Interview with Mohannad Shehneh

Mohannad Shehneh
Mohannad Shehneh
GM Sales
Sharabati Denim
Sharabati Denim

Middle East perfect location for European brands
Sharabati Denim was amongst the first companies to produce denim in Middle East region. Since its inception, it has grown rapidly to become a fully integrated textile manufacturer covering the complete production cycle, right from the cotton bale. In an interview with Fibre2fashion, Mohannad Shehneh, GM Sales, Sharabati Denim, talks about the company's growth story and advantages of running its manufacturing units at two locations.

In the world denim market, where does Middle East fare? What is the size of the Middle East market?

Middle East is one of the most important locations for the denim industry. All big denim brands in the world consider many Middle East producers as their strategic partners. European brands have found in Middle East a perfect location that can serve their needs quickly. This works perfectly fine in the current extremely fast nature of textile business, specifically, when we talk about fabric producers and garment makers. These suppliers have earned very good experience in recent years and have become main players in denim fashion industry. Under this category, countries like Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco are the main locations in which partners are in both fabric and garment side. Out of this, local market for denim is very lively. So many local brands in Middle East countries are making good volume of business since denim with its various trends has very steady demand within these countries.

How is the demand for denim products as in men versus women in Middle East?

There is no significant difference between genders. Both categories have good and steady volumes.

Please tell us more about your growth story since 1978.

Sharabati Denim started in Syria in 1978. We were one of the first companies to enter the denim industry in the Middle East. We kept growing in the following years and in 1998 we started our first investments out of Syria when our mill in Egypt started. Expansion continued and increasingly we started providing services to European brands when we opened our sales office in Turkey in 2005. Due to the hostile situations in Syria in 2011, we had to shut down our production there. Our total capacity was not affected since we had already started major expansions in Egypt during that phase. As a response to extremely high demand, we established our third major production facility in Turkey in 2017. This gave us more flexibility to give direct service to European countries. We also supported this with warehouses and sales offices in Morocco and Tunisia. In addition, we give direct services to global brands in Spain, Holland, Germany, UK, France, North Europe, Italy, and US. In 2018 we completed our strategic production facility Tadweer which focuses on the production of recycled fabrics to serve the increased market demand of this category. As of today, Sharabati Denim produces up to 100 million metres yearly of both denim and non-denim fabrics which has made us one of the largest denim producers of the region.

How many denim products do you manufacture? Which segments do they cater to - mass or premium? Which are your best-selling products?

Denim industry has been much affected with fast fashion trends. For this reason, it is very important to be as much as flexible as possible and try to adapt oneself to fashion trends. We cannot limit ourselves with specific number of products as we change our collections too fast. But in general, we can say that we produce denim and non-denim fabrics with different weights that satisfy all market demands. Most weights usually range from medium to heavy weights. Moreover, our production ranges from 100 per cent cotton to include other fibres such as lycra, polyester, modal, tencel and so on. Also, we can talk about fabrics that differ in terms of their elasticity. This ranges from comfort fabrics to 100 per cent elastic fabrics. We use advanced technologies to ensure high performance of such fabrics. In addition, the sustainable use of recycled fabrics has increased to occupy an important size in our collection. As for market segments, we divide our collections to satisfy different market segments between mass and premium. In all cases, high quality products are our priority.

As a company, what are the advantages of buying from you?

Sharabati Denim is one of the most integrated denim production facilities that exist in Bangladesh. We have control over the whole production process which starts form cotton as raw materials and ends with finished fabrics. We strictly avoid outside suppliers in this process in order to give our customers full packaged services and to detect any kind of discrepancy that may occur. To complete this circle, we have even established our own factory Tadweer that is specialised in producing recycled fabrics to provide prompt response to market demand of this category. This makes us one of the very few companies that provide this service in house. 

Moreover, Sharabati Denim provides its customers with flexible services. This is due to our various production facilities existing in strategic locations. This includes our two main production facilities in Egypt and Turkey and our warehouses in Morocco and Tunisia. This helps us to cover our customers' needs very quickly regardless of their geographic location.

We have a very experienced and devoted R&D team that is engaged in doing necessary market research to develop up to date products that cover fast changing market demands.

In addition, quality has always been one of our most important core values. We can summarise all these advantages in the term 'value for money'. We try to make sure our customers get the right value for what they pay for as we strongly believe that their success will lead to our success as well.
Published on: 04/02/2020

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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