The NIVA Company celebrates a 100th anniversary of successful operations
NIVA was founded in 1920 under the company name Ikarus, and today, it is the leading domestic company in the production of medical products from cotton, gauze and non-woven textile. The company has recently opened the production plant that produces non-woven textile used in making surgical masks, caps, shoe covers and overalls following the relevant European standards. We talked to Milan Narančić, Owner, NIVA doo, about the company that is celebrating 100 years of operations.
Could you tell us a bit more about how the company came about and what is it like to have a 100-year tradition in cotton production?
NIVA (short for Novosadska Industrija Vate – the Novi Sad Cotton Wool Industry) is a company that has been engaged in the industrial processing of cotton for 100 years, which goal is to produce high-quality items that are used both in health care and for general consumption.
The company was founded in 1920 under the name Ikarus. In the period from 1930-1947, the company was called Novotaur and even back then it had a wide product range dominated by Jorge cotton, medical cotton and various types of cotton products. NIVA d.o.o. Žabalj has a long business tradition, under the name Niva has been operating since 1959. The company’s main activity is the production of medical supplies and products from cotton wool and gauze. Since 2007, NIVA has been 100% privately owned.
“Our company has been building its success for 100 years, all thanks to the know-how, long experience that is passed down to generations, and above all, the hard work of all its employees”
Our vision is to become and remain the leading company in terms of product quality with contemporary production and to achieve a high level of consumer satisfaction with the active participation of employees in the planning, implementation and evaluation of all activities in the production process. By implementing new technologies, we are increasing production capacities and creating opportunities for more profitable production.
How difficult (or easy) is it to maintain a leading market position and a consistently high level of quality?
Owing to our 100-year-long tradition, expertise and production capacities, we provide a long-term supply of products that meet the wanted and realistic requirements of product users and are an endorsement for safety and quality of customer supply.
Thanks to product quality, constant investments in equipment and implementation of advanced technology, as well as obtaining certification for our production processes and products, we have managed to maintain a leading position on the market and position ourselves as a regional leader in the production of high-quality certified products in the segment of medical supplies and consumer goods. Our unwavering goal is to continue developing corporate values and customer satisfaction. Since it is producing and selling medical supplies, NIVA must show the biggest social responsibility.
“NIVA brand is now synonymous with quality that results in strong market competitiveness of its products”
What materials is the production based on and are your products originating from Serbia?
Our production was and still is based on cotton and gauze products. All production plants were moved from several different locations in 2011, under one roof in Žabalj, to expedite work and production processes and product distribution. In 2020, we launched a production plant non-woven textile and thus expanded our product portfolio. Our entire production is in Žabalj and all of the products that we sell in Serbia and abroad are 100% made in Serbia.
You have launched a new production plant during the pandemic. Do you intend to further expand your existing portfolio?
In March 2020, we launched a new production plant based on non-woven textile products: surgical and protective masks, caps and shoe covers. The launch of the new plant coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the increase in demand, we have expanded our production capacities and now we are ready to respond to all the requirements of both the domestic and foreign markets.
We will soon complete another production plant and the value of that investment is over 2 million euro, but we will talk about it in more detail when the plant is put into operation.
Are you satisfied with NIVA’s current market position?
The company NIVA is a leader in Serbia and the region in the segment of medical supplies and consumer goods. We export our products to the countries of the region as well as to the European Union, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We export both medical supplies and consumer goods, both under the NIVA brand and under our clients’ brands if they wish so.
In addition to medical supplies, NIVA produces consumer goods, cotton wool of various density, cosmetic pads and NIVA Extra Sanitary pads for new mothers, which is our most recognized product. I think that all new mothers in Serbia and beyond use this product. Our products can be purchased in all retail chains, retail stores and pharmacies in Serbia and the region.
Understandably, we are currently focusing on the production of surgical and protective masks. NIVA’s surgical masks are three-layered and made of non-woven material under the European standard EN 14683, type IIR. The quality of our masks, as well as all products from our product range, is unquestionable and cannot be compared to similar products imported from China.
What sets NIVA apart in the medical product market?
During the pandemic, NIVA has been working at full capacity while adhering to the prescribed measures to ensure a continuous supply of products to our users. In time and as they got to experience our products, our users, both individuals and health care institutions, have realized the advantage of the quality of NIVA’s products that meet all the required features necessary to protect the health of their users, which has proved necessary in these times.
The users of our products also recognize that our products are manufactured in accordance with the global standards. NIVA d.o.o. started the product certification process in 2010 with the view of having its products comply with the relevant global standards. We are operating in line with the following standards:
– ISO 90001:2015 – this is a standard for the product quality management system and the management process, resource management and operational activities.
– ISO 13485:2016 – this is a standard that prescribes quality management system in the production of medical devices, is aimed at ensuring safety and compliance of medical supplies, as well as the traceability in the process from suppliers to customers, i.e. users.
All NIVA products bear the EC mark, which is a necessary condition to export to the EU market.