TAKing his company up to the next level

TAKing his company up to the next level
Above photo is Chairman Andrew Tan and his son Alex, the director, of TAK Products and Services.

Businessman Andrew Tan nearly lost his life and his company during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

The laminates expert was driving and so engrossed thinking about how to keep the business afloat that his car was almost hit by a truck when turning at a junction.

Thankfully he accelerated in time and a potentially fatal collision was avoided.

"It was a near-death experience, and a good wake-up call," recalls Mr Tan, 60.

The close shave came during a crisis which he described as the "greatest challenge" for his business, TAK Products and Services.

"Cash flow became very tight. I almost lost the whole enterprise. I had to sell at a discount, pull back credit rapidly. I even borrowed money from all my children and recalled all my insurance policies."

He pulled through with the help of his family and has since built TAK into a regional player with an annual turnover of nearly $40 million.

The enterprise began in 1989 as Tan Aik Koon, selling pneumatic tackers, which use compressed air to drive giant staples into hard surfaces like wood.

In 2001, it started its own brand of laminates, Lamitak, having realised that the market had little to offer in laminate designs that appealed to Asian tastes.

 

TAK's laminates are used as decorative surfaces for furniture and wall features by contractors, carpenters and property developers.

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