Sanitary products supplier Unicharm will open its third disposable diaper plant in India, aiming to boost its output capacity in the growing market by 50%. The new facility, valued at up to ¥20 billion ($176 million), will be located in Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat.
Unicharm entered the Indian diaper market with its Mamy Poko brand eight years ago and is already in the no. 2 position, behind only Procter & Gamble's Pampers brand. With sales growth as high as 30% per year, the Japanese company has been struggling to meet demand with its current capacity, amid a rise in births in the country.
The plant is scheduled to get up and running next spring.
Unicharm's two existing plants are located in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The former is out of commission due to a fire which occurred last month; the company hopes to restart this plant in 2019.
Unicharm, which also has plants in China, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, has been working to capture a bigger slice of demand in emerging Asia. In addition to local production, it is expanding exports from Japan through online retail channels. It expects the Indian business to turn a profit starting this year.