November 21, 2010
Now composed of seven companies producing high-quality products ranging from mattresses to monoblock chairs, the legacy of Uratex goes back to humble beginnings. Although formally established in 1968, the company’s history began in 1966 when couple Robert and Naty Cheng got married. Then 19 years old, Robert was a factory worker in his grandfather’s textile business while 20-year-old Naty was working as an office worker in her aunt’s stock brokerage. Later on, they went into the buy-and-sell business of furniture and bed supplies such as foam, plywood, adhesive, and textile. The couple discovered that foam supply was really short at that time, giving them the idea to go into manufacturing.
The early years
Polyfoam Chemical Corporation was then established in 1968 to produce foam. They had borrowed a capital of Php 4,000 and were composed of 10 employees, consisting of mostly friends and relatives. They rented a warehouse building in Pasay which would house the production area, with an outdoor office under a Santol Tree. When it rained, the office people would bring all documents with them and run to the warehouse.
Challenges faced along the way
The early years of the business were certainly challenging as capital was frequently short and they had to buy from traders and import raw materials for the foam. Nevertheless, with dedication and frugality, they survived the cycle of borrowing money, manufacturing, and selling. Foam was sold to the furniture and bedding industries to produce sofas and spring mattresses; at the same time, 100% foam mattresses were also produced and sold.
Continued growth and innovation
Naty took over Robert’s position as CEO after he passed away in 2004. Uratex is still a private family business but it has certainly made leaps and bounds from the small business first formed in 1968. Through the perseverance and innovation of the management and its employees, Uratex has become synonymous with reliable world-class quality. Uratex foam products are definitely taking the country by storm.