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汉贝托:中国瓷砖将成为世界的参考

2022-12-15 17:17:41

一直以来,ICC瓷砖在中国建陶行业的地位都非常特殊。这不仅仅是因为它是一家由北美陶瓷企业投资运营的公司,还因为它的掌舵人,ICC瓷砖总经理汉贝托(Humberto Valles),一位有着36年国际建材经验,具备全球视野以及前瞻思维的陶瓷人连续8年为中国建陶行业发布国际瓷砖趋势报告。汉贝托的国际瓷砖趋势报告专业、系统、全面、深度,不仅成为陶瓷行业产品研发的参考,更是推动中

一直以来,ICC瓷砖在中国建陶行业的地位都非常特殊。这不仅仅是因为它是一家由北美陶瓷企业投资运营的公司,还因为它的掌舵人,ICC瓷砖总经理汉贝托(Humberto Valles),一位有着36年国际建材经验,具备全球视野以及前瞻思维的陶瓷人连续8年为中国建陶行业发布国际瓷砖趋势报告。汉贝托的国际瓷砖趋势报告专业、系统、全面、深度,不仅成为陶瓷行业产品研发的参考,更是推动中国陶瓷行业与国际趋势接轨,助力中国陶瓷行业的国际化进程。

今年,是ICC瓷砖在中国走过的十二个年头。ICC瓷砖与汉贝托当初为何缘起中国?汉贝托又是基于何种原因愿意把他的国际瓷砖趋势报告与整个建陶行业分享?汉贝托刚刚从欧洲、美国、墨西哥调研回国,这一趟旅程他又有了哪些新的发现?对于明年的行业趋势他又有哪些预判?

带着系列问题,陶瓷资讯首席运营官喻月明与中国陶瓷总部携手专访了ICC瓷砖总经理汉贝托。

汉贝托:中国瓷砖将成为世界的参考.jpg

△陶瓷资讯首席运营官喻月明(左)、ICC瓷砖总经理汉贝托(右)


以下为访谈实录(英文为汉贝托原话,中文翻译参照):


01.

保持折腾 保持奋进


喻月明

ICC上周庆祝了12岁生日,刚刚逛展厅的时候我也看到了您倾注的心血。看得出来您已经把中国当作您的第二故乡了。为什么当初ICC选择了中国?

YU: I know that ICC just celebrated its 12th birthday last week. I also saw your effort when I just visited the showroom, you treat China as your second home. Why did ICC select China?


汉贝托:我将完整的讲述这段缘由,如果长话短说的话大家可能会很难理解。我们是制造商,在墨西哥和美国都有生产基地和市场运营。当时,我负责集团在墨西哥与美国市场的所有外购产品,包括陶瓷、石材以及卫生洁具等。

Humberto: I'm going to try to tell you the whole story, because it’s very difficult to cut it short. We are manufacturers, we were operating in two countries, we were operating in Mexico and USA, we have a very big operation in both countries. At that moment of my career, I was in charge of the corporate outsourcing for Mexico and USA. Outsourcing and purchasing of all the finished goods that we did not manufacture, ceramic, stone or sanitaryware, anything we did not produce, or we did not want to produce.

我们发展得非常迅猛,每个月采购一度高达80万平方米 (大约800个集装箱)。它们从意大利、西班牙、巴西、哥伦比亚、土耳其、印度等国进口,那个时候我们从未在中国采购过。任何公司、行业、经济体或国家的发展进程中,都会有不同的发展周期。我们发展得越来越好,因此我们决定开新的工厂。这是当时墨西哥最现代化的生产基地,拥有意大利设备。

当新工厂建成后,我们产品的生产品类开始增加,而进口产品的数量则大幅度减少。因此,我的工作量迅速减少,我有了比较富余的时间。利用这个空档期,我开启了全球的调研,在其他国家寻找新的机遇。

Everything was working very well, actually we were moving at one point in time about 800,000 square meters (about 800 containers) per month. From Italy, Spain, Brazil, from Colombia, Turkey, India just to name a few, but nothing from China. The life of any company, any industry, economy, or country, goes through different cycles. What happened was that everything was working very well for us, our company was making good money and we decided to open new manufacturing facilities. The most modern factory at that time with Italian equipment in Mexico and the department of outsourcing that I was in charge of suddenly because the company had a new manufacturing facility and the company obviously preferred to manufacture the product instead of importing so my workload was reduced significantly. So, I used my spare time to keep travelling, and understanding the opportunities, that the world had to offer.


