Coway (M) Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian arm of South Korean appliance company Coway Co, recently announced the appointment of its new managing director. After eight years at the helm, James Park Jae Young has passed the baton on to new managing director, Kyle Choi Ki-Ryong.
When he first set foot in Malaysia in November 2005, Park saw the growth prospects for the Coway brand of water purifiers in the local market. “Throughout 2005 to 2006, Malaysia’s economy was burgeoning. As the nation’s income grow, it was a right time for people to invest in products that enhance health,” he said of Coway’s establishment in the country.
During his tenure, Park successfully led the Malaysian business to become Coway’s best overseas subsidiary, recording the highest return on investment of 114% and a peak of 200,000 customers in Malaysia. “Coway Malaysia is an important achievement for my career,” said Park, the company’s first managing director.
At his official introduction, Choi stated that the company’s next step was to increase its presence in Malaysia. “We will be expanding our branches to the east coast states, and we plan to build our brand into every corner of the country,” he said. Choi revealed that the company was aiming for revenue of RM300mil this year, and was targetting an increase of 20% next year.
While stating he has large shoes to fill due to Park’s accomplishments, Choi is confident that the target will be achieved. Since its inception in 2006, Coway Malaysia has consistently seen 20% improvements in revenue every year.
Choi is not a stranger to the Malaysian arm of Coway, as he previously held the role of chief financial officer in 2006 and was responsible for helping to localise the business here. Prior to returning, Choi managed the South Korean company’s US operations as the managing director. In addition to expansion plans, Choi said the company will launch a new home sanitation service in coming months. “We expect to bring in more home appliances, with about five or six new product models alone,” he said.
To accommodate the developing business, Choi also said heavy recruitment is expected next year, especially in its Coway Lady (Cody) workforce, the company’s team of female service experts. In line with its CSR efforts, Coway Malaysia constantly offers job vacancies and career advancement opportunities to single mothers and housewives. “We have 750 Coway Ladies now and we are looking to increase up to 1,000, or more depending onthe growth of our business,” explained Choi.