Hansol grows line of baby goods
The company will unveil a line of products on Thursday that includes shampoos, lotions, oils, wet wipes and skin creams all developed for infants.
Hansol Education is using its patented “Nordic recovery complex” as an ingredient in all its products. Its main component is a type of birch sap from Finland that is known to be effective in protecting sensitive baby skin.
Before its venture into health care, Hansol Education was known for its educational brand Finden, which includes picture books (Finden Mini), soundproof mats (Finden Playmat), infant development programs (Finden Bebe) and prenatal kits for mothers (Finden Mommy to Be).
The new health care products will fall under the brand “Finden Skin Bebe.”
“Our future plan is to make Hansol Education stand on two pillars: education and health care,” CEO Byun Jae-yong said during a JoongAng Ilbo interview on Aug. 12.
“Although we started off as an education company, our corporate vision has always been a company that takes part in children’s everyday lives, not just in education but also culture, life and health.”
Byun himself is overseeing operations, participating in product selection, development and marketing.
In the long run, Hansol Education is hoping to manufacture food and clothing products for infants.
“Our education business grew by catching up with the needs of what mothers want for their children,” Byun said.
“Likewise, we intend to do the same in order to lead the baby health care market.”
Hansol Education’s move to diversify comes as the local education market has seen slow sales in the last few years. The company planned to launch a health care line 15 years ago but was unable to because of difficulties in the market.
One way for companies to survive is by going overseas, notably to China, where the market for baby products is known to amount to 13 trillion won ($11.6 billion), around six to seven times larger than the Korean market.
Hansol Education is also looking for ways to gain a foothold abroad. Last year, the company opened its infant education facility “Brainschool” in China and Vietnam.
“We focused on finding a local partner by attending China-related expositions,” Byun said. “Our next plan is to set up a joint venture with our Chinese partner and start exporting the Finden English education program.”
The business will target the growing premium infant goods market in China.
While acknowledging the importance of overseas markets, Byun also said gaining credibility from domestic consumers remains the company’s main priority.
“Even though the birthrate is lower, the attention and interest that parents are showing for their children have increased,” he said.
“As parents expect more from their children’s education, our role and responsibility as an education company will also expand.”
BY KIM SANG-SEON AND HUR JEONG-YEON [email@example.com]