“Pakistan is one of the most strategically
important markets for Itema Group”
FRANCO BRAMBILLA, Executive Director of Itema Middle East DMCC
Please tell us about the new Itema
office in Dubai. What is the scope of this regional hub and what
regions are covered by Itema Dubai?
Itema decided to open an affiliate company based in Dubai in
order to act as a commercial hub coordinating all Itema
activities in the Middle East, the African continent and further
afield including also Pakistan. The reason for this is the fact
that Dubai is seen by business elite of the area as a neutral
meeting point, bringing proximity across such a vast region.
From Itema’s standpoint, starting already in 2014 we launched
the regional hub strategy with creating strategic points across
the world from which we conduct our sales and after-sales
activities, including the Asia Hubs out of Shanghai and Hong
Kong, the Americas Hubs out of USA and Brazil, and the Middles
East Hub out of Dubai. We want to be close to our customers, no
matter where in the world their mills are located, and this hub
diversification strategy fits right and is already providing
What are some of the innovations by
Itema that you would like to share with our readers?
Itema is tirelessly working on bringing forward new
innovations, on changing the realm of possibilities in weaving
and on imagining the future. With our twin R&D departments, one
of which is the ItemaLab, a special laboratory for breakthrough
developments, based in the Scientific-Technologic Park Kilometro
Rosso near Bergamo in Italy, which houses the R&D labs of other
companies from Brembo, the brakes company that supplies Formula
1 cars, Porsche Academy, Italcementi, and University of Bergamo
to name just a few of the labs with which our pool of engineers
and re-searchers collaborate in exchanging ideas on a daily
basis and from where we are starting to get exciting results.
You will remember that ItemaLab is the unit we launched with the
mandate to invent “The Loom of the Future – for the Future of
the Loom.” A very ambitious mandate, indeed, and this is because
in Itema we think big, bold ideas. Some of the advancements from
ItemaLab are so exciting that we cannot contain ourselves to
wait and want to bring them onto the market, because we consider
the advantages for the customer extremely beneficial.
The case in point is the latest device, the iSAVER™, which
made its worldwide debut on the Istanbul stage at ITM 2018. Here
we are talking about a smart device engineered and designed by
ItemaLab which completely eliminates the left-side weft waste.
Anyone working in, managing and/or owning a weaving operation
should be giddy with excitement at this development as it means
not only eliminating waste, but also cutting costs, reducing
payback times for investments in new machinery and even
benefitting the environment. A multiple-advantage development
that is only the tip of the innovation iceberg for Mills, as the
iSAVER™ at the moment is available for Denim Mills, to start
with. We are talking about game-changing innovation.
Do you have any good news from
Pakistan that you would like to share with us?
Pakistan is one of the most strategically important markets
for Itema and for the global textile industry, and a country
with a strong potential for continued growth. Itema is strongly
committed to investing in the Pakistan market, providing highly
innovative and technological products perfect to satisfy the
growing potential and the requirements of the advanced weaving
mills of the country. In order to further demonstrate this
commitment, in October 2017 in collaboration with Noon
International as sales and after-sales service representative,
the Italian-headquartered company launched its first ItemaCampus
in Pakistan - a brand-new training center opened in Lahore –
equipped with the latest generation rapier R9500p and airjet
One of Itema’s targets for the near-term future is to be
increasingly closer to Mills in Pakistan, supporting customers
with a complete offering of weaving machines, service and
training. We strongly believe that we can provide customers in
the country with the right technology, tailor-made solutions and
top performances, as well as real-time on-the-ground training –
an overall win-win package which will undoubtedly further
bolster Pakistani weavers’ renowned creativity and
responsiveness to the ever-changing fast-paced demands of
today’s textile market requirements and success worldwide.
In the past year or so, with the increased presence and
efforts out of the Dubai Hub and thanks to the dedicated
on-the-ground presence and commitment of Noon International team
out of Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad, Itema has concluded
important orders in some of the most prominent textile
corporations of Pakistan, including Denim specialists –
Azgard9, which already installed Itema’s rapier
R9500denim weaving machines and Artistic Fabrics, which ordered
recently a total of 40 sets of Itema’s rapier R9500denim – for
maximum versatility, quality and hand-feel of their denim fabric
creations, highly regarded in the indigo world.
Another high-profile contract is with the vertically
integrated Gul Ahmed for a significant lot of
Itema’s best-selling rapier weaving machines model R9500 for bed
sheeting and apparel.
Of course, Itema is present on the Pakistan market (also
through the predecessor brands Sulzer, Somet and Vamatex) since
some 40 years ago with thousands and thousands of active assets
– weaving machines with projectile, rapier and airjet weft
insertion systems weaving the broadest range of textiles from
terry to denim to bed sheeting and apparel, to name just a few.
Our intention is to augment this physical presence in
Pakistani weaving mills with the newest and most advance weaving
machinery range and to support the entire Pakistan textile
industry from small, family-run operations all the way to the
most sophisticated, vertically integrated conglomerates. This is
our mission and this is what we will do in a systematic, gradual
and sustainable way.
Mr. Munir Alam COO Azgard 9 at Itema stand.
How has the new Itema Campus been
received by the weaving sector of Pakistan?
The physical presence of Itema in Pakistan has been very well
received. We strongly believe that, no matter how easy to use
and intuitive the latest-generation weaving equipment from Itema,
training remains a key element when it comes to getting the most
out of your looms. This is why Itema strongly encourages
customers to continue take full advantage of this facility and
schedule dedicated training courses for key weaving personnel at
our new, fully-functional and ergonomic ItemaCampus facilities.
What in your opinion is needed for
Pakistani textile industry to survive and succeed in the highly
competitive global market?
Pakistan’s textile industry needs strong support from
Government to create and maintain the right conditions necessary
for companies to operate in, thrive and bolster their
production. With more than 60% of Pakistan’s textile output
going to export, it is essential for Pakistan textile operators
to be able to rely on infrastructure in terms of uninterrupted
energy supply to ensure ease of conducting business and to
contribute towards making Pakistan’s exports competitive in the
international market. Furthermore, we support the call of the
associations for an export-led government policy and
availability of energy at regionally competitive prices, as
minimum essentials for textile units to survive and flourish.
What are your expectations from your
participation in ITMA ASIA exhibition?
We like to be close to customers, to hear first-hand how
their businesses are evolving, what changing requirements they
face from their customers and from brands etc, hence, every
opportunity is welcome. ITMA ASIA has become an unmissable
appointment and we were pleased to welcome our customers at
stand located at Hall 3, Stand C25