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An interview with Marco Menin and Paolo Zanotta of Menphis S.p.A., Italy, at METEF 2017
Interview22/Jun/2017AlCircle.comDipanwita Gupta & Beethika Biswas
Marco Menin, Managing Director, and Paolo Zanotta, Area Manager of Menphis S.p.A, talked to AlCircle ahead of Metef 2017 exhibition in Verona, Italy. The duo from the Italian family company with a fiercely innovative bent talked in length about Menphis’ major business areas, sublimation technology and the emerging markets with opportunities and challenges.
Marco Menin is a Chemical Engineer graduated at the Politecnico of Milan in 2002. After years in the operations and financial dept, he is now MD and in charge of business development in Asia & Pacific and North America for Menphis Aluminium.
Paolo Zanotta has been working for Menphis since March 2009 as Sales Area Manager Middle East. In the past he spent twenty-two years in a textile company supporting Sales operations.
Menphis is exhibiting at METEF 2017, the international expo of customized technology for the aluminium and innovative metals industry.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
AlCircle: Tell us something about Menphis. What are your upcoming plans?
Marco Menin: Menphis is an independent company specializing in sublimation technology. With around 110 staff and a total turnover of around 25 million square metres, divided into three divisions of production, we are proud to say that we are the largest Italian film printer for sublimation. Our business encompasses not only for aluminium but also some products for fashion and interior designing. But all these products are similar to the film we sell for decoration of aluminium profiles.
We are also a producer of aluminium powder for powder coating, although this is a side business for us. We created this division in 2009 to improve our knowledge of the process of sublimation because good quality sublimation could be achieved only if you master the technology of film and powder.
We are recently finalizing the legal procedures to establish a cooperation with an Italian manufacturer of machine in order to provide to the customers around the world a turnkey solution. We are confident this full offer would be especially welcomed in the emerging market as well as by the customers who are still reluctant to invest their money in sublimation which is a beautiful technology as long as it is carried out properly.
AlCircle: What are the major challenges in the market of Menphis?
Marco Menin: The major challenge for us is to improve our coverage of Indian and the South East Market. Every market poses different challenge. There is no set formula that suits the need of every market. Every market is characterised by different culture, different industry sentiments, and different geographical and socio-political context. Our goal is to expand a good coverage of these markets. When we say coverage we do not merely mean supplying of goods, we also mean providing services, providing technological support and awareness. Otherwise the sublimation can be easily considered as cheap technology for cheap products. This is a kind of development we do not wish to implement. The sublimation is beautiful when it is implemented in a proper way.
AlCircle: What are the major goals of Menphis for Asia and the emerging markets?
Paolo Zanotta: Mainly we keep on trying to corrugate the quality and the added value of the product and the growth of the business. So it is a midway, I would not call it a compromise. We aim to provide the best quality of products and services and at the same time aim to grow the business in terms of volume.
AlCircle: With China taking over more than fifty per cent of the world aluminium production what would be the strategy of the rest of the aluminium producing countries to survive in the market?
Marco Menin: The mighty power of china and the incredible growth of the country have already been discussed by business analysts and writers. The world has changed a lot since the beginning of the 20th century. The strategy of all other country should be to push on quality and to push on customer service. Because the strong factors for china are the labour cost, which was pretty low at one point but is growing currently. Where China is missing out, according to web reports, out a little or that the country is struggling to provide an excellent customer service and after sales service. They are more targeted towards bulk production for which at times they fail to provide current fine production to small scale production. That is where, I believe, others can curve a niche for themselves in a market which is predominant by the Chinese dragon.
AlCircle: Which are the emerging markets for aluminium and aluminium products in the short term as well as the long term?
Paolo Zanotta: India can be the next China. I mean to say, the growth that has been achieved in China can be possible in India in future. India can be the next emerging market in the short term as well as in the long term. We already have a market there and we have several customers in different parts of the country. Every single month we have new opportunities coming up from India.
AlCircle: Do you think production base for primary aluminium will finally shift to Asia completely?
Marco Menin: In our opinion it depends on the extent of the commitment of old countries towards quality, customer service, and environmental sustainability. We think environmental sustainability sooner or later; will play a very significant role in aluminium producing countries. What we have been reading these days about the greenhouse effects, Paris climate talks made us think that these factors will determine the trends in aluminium production. It is not only bulk quantity of production and price but also a number of hidden assets like customer service, reliability of the quality supplied and environmental sustainability, which will steer the market towards some unexpected direction.
AlCircle: What is your view on aluminium as a sustainable metal?
Paolo Zanotta: First of all, I think, aluminium is the second most common industrial raw material after oil. But most importantly it is a green product as it is the infinitely recyclable. So, it would be a one of the most important raw material of the future for automotive, aerospace, construction, packaging or a number of other industries. So, in my view, aluminium remains one of the most sustainable products existing in the world.
Disclaimer: “The information presented herein is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice. The views and opinions shared in the interview section of www.alcircle.com are unique to the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of www.alcircle.com."
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