Kuan Kam Hon saw the charge for elastic gloves during the aboriginal years of the Aids epidemic.
At the time, health-care workers and others were added application the gloves to assure themselves adjoin the virus and added communicable diseases. So Kuan angry his stagnating woven-label and brand accomplishment bulb into a maker of acrylic gloves.
The accommodation has fabricated Kuan, 66, a billionaire. His Kuala Lumpur-based company, Hartalega Holdings, has soared 56 per cent this year, extensive an best aerial yesterday. Kuan and his ancestors own 55 per cent.
“He is actual circuitous in the accession and architecture of equipment, in the circadian production,” said Ang Kok Heng, Kuala Lumpur-based arch advance administrator at Phillip Capital Management, who has accepted Kuan back Hartalega’s advertisement in 2008.
“He is the being who is everywhere in the factory.”
Hartalega – the company’s name is a aggregate of two Malay words that beggarly “relief assets” – is now the world’s better synthetic-glove maker, and one of its best efficient.
A automatic arrangement that mimics the animal duke motion of stripping gloves off moulds has helped it abate costs and accomplish its assembly curve some of the fastest in the industry, churning out as abounding as 45,000 gloves an hour.
Hartalega’s ebitda allowance was about 34 per cent in the fourth division of its banking year concluded March 31, about bifold its competitors’, including Malaysia-based Top Glove.
“He enjoys college margins because of low raw actual costs, low acceptance of materials, college abundance and lower labour requirement,” said Ang. “They can aftermath added gloves per line, which added cuff companies cannot do.”
[Kuan Kam Hon] is the being who is everywhere in the factory
ANG KOK HENG, INVESTMENT OFFICER
Hartalega has six plants that can aftermath 13.6 billion gloves a year, according to aggregation reports, and is spending as abundant as 1.9 billion ringgit (HK$4.65 billion) to body a accomplishment circuitous with 72 assembly curve by 2021. The new curve will aftermath an added 28.5 billion gloves a year, the aggregation said.
Kuan started alive in 1969 at his father’s acreage development company, Kuan Yen & Sons, architecture high-end homes in Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs. In 1978, he fabricated his attack into accomplishment by ambience up Timol Weaving, a maker of alloyed labels and badges.
He absitively to adventure into elastic cuff accomplishment back the recession in the 1980s “coincided with the end of the architecture and aberrant businesses”, his 37-year-old son Kuan Mun Leong, Hartalega’s managing director, said.
In 2002, Hartalega invested in R&D for attenuate nitrile gloves that can be acclimated by health-care cadre and patients allergic to elastic protein.
“At the time, nitrile gloves were chiefly acclimated in automated applications and not in the medical area attributable to their abundant weight and thickness, which was a albatross for medical practitioners in the assay of patients,” Kuan Mun Leong said. “Nitrile gloves are a necessity.”
Kuan Kam Hon alien the world’s aboriginal 4.7-gram nitrile cuff that bore the animation and benevolence of accustomed rubber, after the protein abhorrence risk. The lightest nitrile cuff that Hartalega produces weighs 3.2 grams, his son said. Global appeal for the constructed gloves is set to abound as abundant as 20 per cent a year until 2014, he said.
Kuan Kam Hon has a net account of at atomic US$1 billion, based on the amount of Hartalega shares and warrants captivated by him and his family, as able-bodied allotment assets back 2008.
He owns his shares through captivation companies Hartalega Industries and Budi Tenggara, according to the latest anniversary report. His two sons additionally anon own shares in the cuff maker.
Kuan Kam Hon stepped bottomward as managing administrator in November while actual controlling chairman. Kuan Mun Leong holds a automated engineering amount and an MBA and aing Hartalega’s engineering administration in 2001. The patriarch’s earlier son, Kuan Mun Keng, 38, an accountant, is controlling administrator at the aggregation and oversees sales and business as able-bodied as accumulated finance.
“Now, he is boring handing over to his sons,” Ang said.
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