Interview with Nina Kopola

Nina Kopola
Nina Kopola
President & CEO
Suominen Corporation
Suominen Corporation

Growth of the global middle class is a great demand driver for nonwovens
Nina Kopola, President and CEO of Suominen Corporation, talks about various factors driving the demand for nonwovens worldwide with Fibre2Fashion correspondent Ilin Mathew Synopsis: Suominen Corporation, a Finland based company, is the global market leader in nonwovens for wipes. The company supplies it's industrial as well as retail customers with nonwovens and flexible packaging for use in consumer products worldwide. Nina Kopola is part of the Suominen Corporation since 2011 and she has an experience of more than a decade in global marketing. Excerpts:

Suominen has over 50 years of experience in manufacturing Nonwoven products across various market sectors and projects. How has the Nonwoven industry changed over the years?

Several significant developments have taken place in our industry. As an example, the range of end use applications has grown exponentially. For instance wipes, which is the largest product category in Suominen, is relatively young segment and new end use applications continue to flow to the market. Market has grown particularly in hygiene products. For instance single-use diapers have been widely available only since 1950's and have globally been growing ever since. The whole nonwovens market is today valued at approximately 15 billion euro. Suominen participates in selected parts of the market (wipes, hygiene, medical nonwovens). Suominen is today a very different company than in 1898, when the company was originally founded in Finland. The line of business and product offering has ranged from artificial leather of earlier years to thermobonded nonwovens for hygiene products to current spunlace nonwovens for wipes, hygiene and medical applications. Spunlace technology has been used from the end of 1980's and it is today our principal nonwovens technology.

Recently, the company was awarded the Entrepreneur Achievement Award at the international IDEA 2013 Conference & Expo. Can you tell us about that?

We are especially happy for this award, and the motivations given why we were awarded this. The jury stated that Suominen's bold step to transform its organization and re-position its business to serve a growing wipes market displayed the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that warranted the award. It shows that the work we are doing to change the company is seen also by the outside world and we are on the right path.

According to a recent report, Nonwoven Materials & Products Market is expected to reach US $ 45,363.7 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2013 to 2019. What is your opinion?

I clearly see that nonwovens market is still growing quite nicely. It grows both in the developed and the developing world, and several global mega trends are actually supporting this trend. Demographically, the global growth in population directly affects demand for commodities, including demand for nonwovens. In developed countries, where the population is not growing that fast, or is even in decline, the aging of the people increases demand for health care products and hygiene products. Growth of the global middle class is a great demand driver for nonwovens - as well as many other businesses. The number of people across the globe that have money to spend on products that increase comfort and hygienic status and facilitate everyday life is increasing constantly. This is reflected in the demand of various products, from feminine hygiene products and diapers to disposable personal care wipes - just to name few examples. On the other hand, changes in lifestyles boost the demand. According to forecasts, the amount of money spent by consumers on health and well-being will grow significantly. This will also increase the demand for many nonwovens products, such as health care products and cosmetics and hygiene products. The fourth mega trend I want to mention is the consumers' increasing requests of easiness and comfort. We seek products and services that create convenience in our day-to-day lives and save time. Many nonwovens products, for example disposable cleaning wipes meet this demand. This trend affects several other sectors as well, among them banking services and the food industry.
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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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