Sicer’s 2020 was , despite all the difficulties caused by the pandemic, a year of good results and great satisfaction.
The manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies is now one of the world leaders in the design, production and distribution of special chemical products for glazing and decorating ceramic tiles.
At the end of last year Azimut Libera Impresa agreed to take over 65% of Sicer. This news is allowing the company to aim even higher than it was already doing previously.
To understand what are the projects for 2021 of the manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies and how it is experiencing this particular historical moment, we interviewed two key figures of the company.
Through the words of the President and the Sales Manager we will discover the current situation of the company, but above all the news that will be presented shortly.
We asked Marco Eumenidi, Sales Manager at Sicer for the past 6 years, for an opinion on what will happen in the next five years in the field of the manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies. We will therefore focus on the medium term.
“There will be, as it’s happening, a fusion of various manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies… Now there are about 7, but 3-4 will remain.” This is how Eumenide sees the near future, with the number of manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies that will gradually decrease, up to 3 or 4 large groups, some of which will be “generalists” while others will be “specialized”. Sicer will certainly be part of the latter category. The Sales Manager refers to an idea of a partner who constantly works with the customer to create customized products and projects for each individual customer.
Taking the sartorial world as a reference, it is as if Sicer created “bespoke” dresses for its customers.
Unfortunately, 2021 continues to be a troubled year due to the pandemic that still generates difficulties, not only in terms of health, but also at an economic level. We asked what particular aspect a company should focus on in this period to differentiate itself from the others.
Eumenidi reaffirms its own vision, which has also been Sicer’s for a long time now: “To develop products of a high technological and aesthetic level directly in the conditions of use of the customer.”
It is necessary to combine technique and aesthetics. Indeed, Sicer has for a long time based its business on technology, research and development which are the core of the innovation of the manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies.
If Sicer, a historic manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies, is an exhaustive and virtuous example of innovation, we wanted to know what the secret ingredient is that makes the company truly different and unique from the others.
As previously mentioned, Eumenidi emphasizes some key features: “Service and technical assistance of the highest level, cutting-edge tools, professionalism and staff training … in addition to the great ceramic experience that helps a lot in the design phase.”
Sicer has the ability to see things globally and in the long term, the company does not remain in its “comfort zone” thinking only of its own profit, but supports the customer daily in the study and implementation of projects, as well as in the management of problems that require quick solutions and very high technical competence.
The good intentions are so many and certainly will not be disregarded considering the great experience of the company. On these premises, we wanted to know which new products are about to be presented in 2021.
The HP series is a new range of full colored glass calibrated grits available in 9 colors and 2 particle size numbers. It can be used to create different colored material surface effects, thanks to the possibility of mixing with other neutral grits of the same particle size (transparent, matt, glossy, white…).
“There are no problems related to humidity, mixing with water or applying to digital glues, the color does not disperse and remains stable and bright”.
We will then present new grits, we are talking about the GRAN LUX series, useful for creating wet mirror lapped surfaces that will allow us to obtain total transparency, total compactness and absence of porosity as well as a perfect result of brilliance for the marbles. “This series, perfected for wet application, joins the already well-known and performing GRA DRY LUX series for dry application which certainly represents the future of ceramics” specifies Eumenidi.
The new CUSTOM SCD2000 series, a new range of extremely performing four-color inks, which will allow to obtain a much wider color gamut. New colors have been created that are much brighter especially on warm tones (red, yellow).
These inks will be available both in .E and .LE base (Sicer patented series) or odorless and with very low emissions in the atmosphere.
Finally, concludes Eumenidi, “The company will produce water-based glazes and glues for digital glazing and brand new antibacterial and antiviral products for the final surfaces“.
To conclude, we asked the Sales Manager to explain how he would summarize Sicer’s vision to those who do not yet know it.
Our company is a “well” of ideas, novelties and excellence. This is why it is necessary to make known the research center, Sicer Technology Lab, which studies and produces innovative products of incomparable quality taking into account the environment and the end customer, the primary targets of the manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies.
Specifically, Eumenidi speaks of Sicer as a leading company in the design and production of “Products that create uniqueness of effect and surface. So not common. Finished products of great performance and great appeal.”
The company is also active on the training level because it strongly believes in the future of this sector and in Made in Italy. There is the possibility for new graduates in chemistry to participate in technological courses held monthly in Sicer dedicated to ceramic technology and the technical products that the manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies produces.
To conclude our interview and have an even broader vision of Sicer’s future, we also interviewed the President Gianfranco Padovani.
We started by asking ourselves about 2020 not only to have a more complete overview, but also to understand how this “annus horribilis” may have impacted on a leading company among manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for ceramic companies.
“2020 was a year as we all know, absolutely unpredictable. After a positive first quarter, we have all experienced one of the most terrible quarters ever (April -75%).”
The management had come to hypothesize scenarios that would have predicted from -20% up to -40%. Luckly, in the third and fourth quarters, the manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies witnessed a vigorous recovery that allowed it to close 2020 with revenues and results in line with 2019. Sicer managed Covid19 with proactivity and resilience.
The President continues by referring to November 2020, the month in which Sicer formalized the entry into its share package of Azimut, an important player in managed savings, through their private equity fund Demos 1.
“Obviously, in addition to continuing growth by internal lines, thanks to their support Sicer is already exploring the market to evaluate possible acquisitions that are useful and necessary to consolidate its presence in the main international markets.”
After an initial introduction over the past year, interest has inevitably shifted to the expectations of the manufacturer and supplier of raw materials for ceramic companies for 2021, even in the face of the aforementioned entry of Azimut in the share package.
Sicer has invested the last 5 years in defining objectives, strategies and positioning on the markets.
According to the President, the mission is clear: “To be a leader in glazing and decoration for glazed porcelain stoneware and for large ceramic slabs. Our customers are manufacturers looking for quality, service and innovation, customers who want to be protagonists in the high-end market for ceramic tiles, slabs and tops.”
The company wants to be a market leader and a reference partner for its customers. This ambition will certainly not remain confined to the Italian market, given the more than positive trend in Ubersetto. We asked the President which are the most expanding markets for them, which ones they would like to develop in the short / medium term and, globally, where Italy is located.
“We have already defined the markets: Italy first of all, still the absolute top player in the sector, but then also Spain, India, Mexico, the United States, Indonesia, all markets that we believe are absolutely attractive for our products.”
The next few years, according to the President, will therefore be dedicated to making the branch offices already present in these main areas grow qualitatively, culturally and dimensionally.
Getting to the top is difficult, difficult is staying there, but Sicer has absolutely no plans to stop.