José Carlos Oliveira – CEO of Elastron
A supplier to the world’s largest brands and upholstery manufacturers, Elastron Group is among the largest in its sector in Europe. José Carlos Oliveira, CEO of Elastron, tells us more about the brand that has 42 years of existence.
What steps have been crucial to rise this level?
The company started with the leather business for the upholstery and footwear industries. Later, with the intention of diversifying the product offer, we also started marketing fabrics and synthetic leather. With the success of our products, we initially began exporting to Spain and Italy.
From here, we felt the need to increase our scope, making of our strategy to go out and not simply wait for competitors from much larger markets to come to us and easily reduce our position in the Portuguese market. In the following years, Elastron entered the most important markets in the sector and the results are in plain sight.
Today we sell to more than 80 countries in the four corners of the world. We focus on the continuous innovation of our products and on quality, efficiency and safety solutions to satisfy the most demanding markets.
Regarding what is the Elastron Group today, what would you like to highlight the most? What is, in its core, this Portuguese company?
It is a group of companies with 100% Portuguese capital. It is also a global group, with companies in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Poland, and China. We have been founding a company in Poland since last week, Elastron Poland. We are setting up a warehouse that will be 100% ready to work by the end of July. Poland has a very strong presence in the international market, possessing the greatest manufacturing industry of upholstery in Europe.
For you, what were or are the greatest challenges to succeed in this sector, in Portugal and in the world?
To be Portuguese! Today it is a trademark, but 15 years ago it was a disadvantage. We were seen as a small, poor country with little credibility. We had to be much better than our international competition to have any chance of success. To succeed in this it takes passion, resilience, and the ability to adapt. I would also like to add some audacity.
Exporting to more than 80 countries, Elastron is currently a symbol of unique products and differentiated quality. Today it is the symbol of…?
Notoriety, innovation, and trust brand. We are a dynamic company, and, over time, we are renewing our value proposition. I would also say that we are committed to making a difference with investment in research and development.
We add value to our products, with a differentiated offer always with competitive prices. Our value proposition offered to our clients is only possible with the size we have. We have a worldwide top negotiation power.
With a unique growth, besides the one in Portugal, Elastron now has units in China, Germany, Spain and now also in Poland. Always with its eyes on the future, so which direction does the strategy of Elastron go? Where does it intend to reach in the near future?
Elastron has had a very significant exponential growth in recent years. Now, our focus is on consolidating these markets, which are undoubtedly interesting, but also very demanding. Our strategy is to daily increase our value proposal to our customers with innovative products, with more and better performances.
How is Elastron reacting to the current situation of the country and the world?
The economy is downturned around the world. We are concerned. However, we are working to be as prepared as possible for the economic recovery that will happen sooner or later. We work every day to remain at the forefront of the sector.