September 20, 2017

THERE can’t be that many people whose business card is a condom wrapper, but MK Goh is no ordinary entrepreneur.

Goh, the chief executive of Karex, the world’s largest condom manufacturer, is often asked to repeat what he does for a living when introduced to strangers.

” ‘You build condominiums?’ is what they ask, thinking they have misheard me,” he says. ‘ “No, I make condoms,’ I tell them.”

The next question he is usually asked is where they sell the “biggest condoms”, Goh adds, laughing.

Ever the diplomat, the Malaysian businessman, who was in Monaco recently to take part in the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year awards, has a stock answer to hand.

“I always say we have an extra-large segment in every market we operate in.”

Goh’s business card, which naturally has a free condom included, is there to make sure no one is left in any doubt about what he does.

He entered the family business reluctantly after his father died unexpectedly, but he soon discovered that condoms were his passion.

“My dad’s original intention was for me not go into the business, and it was really more of an obligation that brought me into it. I couldn’t have possibly imagined then that this obligation would turn out to be something I’d end up loving doing, but it did. Selling condoms is really about saving lives, and 1½ grams of rubber can change the world, so doing this has given me a mission,” he says.

“My father went through a very difficult time, and we had to pool our money to make the company what it is today. We lost our home and went to live in the factory, so by the time I was 13 I knew every aspect of the business, from cleaning the toilets to packing and loading containers,” he says.

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