YHI chief plans succession, seeks new markets


RICHARD Tay, group managing director of mainboard-listed YHI International, is a great advocate of planning - including the search for a successor.

Forward thinking: 'Within the next five years, I want to recruit a successor,' says Mr Tay

'Within the next five years, I want to recruit a successor,' he reveals in an interview with BT. He is 55 years old, he says, and by the time he reaches 60, he wants to be involved in just the planning aspect of running YHI, and not the supervision as well. YHI is a manufacturer and distributor of alloy wheels and tyres.

In addition, to make YHI more effective before he relinquishes some of his duties, he wants to 'localise human resource' in countries where YHI operates. Right now, while overseas branches in most countries are managed by local talent in the respective countries, accounting and international sales are still handled by Singaporean teams.

Mr Tay eventually wants the local talent overseas to take over accounting as well, as that will cut cost. The Singapore office can then focus on sales and marketing, which he says is its strength.

Right now, YHI derives about 70 per cent of its revenue from distribution and 30 per cent from manufacturing. Mr Tay expects this to change in the future, with manufacturing contributing a significantly larger proportion.

The industry YHI is in is competitive, Mr Tay says. In order for YHI to stay ahead of the competition, it has to keep looking for new markets.

'Our new strategy is to look at developing countries,' Mr Tay says, explaining those areas are where growth will come from.

As purchasing power in developing countries increases, people will be more willing to buy luxury goods such as cars, says Mr Tay. This will in turn increase the demand for quality wheels and tyres, which YHI supplies.

Markets that Mr Tay is eyeing for expansion of YHI's manufacturing business include India, China, Russia and Europe's Eastern bloc.

'In developing countries, you can establish brands and become the market leader,' he says. This way, YHI can be one step ahead of the rest of the pack.

However, this by no means indicates that YHI will stop moving into established markets. Recently, YHI set up a joint venture company in the US, the world's largest automotive market, to sell wheels. The only way to survive in a competitive environment, Mr Tay says, is to keep growing.

《The Business Times》


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