"Made in Hong Kong" used to be a guarantee of quality, but since the 1980s, with the reform and opening up of the Mainland and the rising cost of doing business in Hong Kong, many Hong Kong companies have moved their production lines out. He once opened a tissue factory in Fotan and moved to Dongguan in the 1990s. He also followed his father to work in the Mainland, doing OEM for major tissue brands.
Last March, HK Tissue founder Rong Shuofeng and his partners went against the market trend and resolutely invested more than seven figures to rebuild Hong Kong's only local tissue factory in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate; in addition to OEM, they also established their own brand "HK Tissue". ”, expressly wishing to revive the “Made in Hong Kong” sign.
Low gross profit of paper towels: 150% force only 50% effect
The gross profit margin of products such as paper towels is very low. To make money, you should consider setting up factories in countries or regions with low business costs.
In an interview with "Hong Kong 01", Rong Shuofeng admitted that this industry has low gross profit, large investment, and difficulty in recruiting. It is estimated that it will take a long time to return to the original cost. , it may only be 50% effective, because many supporting facilities in Hong Kong can’t keep up, and the work is much more difficult.”
In addition, due to the impact of the epidemic, the cost of raw materials has continued to rise. Compared with 2019, the cost of materials has increased by 15% so far. Under the fifth wave of the epidemic, many logistics-related practitioners have been diagnosed, and supermarkets are also short of manpower to "receive" and sell goods. Affected, but like its peers, there has been no price increase for two years because of this, "15% for hard food."
It seems that it takes a little courage and a little perseverance to choose to set up a factory in Hong Kong due to operational difficulties.
Rong Shuofeng said that he has been thinking about returning to Hong Kong for many years. He feels that Hong Kong cannot rely solely on finance, tourism, real estate and other industries to support the economy. He hopes to revive the once brilliant "Made in Hong Kong" spirit and make the manufacturing industry reappear in Hong Kong.
However, he has always been "big-hearted and careful". By the beginning of 2020, the epidemic broke out, and the citizens were madly grabbing tissues and masks. Instead, he was determined to implement it.
He took masks as an example. In the early days of the epidemic, citizens were studying the specifications of masks, and different Hong Kong-made mask factories appeared one after another, launching various brands. If you do it well, you will know that the quality has reached the limit.”
Two Strategies to Solve the Manpower Problem
Entrepreneurship is always the difference between "ideal and reality". When you have an idea, when you actually have to face it, different problems arise.
At present, the two machines in the factory are mainly automated, and the number of manpower can be reduced to about 20 people, but it is difficult to hire relevant talents. Everyone goes to the building, when the (local manufacturing) market is thin, it will be difficult to hire people in disguise.”
Recruitment is difficult to rely on training, led by experienced colleagues, and the time to get started varies, some weeks, some months, depending on work experience; as for machine maintenance, theoretically reliable employees with engineering backgrounds assistance, but now we have to rely on the manufacturer to handle it online or remotely.
Hard to shake the big name market share is still negligible
In the second half of last year, its two main products, "HOHK" and "Booz", were launched on the market, but under the banner of "Made in Hong Kong", sales may not be able to increase rapidly.
He explained that customers are highly loyal to products such as the paper market, although sometimes they may not be able to distinguish the difference between different brands. ) I don’t feel it, but I’m used to it, and I often stay with a product.”
He joked that it is difficult for any industry to launch a new brand, but tissue paper will be more difficult than others.
In addition to the manpower and the characteristics of the product itself, there is also the problem of "great disparity between the rich and the poor".
At present, the major brands in the market, regardless of company, production scale, and marketing resources, have more resources than him. "I held a meeting with these promotion companies before and came to the answer that my monthly promotion expenses are only for people. a week."
Knowing his weakness, he admitted that the only solution is to be yourself, pay attention to customer criticism of the product, or be creative. Earlier, he launched the Pha7 × HOHK combo series with Captain Error "Fat Boy", expecting to use tissue paper. Packaging becomes stylish.
The yellowish one is bamboo pulp paper, and the white one is wood pulp paper. The origins come from the Mainland, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and Italy.
(Photo by Lu Yiming)
Jicheng "Hong Kong Souvenir"
However, in order to revive "Made in Hong Kong", it is not necessary to create a new brand, but to return to the "old business", isn't it better to be an OEM for enterprises?
Rong Shuofeng said that at present, factories in Hong Kong are OEMs for different brands, but there are two main reasons for insisting on launching their own brands.
A Hong Kong person living in Japan shared a video earlier. Japanese people like to buy a certain brand of tissue paper in Hong Kong, because the local ones are generally very thin. In contrast, Hong Kong's "enough drying".
The second is the high degree of product autonomy. At present, the base paper origin of "HOHK Pure Wood Pulp Paper" comes from the Mainland, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and Italy, while "Booz Original Bamboo Pulp Paper" uses the original bamboo pulp paper unique to Sichuan. Pulp paper is more environmentally friendly, has a shorter planting cycle, and contains few chemical components. He will not add fragrances to "Booz" products. "If people want to use fragrance to expand the market, they may have their own ideas.. ....in your home city people have different levels of sensitivity, many of which are due to chemicals, so they tend to use less."
HK Tissue launched the Pha7 × HOHK joint ride series with Captain Error "Fat Boy" earlier, hoping to make tissue packaging fashionable.
﹙HK Tissue Photo﹚