我第一次抵达中国是在2002年。在来到中国前我从未想过会在这里发现机会,因为人们总是告诉我关于中国的负面信息。

At that moment, I landed in China for the first time, which was in 2002. When I arrived in China, I was not expecting to see what I saw when I arrived to Shanghai. People told me so many stories that were hard to believe, especially the ones that have never been to China but the ones that have been to China said many positive things about the country.

但当我来到这里几周后,我看到了机会并预见了这个国家未来的发展前景。对我们公司而言,未来能在中国发展至关重要,我们将获得一个前所未有的市场及成就。

But when I arrived, I saw the opportunity and the future. I didn’t take me very long after I went back to USA to say: I believe this is going to be the future. For our company, China is going to represent an important thing, business wise, sales wise and so on.

最初,我只在中国进口瓷砖,然后卖给墨西哥和美国。相较其他国家而言,中国瓷砖的价格低廉,具备竞争优势,通过出口我们可以在墨西哥和美国市场获得巨大成功。

But at that moment, I just was trying to find good tiles in China to meet our standards, found them at low prices and sell them to Mexican and USA. After we found the right tiles polished that had a very low priced, we are able to earn lots of money in Mexican and USA markets they were extremely profitable products for us.

最初我们在中国还未设立办事处,但由于业务增长迅猛,所以总部决定在中国设立分公司。因此,2006年我搬到中国并设立了分公司。几年之后,我们的增长继续攀升,达到了一个又一个的顶峰,我们做了一个正确的决定。

But at that moment we did not have office in China and I was travelling back and fort, but the import quantity was increasing exponentially and our business demanded presence and set an office here to check quality, find new opportunities, know better the market. So, In 2006, I moved to China and set the office. And after just a couple of years, our growth was the highest, exponential proving that that we made a right decision.

在运营的过程中,我发现了很多新的机会。例如,我们不仅可以把中国瓷砖销往墨西哥和美国,甚至可以把它们销往全球。我们过去在国际市场有足够的经验以及资源,可以把这些宝贵的经验和资源整合起来在中国发展。不是公司派我来的,是我派自己来的,我们通过在中国的驻点,迅速转型,现在中国的两个公司有150多名员工,业务规模相当大。

I saw lots of opportunities at that time. For example, one of the opportunities is that we not only sell the tiles in Mexican and USA, but also in anywhere else in the world that was one option, but I also made a study of the possibility of using our experience in the international market to start distribution and sales in China, reproducing Interceramic’s successful distribution network and platform.

The company did not send me here, I moved here and in this way we transformed because of our presence in China very rapidly and now have between the two office in China more than 150 people and a pretty big business in the country. 


喻月明

从你的故事中我学到不论是在舒适区还是困境我们都要不停折腾。那时候,大多数人只想着把瓷砖出口到海外,很少有人像你想得这么全面。

YU:From your story I have learn that we need keep moving and think about the future, no matter that we are in comfort zone or not. At that time, most people were only thinking about export tiles overseas, less of them done the job like you.

汉贝托:我们应该是首家这样经营的公司,许多同行做不到这一点。因为它需要国际化管理,需要长久驻点在中国,更重要的是,我们需要全面打开我们的感官去观察、感受、思考这个行业以及世界。这也是我们要在中国设立其他版块的原因,比如我们的卫浴版块就非常成功,增长非常迅猛。如果不是因为我切身实地来到了中国,这些成绩是不可能实现的。

Humberto:Many companies tried to do this before but they did not have success and the right approach. We were for sure the first company that did this. Many other companies could not do this. Because it demands presence and international management and living permanently in China. It was important to be here and open our eyes, ears and mindset to see other things we could do besides only purchasing tiles. That’s why we were able to open distribution in China and many other divisions of the company like right now. One of the divisions that is very successful is sanitaryware. Sanitaryware is growing rapidly, exponentially right now for us, but those things cannot happen unless you are right here.

