Mili: 100% Brasile

Mili is a 100% Brazilian-owned company, headed by Valdemar Lissoni. With a staff of 986 and a turnover of R$ 210 million for 2003, last year the company celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Maura Leonardi

In these times where the key word in order to remain on the market seems to be “globalization”, this company has been able to grow, passing on the family tradition to the next generation and becoming one of the 1000 largest companies in Brazil with a portfolio of over 30,000 customers.

Mili’s daily production amounts to 125 tons, with the aim of reaching 160 tons per day of product by April of this year. Founded in 1983 in Três Barras, a small city located 170 Km from Curitiba, Mili began its activity with a production of 10 tons per day and a converting line supplied by Fabio Perini Brazil. The company owes its success to the very clear and coherent policy regarding the production and sales of its products. Diversification and a clear vision of the national market have contributed to making the company an important entity on the Brazilian market. The product range is diversified and spans from tissue products to feminine hygiene pads and baby diapers up to household cleaning products supplied by external companies.

PRODUCTION AND SALES: Mili’s production and sales structure constitutes its strong point. At the two production facilities, located in Curitiba and Três Barras, is concentrated the production of tissue items – toilet rolls, kitchen towels, inter-folded products – and baby diapers and feminine hygiene pads sold in Brazil through the Curitiba distribution center.

Nine thousand square meters of space dedicated to the shipment of goods in Brazil and the Mercosul countries. On the sales front, Mili has created a rational structure using 60 agencies and 150 salespeople who work on national territory, selling and promoting the Mili brand name from north to south. Even for logistics and sales Mili has particular care, guaranteeing 17,000 deliveries monthly. Furthermore, they also offer the market products having an optimal quality-price ratio, thus allowing ample warehouse rotation possibilities; production and sales work in almost synchronized fashion.

THE RANGE OF TISSUE AND HYGIENE PRODUCTS: Mili, Cameratta, Louvre, Mili Bianco for the range of toilet rolls; Residence for kitchen towels. The Mili brand also for feminine hygiene pads, while Mili Petit is their brand of baby diapers.

The Mili brand is the company’s forte. A short, easy-to-remember name, it has conquered an optimal position with consumers, becoming famous in all of Brazil in the course of these last 20 years. The product range is found on shop shelves in single, four and eight-roll packages, and their 60-meter roll is unique on the market.

The company’s success and growth are based on fundamental strongholds: products with optimal quality-price ratio, avant-garde production technologies and sales structure, product innovation and valorization of human resources. The company’s vision was founded with an orientation not only towards sales and profit, but also towards the professional growth of human resources and technical development, carried out through important investments. An example of this philosophy is the modernization of the technology for the production of feminine hygiene pads brought about in 2003 at the Curitiba facilities with the collaboration of Fabio Perini Brazil and Diatec technology.

Presently, the feminine pad and baby diaper markets are witnessing a strong development phase, and the possibilities of growth are extremely high; but the company’s core business remains the tissue field, which accounts for 70% of profits. Tissue consumption in Brazil is today about 3.4 kg per capita. This figure is expected to increase in the near future at a constant rate up to attainment of 5 kg per capita. The particular attention placed on human resources finds concrete results in the training and specialization courses organized by the company for its staff members.

FINANCIAL STRUCTURE: a solid financial structure has guaranteed the development and increase of the company’s projects during these last 20 years. Projects have been financed for the most part with the company’s own capital, keeping financial costs low. Mili’s philosophy is based on the development of its projects according to 5-year plans, placing particular attention on industrial, management, operational aspects and a yearly renewal of plans based on market requirements.

Partners in this growth have been qualified leading companies in the field of tissue production and converting: Voith, Lamort and Fabio Perini Brazil are an example.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: the use of recycled material is the key element to the company’s tissue production. The ecological approach and respect of the environment make Mili a well established company in the social context in which it operates and one which actively participates in the activities of the community.

INITIATIVES: in the years ahead, Mili intends to consolidate its market position with new and important projects which are at present top secret. Continuing with diversification – something which has characterized the company’s growth in the last few years – is the objective for the future. Today, Mili has grown and has become a completely new and diversified company while at the same time maintaining the family tradition started in 1983. Profits expected for 2004 are of R$ 300 million, an ambitious and well-deserved goal for this company who cherishes its tradition. •

Brief overview of the Brazilian market

With 670,000 tons produced in 2002, Brazil is second only to Mexico as the most important market for tissue in Latin America.

Tissue consumption grew quickly in the 1980s, registering a growth rate of 6% per year, but witnessed a substantial slowdown in the following decade due to the difficult economic conditions of that period.

In 2003, political stability in Brazil set the bases for an improvement in the economic situation.

Presently, per capita tissue consumption is around 3.7 kilograms, with substantial prospects for growth forecasted in the course of the next ten years, especially if we consider that in Brazil there are still 170 million people who will become potential consumers from a marketing point of view.

The toilet roll market – here these rolls are traditionally 30 meters long – is the segment that has witnessed the greatest development in the country, with over 4 billion rolls for 2003 and a value of R$ 1.7 billion.

This market is divided into three categories: two-ply rolls (15% of the market), one-ply, high quality (35%), and one-ply, medium quality (50%). Toilet rolls represent 74% of the market, followed by kitchen towels (24%).

Still negligible is the percentage for table napkin and handkerchief consumption, but the consumption trend will increase in the near future also for these products, which are today very diffused in San Paolo and surrounding areas.

Data source: EU Consulting, Germany and Bognar Enterprises Inc,. Usa, and BRACELPA•

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