TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan Cement Corp. (TCC, 台泥), the nation’s biggest cement company, is seeking growth opportunities in India, a market that the late chairman of TCC Leslie Koo believed to have great development potential.
Leslie Cheng-yun Koo (辜成允), Taiwan Cement chairman and president, has died on January 21st from severe head injuries after falling down the stairs at a Taipei hotel. A memorial service will be held on March 15, the company announced last week.
The 62-year-old leader of one of Taiwan’s most prominent business families was attending a wedding banquet at Regent Hotel Taipei when he fell down a flight of stairs and suffered severe head injuries. He was immediately rushed to a hospital nearby but succumbed to his injuries two days later.
Leslie Koo took over the reins at Taiwan Cement from his brother, Chester Koo, who died of cancer in 2001. His brother-in-law and the company’s board director, Nelson An-ping Chang (張安平), has been appointed to take over the business as acting chairman following the sudden death of Koo.
Given Chang’s longtime experience in the cement industry, the incident will not disrupt the ongoing operations of the business, the company said.
Chang, son of Chia Hsin Cement Corp. founder Chang Min-yu and husband of Koo’s younger sister, previously served as vice chairman of Taiwan Cement and Chia Hsin Cement Corp.
Having been active in the business for over 40 years, Chang told reporters after a board meeting following the hotel accident that the company’s operation target for this year will not change, while adding that he was optimistic about the company’s sales outlook for this year.
Under Koo’s leadership, Taiwan Cement has transformed into the seventh-largest cement maker in China, and the 12th largest globally. His decision to invest in China has turned the company around, doubling its revenue in 13 years.
However, as China’s economy continues to slow, the company is looking to expand in other emerging economies and especially in India, an economic bright spot with strong domestic demand.
Koo reportedly entered India several times over the past two years to evaluate the market.
Last year during an interview, Koo revealed his thoughts on India as a nation with great potential for development in the infrastructure sector, and believed that the cement industry will largely benefit from it.