大多数人会说来搬到中国并进行经营是一个巨大的挑战。当然,这是一个很大的挑战,但我们绝对不可能坐镇墨西哥就能决策于千里之外。

Most people would say that it should have been a big challenge moving to China. And off course it was a big challenge, but it was absolutely impossible that we could have done this managing it form long distance.


喻月明

很多人只是把这项事业当作一种贸易,但你却表现出不一样的热情和激情,奋力工作,努力让公司变得更好。

Yu: Lots of people treat this business just as a trade, but you are different, you show enthusiasm and passion, work hard and make efforts to make company better.


02.

办企业不是百米冲刺

需要全身心投入


汉贝托:你说得很对,你需要全身心投入到这项事业中来。如果公司经常更换管理层是行不通的。我常说,办企业不是百米冲刺,而是坚持长期主义的马拉松。

Humberto: You are absolutely right, you need commitment in this business. If our company change management in few years and send other people to be in charge, it is not going to work. I always knew and say that this was going to take 10 years or more 15, 20 or until I retire. I always said that this was not like running a sprint of 100meters, it was going to be 42 kilometers marathon.

喻月明

办企业是跑马拉松也是我们近年来不断在宣扬的理念。ICC从一家北美陶瓷企业发展到一家国际型的陶瓷企业,您认为有哪些关键因素?

Yu: Running a business is running a marathon, which is also the spirit we have been advocating in recent years. What are the key points that ICC developed from a North American ceramic brand to a global ceramic brand? 

汉贝托:我们在20年前就开始经营瓷砖业务,而ICC成立至今只有12年。当我第一次来到中国的时候我就发现中国是一个完美的平台。通过在中国的深耕与发展,我们的公司将从墨西哥和北美的公司转变为一个国际公司。因为这里的市场、制造商可以到达北美或墨西哥无法企及的程度。

Humberto: An important thing to mention is that very early in this whole process that started twenty years ago, keep in mind also that ICC has only twelve years of the 20. But in the first 4-5 years I saw at that time that China was the perfect platform to help transform our company from Mexican and North American company to an international world company. Because the operation and manufacturing here in Foshan could reach markets that we can't in North America or Mexican.

说实话,我们主动在世界市场上竞争也是一个巨大的挑战。98%的人不会这么做,因为这太冒险也太困难了。

Honestly it was also in another way a big challenge that we push ourselves to compete in the world market, also in the most difficult, the biggest, the most competitors of all kinds from the lowest end to the highest end, but we thought that we could do something here using our experience. But 98% people would not do this. Because they are going to say it is too risky and too difficult.

风险和难度越大就意味着竞争壁垒越高。我们是第一家在正确的时间这样布局的公司。取得今天的成绩我们非常自豪,因为我们把国际化的理念带给了市场。那个时候,我们看到了利基市场,并争取到这个窗口期把公司运作得很好。

I always say, yes, it is true, but if it is riskier and more difficult it also means that there is less competition. We were the first one and do it right the first time. It was also a matter of pride and confidence, because we could bring this international wisdom we had in North America to the market that needed a different kind of player. At that moment, we saw the niche in the market to have a brand and perform and do the things we were doing very well and reproduce them in this market. 


喻月明

在一开始,你们就已经设定了国际品牌的目标。

Yu:At the beginning you already set the target to transform to an international brand.

汉贝托:是的,主要目标是我们需要把ICC打造成一家国际化公司。我们在国际市场上有丰富的经验和优质的资源,我们是萨克米、卡罗比亚等意大利供应商的头部客户之一,我们把丰富的资源和经验用在在中国,这使我们大获成功。当然,在中国成立ICC品牌前我们做了充分的调研和分析。调研和分析的结果显示,在中国运营我们的业务非常合适。

Humberto: Yes, absolutely that was the target. We needed to introduce ICC as an international company with lots of experience in North America and the most demanding markets in the world with excellent relationships with European manufacturers, because we were excellent customers of Sacmi, Kerajet, Colorobbia, Esmalglass and so on, so I thought that we can use our resources, experience and wisdom to do business in China. Obliviously, we have done a financial analysis and check with different people. based on the feedback, it is feasible to running our business in China.

