‘King Of Power Drills’ Becomes Billionaire As Sales Soar Amid Covid Lockdowns

 ‘King Of Power Drills’ Becomes Billionaire As Sales Soar Amid Covid Lockdowns

Roy Chung, a cofounder of power tools maker Techtronic Industries (TTI), has joined the ranks of the world’s billionaires with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion, thanks to the recent rally in the company’s shares.

Techtronic, which is known for its Milwaukee and Ryobi brand of cordless power tools, has seen its shares soar 244% since March last year as Covid-19 tilted the global economy into recession. Lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the illness proved to be an unexpected boost for the company: Consumers who were confined to their homes decided it was a good time to spruce up their surroundings with repairs and improvements, fueling demand for TTI’s line of tools and supplies.

The company that Chung, 68, and Horst Julius Pudwill, 76, cofounded in Hong Kong in 1985 has come a long way. Last month, TTI reported an annual revenue of $9.8 billion for 2020, up 28% from the previous year, narrowing the gap with global rival Stanley Black & Decker, which reported an annual revenue of $14.5 billion last year.

“We are positioned to capitalize on the many growth opportunities we have identified in the months and years ahead,” Pudwill, who is currently chairman of the company, said in a statement after Techtronic released its latest financial report.

Pudwill debuted on Hong Kong’s wealth ranking in 2014. His net worth of $1.14 billion placed him at No. 43 on the list, whereas this year he rose to No. 12 with a net worth of $6.7 billion. Pudwill recently featured in a Forbes Asia magazine cover story, where he and vice chairman Stephan Horst Pudwill (his son) discussed TTI’s adjustments to the pandemic.

Chung, nicknamed “The King of Power Drills” by local media, retired from his executive role at TTI in 2011, and now is said to be focusing on philanthropy though the Bright Future Charitable Foundation, which he established in 2015. The foundation provides scholarship for students to further their education, advocating lifelong learning and continuing education.

A native of Macau, Chung moved to Hong Kong in the 1960s when he was 16 years old. There he worked as warehouse keeper while studying in the evenings. Chung holds a doctorate degree of engineering from the University of Warwick, U.K., and a doctorate degree of business administration from the City University of Macau. He was named Hong Kong’s “Industrialist of the Year” in 2014.