Top Glove is the world's largest natural rubber glove maker, exporting to over 195 countries. The Malaysia-based company produces latex and nitrile gloves for health care providers and manufacturers, as well as households.
Chairman Lim Wee Chai, who had been a salesman, and his wife founded the company in 1991, when rubber prices were low and the glove industry was booming. In the mid-1990s, rubber prices rose and the industry went through consolidation; a number of rivals were squeezed out of business.
Top Glove, which started out with three production lines, now has about 500. The company turns out 48 billion gloves a year, accounting for about a quarter of the global market. The group rings up more than half of its sales in Europe and North America, but Top Glove believes demand for gloves in other regions, especially Asia, will continue to increase as populations grow.
Lim is considered a hands-on manager and adheres to a philosophy of efficiently investing $1 for every $2 earned. To save on energy costs, he keeps the air conditioning in his office set at a relatively toasty 25 C.