现在ICC在中国已经走过12个年头了,时间证明我们的决定是对的。即便市场不会再像2004年到2007年那样好,工业和经济进入不同的周期,我们将进入非常困难的时期。但未来行业一旦复苏并朝着正确的方向发展,我们仍旧可以取得所期待的成绩。

Now we have been here more than 12 years and it proved we were right. The market is not going to be as good as it was in 2004 to 2007 because if it was like those years all of the last 12 who knows how big we could have been by now. The industry and economy is going through different cycles, now we are going through a very difficult time. But once if it recovers and it is going a right direction, we are ready to grow to the seize that we all believe we can be as a company in this market.  


喻月明

不管市场有多糟糕,我们只要坚持做自己就行了。

Yu: It does not matter how bad the market is, we just keep doing our thing.

汉贝托:是的,我们将在中国倾尽全力。我们相信我们设定的战略,虽然这可能需要几年时间才能实现。我们已经做好了长期艰苦奋战的准备。

Humberto: Yes, we will do whatever it takes because we are committed to this market. We believe in our strategy. We understand it may take more years to realize it. We are ready to keep doing the hard work and stay here as long as necessary.


喻月明

从交谈中我看到你不仅仅是把中国的瓷砖销往墨西哥和美国,更是在传递知识、智慧和文化。

Yu: From this conversation, I saw that you are only transfer the tiles between China and Mexican and USA, but also knowledge, wisdom and culture.

汉贝托:对员工而言我可能给不了他们最佳答案,他们需要学习的东西不一定从我这里学到,但至少我给他们提供了良好的环境和氛围,他们可以向其他国家的专家或同行学习。这就是在ICC工作不同于在其他公司工作的地方。

Humberto: I am probably not the right person to give you the best answer, they could probably give you a better answer everything they have learned has not been necessarily from me, but if it wasn’t me at least I put them in the right place. So, they are good to learn from the experts or the people from other countries like Italian experts. That is why I said that working in ICC is different than working in most other companies. It is a very different platform.


喻月明

对在ICC工作的员工而言这是非常特别的工作经历。

Yu: It's a very special work experience for them.

汉贝托:有一次我听到从我们这里出去的同事在其他公司面试后很快被录取了,我感到非常高兴。在平常我也很愿意赞赏他们,如果他们工作做的足够优秀的话。但有些老板似乎不太愿意表扬自己的员工。

Humberto: It makes me happy to hear things like people from ICC getting job interviews from other companies, and they hire them with almost no questions and short interviews just because they come from ICC. It is very important to have a good working environment, promote the culture of the company. I praise them when they do a good job, but it seems very hard for other bosses to do. They have direct and very easy access to me every day.


喻月明

是的,尤其是对中国老板而言,让他们表扬自己的员工并不容易。你们为什么把展厅设在中国陶瓷总部?中国陶瓷总部给过ICC怎样的赋能?

Yu: Yes, especially for the Chinese boss, it not easy to make them praise their employees. Why did you set the showroom in CCIH? What kind of assistance have CCIH gave to you?

汉贝托:有很多东西我要向本地人学习,他们知道的知识比我多。我们之所以要开设展厅是因为那个时期恰逢其时。但是说实话,可选择的地理位置并不是很多,只有中国陶瓷城,季华路以及中国陶瓷总部。

Humberto: There are lots of things that I had to learn from the local people and many ways knew things better than me. Like I asked: Where should we open the corporate showroom? They told me it had to be either somewhere in Jihua Lu between CCIH and CCC or right at the heart of CCIH.

我没有花很长的时间来做决定,因为中国陶瓷总部更适合做展厅,因此从一开始我就表示,这里只做展厅,办公室另寻别处。

This thing didn’t take very long to decide, because when we moved here we have never thought about opening a showroom and at the same place the office. I said this will be a showroom only. This space here was design to be a showroom, and not an office and we move our office to a building that more suitable be an office for us. They told me: boss, we need set our showroom in CCIH, that is the best place for us.

中国陶瓷总部占地面积很大,其实一开始我们是想在季华路边上找一个展厅的,但是它们的租期起码有10年,原租户也不会离开。即使有租期足够的展厅,面积又往往不合适。

CCIH is a big area. At the beginning we decided to set the showroom ideally on Jihua Road at CCIH area, but they told me to forget about this, because the lease of all the showrooms there is at least 10 years and the old brands are not going to move from there and it will be impossible to get a space there. Even we get the lease there, but maybe the size is not suitable for us, either too big or too small.

