Meet the World's Condom King, and he's Malaysian

Written by: J.R. | 17 Jul 2017 00:29
Goh now heads Johor-based Karex Berhad, the world's largest condom manufacturer. Irish Times pic
Written by:
17 Jul 2017 00:29

If ever you happen to meet a Malaysian who hands you a business card that’s a condom wrapper, then you probably would have met MK Goh.

Say hello to the boss of the world’s largest condom makers.

Yes, the world’s largest and yes, Malaysian owned Karex Berhad based in Pontian, Johor.

In an interview with the Irish Times when met on the sidelines of the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recently, Goh said he plunged into the family business quite reluctantly after his father’s sudden death in 1999.

But because it started as a family business, Goh learnt quite a bit since he was a young boy of 12, especially after his father got into financial difficulties.“My father went through a very difficult time, and we had to pool our money to make the company what it is today.

“We lost our home and went to live in the factory, so by the time I was 13 I knew every aspect of the business, from cleaning the toilets to packing and loading containers,” he says.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

On Malaysia and condoms

Goh says strangers are surprised to learn that Malaysia is one of the world’s biggest producers of condoms, particularly given it is a predominantly Muslim country.

He says he has upset some people through his educational work in promoting sexual wellness and his support of the LGBT community.

On people’s reaction when introduced 

 “ ‘You build condominiums?’ is what they ask, thinking they have misheard me,” he says. ‘ “No, I make condoms,’ I tell them.”

The next question he is usually asked is where they sell the “biggest condoms”, Goh adds, laughing.

 “I always say we have an extra-large segment in every market we operate in.”

On  Karex’s market share

Karex, which recorded revenues of $92 million (RM393.8 million) in its last financial year, was responsible for nearly 17 per cent of all the condoms made globally.

Last year it produced about five billion for export to more than 120 countries.

It is now looking to ramp that up to seven billion by the end of 2017.

Read the interview here 


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