Hayat Kimya: Championing Gender Equality Through Creative Innovations

L-R: Roseline Abaranoye, Marketing Manager/Head; Hakan Misri, MD; Sylrie Mgbaramuko, Brand Manager; Motayo Latunji, Sales Director and Venesa Toyin Ebifem, Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager, all of Hayat Kimya Nigeria.

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. This ability has made her the very bedrock of the society and that is why an empowered woman makes for an empowered family and an empowered society. In fact, former United Nations’ Secretary General, Kofi Annan captured it better when he once said there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.

This is because the empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description. Interestingly, among multinational organisations championing the empowerment of women globally and here in Nigeria is Fast Moving Consumer Goods, (FMCG) giant, Hayat Kimya.

Hayat Kimya has been serially recognised globally as one of the brands that have been empowering women as it made the prestigious “Female-Executive-Friendly Top 100 Companies” list by Capital Magazine, occupying the 37th position globally. This is reflected in its local market here in Nigeria where it has the resourceful Roselyn Abaraonye, Marketing Director of Hayat Kimya and the award winning Chioma Mgbaramuko, the Brand Manager of its flagship brand, Molfix among other ladies, in its ranks.

As a company that relates a lot with women through its many brands, one of them being chiefly through its flagship Molfix brand, the ‘Happy Today, Happy Tomorrow’ has come to be synonymous with the brand as it has engaged women at various stages of their life. Leveraging heavily on digital, the company created a very robust platform of an online community of women on social media known as Mo’mums (Molfix mothers). The platform caters for expectant mothers, those that have just given birth (0-6 months), those with growing babies (6-12 months), those with toddlers (12-23 months) and for mothers that have grown babies.

Expectant women are empowered with such knowledge as weekly development of pregnancy, nutrition in pregnancy, pregnancy exercises, delivery, needs of a new-born baby, breastfeeding, pre-pregnancy, baby shower and motherhood/for parents. New mothers get to know more about babycare, nutrition, sleep, breastfeeding, motherhood/ for parents and putting on a diaper among others. For mothers with Babies that are between six and twelve months, they get monthly progress chart, nutrition, breastfeeding tips as well as games and fun activities for them.  All these and much more are lined up for mothers.

Because of the innovative use of digital to empower women with much needed knowledge, the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, awarded it with the first runner up position in the Digital Category of the awards of its prestigious marketing excellence awards. As veteran producer and film Director, Femi Odugbemi had once noted, we have increased our capacity to create connections exponentially because of digital technology, specifically social media. Digital technology and social media have reinvented and revolutionized engagements. They have added a new dimension to the matrix of human connection.

To Roseline, the company’s use of digital to reach out to women is strategically intentional. “We are very strong as we carry our consumers on a journey. We ensure that most of the things we are doing offline with women are replicated online to engage our community of mothers. We used influencers and other kinds of props to ensure that the moms are properly engaged. We ensure that we share all the tips they need to make sure that they have healthy babies.

Roselyn adds Hayat Kimya’s focus on empowering women with initiatives like ‘Happy Today, Happy Tomorrow,’ ‘Happy Mums, Happy Families’ among others is to have maximum impact on the society as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility. “Hayat Kimya as a global organisation is a firm believer in giving back to the society. Hence, in Nigeria, we identified the fact that unemployment is a key issue. In addition to the fact that a lot of women have become the bread winners of their families, the brand thought it wise to empower our mums and enable them earn a living through the brand. As a result, the brand launched the “Happy Mums, Happy Families” CSR campaign. 

“You will realise that once you have a home where the mother is not happy, you will find that the family will seldom be happy. We asked ourselves how best we can really touch the lives of these women to have happier families. This led us back to come up with the “Happy Today, Happy Tomorrow” campaign too.  Everything we have tried to build revolves around happiness, to ensure that there is happiness in the home from the father, mother and to the children so that happiness is all-round to make sure there is happiness in every home. So we decided to work.

“I will say what we did right was putting the square pegs in square holes basically. We got real insights about our consumers and we ensured we met the needs and bridged the identified gaps. This way Molfix delivered satisfaction to its consumers while living out the brand promise of keeping our Mums and babies happy today and happy tomorrow.

