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FILIPINO-owned company Lamoiyan Corp. (Lamoiyan) is determined to grab the positions enjoyed by multinational companies (MNCs) in the country’s toothpaste market.

Lamoiyan is also set to compete head-on with Unilever and Procter and Gamble (P&G) Co. by investing more than P100 million for marketing and upgrading its manufacturing equipment, said company president and chief executive officer Cecilio Pedro.

The company also plans to venture fully into the country’s cosmetics and household product sectors, which are dominated by both MNCs, by adding more products.

“We are now in the process of analyzing the market for three additional cosmetic products, which we plan to launch soon,” he said in an interview at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel yesterday.

Manufacturer

Pedro was the speaker of the “Meet the Business Legend,” a monthly project of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

Lamoiyan is the manufacturer of Happee toothpaste, Fresher feminine wash and Dazz dish washer.

Lamoiyan’s Happee toothpaste has cornered about 25 percent of the market, third only to Colgate and Closeup, which have market shares of about 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

Comparable

“We (Lamoiyan) are ready to fight them (Unilever and P&G) in the country. We are moving to the next level to compete with them. I believe that the Filipinos can excel and that Filipino products, like Happee, are comparable, and are even better than other products (manufactured by foreign companies),” Pedro said.

“But then, making us number one depends on the Filipinos,” he added.

To improve on product quality, Pedro said Lamoiyan will invest some P100 million this year for equipment alone. This is on top of the amount the company will spend on marketing efforts and its human resources.

Advertising

“We have hired the services of an international advertising agency. Our people in our research and development are from Unilever and P&G. This is a very huge—a growing—investment,” he said.

Pedro said the company’s hiring of international artist Lea Salonga as endorser of Happee is a manifestation of its determination to increase market share in the country.

Prices

Despite the additional investments, he said Lamoiyan will not increase the prices of its products. The toothpaste’s price will remain 20 percent to 30 percent lower than the two leading toothpastes in the market.

“We are compromising our margin because we believe in providing quality yet affordable products to the Filipinos,” Pedro said. (JBN)

Published in the SunStar Cebu

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