10 April 2007
Super Sounds(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2007)
Brilliant Rich Electronics Ltd
|The innovative radios and/or players produced by Brilliant Rich Electronics Ltd make great premiums for companies of all sizes|
The 21-year-old firm produces virtually any kind of radio today's busy consumer could want, including a handy beach model neatly fitted atop a 16cm plastic spear that can be plunged into the sand.
Other alternatives for the beach include a combination cooler-CD player/radio that keeps six cans of drink nicely chilled, box-shaped coolers with a CD player and radio built into the lid and even hand-held LED torch-radios.
Closer to home, Brilliant Rich's handy kitchen radio slots onto the wall and has two "arms" underneath that can hold paper towels 9-11 inches wide, while another kitchen model boasts a removable MP3.
There's even a special model for the bathroom wall that also accommodates a roll of toilet tissue, while some 20 different shower radios come with a towel rail, non-fog mirror, radio/CD and LCD clock.
It would seem that company founder and imaginative chief designer Tony Ng has thought of just about every possible adaptation when it comes to finding uses for his radios.
"Our 50-man research and design team produces both OEM and ODM products," he explains. "We are very fast with new designs and come up with fresh ideas every month."
Not surprisingly, given this talent, Brilliant Rich has manufactured specialty radios for a number of leading international companies. "We started with two production lines, whereas today we have 10," says Ng.
His smart designs have won him customers all around the world, especially in the US, the UK and Europe, and among young buyers in Japan who are just crazy for gadgets.
Their needs are met by a 50,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland that employs 100 workers, who can produce 250,000 units a month. "We also export to Southeast Asia, but they are smaller orders," Ng adds, noting that the average FOB Hong Kong unit price is US$2.50, minimum order size is 1,000 pieces and delivery is 30 days after order confirmation.
However, his business really only became fully entrenched in 1990/91, thanks to two best sellers - headphone radios and pocket transistors - that paved the way for Brilliant Rich's move into OEM products.
Since then it has produced premium products for some of today's best-known soft drink and beer multinationals, and its radios are on sale at two of the biggest supermarket chains in the US, Wal-Mart and Target.
Ng says the main factors in his company's ongoing success are simple to identify. "We always have our own designs, follow any new trend and keep looking for fresh ideas," he explains. "Other key attributes are maintaining good product quality and providing good service to the customer, both before and after sales."
Ng points out that manufacturing in China is no longer the smooth ride that it was. "Today we face difficulties on many fronts, one of the biggest of which is recruiting manpower," he admits.
Experienced workers are taking their savings and returning to their home provinces, and no longer do young people queue outside the factories looking for jobs.
"It follows that if you want to retain semi-skilled staff, you must increase their wages," Ng concedes. "And on top of all this, the raw materials we use - mainly plastic and metal - also cost much more because of the knock-on effect of the huge oil price increases last year."
These problems aside, Ng is determined to press on and build on Brilliant Rich's firm base in the US by moving into fresh and largely untapped markets.
"I think our best hope of expanding business lies with the EU, which is steadily removing barriers between member countries and making trade much easier," Ng maintains.
"There are millions of eager consumers in newly-emerging areas such as Eastern Europe and I think this will be a major area for future development for the company."
TEXT BY GEOFFREY SOMERS
Brilliant Rich Electronics Ltd