Ever since his parents bought him an encyclopedia when he was nine, Daryl Foong has been fascinated with marine life. About 14 years ago Foong started in the family business – Aquaria KLCC – as an intern where he manned the ticketing counter. Fast forward to about two and a half years ago, he returned to the company as the Head of Sales and Marketing and finally just about three months ago assumed the position as General Manager.
Just about the same time Foong returned to Aquaria KLCC, at the insistence of his now wife, he started diving and fell in love with the activity. His most recent stint was last October where he was diving in the Similan Islands in Thailand for about a week. These days however after just having a son, Foong says he finds it a little harder to go off for dive trips.
Being part of a family business Foong says makes it a lot easier to communicate with management (as they are also his parents) and easier to understand where they are coming from. “For a manager sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of experience to understand why certain decisions are made but with business owners as parents you get exposed to those decisions a lot younger,” comments Foong. As the relatively new GM, Foong says he practises an open door policy where he encourages his staff to bring up any issues or doubts they may have instead of letting it brew and speculate on certain management decisions.
Currently Aquaria KLCC receives about 900,000 visitors per annum; they are also working with the Ministry of Education providing the syllabus for textbooks with sections on marine life. Their most recent conservation projects include a campaign to reduce the usage of straws, a campaign against the consumption of shark’s fin and a planned project on coral restoration. They are also planning a large-scale refurbishment of Aquaria KLCC and are working on a new Aquarium centre in Phuket, Thailand.
On the wrist:
On his wrist, Daryl Foong wears the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M launched earlier this year. The Seamaster Professional Diver 300M collection from Omega was launched in 1993 and has since had a cult following. This particular reference is clad in a 42mm stainless steel case and offers a blue ceramic bezel with the diving scale in Sedna Gold. Best of all, this new updated Seamaster is also Master Chronometer certified.