His deep love for Penang

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  • Friday, 06 Dec 2013

TEXCHEM Corporation Bhd started out in Penang in 1973 as a one-man show in Tan Sri Fumihiko Konishi.

“I typed the invoice, collected money and drove great distances to do sales. I did everything myself.

“I survived this difficult period because of kind Penangites around me,” the founder and chairman said when speaking at the group’s 40th anniversary dinner celebration at Hotel Equatorial Penang recently.

Texchem started as a dyestuff trading business in Beach Street, and since then the group has diversified into household insecticides business, seafood, restaurants and high technology polymer engineering, with investments exceeding a billion ringgit.

Today, Texchem has operations in Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Indonesia, employing about 5,000 workers.

Also present at the dinner were Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Texchem president and chief executive officer Brian Tan.

In his speech, Lim said Konishi’s love affair with Malaysia began when he was in a student exchange programme at Universiti Malaya.

“After his graduation, he was looking for the opportunity to stay on in Malaysia and began a career starting his own business as a dyestuff salesman travelling up and down the country.

“He could have taken the easy route after graduation by returning to Japan to begin his career, but he chose to stay in Malaysia,” he said.

Texchem brands such as Sushi King are household names in Malaysia.

Earlier, Tan led the Texchem Group senior management staff to sing The Texchem Song, composed by Texchem Malaysia deputy managing director Philip Ng, to kick off the anniversary celebration.

Later, Dama Orchestra principal singer Tan Soo Suan performed songs from the late Teresa Teng to entertain the guests.

Among the songs performed were Chinese classics such as Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The Moon Speaks For My Heart) and He Ri Jun Zai Lai (When Will You Return), Japanese classics ‘Lover’ and ‘Subaru’ as well as English numbers ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’.

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