29 Oct 2008
Extra Focus(HKTDC Optical,2009)
Parts & Accessories
Hong Kong optical manufacturers can't do without companies such as Ka Hin Int'l Industries Ltd, which supplies the parts and components needed to produce finished designs.
A trading company that supplies local and Chinese mainland manufacturers and also enjoys a healthy export business, Ka Hin is one of many firms that have made Hong Kong the world's second-largest supplier of optical frames.
"When Ka Hin was established, in 1993, the first products we sourced were hinges and other minor optical parts," says Managing Director Dicky Ma.
"While we still source those parts today, the range has expanded into every conceivable component, part and even raw material used in the optical industry, locally and worldwide," he adds.
The firm quickly realised that there was widespread demand for its sourced parts and components, and began to explore and develop new markets and promote itself at international optical fairs.
"Today, we are a regular exhibitor at the International Optics, Optometry and Ophthalmology Fair in Milan, Italy (MIDO), the China International Optics Fair (CIOF), the China (Shanghai) International Optics Fair (SIOF) and the HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair," says Mr Ma.
"We have built up an excellent image and have become very well known in the industry. We work with both manufacturers and other traders interested in our comprehensive range of products," he adds. "The big plus when working with us is that we can usually find the part or material required, no matter how specialised it is."
This ability is not only at the high end. "In fact, cost effectiveness is a prime concern for us. We thoroughly research the needs of our potential customers to ensure we can cover everything from the inexpensive to the more costly items," Mr Ma promises.
He mentions several items that the firm specialises in, including a whole slew of titanium parts, and many different hinges for plastic frames and metal frames. "Hinges are a speciality," says Mr Ma. "We can offer stainless steel hinges, rivet hinges, special combinations such as stopper hinges and slope hinges. We also make hinges at our own factory."
Other popular items include rim locks and silicone or PVC nose pads, while Ka Hin also supplies a range of dyes and polishing compounds and lens and surface finishing products.
"We import special paints from Italy, nose pads from Korea and lenses from Taiwan, and source excellent spring hinges from Austria, and dyes and polishing compounds from France," he says.
"We also offer polishing pastes for barrelling, TC and GTC dyes for plastic frames, RD2 epoxy resins, metal and plastic varnishes," he adds. "However, we do not have a products catalogue because, as a trading company, we are always responding to market needs."
Mr Ma stresses that the firm's business philosophy is honesty, reliability, building up excellent relations and developing customer loyalty. "This disposition benefits both ourselves and our customers and has kept us on a profitable track all these years," he insists.
"We really value our working teams," he continues, "and believe that team spirit is highly important to give something extra to the day-to-day operations. We also encourage our staff to share their thoughts and ideas to help reduce misunderstandings and pre-empt workplace conflicts. Simply put, our people quickly get to know each other better and are better able to work with each other."
Ka Hin sells under several brand names, including Ka Hin, Gandola and TCN. "We find that it is very useful, as a trading company, to have more than one brand name so we can more easily manage different customers buying similar lines," Mr Ma explains.
"The key to our success is diversity and a fast response time," he claims. "It is one thing to offer a wide range of goods and quite another to be able to source and tranship the item, suitably branded and packed, to the buyer. It requires keen judgment and an excellent sense of logistics and timing."
It certainly does appear that Ka Hin is well focused on market needs and its own continuing success.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON