Interview with Mr Gianfranco Bossi

Face2Face
Mr Gianfranco Bossi
Mr Gianfranco Bossi
Chief Executive Officer
CSP International SpA
CSP International SpA

Incorporated in 1973, located in the industrial district of Castel Goffredo- the area that produces 80 percent of the tights consumed in Europe, CSP international SpA is a leader in the tights and underwear sector both in Italy, and other countries. With mission to produce and distribute worldwide the best quality products by innovating in the core business and by diversifying in underwear, swimwear and fashion, the Group is the only Italian company to be quoted on Milan Stock Exchange in the sector that combines the large dimensions of broad based consumer goods, with the tastes, styles and colours of the fascinating world of fashion. Backed with workforce of over 1500 employees, the Group embarks annual turnover of 160 million Euro, and 10% Operating Profit, while the hosiery market globally has decreased by half. Mr Gianfranco Bossi is the Chief Executive Officer of CSP International SpA since the year 2003. He started his professional career in 1967, working on varied posts with Henkel Italiana. He then joined Eco Lab, acquired by Henkel, as a Consumer Division manager. From 1981 to 84, he discharged his responsibilities as a Toiletries Division Manager of Beiersdorf Italia. For the span 1985 to 1990, he worked for Mondadori Group, and was instrumental in its increased turnovers as well as consolidation of three firms Mondadori, Publietas and Manzoni into one organization. In 1990, Mr Bossi connected himself with CSP International Group being recruited as General Manager. He worked with the company until 2001, and contributed his lion’s share in augmenting company’s market stake to double and export sales from 15% to 50% of the total turnover that has grown from 50 to 160 million Euro, in more than 50 countries. During this period he had skillfully handled production delocalisation with Sanpellegrino Polska; enlisting of CSP in Italy stock Exchange; activation of 12 licensing contracts; opening of Oroblù franchising shops; acquisition of the French Group Le Bourget (10% hosiery market share in France); acquisition of Lepel (10% corsetry market share in Italy); diversification in the Seamless underwear market. Mr Bossi had also been Chief Executive Officer of Fingen Apparel- the group which is licensee of Calvin Klein and Guess, in Europe and Asia, for Jeanswear, and owner of the brand Cotton Belt. His expertise and efforts caused integration of 3 companies (Calvin Klein Jeanswear Europe, Guess, Cotton Belt) into one operating company- Fin

With some memorable episodes from your company’s history, can you also let us know the growth dimensions it has encompassed since its day of inception in 1973?

Our Company has grown manifolds. Some most remarkable and important events from recent past in conformity to its growth are:

  • 1997: listing in the Milan Stock Exchange;
  • 1998: acquisition of Le Bourget in France;
  • 1999: acquisition of Lepel in the corsetry market;
  • 2000: diversification in the bodywear market;
  • 2003: diversification in the beachwear market;
  • 2006: distribution of brands of third parties as Puma, Miss Sixty, Energie and Sergio Tacchini.
  • What is your reading on the current market trend, specifically for innerwear or intimate wear?

    The market is steady for the feminine intimate wears, and increasing for the male intimate wears.

    Your line of operation is very much associated to Fashion which, in turn, is a fast changing and unpredictable sector. How do products by CSP maintain pace with it? How is a brand born at CSP?

    We devote about 1% of net sales to research and development. Every year nearly 1/3 of the net sales is due to products launched the year before.

    It imbibes enormous efforts to come-up with a new product. What strategies at CSP ensure it to be a success there after? Which are emerging and established markets for you in general context?

    The operating method is based on the research of needs and desires of consumers to be satisfied.

    The sources of this research are coming from:
  • our Sales Forces and Distributors, covering more than 50 different countries;
  • our internal R&D department;
  • market research
  • How do you see the recent developments in the materials with the advent of TT (Technical textiles)? Do you think this sector has got favorable response in your industry too?

    Consumers are interested in the final product, offering performances, comfort and aesthetical contents, more than in technical textiles. Furthermore, there is an increasing attention for natural fibers, as wool and cotton, more than for synthetic fibers.

    The global market is dominated by cheap overseas production. How does this impact your business and how do you take in the added challenges by peers on your equal standing?

    We will continue to concentrate our efforts on projecting style, colours, sizes, and models, which are developed inside our Company, while the execution can be performed outside the Company, in outsourcing.

    Estimating a few years ahead: what do you think could be the likely scenario of this industry, and how is CSP International to portray itself in it?

    CSP International Fashion Group will be an important actor in the globalised world of fashion.

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    Published on: 18/08/2008

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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