Other home-grown global brands
Chop Wah On (1916)
The medicated oils and balms concocted by founder Tong Chee Leong are so popular they are now sold at a pharmacy in Changi Airport’s departure lounge in Terminal 1 and 2.
Axe Brand Medicated Oil (1928)
Founder Leung Yun Chee got the formula for medicated oil from German physician Dr Schmeidler and set up Leung Kai Fook to manufacture it commercially. It is now sold in 40 countries including the Middle East, Panama, South Africa and Turkey.
Jumain Sataysfaction (1994)
If you dine at Burj Al Arab Hotel or Atlantis Hotel in Dubai or Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Hotel in Oman, chances are the satay served there are made in Singapore by Jumain Sataysfaction.
Tiger Brand Soya Sauce (1930s)
Chuen Cheong Food Industries was founded by Mr Chia Hou and is managed by the fourth generation of the Chia family. It employs traditional Chinese methods to produce soya sauce, derived from a recipe that has been handed down through the generations.
Three Legs Cooling Water (1937)
The traditional Chinese health drink offers an affordable remedy to those feeling ill as a result of the “heatiness” of Singapore’s tropical climate and long hours of labour in the early days. The drink is popular in Singapore, China and India.
Khong Guan Biscuits (1947)
Mr Chew Choo Keng (above) established Khong Guan Biscuit Company and set up its first factory in Singapore with $60,000. He roped in his brother, Choo Han, who had a talent for machinery. In 1974, Khong Guan signed an agreement with Australian biscuit manufacturer Arnott’s, which gave Khong Guan access to Arnott’s recipes, formulae, production methods and processes. With this agreement, Khong Guan doubled its production in South-east Asia and also distributes Arnott’s biscuits in the region.
Kwanpen was launched as a fashion label with its own handbag boutique in Orchard Road. In 1980, it released its logo inspired by the family’s surname written in simplified Chinese characters.
Dr Lee Kum Tatt (former chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research) unveiled the gold-plated Risis orchid that became a hit with both locals and foreigners, and the brand soon gained recognition as a national product of Singapore.
Trek 2000 (1995)
It is the inventor of the ubiquitous Thumb-Drive – the company’s first patent was filed in February 2000 in 36 countries. By 2008, the ThumbDrive replaced the floppy disk. It has since been granted more than 380 patents around the world. Today, among its new technology is the Flucard – a Secure Digital (SD) memory card that allows videos and photos to be wirelessly transmitted between devices.
Avid musician Ravichandran Chithambaram began experimenting with constructing his own guitar pedals as “the pedals I bought off the shelf were not giving me the kind of sounds I wanted”. In 2008, he put his pedals up for sale on the Internet and he is now distributing them in countries such as Japan, Australia and the US.
See more local brands that made it big at the Made In Singapore Preview Exhibition
August 20 – September 30, 2014
National Library Building, Level 8