1 Nov 2002
Trade Development Council Export Marketing Award (HKTDC Houseware, Vol 02,2002)
Vol. 2, 2002
Trade Development Council Export Marketing Award
Tai Ping Carpets Ltd
|Tai Ping Carpets Ltd's high-end tailor-made carpets appear in prestigious hotels, luxury residences and public institutions worldwide.|
Tai Ping Carpets Ltd was a winner at the Trade Development Council Export Marketing Awards 2001. We repost a profile of this outstanding company here.
IN the 45 years since Tai Ping Carpets Ltd started making handcrafted carpets, it has become one of the world's leading custom-made suppliers. It is among a handful of Hong Kong companies to achieve international brand recognition. Around the world, the name Tai Ping ("Great Peace") suggests high-end tailor-made luxury carpets.
Tai Ping produces 100,000-200,000 square metres of custom handcrafted carpet a year for commercial projects. Managing director Kent Yeh says carpets are a crucial element in modern interior design. "The only place where colour comes together is in the carpet. It is the key to the design, so I like to think we are very important," Yeh says.
Tai Ping's carpets cover floors in the People's Hall of China in Beijing, the Dutch House of Lords in the Netherlands, the Ritz Hotel in Paris, the Okura Hotel in Tokyo and Harvard University in Boston.
During the 1950s, a group of eight Hong Kong industrialists, including Lord Kadoorie and his brother Horace, displayed a mixture of business sense and philanthropy to found a Hong Kong factory making hand-knotted Chinese carpets for export to the US before the Chinese mainland and the US had diplomatic relations. One reason was for profit; another was to create jobs for refugees from the Chinese mainland.
Since Hong Kong workers had neither skills nor patience for knotting by hand, Yeh's father, who was both a mechanical engineer and one of the company's founders, invented an electric motor-driven hand-tufting machine that speeded the tufting process and is now used worldwide.
In the 1970s, Tai Ping changed its focus from Chinese rugs to custom-designed carpets, and this remains its core business.
Design is vital to the production process, and Tai Ping works with design firms on concepts. House designers are based in each of its overseas offices. Carpet samples and computer-aided design (CAD) techniques are used so customers can see simulations of finished products before manufacturing begins.
Tai Ping employs 1,000 highly skilled artisans at its factory in Nanhai on the Chinese mainland. The company has another factory in Bangkok. These were the first carpet-making facilities in Asia to achieve ISO 9002 certification. They hope soon to become the first awarded ISO 14000 certification.
One of the company's export marketing strengths is its global sales distribution network. "You need to serve a customer as a local company would. If a hotel wants a carpet for an opening ceremony, there can be no delay," says Yeh.
Sales turnover for 2000 was US$56.4m (HK$439.6m), and profits for the first six months of 2001 rose 30% despite the global economic slowdown.
Since Tai Ping Carpets anticipates growth in the consumer market on the Chinese mainland, it plans to open its first mainland retail outlet in Shanghai.
WRITTEN BY HELEN WONG
Tai Ping Carpets Ltd
26/F, Tower A,
63 Wo Yi Hop Road, Kwai Chung,
New Territories, Hong Kong
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