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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » June 29, 2012
America in Poland
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A Purpose-Driven Company
June 29, 2012   
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Marek Kapu¶ciński, general manager and vice-president of the nine-market Central Europe region at Procter & Gamble, talks to Leszek Żmijewski.

What kind of company is P&G?
Procter & Gamble is one of the biggest global FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] companies. We are a purpose-driven company—we strive to improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and for generations to come. This approach guides and inspires everything we do and carries responsibility. To achieve this, we offer consumers 300 trusted, quality, leadership brands, 25 of which have reached annual sales exceeding $1 billion, including: Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Wella, Olay, Gillette, Oral B, Pampers, Always, Lenor, Ariel, Fairy, Braun, and Duracell. In all, 16 billion-dollar brands are available in Poland.

In 2011, P&G celebrated its 20th anniversary in Poland. Could you reflect on these past 20 years?
P&G’s success in Poland over the past 20 years testifies to the impressive progress achieved by the country since 1989. We are proud to have been able to serve Polish consumers throughout this period of unprecedented, historical transformation. Although the early 1990s were a period of uncertainty, Poland offered business opportunities that the company took advantage of to touch and improve the lives of Polish people who were looking for branded, “Western” products. From the outset, P&G was confident the market reforms would be successful. We currently have four manufacturing facilities located in Poland, all within the ŁódĽ Special Economic Zone: a Pampers plant in Targówek, two Gillette blades and razors plants in ŁódĽ, and a skincare plant in Aleksandrów Łódzki. Their output is exported to over 100 markets worldwide. Warsaw is also one of four cities in the world where we have located a major P&G Global Business Services office. Overall, P&G Poland employs about 3,700 people. The accumulated stock of investments in Poland amounts to just below $1 billion.

What makes Poland an attractive market for foreign investors such as P&G?
P&G is a globally integrated company, with over 125,000 employees working in 80 countries worldwide. We grow strategically by leveraging the skills of our people all over the world. Undertaking foreign direct investments allows us to tap into local talent pools and recruit top employees with superior knowledge of local markets, therefore enabling us to better understand the needs of local consumers. Poland boasts a large talent pool, with the tertiary enrollment rate at nearly 50 percent and—in 2008—over 2 million university students, more than in Spain or Italy. Membership in the European Union and World Trade Organization (WTO) acts as a policy anchor offering reassurance to foreign investors and guaranteeing that private property rights are protected. Furthermore, Poland enjoys access to the Single European Market and structural funds whose inflow has enabled an upgrade of the country’s infrastructure. With a population of nearly 40 million people and increasing purchasing power, Poland is among the largest markets in the region. Locating our plants in Poland allows us to manufacture close to Polish consumers and serve them best.

Given the extensive scope of your manufacturing presence, does P&G integrate sustainability into its operations?
P&G has a long history of sustainability, embedded in our purpose to touch and improve lives for now and for generations to come. As we continue to grow, reaching more consumers, in more parts of the world, more completely, we must continue to grow responsibly and sustainably. Our vision is truly inspiring: powering our plants with 100-percent renewable energy, using 100-percent renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging, having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills, and most importantly: designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources.
As one of nine P&G plants worldwide with zero waste going to landfill and winner of the Energy Efficiency Leader Award, the Gillette plant in ŁódĽ is an excellent illustration of this approach.

How will the company pursue its purpose-inspired strategy in the future?
In 2012, P&G launched the Thank You Mom campaign, which will support the Olympic teams for the London 2012 Olympic Games and help improve the everyday life of moms, athletes and families. P&G will support the mothers of Olympians by helping them experience the Olympic Games. Also, together with the Polish National Olympic Committee, P&G is organizing summer camps for kids, giving them an opportunity to experience the Olympic Games values. The company will leverage the program to deliver on its purpose-inspired growth strategy and to help improve the lives of athletes, moms and their families around the world.

Marek Kapu¶ciński joined P&G in 1991, upon graduating from New York University (NYU) and the Central School of Planning and Statistics (currently the Warsaw School of Economics. He worked on various assignments in the United States, Poland and Belgium. In 2007, he became the General Manager of P&G Central Europe North (covering Poland and the Baltic countries). He is currently General Manager and VP of the nine-market Central Europe region. He was the first Pole to assume such prominent positions within the company.
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