Fine Hygienic Company: Protecting Public Health for a Better Tomorrow


Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH) has originated as one of the world’s leading wellness groups and the largest manufacturer of hygienic paper products in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The company specializes in producing products that have enhanced the lives of millions of people in more than 80 different nations. FHH has developed and sold a variety of products, which include baby diapers, adult briefs, long-lasting disinfectants, and natural supplements, in addition to sterilized tissues.

The company is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, proving its fortitude. FHH has maintained its success over the years as a result of a variety of reasons, including being a customer-centric firm, investing in cutting-edge technology, giving back to the communities that helped the business develop, and, of course, taking care of its employees. One of its guiding principles is, “If we take care of our people, the business will take care of itself.” The individuals who work at FHH are its most valuable asset, and it is generally accepted that their loyalty, enthusiasm and commitment to a Middle Eastern home-grown household brand are what have led to the company’s success and expansion.

Nurturing Talent: Kirsty Koen’s Contributions to Well-Rounded Wellbeing

Kirsty Koen was born in Northern England and raised in Southern Africa by entrepreneurial, nomadic parents who migrated from post-industrial era UK and ventured to the Southern Hemisphere in search of a better opportunity for their children. As a result, she has been able to experience different paradigms of diversity that have played a large role in shaping her life’s choices and who she is as a person. A master’s degree holder from Warwick Business School, UK, Kirsty has spent the past 16 years investing in herself both professionally and personally. Her career began at British American Tobacco, a globally recognized FTSE company she refers to as her “school of HR,” where she developed the “nuts and bolts” of her field as well as the business savvy that enabled her to successfully address some extremely difficult business challenges from the production line to sales to corporate. Throughout her multi-industry career, there isn’t one business function she hasn’t partnered with as an HR professional. The breadth and depth of her professional and personal experience have been fulfilling and rewarding with plenty of professional and personal challenges she has needed to overcome along the way. She is currently the CHRO of Fine Hygienic Holding. Her role is to ensure that the company takes care of its employees so that they can bring their best selves to the workplace. The role is highly challenging in defining new approaches for leading and inspiring today’s modern workforce that have a deep sense of pride in giving their consumers a life-long experience of their brand through their diverse range of products.

Breaking Barriers: A Look at Kirsty Koen’s Trailblazing Career

As a female leader and a mom of two young girls, Kirsty’s journey has been shaped by a combination of experiences, achievements, and lessons learned throughout her career. Her first defining experience was when she was young and impatiently ambitious to climb the corporate ladder. She became physically burnt out. It was a lesson in humility. In an attempt to prove her potential to others, Kirsty worked relentlessly to secure multiple promotions, believing that nonstop effort at the stake of high levels of stress and anxiety was the key to success. She had convinced herself of her invincibility, but her body eventually indicated that enough was enough. At the age of 28, she was forced to take a break and reflect. Since then, she has embarked on a journey of self-awareness and a commitment to self-care.

The birth of her first child came as Kirsty’s second pivotal experience. With vivid recollection, she reminisces about the day when she left her home fulfilling the roles of a wife and a career person, and upon her return, she had assumed the added role of a mother. It dawns on her that the responsibility of motherhood, which she has just embraced, is bound to become the most significant and prominent role in her life. She had spent years emphasizing her career where she felt the most competent, so when she became a mother, she immediately felt incompetent, and it was difficult for her to adjust to the sudden change in role. She learned a lot about and from other parents and the value of time by having children. She prioritizes investing quality time with her daughters, driving them to school, going to school events, and sitting in the front row so she is visible to them. Kirsty noticed a shift in empathy after becoming a mother.

Throughout her career, she has also had the opportunity to collaborate with some incredible trainers, leaders, and colleagues who have imparted invaluable lessons in self-awareness and leadership. Her ability to flourish in her position as a female leader has been aided by their mentoring, feedback, and encouragement.

The most notable professional accomplishments of Kirsty have been steering businesses through changes, growth, acquisitions, downturns, or turnaround plans. She now has a depth and breadth of expertise that few HR professionals can achieve, making her stand out as a women leader. These opportunities have given her the chance to truly impact the groups and individuals she has worked with. Kirsty has also discovered the advantages of discipline, determination, and resilience, particularly while dealing with difficulties and setbacks. She now recognizes that failures are merely chances for her to improve as a leader.

Persisting: Overcoming Challenges in Male-Dominated Business Environment

Kirsty’s journey has been fraught with challenges. One of the main difficulties she encountered in her early years in Africa was adapting to life in a corporate atmosphere where men predominated. She had to put in a lot of effort as a woman to gain the respect and credibility of her peers and prove that she could handle the duties of her position, which also included overseeing HR.

Leading HR projects across numerous cultures and locations posed additional challenges for her. Kirsty had to be aware of regional idiosyncrasies and cultural differences while working for multinational corporations like BAT and DHL in Africa and the Middle East. She also had to build business and people solutions and tailor HR processes to be inclusive of and respectful of these variances.

