Top Glove tops the charts as Exporter of the Year 2022


Top Glove Corp Bhd executive director and COO Ng Yong Lin (middle) and his team at the Export Excellence Awards 2022 Gala Night at M Resort & Hotel in Kuala Lumpur last November. – YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

UNDOUBTEDLY, 2022 was a year of recovery for Malaysian exports following the effects of Covid-19 and global supply chain disruptions.

Notwithstanding that, Top Glove Corp Bhd’s exceptional growth and innovation in the export industry has propelled it to become a winner of Star Media Group’s Export Excellence Awards (EEA) for 2022.

“As the Malaysian market was relatively small due to a lower population compared with other countries, it was important to tap into an international pool of customers, as the majority of brand owners are located out of Malaysia,” said Top Glove, adding that the company had always targeted the export market.

“Moreover, the brand owners who are typically MNCs would be better placed to provide us with the volume needed for a viable business, enabling us to grow rapidly.

“This would enable us to become the largest manufacturer of gloves, in line with our aim.”

Overcoming challenges

While global challenges are beyond its control, Top Glove chooses to focus on areas within its control which are internal factors including three aspects of health – mental, physical and financial.

Perseverance proved to be a key to the glove manufacturer’s success; all business is challenging and competitive, especially when it comes to international markets.

However, over the course of the last 32 years in the glove business, Top Glove has its own agile strategies to remain relevant.

Top Glove shares that its initial challenges included gaining customers’ confidence and building a good reputation, technical knowledge gaps of the manufacturing process, and a labour shortage.

The manufacturer had collaborated with the Malaysian Rubber Research Institute to conduct research and development before establishing its own dedicated R&D centres which has given Top Glove an upper hand in producing quality products.

The company also told The Star that, “over the years, we have had several rounds of upward revisions to the minimum wage of RM900 which first came into effect on Jan 1 back in 2013.”

The most recent revision took effect on May 1 last year, bringing the minimum wage up to RM1,500.

“In recognition of the importance of our people, we have themed the year 2023 as Top Glove’s Year of Talent and People Excellence.

“While hiring strategies have been realigned with the current economic climate, we stay true to our people first culture whereby employee welfare remains a priority.

“We also continue to invest in upskilling our talents through robust training and development programs,” said Top Glove while attributing its win to its employees.

Sustainability as a pull factor

As the world export stage is evolving to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) values in the supply chain, Top Glove plans to continue the pursuit of its sustainability aspirations and ESG initiatives which have been integrated into the company’s corporate agenda thus far.

“Being listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for four consecutive years since 2019 and on the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the second year running from 2022 has enabled us to attract and retain customers who are increasingly focused on sustainability in their business,” said Top Glove.

Additionally, Top Glove is also a component stock of the MSCI Global Standard Index.

“During this challenging period our priorities will shift; the most pressing and immediate area of focus being recovery whilst preparing ourselves for the rebound.

“To this end, we will be focusing on strengthening our fundamentals in the four critical areas of operational effectiveness – cost rationalisation, talent development and sustainable stakeholder value creation,” the company said.

“In this, we remain steadfast to our commitment to levelling up our ESG practices, as outlined in our sustainability policy which was released in June last year which outlines our commitments in the areas of environmental, social, governance and traceability.

“The policy guides ethical and responsible sourcing and procurement for Top Glove’s subsidiaries and joint ventures, as well as our supply chain.

“It was developed in consultation with a variety of stakeholders, including investors, non-governmental organisations and analysts, in addition to aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Top Glove.

The Export Excellence Awards (EEA) 2023 is now open for submissions. Nominations close on Oct 19. EEA is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered, with Matrade as patron. It is audited by BDO.

For more information or to submit an entry for EEA, go to exportawards.com.my or email eea@thestar.com.my

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