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Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman of Top Glove
Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman of Top Glove

Top Glove, the world’s leading rubber glove manufacturer headquartered in Klang, Selangor, is on an uninterrupted expansion drive due to its recession-proof products. Inside Investor sat down with the company’s chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai to talk about Top Glove’s philosophy, its core objectives, and its expansion plans.

Q: Top Gloves runs a successful global business. However, there are still a lot of opportunities in the new emerging markets of India, China, and the like. How do plan to tap their potential?

A: We export to 185 countries, and of course to India, China, and Indonesia, where all the big populations are and where the markets are growing very fast. These countries are just entry level, because they are not using so many medical gloves compared with developed countries. This means the potential for growth is huge. Huge means: Developed countries can grow between five and eight per cent, but these emerging countries can grow more than ten per cent, even up to 15 or 20 per cent per year. Global demand for rubber gloves has a consistent growth of eight to ten per cent per annum as the health care standards in these markets will improve and thus we will continue to focus our efforts and resources on this huge market.

Q: You are planning a growth of 30 per cent in 2012 for Top Glove. Are you on target?

A: We are working very hard on this, and we hope we can get closer to it. Of course, it’s not always easy, but it is achievable through organic expansion and acquisitions. In the past 15 years we have been growing 30 per cent in our average compounded growth rate per year and on the right track to increase or market share and business further to 30 per cent by 2015.

Q: What is the reason for this success? Where do you still see steady growth opportunities in the global recession?

A:  We have the right product. Medical disposable gloves are recession-proof, as gloves are deemed a basic necessity and low-cost item especially in the medical industry. Business for this product will continue to grow for the next 20 to 30 years.

Q: What are your expansion plans in terms of factories?

A: Currently we have 23 factories, and we plan to set up two new factories every year.  We have 17 factories in Malaysia, two factories in China and four in Thailand.

Q: What role does research and development play for Top Glove?

A: R&D is very important for us. It results in the technology that brings new products and services which are market and customer driven. Innovation results in high quality jobs, successful businesses, better goods and services and more cost efficient processes improvement. We will continue to invest in R&D, and although we have an R&D department in each factory, we will set up a central R&D facility in factory number 25, which is currently under construction and will be ready in December 2012.

Q: Are you funding this on your own, based on the company’s healthy cash flow position?

A: Yes, from the internal funding as the company is in good net cash position. This would give us an excellent opportunity for us to invest in feasible and achievable projects to gain market share. During such tough times, the cash rich would have the ability to still hold on, we have nothing to lose, only to gain.

Q: How important is government support for you?

A: It is very important to get support from the government in order to compete in the world market, which is very tough indeed. Other foreign competitors also get support from their governments, thus, without help from our own government, we would not be able to compete on a global scale. However, both the government and the private sector must be efficient and work together to form a strong team so that we can go and have business outside of Malaysia. In return, we bring in more revenue for the country if our export sales are doing well. However, both the company and the government must earn more than they spend. The company needs profit, and the country needs to have a trade surplus.

Q: A company the size of yours also gives back to the community. What is your Corporate Social responsibility strategy?

A: We have established Top Glove Foundation and through the foundation, we have provided funds for charitable purposes such as donations to the needy community, for educational purposes such as offering scholarships and advancing education, and for preserving the environment and serving the community.  Since its formation three years ago, the foundation has contributed to various corporate social responsibility causes for the community and society.

Q: What is the core of the company’s philosophy?

A: We practice our core values which is “Must Know, Must Do, Must Teach”. Knowledge is very important. When we have knowledge, we can make good decisions, but knowing the direction is not enough, we also must implement this knowledge. This is important. Even more important is that we need to teach and share the knowledge. This way, we can add value and minimise mistakes. We always need to have a positive mindset instead of being negative.

Q: How would you sum up Top Glove? What is your message?

