This innovative multinational company started literally at the bottom and has expanded to more than 160 products in over a dozen countries – read on!
Falken Industries Ltd OTC : FLKI is a diversified industrial conglomerate that operates in chemicals, wet wipe and biodegradable technology. The company is the concept behind more than 160 products distributed through a network of global platforms, and is the recipient of trade awards for innovations, biodegradability, and environmental and health quality standards.
Falken invented the concept of wipes for auto care, professional vehicular maintenance, and numerous industrial and military uses. The company is a key player in a $20 billion global market.
As any mom knows, wet wipes have long been a staple in baby care. From there the market has expanded to general sanitary and cleaning products. Building on the knowledge that mothers were no strangers to wipes, Falken Industries’ engineers and product design teams developed a female-friendly range of auto care cleaning and maintenance products. With 57% of its product lines designed for female shoppers, the company has expanded in a number of areas beyond consumer products - and has done so globally.
Increasing numbers of consumers are indulging in value-added disposable items like automobile cleaning wipes. The expansive reliance on wipes in industrial, professional, and consumer applications has led to an exploding worldwide demand for convenience cleaning products – an opportunity not lost on Falken’s management.
Wet wipe technology started at the bottom - or more precisely - the baby’s bottom. Over the past fifteen years professional and industrial products such as those in Falken’s ranges have evolved to include degreasers, paint removers, disinfection, hard cleansing in addition to traditional hand care for all levels of the work force. Falken’s professional and industrial targeted markets are presently about 40% of global sales for this segment of the wipe sector.
Europe, Falken’s primary current market, ranks second after North America with aggregate sales of some $4 billion in 2010, and expanding. South America and Eastern Europe, where Falken is quickly setting up landing platforms and distribution, are expected to generate over smaller bases, some $551 million and $558 million respectively by 2015.
Falken has an unequivocal technological leadership position across the three major segments of the wipe business: consumer, professional and industrial cleaning wipes. Falken Product Groups delivered 187,000 tons of its product lines in 2011, up from 125,000 tons in 2010.
Wipe sales aimed at professional and industrial uses in which Falken excels are of course affected by professional and industrial production. Despite the economic downturn, the market for Falken’s consumer, and professional wipes continued to develop, increasing 5.7% in 2010 followed by 6.5% in 2011.
Falken conceived and manufactures its products for distribution by the Clean Plus® Product Group. These wipes are sold under various collections, most notably under the Clean Plus® trademark. Falken’s technological leadership has resulted in the following advantages of its wipe products:
1. As a rule, Falken’s products are more absorbent notably when compared with non-cotton material. 2. Falken products are fully disposable and earth friendly, far less expensive as an alternative to accounting for, washing and drying rags. 3. The spread of contamination is a key point particularly for the alimentary industry. Falken disposable and biodegradable wet wipes are the better alternative. 4. Rags are in the past for industry. They lack quality and performance consistency, are unpredictable and demonstrably poorer performers.
In the professional and industrial area, wipes offer major benefits: sanitary, fresh, and precut to size, they provide a high level of convenience. In the food industry, they eliminate the danger of cross contamination. The global demand for Falken’s wet wipe technology wipes is growing: in 2010, wet wipes constituted 67% of the total wipe market.
Developed markets will undoubtedly stay ahead in the market because of the affluent population and general living standards and trends, emphasizing the demand for time-saving products. These include Western Europe, where Falken has a dominant presence, and North America, where Falken, benefiting from a weaker Euro is initiating landing platform implantations. Developing regions like Eastern Europe and South America are expected to increase the demand for wipes due to industrial expansion and economic growth.
Falken is taking steps to capitalize on these opportunities for expansion, and is continually introducing innovative products. The company’s research and product development teams are committed to ensuring customer satisfaction together with a wide array of product choices. The Eco Pledge certification found on all company products testifies to Falken’s commitment to environmentally-friendly products.
Falken Industries is a rags-to-riches success story that began with a vision that developed and expanded the technology behind the wipes used on baby’s bottoms, and applied it to the consumer, professional and industrial areas. There can be little doubt that demand for Falken and Clean Plus® products will continue to grow – and offer in my view, an outstanding opportunity for investors.