Dr Tan Hian Tsin founded Crocodile in 1947. He was born in Shantou, China but migrated to Saigon where his father set up a garment business after the Japanese invasion of China. In 1947, Dr Tan decided to relocated again but, this time, to Singapore as it had a more stable political scene and currency, compared with other countries in the region. This was when Crocodile brand was established. 
The company's first shop was located at 6 North Bridge Road - where Parliament House now stands. Initially, Crocodile opted to sell only singlets - a popular clothing item back then.


To compete with higher competition, Crocodile implemented "single brand, multiple products" strategy and added shirts, trousers, underwear, ties, socks and handkerchiefs in its suite offerings. By the end of 1950s, Crocodile also offered footwear and travel ware. During this period, Crocodile also achieved a new milstone by foraying into 5 new markets, namely Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand.


As operations in SEA markets solidifies, Crocodile ventured into North Asia. In 1993, Crocodile entered China under the name "CATELO." A year after China operation was established, Crocodile entered South Korea in 1994. Crocodile was proven to be a bit hit in North Asia. In 2001, Crocodile was awarded with a Hit Product Awards in South Korea.


By 21st century, Crocodile expanded its operations into West Asia, namely, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In this period, Crocodile also established a new milestone by opening North Asia’s headquarters in Shanghai, China. Today, Crocodile has presences throughout Asia.