About Our Founder
Mr. Teo Chin Huat was born in Tong Phang Village, Nan’an, Fujian China in 1905. At the tender age of 16, he followed southsea to Malaya, which was otherwise known as Nanyang. Life was tough especially with little or no education. However, Mr. Teo did not allow his future to be dictated by the course of fate. He began working as a butcher by day and a rickshaw puller by night. Thereafter, he was employed as a storekeeper at a small provision shop and was soon promoted to an accountant’s role.
Teck Huat & Co. (THC) was established in 1927 by Mr. Teo which started off as a small-scaled provision shop along Rochor Road, Singapore, selling general goods and trading supplies. Owing to THC’s effective business management, the trust of local merchants were gained and the business grew extensively, securing important business contracts in Malaya.
Growth of Teck Huat & Co.
In late 1928, Mr. Teo expanded THC’s business portfolio by establishing Wan Tong Soap Factory in Yio Chu Kang, Singapore. The soap factory manufactured 2 major brands, namely “Fan” and “Gunner”, which were highly sought-after by consumers in Malaya, North Eastern India, Sarawak and Hong Kong.
It was not long after in 1929, Australia’s local brand of condensed milk, “Lifeguard”, had the intention to penetrate into the Malaya market. The liaison officer at that time, Mr. McDermott, appointed THC as the sole distributor in Singapore and Malaya. THC’s business strategies for the Malaya market proved a success as “Lifeguard” topped the brands in the condensed milk market.
In 1941, Mr. Teo’s shophouse was destroyed during the Japanese occupation and like many, he lost Wan Tong Soap Factory’s ownership to the Japanese. During an occasion when despite risking the dangers of being exposed and executed, Mr. Teo hid Mr. McDermott and his wife in his plantation avenue’s attic. This further strengthened the trust between the two and in the later years, a full acquisition of the “Lifeguard” brand was arranged for Mr. Teo.
Shortly after the Japanese surrendered in 1945, there was a shortage of necessities and resources everywhere in the country and region. Mr. Teo observed that commodities were scarce and demands were huge. Whilst the rest of the region was slowly recovering from the aftermath of the war, Mr. Teo swiftly reorganized THC and started importing coffee and canned foods from America, Australia, Brazil, Europe, and South Africa to supply to post-war residents in the country.
Teck Huat and Company Pte Ltd
In 1950, Teck Huat & Co. was incorporated as Teck Huat and Company Pte Ltd. The act of incorporation won countless respect for Mr. Teo and his company quickly flourished under the newly boosted reputation.
During the 1950s to 1990s, brands namely “Lifeguard”, “Flying Horse”, “Princess” and “Moonlight” were created. These brands evoked many memories of THC’s history and held sentimental values in many hearts of the older generations.
Since the incorporation, THC stood sturdy amidst political unrest, racial disharmony and the many riots during the early days of Singapore’s independence from Malaysia to the modern crisis of the SARS epidemic in 2003. THC managed to tide over countless obstacles and a few recessions, due to its beliefs and passion in providing “premium quality and affordable products” to consumers. With sound investments and a diversified business portfolio, THC remains a stronghold in the current markets.
Today, Teck Huat and Company Pte Ltd is managed by the third generation of the Teo family, who continues to build on the legacy of bringing only the best products and customer service to consumers. And in doing so, upkeeps the reputation of a well-established organization.
As a trusted and respected establishment for generations, Teck Huat and Company will continue to convalesce and revolutionize to better meet the needs of the ever-changing markets.