Ultimately, Kirsty confronted the ongoing issue of staying up-to-date with modifications to the HR best practices and technology. To give her team and the business the best support and direction possible, she needed to stay current on the newest trends and advancements in the HR field.

Adapting: The Importance of Flexibility in Leadership

Kirsty holds the opinion that every leader should possess an assortment of essential qualities. A strong sense of self-awareness is crucial in the first place. Effective leaders are those who can recognize their emotions and how they affect others. Additionally, they can use this skill to develop other crucial leadership abilities including the capacity to communicate a real direction and to lead with honesty. Building trust and fostering a productive workplace culture that encourages individual and team excellence are more likely to happen by leaders who can communicate, respond to their members of the team with understanding and compassion, and act honestly.

Another essential quality according to Kirsty is influence, which is essential for developing a supporter network or gaining acceptance for new initiatives. The capacity to handle conflict is equally significant. Leaders are better positioned to succeed in challenging and uncomfortable circumstances if they can manage disagreement and lead through it continuously. Due to the rapid change in the corporate environment, adaptability is also essential. Teams are more stable and secure when their leaders can quickly adapt to changing organizational ambiguities.

A strong work ethic and a dedication to making daily improvements are the ultimate qualities that every leader should have. Leaders who uphold high standards for themselves and practice discipline are more likely to motivate and develop their teams while holding others to the same standards.

Transforming Sanitation: FHH’s Journey to Better Well-being

The goal of FHH has always been to enrich the lives of its customers, and now that more people are cognizant of the importance of maintaining their health and making good contributions to their quality of life, there is a chance to do even more. People can improve their health and well-being attributable to the company’s development into a wellness business. Customers can live better, happier lives by taking advantage of goods and services that emphasize preventive, nutrition, and mental health. For example, FHH has recent launched breakthrough products that have been tested in global labs. One example is ‘Motiva’, natural supplements with high bioavailability. Motiva has been developed by global doctors and tested in international labs, and they help boost immunity, reduce inflammation, enhance brain function, in addition to many other clinically proven benefits.

Furthermore, the line of tissues is not just any tissues, but sterilized ones that use a patented technology called ‘SteriPro’. Also, the kitchen towel is the only product in the world under this category that has received the German ISEGA certificate, which makes it safe to use with food.

Leading the Change: The Role of a Leader in the Age of Disruptive Technologies

Kirsty personally witnessed the disruptive impact that innovation has on sectors and functions while serving various HR and tech start up advisory boards. Today’s executives need to be proficient in technology to make creative business decisions that promote long-term success and sustainability. Leaders need to be knowledgeable about the advantages that innovation will provide to bridge the gap between procedures and people. Leaders frequently make decisions without fully understanding the disruptive impact of the change, which results in inefficiency and value leakage for business. As Kirsty learned, leaders who select solutions without fully comprehending the disruptive nature of the shift can significantly impact a a company’s bottom line.

At FHH, successful and sustainable business operations are perceived as largely reliant on proper technology integration. The company continuously tracks technological developments and, whenever practicable, incorporates them into business processes. Tissue paper manufacture at FHH was previously done manually with a large number of employees and little supervision or management. The performance and efficiency of the manufacturing processes, however, have been greatly improved with the adoption of advanced automation and control systems as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning-based systems. FHH has developed the ability to sterilize, aroma, and emboss paper due to innovation. These automated machines today require highly specialized expertise for both operation and maintenance to maintain maximum performance.

Innovating for the Future: How Company Is Preparing for Tomorrow

The trend towards a more comprehensive view of wellness is a reflection of Kirsty’s optimism for the future of Fine Hygienic Holding and the sector as a whole. The recognition that wellness encompasses more than just physical health is driving a shift towards a broader, more holistic approach, says Kirsty. Looking ahead, she predicts that the wellness industry will continue to grow and evolve as people place increasing importance on customers’ health and well-being. This will create a demand for new and innovative products and services, and the company is well-positioned to lead the way. With a commitment to improving and saving lives, combined with expertise and passion for wellness, the company is an ideal partner for those seeking optimal health and happiness.

Navigating Gender Bias: Strategies for Women in Leadership

Kirsty ‘s opinion emphasizes the role of prioritizing self-awareness and understanding oneself for aspiring and emerging women leaders. Self-reflection may be uncomfortable and vulnerable, but it results in a deeper sense of self and a fulfilment that transcends positions of authority and status. The pursuit of opportunities to gain experience, master the fundamentals, and practice patience throughout the development process are essential to taking control of one’s career. Gaining credibility and professional depth also requires making errors and learning from them to implement what has been learned.

A solid support network should be built both socially and professionally with a coach/mentor, family, and friends who are trusted and will be the biggest supporters when needed. Having confidence in one’s abilities and being curious is important. Remaining true to oneself makes it easier to engage in courageous conversations with intimidating stakeholders because one can speak from a place of sincerity and clarity based on remaining true to their values.

Management: Kirsty Koen, CHRO, Fine Hygienic Holding


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