Focus on automotive: Leaving a greener mark in the detailing industry

01 February 2024

At 30 years of age, Keong Chun Chieh clocked in 100,000km annually travelling around Malaysia. With the tropical weather, these driving conditions became hazardous – especially when it rained, due to the lack of visibility. This drove him to create a better solution for himself. IGL Coatings, founded in Shah Alam in 2015, has since become a beacon of innovation in the surface protectant automotive industry.

Leveraging his quick learning abilities and laboratory connections, Keong identified market challenges and formulated innovative products that have since revolutionised the automotive detailing industry. Beginning from his own home, he garnered initial traction through online forums like Lowyat, offering effective, durable and safer products that addressed critical pain points.

Encouraged by the positive response, Keong took the bold step of forsaking job security for the allure of limitless freedom. However, he soon confronted a daunting reality – the lack of trust in Malaysian-made products. Undeterred, he returned to his roots, harnessing the power of online platforms to connect with a global audience.

Facing skepticism as a micro-brand from Malaysia, Keong persisted, promoting his core values of environmentally friendly coatings that outperformed hazardous alternatives. Devoting day and night to building awareness within the international detailing community, he attracted interest and embarked on a journey to the United States to meet potential partners.

The road to finding the right collaborators and distributors abroad was fraught with challenges, but Keong’s relentless efforts propelled IGL Coatings into a leadership position in automotive ceramic coatings. The company has since further expanded its portfolio to include its highly successful industrial and marine solutions.

From a modest show in the U.S. generating 50 leads, IGL Coatings has grown into a global entity, selling its innovative award winning products in more than 50 countries and doubling revenues annually in its first five years, becoming one of the top brands in North America and south east Asia.

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Celebrating a decade of success in 2025, the company, alongside its R&D team, earned pioneer status for incorporating graphene technology and received industry accolades, including being recognised as Malaysia’s Number 1 Top Growth Manufacturer in 2023.

Under Keong’s leadership, IGL Coatings achieved its ISO 9001:2015 certification, Malaysia National Mark and Nano and Graphene technology certification from Nano Malaysia Berhad. The company’s commitment to greener technologies and innovative anti-corrosion coatings garnered global industry awards and a spot in the Financial Times’ Top 500 in Asia Pacific.

What was once a one-man show has blossomed into a thriving enterprise with more than 50 full-time staff at its Malaysian headquarters, positively impacting more than 5,000 families worldwide. Keong’s visionary leadership not only positioned Malaysia as a ceramic coating powerhouse but also reshaped the industry’s embrace of environmentally friendly technologies.

As a manu-tech company specialising in eco-friendly and high-performance ceramic coatings, the company has consistently pushed boundaries to redefine the standards of vehicle protection and aesthetics. As a pioneer in graphene technology, the company’s international success underscores its commitment to showcasing Malaysian ingenuity and innovation on a global scale.

Keong Chun Chieh, CEO and Managing Director of Ominent Sdn Bhd, shares: “IGL started out as an idea for better coatings and chemicals that are safer for the users. Existing products were pretty harmful (and some still is!). It’s been almost 10 years since we first started our journey and it’s simply amazing to see how far and wide we’ve grown. We are thankful for the support, trust and loyalty from the communities and IGL entrepreneurs worldwide that shares our inspirations of growth and leadership.”

With a strong emphasis on environmental responsibility, IGL Coatings ensures its products are formulated with sustainable ingredients, ensuring that the company contributes to Malaysia’s reputation as a sustainable business hub. The company’s commitment to green manufacturing practices positions it as a leader in the global movement toward a more sustainable automotive industry.

In addition to its economic contributions, IGL Coatings has played a pivotal role in job creation and skills development in Malaysia. As one of the few ceramic coating manufacturers with its own R&D facilities, the company’s commitment to nurturing local talent has resulted in a skilled workforce, fostering innovation and expertise within the country.

IGL Coatings stands as a testament to Malaysian ingenuity and excellence, showcasing the nation’s capabilities on the global stage. The company’s export success, commitment to sustainability and contributions to the local economy position it as a beacon of the Malaysian success story in the foreign dominated ceramic coating automotive industry.

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