The job of empowering women in a climate such as Nigeria’s is an onerous task and so requires collaborations. Roselyn says the Hayat Kimya has been in collaboration with different bodies on this. “We decided to work together with some government agencies on poverty alleviation and the ministry of health generally to help in identifying mothers who need this assistance and then we offer them some goods at a particular amount for capital. After that, we give them a kiosk   and a position where they will stay and sell them. Ministry of health, Lagos, Nigeria service commission and WAPA.”

Hayat Kimya is not strong online or just in the use of digital to empower women. It is also strong offline. For instance, last year, it its bid to continuously reward the loyalty of Molfix consumers and also engage with mothers in its online community, the company hosted its annual MOLFIX Mo’Mums party for 2018.

Themed the “Mo’Mum Garden Party 2018,” mothers were given a green experience: a relaxed environment, talks about nutrition and their general well-being, and of course a mother’s reward. The event was graced by facilitators invited to inspire the mums. Bola Balogun; the MOLFIX brand advocate and founder of Glam Brand Agency spoke to the mothers on intentional parenting, Veronica Odeka; renowned celebrity stylist spoke at length about personal grooming and styling on a budget, Eniola Powede Awujo a trained nurse and pilot spoke to the mothers on baby hygiene and health and safety when travelling by air.

Bunmi George; founder of Shredder Gang shared tips on how to stay fit with a live demo. Teju Babyface Oyelakin; the Molfix Mo’Dad was Live at the event and shared tips on fatherhood. Yemisi Akinwande was also present and spoke to the mothers about discovering their potential and the best version of themselves.

The mothers were also given a chance to express their creative side in painting while Mo’Babies were not left out of the fun they were placed in their own Molfix lounge with nannies to attend to their every need.

Because of the way it engages with women offline, the company’s Molfix brand also came first in the experiential category of the ADVAN Awards based on its engagement with consumers. This is the second year the brand is winning in this category and the first time any brand is winning this category consecutively. “…We offer some kind of happiness to mothers everywhere they go to for example in the open market where we engage with the mothers and offer them help in changing their baby diapers so they can happily do their shopping and have a happy baby while we also give them another to use at home. This is what we do on a consistent basis.

 “We also engaged mothers by giving them free products and engaging them on the proper use of diapers and how to fix them. We actually engaged moms at different touch points. We engaged our core targets at the proper place, it was well targeted and it gave us great results. We literarily took creating experience practical with our consumers. We were working outside the norm where jamborees and dances are organised and products sold at the venue. Before engaging the consumer, what we did was to first identify those we are dealing with (in this case, mostly women). What are they using? They are using a product, they are using different diapers. They were not using Molfix at the time. We asked ourselves, how can we get them to experience the product? We then decided to basically go and meet them where they are and help them take care of their babies by giving them a more comfortable diapers to use, and then give them what they will also use when they get home.

“So, we went to the open market were we helped the babies. We had nurses who worked with us. We gave the mothers all the education they needed to take care of their babies and then we were also able to give them a more comfortable diaper to use, to make sure the baby is not uncomfortable or cranky in their diapers till they get home, and then when they get home and wash the baby, they also have something else to use.

“Basically, we engaged the consumer in the proper sense of it and made sure they were able to experience the product and call again. If there was no repeat purchase, back to buy, then we wouldn’t be leading the market today. We were able to generate awareness for the brand by word of mouth, trials, engagement, and all these lead to conversion which today we are reaping and enjoying.

Although Hayat Kimya came into the Nigerian market in 2016, the company actually commenced operations in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry as far back as 1987 as manufacturer of goods in hygiene, tissue and home care categories offering well established brands such as Bingo (detergents and home cleaning), Molped (feminine care), Papia, Familia, Focus & Teno (cleansing tissues) as well as Joly and Evony (adult diaper). The company’s brands are favourites of consumers in more than 100 countries across five continents.

Headquartered in Turkey, Hayat Kimya’s has subsidiaries in Iran, Egypt, Bulgaria, Algeria, Morocco, Russia and Nigeria and employs nearly 8,000 people today around the world. Hayat Kimya manufactures its products in 14 plants and continues its international investments at full speed.

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