Vitouladitis Constantin

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MEGA DISPOSABLES

Greece 2019  I  Industry  I  Leader

BIOGRAPHY he studied in the Chemical Engineering department of the National Technical University of Athens and in founded Mega Disposables S.A. in 1980. During these 39 consecutive years of leadership, he actively contributed in the immense and healthy development of the company, leaving at the same time his special imprint in the development of personal hygiene sector in Greece.

“WE HAVE STRUCTURED OUR INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION STRATEGY AND ARE OPEN TO NEW PARTNERSHIPS WITH EXPERIENCED DISTRIBUTORS IN KEY MARKETS, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA.”

MEGA DISPOSABLES WILL INVEST €40 MILLION IN 2019 AND €20 MILLION BY 2020 IN ITS OPERATIONS. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN?

 

We have established an aggressive investment plan to cover the expected growth of our local market, as the economy is improving and our exports as well. We have allocated €40 million for this year and an additional €20 million within the next two years. This investment will be mostly used in adding new production lines that will allow increasing our capacity and the creation of new products. We want to complete our range of products to produce a whole range of disposable hygienic products.

 

The management of the company is also changing. My role now is more overseeing the entire business and my two daughters, who are already in the company since they were 18 years old, are sharing responsibilities between marketing and operations. They are doing most of the job and I am focusing my efforts on new investments and also in expanding our international markets. I believe we have established a successful model and I am confident about the future of our company. My daughters are passionate and empathetic about their job and they have already improved our business in many areas.

 

I am also proud of the team we have created in Mega Disposables. We have today over 70 university graduates who are highly skilled and symbiotic within the company’s operations and needs.

 

YOU ARE EXPORTING TO OVER 30 COUNTRIES IN FOUR CONTINENTS. WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE COMPANY’S INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION STRATEGY?

 

Our exports have grown rapidly since the financial crisis in Greece. The local demand was largely contracted due to the reduced spending power of our local customers. We have started looking for other markets and as a result, expanded our international operations were increased fivefold. Today we have reached a 50/50 balance between our local sales and exports. This process has opened another chapter for our company as we have seen there is a large international market where our products are very competitive and appreciated by local customers worldwide.

 

We have structured our international expansion strategy and are open to new partnerships with experienced distributors in key markets, particularly in Africa and Latin America. We believe there is enormous growth potential in the region. We are looking for a partner who is willing to invest in our product and introduce to the local market successfully together with us. Our client will also benefit from the strategic position of Greece as we have very low transport costs compared to our competitors based in other countries.

 

Our top quality standards and innovative product design have formed a basis of trust for our company’s cooperations abroad, leading several multinational companies in Europe to entrust the production of their branded products in Mega Disposables.

 

MEGA DISPOSABLES IS HIGHLY RECOGNISED BY THE QUALITY OF ITS PRODUCTS. HOW HAS THE INVESTMENT IN INNOVATION SHAPED THE SUCCESS OF THE COMPANY WORLDWIDE?

 

The hygienic products industry is led by P&G, a large multinational company and the global leader. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, there were about 350 companies in Europe and today we are less than 15 or 20. Therefore, there is a clear trend of reduction in the number of players in this industry due to many factors but also to many mergers and acquisitions. In the sector of branded products, there are only two independent companies in Europe: a Polish company and Mega Disposables, based in Greece.

 

I believe that one of the main reasons for our success has been to follow our own path and not to emulate what our competitors were doing. Since our company was established, we have invested in innovation and we continue to consider this a strategic investment in our growth plans. We have chosen to have an original approach to every product respecting the highest international standards but also adapt to meet our customers’ needs. I cannot count down one or two very big ideas but I can state that we had 20 or 30 from medium to very high-value ideas that were applied to each product we made. This has helped us to emerge even stronger after the recent financial crisis in Greece, where we have continued to invest in innovation, grow our sales and increase our number of employees. This was not the case for a lot of Greek companies, unfortunately.

 

 

“WE HAVE STRUCTURED OUR INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION STRATEGY AND ARE OPEN TO NEW PARTNERSHIPS WITH EXPERIENCED DISTRIBUTORS IN KEY MARKETS, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA.”

 

 

Today, we operate a 63,000m2 state-of-the-art facility near Athens which has allowed our company to be positioned as the leading Greek manufacturer of personal hygiene products in Europe. All our products bear uniqueness and in personal hygiene we are certainly market pioneers. For example, we have introduced the “sensitive” concept in feminine hygiene, producing the first “sensitive” napkin in the world that offers dryness without irritation. Simply put, innovation is the basis of and the key to our growth.

 

MEGA DISPOSABLES HAS BEEN A PIONEER IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BEING AWARDED THE WASTE AND RECYCLING AWARDS 2017. WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES OF THE COMPANY TODAY?

 

We have indeed received the important “ZERO WASTE” award, aiming at zero waste generation within the framework of Waste and Recycling Awards 2017. This award constitutes recognition of the important work of our company for the protection of the environment, which is at the heart of the company’s strategy for sustainable development. We believe that healthy entrepreneurship, economic indicators and profitability go hand in hand with the respect towards our environment and society. This concept is embodied in our people’s culture, in their day to day practices, in their constant struggle for the improvement of environmental protection, for the benefit of future generations.

 

GREECE HAS GONE THROUGH ONE OF THE WORSE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN ITS HISTORY. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO FOREIGN INVESTORS LOOKING TO INVEST IN THE COUNTRY?

 

I have been saying in speeches when the crisis started that a lot of mistakes were made the last decade, by our Government and our people. The most important is that we take responsibility and learn from these mistakes so that we can make a new Greece. I believe that a lot of businessmen in Greece have already made changes to improve their business and to adapt to international best practices. Our reputation as a country has suffered in the last eight or nine years with all the negative media but it is our responsibility to show the best of the Greek people, to promote our European standards and our commitment not only to our customers but also to our suppliers. I have always worked with open credit because I believe that if I have to pay on Friday, I pay on Thursday.