Excerpts of an interview with Eng Holdings executive chairman and CEO Datuk Alfred E.L. Teh.
StarBiz: Where does Eng Teknologi stand today as a manufacturer of data storage products?
Teh: We are already a top league player in the business, as the group is supplying to four out of the five major players in the hard disk drive industry.
To remain in our position, we will continue on improving our ability to adapt to the market environment of the data storage industry, as it is always in a volatile state.
StarBiz: Why did the group venture into industrial product manufacturing activities?
Teh: About 15 years ago, Eng Teknologi diversified into data storage product business to tap into the growing electronics industry.
Now that we have become a top league player, and to create a more balanced business portfolio to mitigate high dependency on a single industry, we believe that the industrial products manufacturing sector would give us the right balance for growth.
This is why in 2003, the group made a decision to venture into industrial product manufacturing activities, capitalising on its experience in managing mass production process.
We have been very successful in the industrial product manufacturing activity and our goal is to emerge as a leading player in the Asia-Pacific, in line with our corporate philosophy to excel in whatever we do.
StarBiz: What is the key challenge of the industrial product business?
Teh: Over the last nine months, the price of aluminium, the main raw material for our industrial product (which is also the raw material for data storage products), skyrocketed, impacting on our production costs. Recently, the price had come down slightly.
The challenge is therefore how to produce more efficiently to bring down the cost of production, meaning that we have to continuously improve on the manufacturing process.
There is no shortage of aluminium, as the raw material can be sourced locally.
StarBiz: Where will the group's future investments go?
Teh: Previously, the bulk of our investments went to funding the overseas operations.
Now, we are allocating half of our investments for 2004 for the Malaysian operations, and the other half for overseas.
This year, we have allocated between RM15mil and RM20mil to expand our operations locally and overseas.
StarBiz: Has the group’s corporate and management philosophy changed since the founding days of the late Datuk Teh Ah Ba?
Teh: No. Our corporate and business philosophy has always emphasised on focused management and resilience.
This means that Eng Teknologi will constantly concentrate on what its does best so that it can further excel in that particular field.