Italian investors have greatly contributed to the progress of the textile industry, but we should not forget the domestic manufacturers with a long tradition that has survived on the market and improved its operations
In Zrenjanin, the largest city of the Banat, there is not a single woman whose wardrobe does not contain at least one product of the brand manufactured at Modital Pompea. That is not surprising: as part of the Italian Pompea Group, Modital has been operating in Serbia for more than 15 years, with production in Zrenjanin and Brus.
This famous Italian brand of socks, underwear and textile knitwear has been continuously expanding and improving its production for a decade and a half. Without hiding his pride, Ivan Stojanović, director of Modital doo, points out that Serbia is the third largest exporter of socks in the world, and that his company has become one of the leaders.
Modital, or Pompea S.p.a, is among the first well known Italian brands that have recognized the potential of operating in Serbia, and who have shifted a large part of their production here
“As the backbone of the Pompea group’s production, Modital monitors the development of the group and seeks to add competitive value to it by constant optimization. Work on adopting new technical knowledge and improving production never ceases. These improvements enable us to increase production capacity and respond to customer demands in existing markets and the demands of an increasing number of new clients.
The Group’s investment strategy is aimed at consolidating its current market position while conquering new markets by placing new products. With this strategy, we are not planning to build new production facilities in another town in Serbia in the near future. Besides, in these two factories, we have enough space to build new production capacity. As expansion plans at existing plants go, we are constantly doing this by purchasing new machines or replacing existing ones with newer models.”
Thanks to Modital, Serbia is the third largest exporter of socks in the world. What is needed to take first place?
We can say that the main exporters of socks are exactly these Italian brands.
There are already some conditions in a place like the improvement of the business climate, but at the moment it is important to approach new markets. One example of approaching new markets is an agreement with the Russian Federation on duty-free trade. This agreement has greatly contributed to the development of the textile industry in Serbia. Since the USA tops the list of pantyhose importers, any new agreement between our country and the US would significantly improve exports and surely in the future, our country would find itself in global first or second place as socks exporter.”
Your ambition is to become a regional leader in the textile industry. Do you think that this industry in Serbia, thanks both to investors from Italy and domestic experience, has regained its “old glory”?
In parallel with improving the production of pantyhose, we are working in developing intimate and sports programmes. Our ideology is that with new, unique products, we can become a regional leader. I think that at the moment there are a number of conditions for the Serbian textile industry to regain its “old glory”. We have foreign and domestic know-how, but the state needs to link this into a whole and define the strategy.
Because to fully reach the “old glory”, it has to appear on a global market where competition comes from China, Bangladesh, and fighting in such a market is a huge challenge. Only related manufacturers with serious state help and accompaniment can win in the world’s market battles.”