From a small workshop for the production of bandages and cotton wool, Lola Ribar has developed into an international player, producing about eleven million square meters of gauze and gauze products as well as a total of 400 t of cotton wool and cotton wool products – always living up to its vision of producing natural materials only.
“We are the leading producers of sanitary products in the states of former Yugoslavia,” points out Sinisa Anton Zanetic, CEO and President of the Management Board, when asked about the position of Lola Ribar in the hospital, retailing and pharmacy markets.
The company can look back on a long tradition in the production of gauzes, gauze products, cotton wool and cotton wool products for various applications. “Since 1932 we have overcome structural, organizational and market changes in this part of Europe and have emerged as a top player, supplying natural sanitary and medical products that are now exported to the whole of Southeastern Europe and beyond,” says Mr. Zanetic.
Lola Ribar is an A brand in Croatia as well as in its neighbouring countries and even as far as Germany. “In Düsseldorf, we recently opened an office for pursuing sales with multinationals. We know that if we are able to beat European competitors in our home market, we will be able to get going in Germany as well,” adds Mr. Zanetic.
Since Croatia became a member of the EU in 2013, Lola Ribar has complied with all international standards. The company is proud that the superior quality of its sensitive hygiene products, all made from natural raw materials, is highly appreciated by its customers.
“We have divided our product range into three main categories,” says Mr. Zanetic. “For hospitals, we provide gauze and cotton bandage sterile sets for different types of operations and procedures. Our second line focuses on consumer products in retailing, including cotton pads, sanitary napkins, and a mother and child line. Products designed and made for pharmacies, medical care and first-aid are to be found in a third group.”
Lola Ribar is very much involved in developing its hospital lines and presenting convincing ideas regarding material savings to hospitals. “Many products like gauze are still bought by the meter so that manpower and time are wasted on simple tasks like cutting or sterilization,” points out Mr. Zanetic. “We see a savings potential of up to 30% simply by changing to more appropriate ready-to-use products. This is just one example of how staff resources can be used more efficiently.”
At the moment, Lola Ribar is growing in the retailing and pharmacy segments in particular and is investing in new equipment for pharmacies. “We want our pharmacy line to be established as a premium brand, designing products that look nice and are loved by the consumer,” states Mr. Zanetic.
International expansion and a doubling of sales figures are top issues on Lola Ribar’s agenda. The company is about to register its products in new foreign markets like Russia. “We know that demand is growing,” adds Mr. Zanetic. “This is why we choose carefully where we want to grow, also with regard to our 120 staff members. Growth is also about giving them a future.”