PPB Group Bhd's successful operations and business dealings are supported by the basic values of integrity, loyalty and discipline, together with a commitment to work hard.
Tan Sri Robert Kuok, in an exclusive interview with National University of Singapore's Alumnus magazine in 2002, said he earned his stripes through hard work. “Don't take shortcuts in life. If you do well, the word will spread within years. You get a certain reputation and people come to you.”
In 1972, Kuok took Perlis Plantations Bhd public via listing at the then-joint Malaysia and Singapore Stock Exchange.
The move saw the group turn into a conglomerate with new business interests in property, hotels and real estate developments.
Property development played a major role in the group in the 1980s, with the acquisition of Tai Yan Realty, which focused on the Cheras area in 1982, and the purchase of a 34% stake in Shaw Brothers' Malaysian operations in 1983.
Tai Yan was later renamed PPB Hartabina Sdn Bhd.
In 1987, the group made an offer for FFM, enabling PPB Group to diversify into flour and animal feed milling, edible oil processing and commodity trading.
In the same year, PPB finalised an agreement with Hong Kong-based Golden Harvest (International) Ltd to establish Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd. The group later transformed into Malaysia's largest cinema operator.
However, it was palm oil that turned into the group's largest revenue contributor by the end of the 20th century.
It started via PPB Group's investment in a 9,000ha oil palm plantation in Sarawak under Saremas Sdn Bhd in 1986. A year later, it acquired a 60% interest in Sapi Plantations Sdn Bhd.
A series of plantation expansions followed suit in the 1990s, including oil palm plantations in Indonesia. In 1997, the group reorganised its Malaysian oil palm plantations business, merging those operations into a single entity, PPB Oil Palms Bhd, which was later listed on Bursa Malaysia.
At the same time, the group continued to invest in other areas like acquiring a significant stake in Chemquest Sdn Bhd, which is involved in environmental engineering, utilities, waste management, trading of chemicals and contract manufacturing.
In 2000, PPB undertook a series of corporate restructuring exercises to streamline its operations.
These include the transfer of PT Tidar Sungkai Sawit to PPB Oil Palms, injection of PT Healthcare Glovindo and Minsec Engineering Services Sdn Bhd to Chemquest, and the establishment of PGEO Group to consolidate the edible oils refining operations under FFM and PPB Oil Palms.
To better reflect its activities, the name of the company was changed from Perlis Plantations to PPB Group in 2000.