Furniture producer and exporter, Ecomate Holdings Bhd is the idea of two men who came together in 2016 to establish a long-lasting business presence in the furniture industry.
Jason Koh Jian Hui, who is now the Managing Director of Ecomate, started his career in his family’s property development company before co-founding Ecomate at the age of 25 with his cousin, Koh Cheng Huat, who brought with him more than 20 years of experience in the furniture industry.
Ecomate commenced its operations in 2016 as a humble start-up with modest upfront capital. The excitement of launching their first living room furniture series and clinching their first order are still vivid in their memories, which are held dear up until now.
From the early days, Jason had harboured the ambition of listing the company on Bursa Malaysia and understandably, received sceptic looks in return given the nascent state of their business then.
Resilience Pays Off
Today, through sound business acumen and strong execution skills, Ecomate has grown by leaps and bounds, currently boasting a clientele of some 90 customers from more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Australasia, Africa, and South America.
In tandem with the growing customer base and demand for its RTA furniture, the production space has also expanded from just a section of the initial factory (Factory A) to now occupying two whole factories, Factory A and B.
At present, there are five production lines with a total annual production capacity of 470,400 units of furniture.
“I still remember the idea to list Ecomate on Bursa Malaysia during our second year of operations, and many thought it was far-fetched and unrealistic. But here we are now, the idea is turning into reality. And having come this far, well, we don’t plan to stop anytime soon,” Ecomate’s Managing Director, Jason tells BusinessToday.
After toiling for five years to be exact, Jason’s vision to list Ecomate has finally come to fruition, proving naysayers wrong. With the company now en-route for listing soon, plans for the next stage of growth are already in place.
Ecomate’s post-listing expansion plans entail acquisitions of new machinery and equipment for its existing factory as well as construction of its third factory to elevate production capacity to cater for the increasing orders for RTA furniture.
Sustainability In Mind
Despite operating in a competitive industry, Ecomate has carved out a unique presence of their own, capitalising on the rising demand for RTA furniture products by combining style, practicality, and affordability.
Jason together with his stellar team also believe in prioritising eco-friendliness in Ecomate’s supply chains.
“On upstream sourcing, Ecomate mainly uses sustainable materials like chipboard and medium density fibreboard with only little solid wood in its production process,” Jason highlights.
As for logistics fulfilment, Jason points out that Ecomate’s RTA furniture is shipped flat packed, making transportation more efficient and in-turn, resulting in lower carbon emissions.
Upwards and Onwards
Like many during the pandemic, companies have had to pivot and adapt digitally to overcome the trials set by Covid-19. While some faltered, others succeeded.
Ecomate was among those which rose to the occasion to become stronger and better. The rise of online sales channels provided a huge growth opportunity for RTA furniture producers such as Ecomate as the products proved to be well-suited for e-commerce platforms as it enjoys greater logistics advantage against its conventional counterparts.
“As consumers worldwide shift their purchasing activities to online channels, this has also broadened the Group’s distribution networks to include e-commerce retailers.”
“The Group will continue penetrating the fast-growing e-commerce market by supplying more products to e-commerce sellers who have access to all corners of the globe,” Executive Director, Koh says.
The team at Ecomate are also aware of the importance of enhancing marketing efforts by offering the latest designs and trends.
The Group is committed to continue participating in physical trade fairs upon resumption of activities, which will increase the visibility of its furniture products.
Additionally, in the absence of pressure to clear overhang inventory of furniture products thanks to its “made-to-order” business model, Ecomate can have a much faster time to market and adopt the latest trends and consumer preferences.
Today, having tackled many obstacles along the way, both Jason and Koh along with their team are well on their way to list Ecomate on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia by November 2021.
“The listing will boost our corporate stature and credibility, which will prove to be crucial for an export-oriented organisation to enhance our position on the international platform,” Jason tells Business Today.