Mr. Achal Agarwal, President of Kimberly Clark Asia-Pacific, shares his views on Vietnam's FMCG market with VET.
Can you tell us the purpose of your visit to Vietnam on June 30?
Vietnam is Kimberly-Clark’s biggest market in ASEAN and is one of the fastest growing in Asia-Pacific. This makes it one of my top priorities. The purpose the visit was to stay in touch with our consumers and employees - the cornerstone of our business in Vietnam.
We see tremendous potential in Vietnam’s young demographics, rapidly growing middle class, cost efficiencies, and potential economic growth. This makes Vietnam one of Kimberly-Clark’s most important markets now and for years to come.
How do you view the potential of Vietnam’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry?
Growing consumer awareness and improvements in living standards and disposable income levels in Vietnam bodes well for the FMCG industry. Given the under developed nature of the baby and feminine care categories there is sufficient potential to grow consumption and penetration. The potential is therefore promising.
What are your plans and targets for Kimberly-Clark in Vietnam?
Our plan in Vietnam is to continue leading with essentials for a better life for Vietnamese consumers and we are committed to long-term growth here.
In the feminine category, women can expect products uniquely tailored to their needs with superior absorbency and comfort to help them achieve their aspirations unhindered.
In the baby diaper category, moms can expect customized solutions like protection for a newborn’s delicate skin or a more comfortable fit for active toddlers.
We will continue to listen to our consumers and invest in our employees to maintain our leadership and be an employer of choice.
What have been Kimberly-Clark’s achievements in Vietnam to date?
Since Kimberly-Clark’s inception in 1991 we have become the market leader in both categories we play in - baby and feminine care - with leadership shares for Huggies and Kotex.
For over two decades we have sought to continuously understand the needs of Vietnamese consumers and provide them with innovative solutions. For example, Huggies was the first high quality diaper for Vietnamese toddlers and Kotex was the pioneer in ultra-thin napkins that provide unmatched absorbency and comfort to young Vietnamese women on the go.
Furthermore, our uncompromising quality was recently recognized with the Vietnam Institute of Standards approaching Huggies and Kotex to share best practices in product quality as the gold standard for the industry.
We have a headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, one manufacturing facility, and three distribution centers in Vietnam. We employ 650 Kimberly-Clark associates.
We localized our Huggies production in 2003 in southern Binh Duong province, which has among the best operational efficiency and lowest waste levels in the company. We are also exporting from Vietnam to developed markets like Australia because we believe Vietnam can produce quality, even for the most discerning consumers.
By Do Huong
Published on the Vietnam Economic Times on 11 July 2015