Jimmy Piong is instrumental in building Kotra Industries into a leading pharma company in Malaysia

November 15, 2022


Piong Teck Onn, 64, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy University of Wales, Cardiff, UK has more than 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry. The Piong family is the major shareholder of listed Kotra Industries Berhad (Kotra). The Group is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Malaysia and is engaged in developing, manufacturing and supplying pharmaceutical and healthcare products since its inception in 1982. Kotra is headquartered in Melaka, Malaysia. 

On board is his wife, Chin Swee Chang, 65 who holds the post of Executive Director of Kotra. Chin holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Data Processing, University of Leeds, UK. Two Piong non-executive Directors are Teck Onn's brother Datuk Piong Teck Yen, 55, and his nephew Piong Chee Kien, 42. 

Teck Onn's son, Piong Chee Wei, 37, though not a Director, is in Key senior management. He heads the OTC (over the counter) sales and Marketing Division. Chee Wei  holds a Master of Pharmacy University of London, UK and has more than 10 years experience in the industry.  

Kotra carved its niche in the local pharma industry via three (3) main generic drugs brands, Appeton, Axcel and Vaxcel. The Appeton brand offers high quality OTC products that cater to all stages of life, from prenatal development needs to geriatric health supplements. Axcel specialises in paediatric care, anti-infective medicine and dermatological care while Vaxcel products focus on sterile injectables that feature a range of antibiotics to treat an extensive range of health conditions. Its metered dose inhalers are branded as Arite. Its principal customers are local hospitals and general practitioners. As at financial year ended 30 June 2022, Kotra has 62 OTC products and 134 pharmaceutical products registered in Malaysia as well as in the international markets that the group operates in. 

Kotra competes in an industry dominated by large pharma players and generic drugs from India. Its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and production lines in Melaka together with strong brand marketing has enabled the group to maintain its niche here and to export over 40% of its products to foreign markets especially ASEAN. 

Teck Onn says that pharmaceuticals is a complex business due to the stringent regulatory framework. But the complexity of the business with its high barriers to entry is also a plus factor for Kotra. For FYE 30 June 2022 Kotra achieved revenues of  RM207.9 million,  71% of which was derived from local sales with the remaining 29% from export market. The higher revenue was primarily attributed by higher sales orders from customers who replenished their stocks when the economies reopened. Pre-tax profit was RM62.1million. Teck Onn believes that the future lies in biopharmaceuticals and Kotra is seeking partners who have a strong presence in this field.


  1. Kotra Industries Berhad. 2022 Annual Report. https://disclosure.bursamalaysia.com/FileAccess/apbursaweb/download?id=220680&name=EA_DS_ATTACHMENTS
  2. The Edge Markets. 14 March 2018. https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/it-showtime-kotra-now-says-its-chief
  3. The Edge Markets. 26 sept 2022. Chester Tay. https://centurion.theedgemarkets.com/2022/award.php?loadtype=frame&values=Kotra,%20Healthcare,%20Profit&company=Kotra&category=Healthcare