Goldwin Merits a Gold for Bringing Marikina Made Soaps Abroad
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Goldwin Manufacturing Laboratories Corp. bills itself as the “Skin care products specialist.” But there is another one that also captures what it does best: “Bringing Marikina made soaps to the rest of the world.”
What started out as a small venture by four siblings who all helped make and market whitening soaps inside the house almost three decades ago is now a fast growing exporter of soaps to the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, shipping out 120,000 bars a week to its clients overseas.
Truly, the Marikina-based soap maker deserves its name.
“Gold is for winning. Hindi ka first prize kung hindi ka gold medalist,” says Edgardo de Guzman, president and founder of the firm. (You can’t claim to be the first prize if you are not a gold medalist.)
A chemical engineer by profession, Edgar used to work in rubber shoemaking companies in the country and had a stint as a plant manager in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia before he decided to try making soaps on his own with the help of her three sisters, one of them inspired him to start a soap making business.
“One of my sisters, who is now in the United States, used to work for a cosmetic trading company. She had a brand new car. So I asked her how come her company gave her a car? She told me that the cosmetic company makes good money selling beauty soaps. I said to myself, I can also make this kind of soap,” he says.
After just three months, the soap was a hot commodity that the siblings decided to rent an old shoe factory and use it to make soaps. They started making whitening, derma and glycerin soaps mostly for local companies who wanted to sell these products but did not want to manufacture them on their own so they ordered from Goldwin.
Bahrain By Accident
Goldwin’s foray into the overseas market came by accident. The husband of one of his sisters was from Mindanao. The couple decided to open up a trading company in Mindanao selling Goldwin soaps. One of the customers who bought the soap happened to be working in Bahrain and the soap attracted the interest of the residents there.
The company got inquiries from Bahrain and the owners decided to sell their products there in 1997 under their own brand this time – Pureskin, a name inspired by Purefoods, the food company that used to have a factory in Marikina.
After Bahrain, another businessman from Saudi Arabia became interested in distributing Pureskin products in his country.
“I was surprised why we were getting a lot of orders from Saudi Arabia. So we visited the country and discovered that it was not the Filipinos who were working there who were buying our products but the Arabians. That is why in our packaging, there are Arabic translations so that the locals can understand them,” Edgar says.
Malaysia followed, but this time, their partner firm wanted to have hits own brand of the products. Then came Africa, where Goldwin also sells Pureskin soaps.
What attracted the foreign nationals to their products is their ability to whiten skins, he says. Goldwin used to use papaya extracts on their products, all approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but later on switched to enzymes because they work better.
Exporting their products enabled the company to grow its business fast. It now has two factories both located in Marikina and employs about a hundred workers. Its output has risen to half a million bars of soaps a month, most of them are sold abroad and widely distributed in the Middle East.
Its product lines include herbal and specialty soaps, facial and body cleansing preparations, creams and lotions, hair care products and a lot more.
Expand Domestic Market
Right now, 70 percent of Goldwin’s production is for the exports market and the rest is sold to companies in the Philippines under a contracting agreement, meaning these firms use their own brands and labels on the products.
Edgar says he wants to expand its customer base in the Philippines so that the share of the domestic market on its total production will rise to 50 percent from 30. There are also plans to open up a factory in Saudi Arabia.
“I was in Saudi Arabia in August to explore the possibility of putting up a factory there. But it’s still on its preliminary stage,” he says.
But no matter how successful the company has and will become, Edgar says it will stay in Marikina as he wants to help provide jobs to Marikenos.
“I want to help my fellow Marikenos by giving them jobs. Employment has a big multiplier effect. The more people employed, the better for Marikina,” says Edgar, who was born and raised in the city.
“Marikina has good infrastructure and governance. It is very clean and the local government officials are very accessible,” says the 60-year-old father of three grown up children.
For more information about Goldwin, please visits its website:http://www.pureskin.com.ph/
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