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Place Category: Glove-Making
Hartalega is the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber gloves, used mainly in the healthcare industry. Besides its own brand, the company is also an original equipment manufacturer that makes high-quality surgical and laboratory gloves.
The company was founded in 1988 by Kuan Kam Hon, who is now executive chairman. He is an entrepreneur who built his fortune as a house builder, and later by dealing in woven labels and badges. Annual production capacity of the company is over 13 billion gloves, which was nearly 30% of Malaysia’s exports in 2013. Its products are exported to about 40 countries. Sales in the U.S. make up about half of the company’s revenue, followed by Europe and Asia.
Like Top Glove, its rival, which is the leader in natural rubber gloves, Hartalega was able to grow rapidly, especially in the mid-2000s, when hospitals in developed economies such as the U.S. and Europe began to switch from latex to nitrile gloves. Nitrile gloves cause fewer problems with skin allergies. Ownership in Hartalega is controlled by the Kuan family, which was led by second-generation Managing Director Kuan Mun Leong.