30 Most Influential CEOs to Watch 2020

A technology driven company with dedicated and highly experienced team to deliver quality products and projects on schedule and with an ingrained customer satisfaction focus: GUH HOLDINGS BERHAD

The electronics industry consists of a vast supply chain starting from raw material to designing, manufacturing, assembling of electronic products that is very diverse ranging from audio, video, telecommunications, music, industrial, automotive, IT, medical to white goods. These products go through innovative design stages and ends up as purpose built combinations of materials, components, parts, equipment, and subassemblies that perform their functions of making mankind comfortable and tasks efficient. Most companies in this business domain face tough competition and the ability to adapt to changes, operational innovation in staying ahead of the curve.

It is in this playing field and in combination with tough challenges from neighbouring countries, GUH Holdings remains until today since March 1961with determination, perseverance, hard work and a visionary leader at the helm, the company evolved into a recognized namesake today. GUH is now a profitable company with renowned attributes of caring for its shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and the community. Undoubtedly, those who have dealt with GUH exalt the quality of its products and trustworthy services, which is one of the strongest attributes that ensures the company’s business sustainability and customer satisfaction.

GUH Holdings Berhad is presently a company with diversified business with three core divisions of electronics, property developmentand utilities.

The electronic division is primarily focused on manufacturing of printed circuit board (PCBs). The current success of the electronic division is undoubtedly due to the entrepreneurship and foresight of its leader. Revisiting the scenario of 2004, the PCB industry in Malaysia was declining as most audio equipment makers shifted to China. The Malaysian PCB industry at that time was that of a sunset industry due to manufacturing of low technology single sided PCBs with primitive processes of printing and etching with redundant capacity. From 2004 to 2018, Datuk Seri Kenneth had the courage to execute strategic plans that transformed the electronic division into the current Best-In-Class processes of CCD guided photo-imaging technology, High Precision Drilling Machines, Precision Polish and Etching and Automated Inner Layer Stacking and Press Machines capable of 8-layer PCBs.

The verve of courage and appetite for risk coupled with predictive accuracy, painstakingly executing plans and personal sacrifices of long hours of mentoring the management team paid off as evident in the results of exponential revenue growth of the Electronic Division garnering a customer base of most Japanese resident companies in Malaysia and substantial exports to Thailand and Indonesia. The Electronic Division won seven awards consecutively from 2014 to 2018 from renowned Japanese companies. The division aspires for the near future strategic investments in Laser Drill and Blind Via capabilities, Non-stencil / Non-film Direct Laser Imaging and Scribing, finishing processes of Direct Solder Masking and Symbol Precision Printing, Precision Routing and with super high-speed 4W Fly probes to take this division to the next level of technology superiority in the region.

GUH’s second major business is on property and township development and one of its latest flag-ship projects is a new township in Simpang Ampat, Penang which is planned to be a modern self-contained living environment that show-cases community well-being, commercial centres, wellness development, landed and high rise residential, affordable housing, green lung, jogging tracks and common facilities. It is touted to be the few developments in the region to have a designed-in network infrastructure for pedestrians with planned links to transportation points of existing KTM station and public bus route, potential future LRT stations and government mooted integrated transportation hub. GUH’s products and the material used go through stringent quality checks to ensure people own conducive homes in line with its tagline of selling homes and not just mere property.

Its utility division, Teknoserv Engineering has been involved in designing, constructing, installing, testing and commissioning of water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants,pumping stations as well as reservoirs and pipelines since 1995. This division proudly holds a track record of the completion of more than 100 projects in Malaysia and South East Asia, ranging from water and sewerage treatment plants, pumping stations, reservoirs, and pipelines. The main clients of this division consist of municipal water supply and sewerage authorities, privatized water supply and sewerage companies, housing, and infrastructure developers. The company’s quantum leap into its next phase is to be the regional leader in Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT), and concession type of projects and thus would see ground breaking headway by expanding its geographical coverage to include growing economies in the ASEAN countries with the objective of being a notable company in contracting and concessionary projects.

Corporate Social Responsibility

GUH is committed to upholding its responsibility of incorporating social, environmental, and economic considerations into its decision-making processes and endeavours to use innovation to find creative solutions to such challenges of bettering the people, the surroundings and the commitment to train young people from the vicinity in the course of business. The noble direction of its CEO to align the course of the business with the social and environmental considerations such that the society and community where it operates is in no way harmed and in retrospect should benefit from the presence of the company is well noted.

The conscientious behaviour of a company is always a reflection of its leader. Thus Datuk Seri is no exception as witnessed through his philanthropic contributions and his enthusiasm in social and welfare organizations. He is in the lead with events and projects on social welfare with financial aid and contributions wherever GUH offices are based. The company donated substantially to orphanages, home for the aged, schools, religious institutions, welfare associations, clubs, medical and dialysis centres and continues to do so with a solemn pledge. He is ever willing to oblige to individuals who wrote in seeking for financial aid for medical aid. As an example, in between his hectic work schedule, he was seen assisting Malaysians during the previous floods catastrophe and food donations to the poor during the lockdown period in Malaysia. Datuk Seri serves as the Honorary Director of the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merits Society Malaysia and has also contributed to its building of the dialysis centre. With a “heart of gold”, his generosity goes beyond monetary aid and with such a helmsman, GUH is mentored and indoctrinated with a culture and believe that contributing to nature and society is the path towards business sustainability.

Looking Ahead

GUH plans to expand and diversify each of its key business divisions in the near future. For its electronic division, the forward strategy is to upscale the operations of its electronic division by elevating the value chain with high yielding and next generation printed circuit board (PCB) products and expanding to the ASEAN region.The company is also strategizing to spur the property division by diversifying its land bank into other growth regions in Malaysia with the ambitious game plan of a “GUH Township” in each developing city. Apart from this, it aims to promote water division as a one-stop water and wastewater solution provider with capabilities of undertaking direct tenders on large scale contracts and concession investments. The company also plans to make a foray into healthcare in the very near future through strategic partnerships, joint ventures or acquisitions.

Awards & Recognitions

Besides titles conferred by various state governments for his meritorious contributions to society and country, Datuk Seri Kenneth was awarded with The Brandlaureate Brand Leadership Award in the year 2017-2018 and was top 4 nominees of the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the year 2019 Malaysia award under the category of Master Entrepreneur

Meet the Visionary

Datuk Seri Kenneth H’ng Bak Tee, the CEO/Group Managing Director of GUH Holdings Berhad group of companies successfully turned around the financial performance of the group in less than two years by disposing non-core assets, realigning the business focus, improving operation efficiency and at the same time planning growth path. Invigorated the idle property division and rebranded this division into one of the leading lifestyle developer in Seremban. Datuk Seri Kenneth’s valuable advice to the next generation “follow your passion and be inspired in all that you do and do not worry about failure and as with these traits ingrained, one will never get tired and will persevere to succeed.”

“We lead by example in our manufacturing operations by implementing steps to improve energy efficiency towards reducing emissions into the atmosphere.”