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Talking Point | November 2017

India is of strategic importance for Santex

For Stefano Gallucci, CEO of Santex Rimar Group, India holds a lot of strategic significance. He was visibly present at last year’s India-ITME in Mumbai and came back recently to Techtextil India to witness the progress of technical textiles in the Indian sub-continent. His calm and quiet profile hides a deep-seated passion to tap the full potential of the Indian textile industry, for which he has already laid the foundation with offices in Mumbai and Coimbatore. 

The immense growth possibilities of the textile industry and technical textiles in India fascinate him.After his degree in information sciences from the University of Udine, and a Master’s degree from the University of Houston, Stefano Gallucci founded his first start-up in Silicon Valley. When he returned to Italy he managed businesses in the fashion sector and then began work in the start-up world. He founded and managed start-ups in the ICT and nanotechnology sectors. He is President of CenterVue (eye care diagnostics), co-founder of QID (nanotechnologies), and M31 (a start-up incubator). He joined Santex Rimar Group in 2008.

In the last few years, Santex Group CEO’s interest in the Indian market has multiplied. Stefano Gallucci was never tired of listening and talking to any customer, who visited his stall located near the entrance of Techtextil India in Mumbai. In an email interaction, he conveyed to Samuel Joseph, Editor of ITJ, his vision for the Santex Group and also expressed his keen interest in the developments in India. Excerpts:...

ITJ Editor: For Shanghaitex 2017, what are the plans of Santex Rimar Group? What is the status of Chinese market for the group presently?

Stefano Gallucci (SG): China represents a strong market for the Group where we already have more than 1,000 customers in areas like Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei, Xinjiang and we are open to keep exploring new areas in order to satisfy all our customers’ requirements.

Santex Rimar Group opened in Shanghai its own manufacturing facility in 2005 which today is an important sales and service centre. In 2016 the Group opened Smit Shanghai and today more than the 30 per cent of Santex Rimar Group total employees are Chinese.

At ShanghaiTex 2017 Santex Rimar Group is presenting the DECOFAST 3.5 under the brand of Sperotto Rimar manufactured in China. The evolution of the continuous decatising process under pressure for finishing wool, polyester and silk fabrics which adds value to the whole finishing process. Decofast 3.5 is the answer to the actual market demand of growth through value.

SMIT presents two weaving machines, one for denim productions and a jacquard model suitable for home textiles and terry towels productions.

ITJ Editor: After India-ITME last year and with the launch of your office in south India, how has been the response from this sub-continent and the market condition?

SG: Santex Rimar Group is expanding Santex Rimar India with new experienced talents to fulfil all customers’ needs and enhance customer relations. Santex Rimar India facilities are based in Coimbatore and in Mumbai. Since Research and Development is at the heart of our growth, the Group is also in close contact with different centres of excellence where researchers and students are trained: technical textile technology is taught in Surat on Cavitec’s plant while weaving technology is practiced in Ichalkaranji on SMIT looms.

Santex Rimar Group is looking forward to satisfying new markets and local customers’ needs, asking for the best technologies available. The Group is committed to support the local industry and be part of new emerging markets development.

ITJ Editor: Will Santex Rimar Group be planning any new investments India in the future? Some details, if so. What are the other strategies to consolidate the position in India?

SG: Santex Rimar Group keeps on investing to fulfill the demand of the most important markets. Textiles sector is one of the oldest industries in Indian economy and it also represents 15 per cent of total exports. The textiles industry employs about 51 million people directly and 68 million people indirectly. The textile industry has two main segments: the unorganised sector consisting of handloom, handicrafts and sericulture (which are operated on a small scale and through traditional tools and methods) and the organised sector consisting of spinning, apparel and garments segment (which apply modern machinery and techniques such as economies of scale).

The Group is strengthening the commitment with Indian customers, focusing on different solutions for textiles production. As solution provider and customised machinery manufacturer, Santex Rimar Group can offer integrated processes that connects the machines from weaving the yarns to finishing fabrics. The main strategy to consolidate the Group positioning in India is based on the customers’ final products development: meeting the specific requests of our Customers production and helping them to realise what they want to sell.

ITJ Editor: Santex Rimar Group has come a long way after some acquisitions and consolidation. How has this added to the strengths of the group?

