Cleaning up: HYGEX, Jordan

Established in 2001 by patriarch Elia Al Nims and his two sons, Kameel (pictured top, right) and Ghassan, HYGEX initially imported cleaning and hygiene products for sale in the local market, and slowly forayed into manufacturing its own. Currently, HYGEX has manufacturing facilities in the outskirts of Amman and sells under its own brand, with 40% locally produced and 60% imported products.

Demonstrating the strength of its homegrown products, the company signed two agency agreements in 2013 with companies in Iraq (Erbil Governorate) and Lebanon for the HYGEX brand. Moreover, since 2014, the company has diversified its hygiene product offering to include paper napkins and tissues imported from Lebanon.

However, Kameel and Ghassan started facing cash flow issues as collections began to get delayed, even as larger and larger orders were received from satisfied customers. Accordingly, they had to turn outside for finances to fund growth plans while ensuring sustainability of business operations.

GroFin has recently provided the company with a USD 300K loan over 5 years to help achieve Hygex’s plan to replace imports with local production up from its current level of 40% to 55% of sales – as well as diversify further into sales of paper napkins and tissues.

“Unlike traditional financiers, GroFin is not only providing us with the funds to expand our business but also is advising us on ways to solve core collections problems and cash flow issues,” says Kameel.

“Our recommendations include improving collection of receivables through standardising customer order points and quantities and collection timelines on the one hand, and negotiating longer creditor days and improving company stock reorder quantities and intervals, on the other,” says Wa’el Sunna (pictured top, left), Senior Investment Manager at GroFin Jordan.

Besides, as HYGEX transforms from a partnership into a private limited company, GroFin is providing formalisation support in terms of regular business planning, financial forecasting and performance monitoring.

“We also completed a detailed EH&S audit of the business. In general their practices were good but we identified a few areas where they could improve their chemical storage and handling – to reduce the risk of workers being exposed to hazardous chemicals. Kameel has a great attitude and is implementing all our recommendations to bring his business closer to best practice. He wants his business to be world class and we are helping him achieve this.” says Lynton Burger, GroFin Group Impact Executive.

The expansion in local production and sales is expected to result in the immediate employment of 7 employees, representing a 20% increase over the current workforce. Moreover, as the company progressively localises production elements, employment opportunities will increase. The company operates in the Sahab area which is considered a poverty pocket, with an increase in jobs at HYGEX having an immediate impact on community welfare as all employees hail from this and surrounding areas.