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QUALITY AND TRADITION BLEND WITH INNOVATION IN THE ALBINI COTTON MILL
Cotonificio Albini, situated in Albino, province of Bergamo, is a cotton mill with 134 years of history that blend with innovation, where quality and taste are almost natural partners.
When it started in 1876, Cotonificio Albini had 40 looms and employed 44 workers – today it operates in 70 countries and provides quality fabrics to the biggest names in the world of fashion. We asked Silvio Albini, Managing Director of the group since 1984, what lies behind the company's growth in recent years, particularly in foreign markets, which account for 70% of its revenues.
Mr. Albini, what has led to the growth of a company like yours?
Above all, specialisation in high quality products. Then, add tradition, given that we have been operating since 1876. Finally, the continuous pursuit of innovation which we have been able to combine perfectly with our long experience
How do you place yourselves on foreign markets?
Our company aims strongly at overseas relations and currently we are present in 70 countries. The European countries that come to mind are Spain, France, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, then there is the whole of Eastern Europe and Latin America. Finally, the Far East: in China, for example, our revenues have tripled in a very short space of time. So we have decided to open an office in Shanghai, to be able to deal with our Chinese clients through direct contact on the ground.
Are there any unexplored markets that represent a potential challenge for the future?
There is Africa, for example, which is a difficult market that has yet to take off but could become important in the future. In particular, South Africa, Nigeria, Congo and Mozambique are the countries where we have high expectations, given the fact that we are already present in North Africa in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Egypt has the best cotton in the world and in two years we have built two mills together with Simest. It would also be very important for us to continue to provide our customers with increasingly high quality raw material as well as our processing which is the result of years of experience that we are already able to provide.
At the international level, where your competitors located geographically?
I would say first of all in Italy, especially for the medium-high end market, in which Italian companies are among the best. In Europe, we do have many competitors: we face only one Portuguese company, one Austrian and one Swiss. However, expanding the horizon to the world scene, our main competitors are in the Far East (Taiwan and Korea) and in Turkey.
And what does the future hold for Albini?We come from a period of deep crisis in our sector where recovery has been seen since the end of 2009, so we would like first to consolidate this positive growth trend. The other objective is to continue integration of the supply chain by further developing the direct cultivation of cotton fields in Egypt that has rece