Thursday 23rd June 2005

 

Creating a diaper dynasty

 
 
 
 
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Mison’s owner Aphzal Juman hands over the official distributorship certificate to Agostini marketing executive Susan Montano at a ceremony at Mison’s Aranguez factory last week while Mison’s official Ashmeer Ali and Agostini chief executive Anthony Agostini look on.

One year ago, T&T had two main diaper manufacturing companies—Mison Industries which produced Teddies and Agostini Industries, the makers of Cheekies.

But last week, at the 150,000 square feet Mison’s manufacturing and warehouse facility in Aranguez, there was a simple ceremony which signalled the creation of a virtual monopoly in the manufacturing of diapers in the country.

“About ten months ago, Agostini sold its diaper manufacturing business to Mison,” said Aphzal Juman, the owner of Mison Industries.

Although the transaction was announced last year, it only became effective last week with the official relaunch of the Cheekies brand and the handing over the distributorship to Agostini.

For several years, publicly-traded Agostini fought a battle to control the diaper market in the country and the region against Mison.

“We had two diaper-making machines and they had three,” said Agostini executive Anthony Agostini.

“Our operation was not profitable with only two machines,” Agostini said, referring to the economies of scale that come with a larger operation.

It is those economies of scale which pushed Agostini to do the deal to sell the diaper manufacturing assets but retain the distribution of the product.

Following the acquisition of the two machines, Mison Industries went to work upgrading their capability, spending about US$500,000 in the process.

The capital expenditure has led to some technical improvements in the Cheekies product—including the addition of elements which improve the absorbency and the comfort of the diaper. Velcro fasteners were also added to the Cheekies diaper.

At this time, Mison Industries has five machines which can produce close to 200 diapers a minute.

If that sounds like a large amount of diapers only for the T&T market, Misons exports 80 per cent of its production to 42 countries throughout the region.

“Misons exports about 50 containers full of diapers from this factory every month,” said Juman to reporters who toured his facility last week.

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