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Trailblazer helps develop world’s thinnest condom

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GROWTH: Mr Victor Chan's company makes about half a million condoms daily. He will be in town on May 19to attend the Under 30 Summit Asia.

He is the head of a multi-million dollar enterprise making condoms.

Its products are sold in seven countries and about half a million condoms are made daily.

Based in Guangzhou, Chinese company Daming United Rubber has factories in China and Hong Kong.

When Mr Victor Chan, 29, joined the company in 2009, which was founded by his father, he decided to create the world's thinnest condom.

According to the Guinness World Records, the condom has a thickness of 0.036mm.

This makes the Aoni condom almost half as thin as human hair, which has an average thickness of 0.06mm. Other regular condoms are around 0.07mm thick.

Mr Chan, who was born in China but is now a Canadian citizen, told The New Paper: "I wanted to prove to the world that we have the ability to make the world's thinnest condom, to show that we possess that technology and ability to make strong condoms.

"The thinness will promote the skin-to-skin sensation, which is like wearing it but not feeling it."

Mr Chan will be in town next Thursday to attend the Under 30 Summit Asia as one of 300 trailblazers mentioned in this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list.

The list features promising leaders and game changers in 10 different sectors, including the Manufacturing and Energy category, which Mr Chan is a part of.

Other luminaries include K-pop idol G-dragon and Australian actor Liam Hemsworth.

Asked how he felt having earned a spot on the list, Mr Chan said: "I'm genuinely surprised. I feel that there are many people out there better than me.

"But I am glad that what I have done is recognised. To live up to that, I have to make better products and revolutionise this industry."

It is clear that Mr Chan is full of ambition.

Not only has his company created the world's thinnest condom, but it has also produced other interesting products like an antiseptic condom which he claims has the capability to treat fungal infections.

The go-getter also plans to launch something which he calls a "smart condom".

He said: "I won't reveal too much, but it's something inspired by this age of information and technology. It will be smart enough to communicate with the user."

Mr Chan, who studied engineering at the University of British Columbia, is also brave enough to go head-on against powerful corporate giants.

His company sued Japanese condom-maker Okamoto for continuing to falsely advertise its condoms as the world's thinnest despite losing that title to his company in 2013.

Mr Chan's company won the case, which was filed in China earlier this year, and the court ordered Okamoto to pay Daming United Rubber damages of one yuan (21 Singapore cents).

Asked why his company settled for such a miniscule amount, Mr Chan said: "We just wanted to stop them from continuing to advertise their products as 'world thinnest' as soon as possible.

"If we had negotiated on the exact amount, we could have taken years and years and that would have created greater losses for us."


On his thoughts on entrepreneurship, mr chan said: "a lot of people say you have to dream big. That is one of the things i have learnt on my journey as an entrepreneur. You have to follow your heart and go for that one thing you are determined to do.

"Even today, I am facing a lot of challenges in my business, but I motivate myself every day by telling myself that these challenges are there to prove that I am different, that I am able to do something other people cannot."

Mr Chan confessed that when he first joined the company, he did not tell his then girlfriend and now wife, Mrs Genie Chan, 29, that he made condoms for a living.

He said sheepishly: "I just told her I worked in the rubber industry. Only when I proposed did I tell her the truth."

Mrs Chan, who now works as a sales manager in the company, told TNP: "I was a little surprised. My first thought was: 'How am I going to let my parents know?'

"I'm a Christian so my family is pretty conservative. But I'm thankful that I have very understanding parents, they know that making condoms is something that someone has to do.

"After all, condoms help society. They help prevent sexually transmitted diseases."

Forbes's first-ever Under 30 Summit Asia will be held herenext Thursday.

The event is part of Singapore's Smart Nation Innovations Week, which is a festival about the impact of technology and innovation across the globe.

Hosted by the Infocomm Development Authority, the summit is expected to gather around 250 of some of the most influential young entrepreneurs, innovators and trailblazers from Asia and the rest of the world.

These high flyers are under 30 years of age and were featured on Forbes' inaugural 30 Under 30 Asia list this year.

The summit will feature panels, TED-style presentations and key notes from various business leaders.

The speakers include award-winning Singaporean film director Anthony Chen and Mr Binod Chaudhary, Nepal's first billionaire and chairman of Chaudhary Group.

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