Itema Group CEO Ugo Ghilardi, with whom we interviewed for our Tekstil Teknoloji magazine, said that they started 2022 with high expectations and by setting ambitious goal. Ghilardi, “Turkey is indeed a key market for us and it represents the main focus of some strategic projects in the pipeline. Over the last two years we have been working to improve one of our best-sellers by introducing innovations to further meet the needs of Turkish weavers.” said.
First of all, how was 2021 for Itema? Especially after the first quarter of the year, there was an increase in orders. Can you evaluate the year 2021 in figures?
2021 was a year still heavily influenced by the pandemic: the implementation of safety protocols to protect the health of Itema employees in all our branches remained a top priority. Moreover, we had to face the issue of raw materials shortages and the price increases that characterized the entire supply chain all over the world.
Nevertheless, Itema Group experienced an extraordinary year, characterized by important projects and outstanding market results. In terms of figures, we closed 2021 with a +43% on turnover, Lamiflex at +18% and Schoch at +23%, with a Group average that sees us at +41% compared to the turnover of 2020. I am very proud of the Itema Group team for these results and I am confident that in 2022 will see us reaching even higher goals.
You have been a major supplier of machines to the weaving industry. How have the machines changed over the years with respect to this niche?
Pandemic made even more clear that to be competitive in the fast-paced world of textile industry, flexibility is key. It is fundamental for our Customers today to be ready to shift their production in a quick way to respond to constantly changing market needs. And let me say that it is always a great satisfaction for us to see that all this is possible in a very short time thanks to our advanced machines and to the support of our excellent service team.
The pandemic further accelerated the growth of technical textiles. This new trend found us ready and prepared thanks to the foresight and attention dedicated to what until a few years ago was an emerging market.
What never goes out of fashion, instead, is the primary role of fabric quality. Our Customers always look for higher standards, with no compromises in terms of efficiency, and we are happy to be able to satisfy their increasingly higher expectations since more than 50 years with our Itema machines.
The pandemic process has once again proven how important sustainability is. What are the latest innovations are coming up by Itema considering sustainability particularly environment and energy?
Innovation traditionally goes hand in hand with sustainability at Itema. After introducing the first tangible sustainable innovation in weaving industry, iSAVER®, we continued to work on this aspect. In particular, our machines feature today improvements in terms of eco-efficiency, in order to reduce their environmental impact along with running costs.
“Our Efforts Are Already Addressed to ITM 2022”
In an increasingly digitised world, how are your machines keeping pace?
Digitalization is progressively permeating every aspect of our lives; the textile machinery industry is therefore not an exception. What we are aiming at as Itema is to exploit the technological advantages that digitalization offers us to make the lives of weavers ever easier and to allow them to optimize the traditional ways of carrying out daily activities.
Can you tell us about your expectations, goals, new products and investment plans for 2022?
We started this 2022 with high expectations and by setting ambitious goals. Our eyes and a huge part of our efforts are already addressed to ITM Istanbul in June.
Turkey is indeed a key market for us and it represents the main focus of some strategic projects in the pipeline. Over the last two years we have been working to improve one of our best-sellers by introducing innovations to further meet the needs of Turkish weavers. We can’t wait to bring all these news on stage in June.
Interview: Dilek HAYIRLI