Paper view

The fabulously-named Dinu Universal Paper & Plastics company loves nothing more than to provide people with genuinely essential items. After half a century the company continues its pivotal ‘roll’ in the marketplace.

The modern, technology-obsessed world can be pretty confusing. Sometimes it’s strangely gratifying to actually get hold of something you can fully comprehend. Dinu—a family business in every sense of the word—have been providing just this brand of reassurance for over 50 years.

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“The company was started by my great Grandfather and some partners in 1950,” says Johnny Sher, General Manager of his family’s business. “The company started out making paper envelopes and other paper stationary. It was then taken over by my grandfather Phil Sher in the early 50’s and he started to grow the company, manufacturing paper drinking straws and napkins.”

The company recently celebrated its 62nd birthday—there aren’t many businesses around that can make that boast, especially in the current climate.

Over the years Dinu has produced all manner of paper-based items, while also branching into plastic. The impressive compendium also includes plastic straws, plastic bags, pocket tissues, toilet paper and kitchen towels.

In recent times it has been solely focused on tissue paper products, specialising in manufacturing paper napkins, toilet paper and kitchen towel. The company prides itself on offering a premium high quality product and in a variety of forms. Dinu particularly specialises in printing designs and offer a vast range of napkins, toilet paper and kitchen towels to suit all tastes.

It is this bespoke customer service that Sher believes sets the company apart. “We offer our customers the opportunity to accessorise their homes to reflect a particular style, whether it be in their dining room, kitchen, or their bathroom,” he enthuses.

Let’s roll

The company actually has two brands which serve very different sector; the exceptionally popular Dinu brand—which is purely for retail—and also the Diamond brand, for industrial purposes, including speciality stores, hotels, and restaurants.

Indeed, the company has an impressive presence throughout South Africa, selling products countrywide to big retailers, such as Shoprite, Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay, Massmart, Spar Group and Woolworths. In addition, it exports to neighbouring countries.

There have also been many other factors, which have contributed to the company’s continued success. Toilet roll production has increased by three times in as many years, the company are the third largest shareholder in the two ply market and house brand business has soared. Yep, it’s fair to say this company is on a roll.

Flushing away profits

The addition of more competitors in the market has raised the importance of operating as efficiently as possible, in order to reduce the costs of the products and remain competitive. As well as increasing its production, Dinu has doubled its skilled and committed workforce to over 200. All are highly-trained, with formidable knowledge and experience of the industry.

Like its products the company has always had an inherent flexibility, which allows it to progress and adapt to the changes in the market, such as advances in technology. In addition, the customers have also become more demanding in terms of the price they pay and the quality they are paying for. This requirement has prompted the company to focus on a programme of continuous improvement in standards, variety and cost effectiveness.

Also, investing in the latest machinery has enabled the company to grow in many areas and produce increasingly competitive products to customers. This has even included producing its own water based inks, under the brand Universal Inks.

“You can always be assured by buying a Dinu or Diamond product that you will be getting the same consistent quality,” promises Sher. “We also offer high service levels, and attend to any customer complaints immediately. The company is proud to act in an ethical manner, and always consider how our actions will affect all stakeholders.”

Absorbency

In the next few years the company is very interested in distributing its products even further afield and is currently looking for new business partners in others countries across Africa. This will also involve the creation of further manufacturing facilities in other countries—an interesting prospect, especially with improved growth in the African market.

“We are hoping to encourage growth quite intensively and gain further market share, while also concentrating on growing our export market,” concluded Sher.

“We are hoping to achieve a larger base of loyal consumers who understand our company’s philosophies and support our brands. Above all, we aim to improve the state of hygiene in South Africa by giving tissue paper access to as many people and companies as possible.”

With a range of products that households trust implicitly, Dinu will be cleaning up for the foreseeable future. After all, that is what it does best!