一个偶然的机会我们发现了这座展厅,这座展厅地理位置很好,但我仍旧需要考虑建筑条件。所以我又找了一家建筑公司来帮忙检查,比如天花板以及层高等等。当移除旧掉天花板后我们惊喜得发现这个展厅层高达4.75米。这样的层高非常适合展厅的建设,所以我们最终决定来这里。

And then we found this one by chance, this location was perfect, right in the heart of CCIH but I need consider about the construction conditions which did not look good. So, I came back again with a construction company to check what I could not see, the ceilings, height and everything else. It was a big surprise that we started to remove the ceiling that was very low, and we found that this showroom had 4.75 meters height. I think is gonna to work, so we decided to committing to CCIH.

在那之后,我们遇到了一个新的挑战,那就是要让展厅脱颖而出,我们必须要设计一个吸引人的外立面。最终我们完成了这项挑战,在七年前,我们的外立面就运用了金属结构和大屏幕,这是行业的首创。

After that, we had a new challenge that is if we are going to move to CCIH and make the right impression, we need to make our showroom stand out and our goal was to make the best external facade. I think we achieved our goal, we did the metallic structure and installed a big LED screen outside seven years ago, it was a first for the industry.

我们一直致力于设计最好的,在市场上绝无仅有的产品,比如当时的现代仿古砖。我们的展示非常西化,大部分瓷砖都是哑光砖,同时,瓷砖铺贴以及组合非常独特。这座展厅的落成意味着ICC达到了一个新高度。因此,相较其他地理位置而言,中国陶瓷总部给了我们一个很棒的平台,绝佳的地理位置以及适合的展厅面积。

We were always committed to be the best and bring the things you have never see it before, like the modern rustic ceramics. The way we did is super western, most of the tiles were not polished. The tiles application way was very particular. It helped ICC move to another level. So, compare with other locations, CCIH gave us a great platform, perfect location and good size.

展厅的落地是我们发展进程中又一项正确的决策,后来当我们把博物馆和画廊概念应用到展厅,许多公司开始效仿我们。

once we settled down this showroom, we found we made another right decision. Later and just last year we finished remodeling the second floor of the showroom and transformed it into a museum gallery concept, I believe it worked very well because many other companies started to following us and doing galleries as well. So it is important to know that people like the things that we do.

如果你想获得成功你就必须保持与众不同。如果一家公司只生产同质化的产品,那么这家公司是不会长久存在的。现在我们的展厅几乎每两年会进行一次大的翻新。明年我们将会对一楼进行大改造,以保持对经销商、设计师以及陶瓷行业的吸引力。

If you want to be successful, you must do the different kind of things in this market. If our company just make ordinary and basic stuff, this company is not going to last a long time. Now our showroom gets a major renovation every two years. I believe next year we are going to transform the first floor to always keep it attractive for our distributors, potential distributors, designers, industry and so on.


03.

行业有未来

品牌才会有未来


喻月明

你看起来总是能够预见未来,我注意到你们展厅里的瓷砖有很多出现在今年的博洛尼亚展上。

Yu: You seems like you can always expect the future, the tiles in your showroom we can see the similar one in CERSAIE this year.

汉贝托:我告诉我们的同事我是穿越回来的,我去到未来然告诉他们下一步的布局。这次我将把我的预测写在纸上,明年年底我们可以来共同验证。

Humberto: I tell our co-workers, employees are that I have live in the future, and then come back to the present, and tell you what we need to do. I am going to write this on paper this time, and you can check it at the end of the next year to see if I was right. At the beginning nobody believes or understand what needs to be done. But I have prove to them too many times this and most of them I was right.

我的趋势报告做得越好,ICC未来发展就会越好,对整个行业也就越有利。只有行业发展良好,我们的品牌才会受益。因此不管我们喜欢与否,我们必须在媒体以及公众场合分享我们对趋势的预判以及见解。因为我们是行业的一部分。

The better I do this, the better result is going to be for ICC, and is better for the industry in general. We benefit as a brand if the industry is doing well. Either we like it or not, we have to share things on the media, because we are part of the industry.

