The story of Kim Teck Cheong (KTC) began in 1910’s, when a little boy by the name of Lau Yeong Ching, embarked on a voyage that would change his life and future generations to come. At the age of eight, Datuk Lau Yeong Ching journeyed across the ocean with his father from their hometown in the Fujian Province of China to the island of Borneo.
As an ambitious young man who wanted to support his new family, he decided to start a small retail business. He wanted the business to be guided by strong values and noble principles. Hence, he named it Kim Teck Cheong (金德昌) to epitomize his dreams and visions of leading a success business with a solid foundation of strong values and noble principles.
It was a challenge and an uphill battle, but the hard work, relentless focus and perseverance of the late Datuk Lau came to fruition when he expanded his business by starting a departmental store in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 1946.
Datuk Lau Yeong Ching was a visionaire. He continued to focus and work on his business, embrace the successes, learn from his mistakes and he never became complacent. As a patriarch of the family and the business, the late Datuk Lau ensured that his son, Datuk Lau Koh Sing, is well educated and groomed accordingly to ultimately take over the family business. In the mid 1960s, the young Datuk Lau Kok Sing joined his family business taking care of the daily operations and learning the ropes from the bottom and successfully took over the baton from his father. In 1973, businesses was hit with the oil crises, which affected Kim Teck Cheong’s business growth.
Datuk Lau Kok Sing realised that he had to device a new business strategy in order to overcome the economic challenge. Armed with a new game plan, he converted the prominent retail outlet to a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) distribution and trading business, which also involved logistic management. Datuk Lau Kok Sing’s bold move paid off and business expanded beyond Kota Kinabalu to the towns of Tawau, Sandakan and Labuan. Under Datuk Lau Kok Sing’s leadership, he managed to secure several major distributorships, further exemplifying the company as a major player within the industry.
In order to continue to command a competitive edge, Kim Teck Cheong began to explore the distribution business, involved in providing market access for brands producing consumer-packaged goods (CPG). In 1975, Kim Teck Cheong Sdn Bhd was set up to corporatize the existing business.
In 2003, noting that a family successor was to be continued within its family business in time to come; Datuk Yeong Ching and Datuk Lau Kok Sing both welcomed the third generation of the family, Dexter Lau into the business. Dexter was a barrister-in-law. He was forward thinking and passionate like his grandfather; prudent and strategic like his father.
In order to have a clear understanding of the business, Dexter worked from the ground up, learning the ropes of the business. He restructured the company through business process improvements, in order to consistently deliver results and performances. Dexter also implemented corporate governance into Kim Teck Cheong, so as to better manage the company’s directions and its control. Following his vision, Dexter rebranded the company and transformed Kim Teck Cheong into a dynamic and progressive organization that attracts and utilizes high calibre employees. He did so with the aim to continuously bring Kim Teck Cheong to greater heights.
Today, Kim Teck Cheong has expanded beyond Sabah to its neighbouring state, Sarawak and is taking a global step outreaching to Brunei Darussalam and soon beyond. Kim Teck is recognized and acknowledged for its high level of efficiency and productivity. Thereby, leading it to becoming a preferred and ambitious choice of career within the industry, as well as an ideal business partner to suppliers and customers nationwide.
Kim Teck Cheong, bridging three generations, remains strong and stands tall with pride.