"Big international brands push us to be permanently at the forefront"

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Name - José Carlos Ortigão
Age - 54
Place of birth - Porto

José Carlos Ortigão is one of Riopele's specialists in international markets. He has worked directly in several countries, but he is now focusing all his attention on Germany. A "very demanding" market, where Riopele works "with the most important international fashion brands, which requires us to be constantly up-to-date in terms of quality and technology".

1. How vital is the German market for Riopele?

The German market is of strategic importance due to the stability of its market, the reputation of its brands, and what it represents for Riopele's turnover, which in the pre-covid period reached around 25%.

2. Is it a challenge or a responsibility for Riopele to work with leading German brands?

It is a responsible challenge to work with the most relevant international fashion brands, which drives us to be permanently up to date in quality, technology and collection. In addition, with some of these customers, such as Hugo Boss, we have been on a mutual journey of learning, more precisely in the area of systems integration and digitalisation.

3. What competitive arguments does Riopele present in such a relevant market as Germany?

Riopele presents itself as a vertical, innovative and sustainable company. I would also highlight the versatility and attractiveness of our collection, the proximity to customers and our expertise in terms of development and industrial capacity.

4. You are now a specialist in the German market, but you have worked in several markets. What differences do you identify in the German market compared to others you have worked in?

The German market has a higher degree of demand in terms of quality and service and greater customer loyalty, which has allowed us to establish deeper and longer-lasting business relationships. We have approximately one hundred active customers, and it is a market with enormous dynamism and vitality, where new projects and challenges are constantly on the horizon.

5. Is sustainability a fad that is here to stay or an opportunity to distinguish innovative and responsible companies from other companies?

Sustainability is here to stay because our customers are pleased with Riopele's sustainability strategy and track record. From a commercial point of view, most of our customers already establish sustainability purchasing criteria, and we have customers who only buy sustainable fabrics. I believe that 2022 will be the turning point concerning the relevance of sustainable products in Riopele's turnover.