Enka Hijyen is a member of Imam Kayalı Holding A.S. The holding company is a privately and family-owned business which has been active in a diversified range of businesses since 1928. Today, fourth-generation family members are managing the businesses including construction, automotive, automotive spare parts, trucks, trailers, insurance and manufacturing activities in furniture, engine valves, synthetic yarns, nonwovens (namely spunbond, SMS, ADL, ATB) and now baby diapers.
Enka Hijyen offers its own brands Paddlers, Cushy Baby and Lulla Baby; however, a limited portion of its production capacity is reserved for private label. Each diaper is specially designed to give maximum protection and fit for babies, and features elastic ears, high absorption and retention capacity, cream lotion and a wetness indicator.
Nonwovens Industry recently sat down with board member Alican Yilankirkan about the new business and why the time is right for a new diaper manufacturer in Turkey.
Nonwovens Industry (NWI): Please tell me a little bit about Enka Hygiene.
Alican Yilankirkan (AY): Enka Hijyen is a member of Imam Kayali Holding, which is a 100% privately owned family business since 1928. Today, about 700 people work with the family on a diversified line of businesses.
Enka Hijyen is established with the primary focus on manufacturing hygienic articles. Since early 2016, the company produces baby diapers in three brands: Paddlers, Cushy Baby and Lulla Baby.
NWI: What role does a sister company producing nonwovens have in this company? Will it help to have nonwovens expertise and a partner in your operation?
AY: A baby diaper consists of several raw materials. All raw materials with two exceptions are widely available in Turkey. Enka Hijyen has an advantage of having the support of a sister company within the same parent holding which is specialized in manufacturing different nonwoven fabrics (spunbond, SMS, ADL, ATB) for the hygiene industry.
NWI: How would you characterize the Turkish hygiene market?
AY: Turkey is a very competitive market for baby diapers. However, there is still room for penetration. Hygienic article production in Turkey is not only focused on the local market, but also on exports. Enka Hijyen also targets these export markets.
NWI: How important in the local market to your business strategy?
AY: A baby uses diapers an average of 24 to 30 months after birth. Average diaper consumption per baby is four to five diapers per day in Europe, and this value in Turkey is considered to be three to four diapers. Both the number of diapers consumed per day and the number of months a baby uses diapers are correlated with the average income level of the family. Basically, higher income families tend to change diapers more frequently and these families do not rush to do toilet training as much.
Turkey is a very big market for baby diapers, however the competition is also very high. The market is dominated by one or two companies. Although there is a clear interest for the Turkish market, today Enka Hijyen exports over 95% of its production.
The biggest influence on the price in Turkey is the number of steps between the manufacturer and the end user. That’s why according to a recent market study in Turkey, baby diapers rank to be the first ‘‘product’’ that is sold mostly in online e-commerce. The end-users would like to pay less for a disposable product but would like to get the best performance and dryness for their loved ones. Although the percentage of the population using e-commerce is still low, the use of e-commerce by a new generation parents is considerably higher.
NWI: What other markets are you targeting?
AY: In most cases, the companies that export have countries or regions that they are focused on and are strong at. At Enka Hijyen, this includes China. If a country does not have certain restrictions (i.e. excessive duties or taxes) to eliminate baby diaper imports, Enka Hijyen certainly can find one of its three brands as a fit.
NWI: Please discuss your product offerings? How will they offer something new to the consumer?
AY: Enka Hijyen offers consistent quality on each and every product thanks to its state-of-the-art high speed manufacturing lines that give Enka Hijyen the advantage of offering the most up-to-date and high quality products at a competitive edge.
Paddlers were created to provide premium comfort and dryness. The diaper is specially designed to give maximum protection and fit for babies and features elastics ears, high absorption and retention capacity, cream lotion and a wetness indicator.
Cushy Baby diapers were made for consumers who look for an affordable diaper without sacrificing quality. Cushy Baby features elastics ears, cream lotion and a wetness indicator along with good liquid absorption and retention capacity. This line offers a comfortable, dry solution for a good value.
Lulla Baby is Enka Hijyen’s economical baby diaper brand. It is offered with the elastic ear option. Lulla Baby products are ideal for parents who desire good comfort at decent performance that fits within their budget.
NWI: Have your launches been successful? What is driving your success?
AY: Enka Hijyen is a relative newcomer to the hygiene industry but the family has roots in the industry with nonwoven roll goods production. The Enka Hijyen team works in close cooperation with raw material vendors and has panel family groups. The R&D team has influence from these two outsources. Performance-cost related trials form an important part of the work. It should be noted that the product ‘‘baby diaper’’ is an evolving product. It is thinner, it performs much better in terms of dryness and liquid absorption each passing year. While on the other side, families have different expectations from the diapers. Enka Hijyen formed these three brands in order to be able to serve the majority of the market needs. All three brands are successful, as it is a matter of cost benefit ratio. For every situation, Enka Hijyen has a product that fits both the budget and the performance requirement.
NWI: What will be the next step for Enka Hygiene?
AY: Enka Hijyen is manufacturer of baby diapers at the moment. Enka Hijyen’s long term business plan consists of multiple phases that will complete the product portfolio of the hygienic articles portfolio including but not limited to adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products.
Enka Hijyen’s products will have a successful background in the markets served. Because, with almost 90 years of roots, Enka Hijyen never relies on and believes in short-term profits and temporary business partnerships. It considers itself to be a solution partner of women and their hygiene expectations.