SINGAPORE: In a tough year for the property sector, Mohamad Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, the Republic's largest real estate company, claims his firm has achieved a record performance, but is it finally time for property cooling measures to be rolled back? While it would serve his interest that this happens, but he claims to have a more balanced view for good reason.

The road to the success of his property agency, PropNex, was tumultuous one. After building a successful career in the army, Ismail decided in his 30s that he wanted to do something more, something different. However, a falling-out with his business partners in the early years almost brought his progress to a standstill.

Today, PropNex has more than 6,000 salespersons and staff and an annual turnover of S$200 million. His agency has won multiple awards and he himself was recently named the Spirit of Enterprise (SOE) Entrepreneur of the Year.

He spoke with Bharati Jagdish about whether the property market is in need of more cooling, how he keeps his salespeople ethical, what consumers need to do to look out for themselves and how he keeps himself and his children humble and grounded in spite of his wealth.