Meet The CEO

Shirley Loh, Regional Managing Director, Owen Mumford Sdn Bhd

Owen Mumford was founded in 1952 in Oxfordshire, England. We have grown from a small, family-run business to a global medical device innovator but are still proud to be family-owned. We assist patients and healthcare professionals to manage a variety of medical conditions. Through working closely with our customers, we design and manufacture high-quality products to meet their needs. Owen Mumford Malaysia (OMM) is our first manufacturing facility outside of the UK – established in 2015. It is also our Asia Pacific HQ and we are now producing many of our core products here to be exported to the rest of the world.

What are some of your organisation’s proudest moments/milestones in Malaysia?

We are delighted to say that we are in Malaysia for the benefit of Malaysians. Our proudest moment in Malaysia was that we achieved our objectives ahead of our project timeline on both financial returns as well as technological transfers while maintaining a 98% Malaysian workforce. At Owen Mumford, our people are our most valuable asset, and in April last year, OMM received an award from the Human Resources Development Corporation (HRDC) in recognition of our participation in the Place and Train Programme. The award enables us to provide employment and training opportunities to even more new associates, helping us to maintain our reputation as a leading employer in Malaysia.

Last year we were one of the very first medical device companies to achieve B Corp certification in recognition of our serious commitment to our corporate responsibility. Being a B Corp organisation carries much responsibility, not least the commitment to continual assessment of progress in our sustainable agenda, and so we have anchored all our efforts to a single goal – a pledge to achieve net-zero by 2045. OMM will be a key player in helping to reach this goal, which will be measured by the Science Based Targets initiative.

Based on your experience in operating in Malaysia, what are the 3 most important criteria for achieving business success in Malaysia?

Being a manufacturing hub for our global business, geographical accessibility is very important to us. Malaysia has a reliable and efficient infrastructure that gives us peace of mind. Medical device manufacturing requires a unique and highly skilled workforce and we have been fortunate that we are able to find first-class talent in Malaysia, a talent pool that we are able to enhance with further training and development. It has also been relatively easy to do business in Malaysia and we are grateful for the support that we have received from the various agencies like MIDA and AMMI.

How has your business evolved during this pandemic, especially in terms of optimisation of human and technology resources?

Since our workforce is 98% Malaysian, we have been fortunate that we are not affected by border closure caused by the pandemic. We had anticipated lockdowns before Malaysia went into its first MCO and had hastened the IT readiness of our office-based employees at that time in case we had to ask people to work from home. However, we managed to overcome most of the initial teething issues and productivity was not too greatly compromised with 80% of our workforce is in the factory without the option to work from home. We, therefore, adopted split teams and implemented changes to our shift patterns. This was very successful and had a minimum impact on productivity, but most importantly for us, we have avoided catastrophic infection clusters in our premises. The safety of our associates is of the highest priority to us.

How do you see your business growth and prospects in Malaysia now?

Malaysia is a new market for Owen Mumford and we are competing with incumbents that have been here for many years. Having invested in Malaysia, we are working towards recognition as a serious supplier of life-enhancing medical devices for patients, which also offer the best in safety for healthcare professionals. We know that this will not happen immediately but through creating brand awareness and working with key customer stakeholders, we hope that we can further leverage our “Made in Malaysia” status to gain market share. It is our charter to do this in a responsible way and we are engaged in achieving our sustainability objectives in Malaysia, motivated by the Government drive towards the same agenda.

What recommendation or advice would you give to other companies looking to invest or do business in Malaysia.

Getting in touch with the BMCC is a good start as the Chamber is well connected and will be able to find answers and make connections to all the relevant agencies who can guide and support the journey. There are some regulations and policies that may be difficult to navigate, but Malaysians are extremely helpful and friendly people and will unreservedly extend a helping hand when approached, be it for business or personal needs.

What are the top 3 reasons for your organisation joining the BMCC?

Our top 3 reasons for joining the BMCC are the opportunity to take part in the various activities that BMCC organises, a chance to amplify our brand and company in Malaysia and the region, and also a chance to network and connect with the wider business community.

What is the top value you see for yourself or your organisation in being a member of the BMCC?

The top value we see being a BMCC member is that the Chamber serves as a primary avenue to reach out for support and help if there are any issues that need resolving.

In one sentence, how would you describe your own experience or your organisation’s experience as a member of the BMCC.

The BMCC has been an invaluable partner for us particularly during this pandemic and we value its openness to listen and proactive approach to tackling issues for the business community.