ISKO, established in 1989, is an innovative Denim fabric producer with the capacity to produce about 200 million meters of fabrics per year. Its 330,000 sq. metre factory is located in Inegöl/Bursa-Turkey. The company is a subsidiary of the business giant - the Sanko Group which is active in textile, construction, finance, packaging, energy, food, construction machinery, climatization, information technology, health care and education areas. With an array of products viz Denim; Stretch denim; Novelty denim; OD denim, Sportswear; 100% cotton woven fabrics; Cot-Stretch fabrics; Color woven; and Corduroy, ISKO aims to carry the current leadership status of Isko in denim and sportswear to future years while maintaining harmony between the changing trends and innovation, hence creating ongoing superior differentiation in its business environment. Its dynamic and effective organization's top priority is to create innovative products and unconditional customer satisfaction as required by total quality management principles. Mr Marco Lucietti is the Global Brand and Communications Manager at ISKO. He holds a Degree in International Economy and an MBA from Università degli Studi Di Pavia. His professional career started in year 1996 as an Export Manager in Tessitura Taiana Virgillio Spa. From year 2003 to 2006, he was Marketing Manager, Ready to Wear-Italy, DuPont Textiles and Interiors. For the span of 2006 to 2008, as Manager- Europe, he handled Bottoms Segment of INVISTA Apparel – the owner of famous Lycra brand. For next consecutive year he was entrusted the managerial responsibilities of Ready to Wear Segment of INVISTA Apparel as the Manager. Since 2009 as the Global Brand and Communications Manager at ISKO, Mr Lucietti is responsible for set up, implementation and growth of the global branding and marketing communications strategy of the company. Speaking with Ms Madhu Soni, our Correspondent & Editor- Face2Face, Mr Marco Lucietti paints the present landscape in Denim world.
Can we begin with a word from you on ISKO?
ISKO is the biggest global denim company as far as capacity working is concerned. Around 90 percent of our collection is on Denim. We do have around 10 percent of business in colour denim, flashdyed or cotton bottoms also, but our main focus is Denim and will be denim in future too. We do believe that with correct evaluation of the market as well as the consumer needs, we will be able to remain focus on our main market enjoying leadership.
The sector talks for quite some time now about the adverse impacts of international textile crisis. How are things today?
We have been able to perform satisfactorily even against challenging economical situation last year, holding our niche position. With right kind of product innovation and attention to consumers need, we have been able to wade through these trying times.
Honestly speaking, we had business affected in a small way but it was mainly in lower priced segment of our product offerings. However, the ‘A’ tier market was not much affected. We had also considered widening products collection range and make some setup for special markets too. I would underline again that consumer relevant innovations has been the key to respond the crisis for us.
Growth is slowing due to the popularity of alternative garments—such as combat trousers—and also, in part, to market saturation. What is your take on this statement?
Denim in my view is not just a fabric-garment any more, but is becoming day by day a lifestyle. Denim apparel industry, in my view, for sure has faced some loss due to such alternative garments but if the company is capable to respond to consumer needs with product innovation- this stands not as a bigger issue. We do also have a small part of our collection in arena of combat trousers productions, but always we have a 'denim' feeling as far as construction of fabric and finishing is concerned; so all these different aspects combine to mean richness of ISKO collection. Along with that, denim becoming the lifestyle is something that helps us to maintain popularity of our products.
Cotton related issues like scarce supply and price hikes remain challenges currently. At company level, how does ISKO pave a way through such difficulties?
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is getting more and more important for b2b related companies like ISKO. As a global company, we do have for instance 35 direct sales offices worldwide, and these sales offices are providing information on raw material prices and such vital details. Obviously, cotton prices increase has affected our production cost, but if you look at market not just as a ‘customer supplier relationship’ but as a global landscape, may be there are few left companies that better understand the market also from supply chain management point of view and overcome this problem. Definitely, raw material prices have increased our production cost but we are able to manage these issues with help of our SCM and best relationship with our basics materials suppliers.
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.