‘New clinic with Global Doctors a cost-saving measure’

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 30, 2017.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The world’s largest glove manufacturer Top Glove Corp Bhd, which has ventured into the healthcare business via a collaboration with clinic chain operator Global Doctors, expects its newly opened Top Glove Global Doctors Medical & Dental Clinic (TGGD) to contribute to the group as a cost-saving measure, rather than a significant earnings driver.

“TGGD is to cater to our staff, community as well as our foreign workers for their healthcare. Our main business will still be [in making] gloves,” said Top Glove executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai. About RM2 million has been invested in TGGD, a relatively small amount for now, he added.

The clinic is the first ambulatory care centre established in Setia Alam, strategically located within the Top Glove Tower itself. Its licence was issued by the health ministry early this year.

Aimed at serving neighbouring communities, TGGD — focusing on preventive healthcare — offers services such as diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment, intervention and rehabilitation, as well as full-tiered dental facilities, on an outpatient basis.

The clinic is one of several ventures by Top Glove to diversify into related businesses, including packaging materials such as glove boxes, and manufacturing condoms.

“We cannot depend solely on organic growth. For a company of our size to expand efficiently, we must also look at non-organic growth such as mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures into related businesses with suitable partners,” Lim said at the launch of TGGD yesterday, adding that the group needed to diversify into other products and businesses as well.

Lim also reiterated the group’s aspiration to be part of the Fortune Global 500 companies list by 2040. “It is [something] not easy to achieve. We need a long time to grow. So, we must have a dream, together with a target or a goal. We are working very hard. We need many talents to work together with us and [for the] government to support us.”

To qualify for the Fortune 500 list, the group must have at least US$40 billion (RM170.8 billion) revenue by 2040. This year, the group estimates it would achieve a revenue of about US$1 billion. “[So,] we have to grow 40 times to achieve our target [of making it into the Fortune 500 list],” said Lim.

The launch was officiated by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who was in Meru earlier yesterday to launch the company’s new research and development (R&D) centre.

The R&D centre was established in 2013 to drive innovation at Top Glove by developing new products and technologies, as well as partaking in product enhancements. Top Glove shares slid one sen or 0.18% to RM5.47 yesterday, valuing it at RM6.87 billion.