The first factory of the hygienic materials tycoon in Poland

The hygiene materials’ world leading manufacturer will open its first plant in Poland. The Ontex Group has operated on the Polish market for the last 20 years and its development in Central Europe has created the need to increase the production capacity in this part of the continent. Arkadiusz Banaszek, Plant Manager, has given an interview about this investment located in the Special Economic Zone of the city of Łódź.

With its headquarters in Aalst, Belgium, Ontex is the fifth largest manufacturer of hygiene materials in the world, selling its products to over 110 countries. What is the current market position of the company?

Indeed, we may be proud of a prominent position of our company among the world manufacturers of hygienic materials. At the same time, Ontex happens to be the largest retail brands’ producer in Europe, while in Poland we have the largest share in the market of hygienic products.  It is undeniable that such company’s results are extremely rewarding for us.

What was the way to achieve such a prominent position on the personal hygiene products’ market?

The position of the Ontex company is built over the years. The actual results are the outcome of forty years of arduous work of many people. It is important to underline that our employees are fully committed to what they do and it is their passion, energy and continuous development that are the basis of our success.

We have also made numerous acquisitions in the course of years of operating on markets around the world, which also influenced the expansion of the company and enabled the development and emergence on other markets.

Since when has the company been present in Poland?

We have operated in Poland for about twenty years since modern retail chains with their own brands appeared in the country. Our long-term cooperation with the most successful networks is a perfect example of how well we find ourselves on the market.

Until now, the company has covered the Polish region by importing products from the Czech Republic. Why have you decided to establish a factory in Poland?

The Polish market has been developing very intensively in recent years, which is certainly encouraging for foreign investors. Moreover, its geographical situation on the map of Europe favors companies which plan an expansion or need to increase their production capacity in Central and Eastern Europe.

Undoubtedly, Ontex wished to be closer to its clients from this part of the world and
favorable conditions that we could achieve in Poland convinced us that it is a country that favors investments with foreign capital.

The plant is being built in the city of Radomsko. Why was this location chosen?

The geographical situation of Radomsko on the map of Poland, meaning its central location, as well as a well-developed and prepared infrastructure were among the factors that influenced the decision of our company.

Such a location allows an efficient cooperation with sub-suppliers and effective distribution of goods both in Poland and abroad. Undoubtedly, the key factors were the support and incentives we received from the city of Radomsko and the Łódź Special Economic Zone. In addition, we have suppliers in this region, such as VPK or Union Industries, which will also greatly facilitate our operation.

What did the process of searching for a suitable location for the factory look like?

Above all, we based our research of the right place to build a factory on a thorough cooperation with JLL experts, thanks to whom we were able to verify a wide range of opportunities near and around Łódź because this was the area we took into consideration and we wished to focus on it after the decision to invest in Poland.

Visibly, meticulously prepared offers and being accompanied by JLL throughout the whole transaction process have given a very good result.

What will the factory in Radomsko look like?  

The factory with an area of approximately 26 000 sq m was divided into functional zones: an industrial one, consisting of a production hall and two warehouses, as well as a social and office space zone, counting over 2 000 sq m and technical rooms.

The strategy of the Ontex company and its forecasted development in Central Europe have generated the need to increase the production capacities of our company in this part of the continent. At the same time, we plan to use the latest production technologies in the factory from Ontex Engineering.

How many people will be employed in the factory?

In the current phase of the project, we have committed to employ 170 people, but we perceive the potential in the region and this number might change in the nearest future.

Does the company have more plans for further investments in Poland?

The most logical step for further investment will be the expansion of the plant after the first phase. However, to a certain extent, this depends on the support and the success with our clients. Nonetheless, we count on further development.

In total, how many factories does Ontex have all around the world?

Currently, we have 19 factories and with the investment in Radomsko, it will be 20.

And what is the company’s portfolio composed of in Europe?

Currently, we have 7 production sites in Western Europe, 2 plants in Central Europe (the Czech Republic, Poland). The remaining ones are factories in Istanbul and Moscow and in the rest of the world.

How do you consider your cooperation with JLL experts?

The JLL experts were very supportive at every stage of the transaction. As I mentioned earlier, they presented us with many possibilities when it comes to the region that interested us in terms of investmnt. The dedicated team definitely sensed our needs and responded to them in the way we had expected.

Tomasz Mika