’Influencing the Future’

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Marta Pacheco joined Riopele just 2 months ago to take on the role of Commercial Director of the company. As preparations for international textile and fashion industry fairs are underway, she talks about Riopele's strategic vision and unwavering commitment to quality in the market.

‘We’ve managed to stay competitive in the market and adapt to the changes and demands of the textile sector’, says Marta Pacheco. To achieve this, the company has been strengthening its focus ‘on talent, new technologies, and increasingly efficient and innovative production processes’.

You’ve joined Riopele recently, what are your first impressions?

 Riopele stands out as a remarkable company. Not only due to its size and longevity, but also because of its ability to adapt and innovate over time. I’ve been continually impressed by the digital transformation across the various departments within the company and its strong investment in people, equipment, infrastructure, and sustainability. These efforts reinforce my confidence in the company’s project and promise a successful future.

I was warmly welcomed by everyone, and I'm very excited about the challenge and the promising path ahead of us.

You’re Riopele’s new Commercial Director. What’s your vision for Riopele in the textile industry market?

Riopele is a leading company in the textile market, renowned for its solid reputation and prominent position. It is recognised for the quality of its products, its innovative capabilities, and its commitment to sustainable development in the industry. With nearly 100 years of experience, Riopele vertically integrates its entire production cycle, encompassing R&D, spinning, dyeing, twisting, weaving, and finishing.

We’ve managed to stay competitive in the market and adapt to the changes and demands of the textile sector by investing in talent, new technologies, and increasingly efficient and innovative production processes. Additionally, we’ve invested in sustainability, adopting responsible and environmentally-conscious practices. This has strengthened our reputation in the market and attracted more customers who are concerned about these issues.

As Commercial Director, my vision for Riopele in the textile industry market is extremely positive. Riopele is a company with a rich history and tradition, a unique know-how, and a wide range of products. It has all the resources to deliver excellent service to its customers. Its vertical integration in production is reflected in its service approach, which is customer-centric. Teams fully dedicated to meeting each customer's specific requirements work in close partnership with brands, from sourcing to after-sales support.

We have a strong international presence, exporting 95% of our production, and maintain strategic partnerships with major brands in the industry. This strategic vision and commitment to quality lead me to believe that Riopele will continue to be a benchmark in the textile market, increasingly gaining prominence. So, I’m very confident in the company's growth potential and its ability to adapt and innovate continuously.

From a strategic standpoint, what are the priority markets for Riopele?

Riopele is a global company, so our priority markets are those where we already have a consolidated presence and those where we identify potential for significant growth.

We currently have a strong presence throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada, which are key markets for Riopele. Our goal is to further expand our presence and increase business volume in these regions. Additionally, we continue to focus on the Asian market, particularly in countries like China, Japan, and South Korea, where we see significant potential due to the growth of the middle class and increasing demand for high-quality textile products.

We’re also paying attention to developing countries in Latin America and the Middle East, where we believe there are growth opportunities. Our aim is to expand our presence and diversify revenue sources in these regions.

Of course, this strategic focus is closely monitored, especially in more volatile markets where we must continuously follow-up on critical factors such as competition, production costs, local regulations, and customer preferences when defining our market strategy.

What are the most critical factors?

In the current context, we believe our added value fits well in a premium market segment, where customers choose their partners based not only on price but also on product quality and service excellence. Factors such as sustainability and social responsibility are particularly important in this regard.

How does Riopele intend to strengthen its relationship with its customers to remain a national and international reference?

We will do this by maintaining a customer-centric approach, placing the customer at the center of our strategies, operations, and decisions. We focus on understanding our customers' needs, desires, and behaviours to provide products and services that meet their expectations in a personalised and effective manner. Above all, customers seek to minimise their challenges and to establish business strategies with partners who provide the most effective solutions.

This consultive selling model has kept us relevant and competitive in a constantly changing market because it ensures a positive customer journey, where commercial actions take a holistic sales approach. The sales manager becomes a trusted advisor who collaborates with the customer to identify bespoke solutions. This approach allows us to establish longer-lasting relationships, increase customer loyalty, and even expand our customer base through positive recommendations and referrals.

What measures do you consider necessary to promote innovation in the commercial area and thus maintain Riopele's competitiveness?

Keeping a company competitive requires a culture built on values that are already deeply rooted in Riopele. These include factors such as continuous adaptation, creating an environment of innovation, optimising management practices, ongoing investment, a focus on sustainability and industry 5.0, and of course, hiring and retaining talent.

Plus, I believe that transformation cannot be achieved solely through internal factors but rather through an open innovation perspective, where we collaborate with external partners in co-creating effective solutions for business challenges. I'm talking about partnerships with consulting firms, universities, startups, or research entities, for instance.

When it comes to the commercial area, I believe that, being part of an industry as volatile as the textile sector, which has undergone profound changes in recent years, it is vital to ensure strategically planned management. This includes implementing tools and technology that ensure the quality of information, control, and performance evaluation. This allows us to make timely iterations whenever there is a deviation from the goals we set.

In other words, innovation should not only focus on technological advancements but also on how strategic partnerships are established with customers, team management approaches, and even business models themselves. The future is not predetermined, so we must actively influence it through choices and commercial actions that make it more favourable for us.

How will you deal with the current challenges and opportunities in the textile industry?

The current industrial world faces profound global and specific challenges, but Riopele has a clear strategy and knows where it wants to be, aware of market trends and its capabilities. I’m very optimistic and tend to see opportunities in the challenges we identify.

Our management team has been strongly committed to continuous improvement, technology, highly qualified personnel, sustainability, innovation, and market monitoring. This makes me confident that we will have the ability to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and continue to increase our turnover to achieve the goal of €100 million in revenue by 2027, the year Riopele celebrates its 100th aniversary.