Emmebiesse: mercati internazionali, ma “cervello” casalese

Martinotti  1Grandi catene di hotel, lavanderie industriali, il settore degli articoli promozionali, e naturalmente il mercato delle famiglie. I tessuti in spugna e in cotone della Emmebiesse di Casale Monferrato sono conosciuti in tutto il mondo, e il titolare dell’azienda, Piero Martinotti, è un volto assai noto anche a livello locale: presidente della Camera di Commercio di Alessandria dal 2008,  in passato è stato presidente di Confindustria Alessandria (dal 2003 al 2007) e vice presidente di Confindustria Piemonte (dal 2004 al 2008). Sempre cercando di conciliare gli incarichi istituzionali con il ruolo di imprenditore a capo dell’azienda di famiglia, creata dal padre Mario negli anni Sessanta. “Ricordo – esordisce sorridendo – che gli inizi per me furono tutt’altro che facili: entrai in azienda alla fine degli anni Sessanta, interrompendo per senso del dovere famigliare gli studi di Economia e Commercio, che pure mi piacevano. E la sera, quando raggiungevo stanco morto gli amici, studenti tranquilli e rilassati, quelli mi prendevano pure in giro. Sa, erano anni in cui la vita universitaria era fatta più di contestazioni e divertimento che di fatica sui libri, e da coetaneo che lavorava già 12 ore al giorno come potevo non invidiarli un po’? Ben presto però mi sono appassionato, dedicandomi senza rimpianti alla crescita dell’azienda”.

La Emmebiesse aveva allora sede a Casale Popolo, ed era nata dalla felice intuizione di Mario Martinotti, immobiliarista casalese che, incontrando un tecnico del settore, Vittorio Scampini, decise di dar vita ad un’azienda tessile, all’epoca con una dimensione e un mercato locali. “Mio padre e Scampini – ricorda Piero Martinotti – rilevarono i macchinari di un’azienda del settore che aveva cessato l’attività, e partimmo con circa 15 dipendenti, in due capannoni a Popolo che abbiamo ceduto solo 4 o 5 anni fa, tra l’altro. In realtà però rimanemmo lì solo fino al 1978, per poi trasferirci in piazza Industria, dove siamo tuttora, in quella che fu la prima zona industriale di Casale. Oggi attorno a noi ci sono 8-10 insediamenti artigiani”. Nel frattempo, Emmebiesse è cresciuta notevolmente, diventando una spa a metà degli anni Ottanta, e sviluppando all’estero una presenza importante, sia in termini di produzione, che di commercializzazione. “Per fortuna, devo aggiungere – sottolinea Martinotti – perché nonostante l’amore per questo Paese, i dati sono impietosi: complessivamente solo un anno fa noi facevamo all’estero il 60% del nostro fatturato, e arriveremo al 69-70% alla fine del 2013: tanto per evidenziare quanto l’export per noi imprenditori, prima ancora che una vocazione, sia diventata una necessità”.

A Casale Monferrato c’è comunque la testa pensante e il cuore dell’azienda, con un’area diEmmebiesse 2 complessivi 6.500 metri quadri coperti, due linee produttive e una trentina di dipendenti, soprattutto amministrativi e commerciali: mentre gli stabilimenti esteri si trovano in Egitto e in Pakistan, e non per caso. “Sono i due paesi – spiega Martinotti – che hanno il miglior cotone del mondo, che è la nostra materia prima. E poi c’è certamente l’aspetto legato al costo della manodopera: in Egitto, nonostante dopo la morte di Mubarak i salari siano sostanzialmente raddoppiati, rimaniamo ad un livello che è più o meno 7-8 volte inferiore rispetto a casa nostra. Mentre il Pakistan ha costi del lavoro ancora più bassi, ed è un paese dalle grandi potenzialità di sviluppo. Il settore tessile da loro è così centrale nel tessuto economico, che hanno un ministero ad hoc, che segue solo questo comparto. Lì siamo presenti in joint venture con un socio locale, e a breve apriremo una seconda azienda, sempre con la logica della partnership, che comincerà a produrre a settembre. Complessivamente abbiamo oggi 100 dipendenti in Egitto, e 90 in Pakistan, esclusa la nuova struttura. E le merci lì prodotte hanno un mercato internazionale: 45%  fra Italia e Europa, 55% resto del mondo”.

Martinotti 2La contrazione del mercato italiano è un trend costante, con cui Emmebiesse, come gran parte delle imprese, si confronta da anni: “Purtroppo è così – sottolinea Martinotti –, e mentirei se dicessi che prevedo un’inversione di tendenza. La contrazione dei consumi, insieme ad un sistema di pagamenti costantemente dilazionanti e a rischio, e ad un sistema del credito che non si prende rischi (e lo capisco anche: il nostro sistema di imprese è sotto capitalizzato, e offre poche garanzie) sono tutti elementi che spingono le imprese che ne hanno la possibilità a puntare su mercati diversi dal nostro. Nonostante questo, il nostro fatturato di gruppo è per 13/14 milioni di euro ancora italiano, oltre a 5 milioni di euro in Egitto, e 5-6 in Pakistan, dove prevediamo però un’ampia crescita: complessivamente, l’obiettivo è arrivare ad un fatturato di 24-25 milioni di euro nel 2013, e di 29-31 milioni nel 2014”.

E il futuro? “Sono un imprenditore di seconda generazione – riflette Piero Martinotti – che si sta tuttora dedicando alla crescita della propria azienda, e che naturalmente si augura di poter passare la mano all’interno della famiglia, quando sarà il momento. Ho una figlia di 37 anni, che è in azienda dal 2001, e che oggi segue soprattutto il filone italiano, mentre io mi dedico ai mercati esteri: ma sono più spesso in Egitto, in Russia o negli Stati Uniti che in Pakistan, perché là abbiamo un partner locale che se la cava benissimo. Naturalmente, al momento opportuno, sarà mia figlia a decidere il da farsi: per il momento la passione non mi manca, e riesco a conciliare impegni aziendali e istituzionali: in futuro valuteremo”.

Ettore Grassano

Stampa Stampa

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