Kian Hoe Seah

Heng Hiap Industries

In attempt to tackle one of the world's most critical issue: the environment, Kian's obsession with chemical and physical properties of materials led him to revolutionize and rebrand plastic recycling in Malaysia with Heng Hiap Industries.

In the face of increasing waste accumulation and diminishing natural resources, Heng Hiap Industries (HHI) meets two needs with one deed by converting plastic scraps into reusable energy and industrial material. As Malaysia’s pioneering integrated recycling plant, HHI manufactures and customizes superior plastic resins for use in a variety of finished products. The company sells these “smart plastics” to some of the world’s largest agricultural, automotive and electronic equipment manufacturers, including LG and Toshiba.

While consumer electronics and home appliances will continue to drive the mechanical recycling business, HHI is also innovating within thermal recycling and energy recovery with the development of plastic coal substitutes and biodiesels. With exports in 22 countries across nearly 10 industries, the company is proving that recycling plastics can be “green,” both ecologically and economically.

Kian’s efforts have garnered him the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year nomination in the Emerging Technology category, as well as the 2013 World’s Most Outstanding Young Person Award for Environmental Leadership by the global nonprofit JCI International.

Kian obtained his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and further pursued his MBA at Thunderbird University, Arizona, under the Fulbright Research and Development Scholarship in 2000. At present, Kian is the first SEA representative of the Plastics committee for Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) based in Belgium.

In August 2015, Kian was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in the 60th Endeavor International Selection Panel in San Francisco.

Heng Hiap uses patented recycling technology to convert plastic waste into “smart plastics” that are up to 50% stronger and 20% cheaper than unprocessed plastics, with applications to home appliances, consumer electronics and building materials.