A: Top Glove is progressing well, and our business direction is to produce consistently high quality gloves with efficient low cost. Moving forward we will continue to innovate and provide value added services to our customers and manage our business with honesty, integrity and transparency.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman of Top Glove

Top Glove, the world’s leading rubber glove manufacturer headquartered in Klang, Selangor, is on an uninterrupted expansion drive due to its recession-proof products. Inside Investor sat down with the company’s chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai to talk about Top Glove’s philosophy, its core objectives, and its expansion plans.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman of Top Glove
Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, Chairman of Top Glove

Top Glove, the world’s leading rubber glove manufacturer headquartered in Klang, Selangor, is on an uninterrupted expansion drive due to its recession-proof products. Inside Investor sat down with the company’s chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai to talk about Top Glove’s philosophy, its core objectives, and its expansion plans.

Q: Top Gloves runs a successful global business. However, there are still a lot of opportunities in the new emerging markets of India, China, and the like. How do plan to tap their potential?

A: We export to 185 countries, and of course to India, China, and Indonesia, where all the big populations are and where the markets are growing very fast. These countries are just entry level, because they are not using so many medical gloves compared with developed countries. This means the potential for growth is huge. Huge means: Developed countries can grow between five and eight per cent, but these emerging countries can grow more than ten per cent, even up to 15 or 20 per cent per year. Global demand for rubber gloves has a consistent growth of eight to ten per cent per annum as the health care standards in these markets will improve and thus we will continue to focus our efforts and resources on this huge market.

Q: You are planning a growth of 30 per cent in 2012 for Top Glove. Are you on target?

A: We are working very hard on this, and we hope we can get closer to it. Of course, it’s not always easy, but it is achievable through organic expansion and acquisitions. In the past 15 years we have been growing 30 per cent in our average compounded growth rate per year and on the right track to increase or market share and business further to 30 per cent by 2015.

Q: What is the reason for this success? Where do you still see steady growth opportunities in the global recession?

A:  We have the right product. Medical disposable gloves are recession-proof, as gloves are deemed a basic necessity and low-cost item especially in the medical industry. Business for this product will continue to grow for the next 20 to 30 years.

Q: What are your expansion plans in terms of factories?

A: Currently we have 23 factories, and we plan to set up two new factories every year.  We have 17 factories in Malaysia, two factories in China and four in Thailand.

Q: What role does research and development play for Top Glove?

A: R&D is very important for us. It results in the technology that brings new products and services which are market and customer driven. Innovation results in high quality jobs, successful businesses, better goods and services and more cost efficient processes improvement. We will continue to invest in R&D, and although we have an R&D department in each factory, we will set up a central R&D facility in factory number 25, which is currently under construction and will be ready in December 2012.

Q: Are you funding this on your own, based on the company’s healthy cash flow position?

A: Yes, from the internal funding as the company is in good net cash position. This would give us an excellent opportunity for us to invest in feasible and achievable projects to gain market share. During such tough times, the cash rich would have the ability to still hold on, we have nothing to lose, only to gain.

Q: How important is government support for you?

A: It is very important to get support from the government in order to compete in the world market, which is very tough indeed. Other foreign competitors also get support from their governments, thus, without help from our own government, we would not be able to compete on a global scale. However, both the government and the private sector must be efficient and work together to form a strong team so that we can go and have business outside of Malaysia. In return, we bring in more revenue for the country if our export sales are doing well. However, both the company and the government must earn more than they spend. The company needs profit, and the country needs to have a trade surplus.

Q: A company the size of yours also gives back to the community. What is your Corporate Social responsibility strategy?

A: We have established Top Glove Foundation and through the foundation, we have provided funds for charitable purposes such as donations to the needy community, for educational purposes such as offering scholarships and advancing education, and for preserving the environment and serving the community.  Since its formation three years ago, the foundation has contributed to various corporate social responsibility causes for the community and society.

Q: What is the core of the company’s philosophy?

A: We practice our core values which is “Must Know, Must Do, Must Teach”. Knowledge is very important. When we have knowledge, we can make good decisions, but knowing the direction is not enough, we also must implement this knowledge. This is important. Even more important is that we need to teach and share the knowledge. This way, we can add value and minimise mistakes. We always need to have a positive mindset instead of being negative.

Q: How would you sum up Top Glove? What is your message?

A: Top Glove is progressing well, and our business direction is to produce consistently high quality gloves with efficient low cost. Moving forward we will continue to innovate and provide value added services to our customers and manage our business with honesty, integrity and transparency.

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