SG: Santex Rimar Group history is based on tradition and innovation and for more than 100 years we have been capable of adapting to different cultures: our know-how enables us to enhance cooperation in deep-processing technology and equipment supplying worldwide. The name Santex Rimar Group joins together the Swiss tradition of Santex, renowned textile finishing machinery manufacturer for knitwear, with the Italian foresight which comes directly from Rimar founded in 1964 by Giannino Marzotto as the Research & Development department of Marzotto Group, one of the world's leading textiles manufacturers.

Santex Rimar Group keeps growing with the aim of providing the largest and most comprehensive offering of the textile and technical textile business to deeply understand and fulfill global customers’ needs during the whole production process. With this goal, different know-hows and cultures are united under high standards of quality, efficiency, advanced technology and reliability for customers.

ITJ Editor: From your experience, which are the particular segments/products that hold immense potential in the Indian market?

SG: The Indian market is extremely interesting for Santex Rimar Group divisions, due to the size of the textile market (in 2016 around $137 billion, expected to touch $226 billion market by 2023). India is strategic for the Group development and technical textiles production is expected to grow.

The future for the Indian textile industry looks promising, the retail sector has experienced a rapid growth in the past decade with the entry of several international players and the apparel market in India. is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.8 per cent to reach $180 billion by 2025. Santex Rimar Group will keep investing in Indian market with all the Group divisions, providing innovative technical textile technologies, exploring the mobiltech sector, improving the weaving and textile finishing solutions for the apparel market.

Santex Rimar Group machines will learn how to improve processes using data collected from our customers’ processes and production, giving 100% traceability of quality and artificial intelligence.”

ITJ Editor: Which are the other markets, particularly in Asia, where Santex Rimar Group has achieved success?

SG: In May 2016 Santex Rimar Group presented in Urumqi (China) Future Textile Road - The future of the new textile industry: a dialogue between Xinjiang, China and Europe, a unique opportunity for the Group to join from the inside and promote a Chinese National strategic initiative: for the first time, an Italian machine manufacturer has gathered some of the most important global players of the textile industry to explore the future of the industry in a booming area that might change the borders of the world as we know them today.

The second Future Textile Road event took place in Yazd (Iran), where a branch of the Silk Road skirts the Western and Southern edges of Iran’s central desert. Yazd can be called Iran textile industry hub: textile industry in this province includes about 10 per cent of the total spinning capacity and a quarter of total weaving capacity in the country. Future Textile Road underlines Santex Rimar Group commitment to the textile industry development. The event drivers are research, dialogue and intercultural cooperation, open innovation and new technology implementation. Vietnam can also be considered interesting for the business development of the Group, thanks to its concentration on specialisation and modernisation, which is creating a leap in terms of added value of products, with the implementation of three programmes: cotton planting, high-quality woven fabrics and human resources training.

ITJ Editor: Share with us some of the activities of the R&D and also the various activities happening at your various production sites.

SG: Santex Rimar Group is working on Industry 4.0 and the revolution of artificial intelligence. Our new technologies will help to save energy, understand the processes and avoid waste and quality errors. Santex Rimar Group machines will learn how to improve processes using data collected from our customers’ processes and production, giving 100 per cent traceability of quality and artificial intelligence.

Santex Rimar Group machinery will be able to suggest how to produce high quality fabric and solve problems autonomously, assuring a green and eco-friendly production. We want machines that can assure that there is no waste, no second quality, that can prevent errors and suggest how to repair malfunctions.

Machines that allow low downtime and help schedule maintenance. These machines will help solve the challenges of such a competitive textile industry.

ITJ Editor: Santex Rimar Group must have a global vision as it has spread its wings. Please give us a glimpse of this vision in the next five years.

SG: Santex Rimar Group makes customised machines and provides solutions for the textile and technical textile industry. We like to define ourselves as One Provider for Thousand solutions, because we have been manufacturing machines for over 100 years and we can provide solutions to many different projects.

Our vision is to look at the textiles production as to an integrated process that connects all the machines from weaving the yarns to finishing fabrics. The Group offers to customers many different applications and solutions from its large portfolio, presenting itself as a customised machinery manufacturer and in some cases a consultant of materials and processes. We are known as innovators and for the reliability of our machines in the most demanding markets. Connectivity, open collaboration and innovation are part of our history and we are using them to build our future.

Innovation is one of our corporate values and we like to discover new talents and connect them: our shareholders, the Marzotto family, every year award millions of euros to start-up companies and innovators to promote new technologies.

We are capable of adapting to different cultures and languages: our know-how enables us to understand and fulfill the needs of our global customers to whom we offer not only high quality machines but also good and punctual after-sales service.

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