Mr. Lee Seng Thye & Mr. Lee Seh Meng's Background
Mr. Lee Seng Thye - Managing Director
Mr. Lee Seng Thye has more than 35 years of industry experience. He started his career in the furniture and fittings industry in 1982 before venturing into trading of woodworking machinery and industrial adhesives in 1990 and 1994 respectively. Subsequently, Mr. Lee saw the market potential for industrial adhesives and founded Techbond in 1996 to focus on the development and manufacturing of industrial adhesives. He currently oversees the strategic direction of the group and remains instrumental in the planning and development of Techbond’s business strategies.
Mr. Lee Seh Meng joined Techbond in 2011 as a sales executive before furthering his studies to pursue his Master’s degree and rejoined the Group in 2013. He was the Head of Business Development/Alternate Director before redesignated to his current position in 2019. He manages Techbond’s overall operations and resources as well as developing and executing the group’s strategies.
1. Could you share with us on Techbond's history and background? What are Techbond's competitive advantages compared to other similar market players?
TTechbond, established in 1996, is a homegrown pioneer in developing and manufacturing industrial adhesives and sealants. The Group places a huge emphasis on research and development (R&D) and has 8 in house trademarked brands – Sonicbond, Starbond, Sonicfill, Econails, Wanna, Komotech, Innomelt & Hydromelt. Listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad since December 2018, the group’s manufacturing operations are based in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, and Binh Duong, Vietnam.
We serve a variety of industries such as woodworking, paper & packaging, automotive, building & construction, personal care, cigarette, and mattress. Our products are distributed to more than 15 countries such as Indonesia, China, Thailand, Philippines, Hong, Kong, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Oman, Liberia, Uganda, etc. One of our main competitive advantages is our in-house R&D capabilities. We continuously develop new formulations to expand our range of products.
The group also has the capability to customize products to meet the changing needs of our customers. We are proud that most of our industrial adhesives and sealants are developed in-house. Techbond has a dedicated R&D facility located in Shah Alam and supported by a highly capable team.
Another competitive advantage of Techbond is the supporting products and services we provide to our customers. We provide original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) industrial adhesives & sealants, supply adhesive repellent & cleaner, chemicals as well as adhesive mixing machines. This increases customer stickiness and ultimately enhancing our competitive advantages.
2. Recently, Techbond Greentech Sdn Bhd (TGSB), a whollyowned subsidiary of Techbond, collaborates with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to produce polyol from palm oil to develop a palm oil-based industrial adhesives. What is the latest progress of this collaboration with MPOB?
Following the handover of the polyol formulation with MPOB, we have since developed the prototype palm-oil based adhesive and tested it on some products and the results are very encouraging. Currently, the prototype palm-oil based adhesive is undergoing application testing with the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to ensure it meets our requirements as well as our customers’ standards.
Meanwhile, the technology transfer process with MPOB remains ongoing as we are exploring methods to enhance the efficiency of the processes involved in the development of the palm-oil based adhesive. If all goes well according to plan, we hope to bring this novel and innovative product to market in one to two years.
3. Techbond's main business operation is developing and manufacturing industrial adhesives and sealants in building and construction applications. Why Techbond is looking at a non-toxic palm oil-based industrial adhesives?
This is part of Techbond’s strategy to go green via our R&D capabilities and widen our product range at the same time. As we place a huge emphasis on R&D therefore, we are delighted with this out-of-the-box innovative idea. One would ordinarily not have thought that it is possible to turn palm oil, which is hydrophobic or water repellent, into adhesives.
But we are confident this idea is very much possible and doable. Upon commercialization of these new adhesives, it would enable us to penetrate higher-end clientele and in turn, allow us to expand our presence in the existing and new markets.
4. What are the industries that Techbond focuses on during the development of this environmentally-sustainable palm oil-based industrial adhesives? Is there a producttesting with any of Techbond's customers?
The non-toxic palm oil-based industrial adhesives can be used in many industries such as the woodworking and mattress industry. We see an abundance of opportunities from this development and we are excited by the market potential. We are in active discussions with our existing as well as potential customers on this and the feedback has been positive. Techbond has engaged with some of our existing customers to undertake some product testing to ensure it fulfills their requirements.
5. What are Techbond's objectives and goals in developing palm oil-based industrial adhesives using local sustainably-sourced palm oil?
Firstly, we want to play our part as a responsible corporate citizen to make our country proud by demonstrating to the world the benefits of Malaysian palm oil. Upon successful commercialization of the product, we can showcase to the world yet another one of the many beneficial use of palm oil, which bodes well with our country’s initiatives to promote the Malaysian palm oil industry globally.
Secondly, we want to be a pioneer in the palm oil-based industrial adhesives using local sustainably-sourced palm oil, which would be non-toxic with little to none formaldehyde emission levels, based on Techbond’s preliminary in-house assessment. We believe this innovation will be first-of-its-kind and it would provide us with a first-mover advantage and capturing the tremendous market potential.
6. Based on your view, will environmentally-sustainable palm oil-based industrial adhesives recognized and acknowledged globally in the future?
We see great potential in demand for these non-toxic palm oil-based industrial adhesives as consumers worldwide are increasingly more health- and environmentally-conscious when making a purchase decision. At the same time, the world would recognize the benefits of palm oil as well.