Hoi Polloi #1

Image033.jpgaxe brand logo.jpg

Axe Brand Medicated Oil is as as homey as a pair rubber flip flops. It is something one always has at home and it is used for everything from headaches to muscle pains. It is made by Singapore’s oldest family-run pharmaceutical company founded in 1928. Quite by chance, I sat next to its Managing Director, the son of the founder, Mr Leong Mun Sum. Top 5 questions for Mr Axe Brand Oil.

1 Any new products from Axe Brand?
We are introducing an inhaler, it is going to more powerful than any inhaler you have ever had. We are going to advertise it on buses. We find bus ads most helpful. People say that after they see the bus ads, they feel they have a headache where none existed before.

2 What is the most difficult part of the production process
Squirting the oil into the bottle, the hole is very small, (he whips out his bottle to show me) we have to use special machines to put the oil in, our rate is 100bottles/min.

3 Are you competitors with Tiger Balm?
We are in the medicated oil business, they in the balm business, its very different. We are good friends and respect each other

4 How do you find new markets
We export to more than 50 countries, We are very big in Sri Lanka and just got a distributor in Romania. My nephew is now in Morocco on a trade mission with Sr Minister Goh Chok Tong to find a Moroccan distributor. That is how we got our order from Romania too, through trade missions, very helpful.

5 Are your sons in the business?
No, but my two nephews are, one is looking after the Vietnam factory, one the China Factory. We have five factories in Asia, one is in my father’s home town Shunde, Guangzhou, China