MANILA, Philippines - Local toothpaste maker Lamoiyan Corp., best known for its Happee affordable brand, is eyeing to jumpstart its export operations in Southeast Asia by opening a manufacturing plant in Myanmar this 2013.
At the company's 25th anniversary celebration on Thursday, January 25, Lamoiyan president and CEO Cecilio K. Pedro said the newly opened economy of Myanmar and its 50 million population provides opportunities for expansion for its toothpaste business.
"Multinational toothpaste manufacturers are still not in Myanmar so we are looking at taking that opportunity," Pedro told reporters, adding that they are currently in talks with potential partners.
Myanmar operations, if it pushes through, would be Lamoiyan's first venture abroad. A production plant in Myanmar is meant to manufacture products that would be sold to nearby markets like Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
About 5% of Lamoiyan's products are currently exported to Middle East, North America, Europe, and the United States where consolidators cater to Filipinos working and living there.
"Our intention is to go out beyond the Philippines,” Pedro said.
Pedro said Lamoiyan is able to bring down prices by as much as 30% below the rival multinationals' by maintaining efficiency and reining in factory overheads.
Pedro said Hapee toothpaste is currently the market leader in the kiddie toothpaste and the gum care toothpaste categories, beating more established multinational manufacturers in the country.
"Hapee currently has less than 20% of the P9 billion toothpaste market [in the Philippines]," he said. Sales volume of Hapee toothpaste reached 4,000 tons in 2012, or 11% more than the 2011 volume, he added.
Lamoiyan's Paranaque plant employs about 300, of which 30% are deaf. - Rappler.com
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