kong market in her roles with a surveyor firm and a high
profit residential sales and leasing agency. In 1996, Young edged
towards the boutique serviced apartment market after the purchase
of a 10-apartment building in London, which she intended to lease
A lucrative profit opportunity presented
itself when Young quickly realised that furnishing the interiors,
adding a maid service, and hiring a doorman for the ground floor
who was fluent in English and able to offer recommendations on
local attractions could be extremely profitable.
After incomparable success in the Hong Kong market, Young set her
sights on mainland China. An aggressive expansion strategy means
the brand is well on its way to achieving market leader status in
the boutique apartment sector throughout Asia Pacific.
Co-founded in 1996, Shama was introduced to the Hong Kong
rental market as the first boutique serviced apartment building.
The company now operates over 13 properties in prime commercial
and residential districts in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and
Dalian, and has accumulated a value in excess of HK$ 1.7 billion.
In 2009 alone, Shama has acquired two additional
properties in Shanghai.
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