OptiTex hopeful for future prospects
WFB Bureau:How do you see growth perspective of the company after Optitex getting merged with EFI?
Asaf: Mergers and acquisitions are a part of business strategies. We have been witnessing this since our inception. The growth has always been obvious for us as, in Optitex, majority is owned by the employees. It is a very special thing and I am proud of this. Last year, we sold it to EFI which is a public company in California with 3000 employees all over the world and 600 in India alone. We are very much focused on specific protocols in giving our customers the holistic solutions. So, growth is always on our mind.
WFB Bureau: After being joint company as EFI Optitex, will you also be looking after EFI’s products for certain markets?
Asaf: EFI bought 3 companies in last two years, Reggiani; Optitex and Generation Digital. We are responsible only for Optitex. But, let me tell you, there comes a certain time in business when one can have advantages of the joint ventures. For example, before EFI bought Generation digital, its CEO gave me demo of its products. He is from design background and was working with Lectra before. Its solutions are great but they do not have as much contacts as we have. So, now we are in same group, we might also sell the products of Generation Digital as we have the existing contacts worldwide.
WFB Bureau: How are you planning to achieve the set targets?
Asaf:You will see additional acquisitions and more integration on the product synergy, in the processes of a value chain, in design and development phase and in merchandising division.
As I always feel, design is becoming more digital. In the end, all you want to have one digital platform where the designer creates 3D design that looks great and is feasible. We are working on Artificial Intelligence concept where one can create a design, translate it into pattern without any human intervention and it's not something in the air, it can be produced. It is as similar as the fundamental of driverless cars. Before you have it, you have to keep all practical aspects in mind. Partial AI and partial automation for pattern making is the next on cards. Many online companies, such as Amazon, are using AI concept and we are targeting those companies.
WFB Bureau:Where are you focusing more? Is it on online business or made-to-measure business?
Asaf:I think the spectrum from mass produced clothes to fully customized clothes is not easy. There is lot of space in between. We met a brand in India which does a custom line. They do not offer made-to-measure for every person rather manufacturer in six different cuts and half sizes. This is where we are strong at. We have an illustrative 3D software that helps you in choosing whatever size and orientation you want. Fully made to measure and completely customized solution is something I have not seen a great market share yet. I want to see uptake on that. We have made-to-measure solutions but we do not invest in fully automated robots. May be we will try partnering with Amazon as they have tried these robots.
WFB Bureau: Which are your existing markets? Are you increasing your reach?
Asaf:We have partners in 50 other countries who are actively selling our products. We have offices in New York, Milan, Hong Kong, India, Israel and we are opening offices in China and London too. I feel we are still not able to capture Bangladesh. We have a partner there also and we are having internal discussions on how we can increase our market share in this country.
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