Interview with Nina Kopola

Nina Kopola
Nina Kopola
President & CEO
Suominen Corporation
Suominen Corporation

Let me ask you this, do you think that Nonwoven products market is dominated by the Asia Pacific region, by countries such as India and China. What are the reasons behind it?

Nonwovens are generally quite a lot used in China, however not so much yet in India. We see a lot of new producers establishing in China. Growth is faster in Asian area, than elsewhere, driven by the mega trends mentioned. Asian consumers are switching to single use products. However, developed markets show growth as well, with more advanced technologies prevailing.

Do you think that companies with global operations need to better control expenses and lower their cost structure to align with a more challenging environment? Can you elaborate on it?

I do not basically see a difference, a global company as well as a local company has to always be cost efficient. On the other hand, a, international company can achieve economies of scale in production but also in other functions, such as product development, through resource efficiency. Therefore I think that being a global player, Suominen has a better position on the market.

What about competition, I mean the rising demand for nonwoven materials and products in the medical, construction and agriculture industries are finding their way into a growing array of industries; do you expect more companies to enter into the industry?

This is a sign of a healthy industry: growing market provides opportunities for several players. Our strategy is to expand particularly in segments with higher value-add, including selected medical and hygiene categories. Growing markets combined with increasing number of end use applications provide growth opportunities for companies like Suominen.

As a global leader in Nonwovens for wiping applications, how do you see the demand for Nonwoven disposables in health industry?

I see a clear trend of using more disposables in the health industry. This is also partly driven by the rising amount of HAI's (hospital acquired infections). Suominen has chosen medical nonwovens, where we have long experience, as one of its areas of focus.

Reading from the website, "Understanding the end user is in the heart of our strategy." Could you elaborate?

In many of our customer applications it is the consumer who does the choice on the products they are buying. Therefore it is crucial for us to understand what the consumers value and look for, in order to develop products for our customers that they will be able to sell forward. This means that we are proactive in the market. One of our most interesting initiatives in gathering consumer insight is perhaps We Love Wipes, our direct online dialogue with consumers about wipes.

Can you talk to us about the Nonwoven products consumption in next five years globally? Do you have expectations and anticipations at this point? Are there more acquisitions to be done in terms of technology and sales?

The consumption of nonwovens products has clearly not yet reached its peak. The demand is growing in several geographies and for many usages. Constant increase in the number of end use applications will be enabled by innovative customers, new technologies and continuous R&D activities.
Published on: 15/05/2014

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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