SINGAPORE — Callum Chen practices what he preaches, and he's goin' fishin' to prove it. As president of the Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association, he urges members to develop proprietary products and seek new business opportunities abroad.
As owner and managing director of processor Lee Huat Plastics Industries Sdn. Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chen is doing just that. About six months ago he invested about 3 million Malaysian ringgit ($789,000) to start a new firm, Nautilus Adventure Technologies Sdn. Bhd., to design, injection mold and decorate fishing reels, mainly for export markets.
The venture has three injection presses, employs 20 and, for the time being, shares space at Lee Huat's plant in Selangor, Malaysia.
Why fishing reels? ``It's a lifestyle question,'' Chen said at the ASEANplas show in Singapore. ``People have more leisure time, and are becoming more affluent.''
Nautilus will emphasize research and development and original design, he said, in addition to processing PVC, ABS, high-impact polystyrene and other resins.
The two-plant, 200-employee Lee Huat Plastics does mostly injection molding, some blow molding and rotational molding, plus design and mold building, Chen said. Its annual sales are about 25 million ringgit ($6.58 million).