喻月明

我相信你是穿越回来的,因为你已经回答了我的下一个问题:2015年以来你每年都在分享和分析世界陶瓷发展趋势,并把你的报告贡献给行业。如今,ICC已不仅仅是陶瓷行业的品牌,更是陶瓷行业的潮流代表。你一开始为什么想做这样的事?

Yu: I believe you live in the future, because you already answered my next question is that you keep sharing and analyzing the world ceramic trends and present your report since 2014. Now, ICC is not only a brand, but also a trend representative in ceramic industry.  Why did you think to do such a thing in the first place? 

汉贝托:我无法预测你的女友或者妻子是谁,也无法预测你是否会中乐透奖,亦或是谁将赢得本届世界杯。但是陶瓷行业发展趋势的预判对我而言并不难。我在2014年做了首场博洛尼亚趋势观享汇,我们并未在ICC成立之初就把我们的报告分享给行业,因为那时候我们是一家新公司,人们很难相信我们的分析。经过几年的发展,ICC逐渐成为一家颇具名气的公司以及市场上炙手可热的品牌,这个时候我的分析才会更加可信,也是从那个时候开始,我开始把我的分析报告分享给我们的行业。

Humberto: I cannot tell you anything about girlfriends, your wife, or if you are going to win the lottery,or who is going to win the world cup. Doing the trends was a little bit easier for me, I have done the first sharing of CERSAIE trend in 2014. We did not share this in the first year, the opportunity is not ripe yet since at that time we were only a new company, people probably would not trust your analyzing. After few years, we are now a well-established company and a very hot brand in the market, my analyzing become more believable, then I started to share it to our industry.

我的首场分享获得了巨大的成功,随后中国陶瓷总部以及同行请我来年再做一场。结果第二场甚至比第一场还要成功。

once I finished my first show, we achieved a big success. CCIH and the people from ceramic industry asked me to do it again next year. And then, the second show was even better than the first one.

这样做的好处是显而易见的,它不仅帮助我们提前布局,而且使业界更加关注ICC,很多经销商也知道我们在引领行业转型。

The benefit is obvious, it helped us layout in advance, made the whole industry pay attention in ICC, made us relevant, made believe the people that we were a real important company and so on. People knew we were an important company that was helping transform our industry.

这项分享由我主导了三年,后来我让中国陶瓷总部来承接,组织更多的行业人士加入我们,分享他们的观点和建议。今年源于疫情,大家很难参加意大利博洛尼亚展。但他们不知道,这次我的趋势分享报告比以往任何时候都要好。

After three years, I told CCIH to take the lead and organize it with more industry people join us to share their views and opinions. Later on many other ceramic associations do it using a similar way. This time because of the pandemic, it was very hard to go CERSAIE and share  the report at the right time because returning wasn’t fast and easy. But they do not know this was the time that I have wrote the best report than other reports I have ever written.

我们首先会把这些观点和发现应用在ICC未来的发展当中。当然,最终我们也将在行业共享这些信息。

Obviously we use the information for ICC first, and eventually we share the information to our industry. We did not do this in October this year, but we are going to share the report in media to our industry eventually.


喻月明

您一直在不断地分享建陶行业发展趋势的分析和看法,为行业做出了很多贡献。我知道你不仅在世界各地的陶瓷产区探索,还在国内的终端市场调研。您认为当下的国际市场和国内市场怎么样?

Yu: You have been continually sharing your opinions and views for our industry, you have done lots of contribution for us. I know that you are not only traveling in the world, but also investigate the terminal showroom in the market. What do you think about international market and domestic market?

汉贝托:几年前,一家媒体告诉我,大家在中国进口瓷砖只是因为价格合理。但我告诉他们,未来中国将是瓷砖设计的中心。中国瓷砖的质量在不断提高,我指的不仅是产品,而且是展厅。中国瓷砖将成为世界瓷砖的榜样。

Humberto: A few years ago, I told the media that people come and purchase in China because they have good product and a very reasonable price. But I told them that China would eventually become a design reference to the world. The quality of Chinese tiles kept improving, I and I  mean not only the product, but also the showrooms. China is going to be a reference to the world. But back then I didn’t predict that famous designers would help the ceramic companies do better showrooms and this helped a lot.

大约在5年前,我的妻子和我一起去调研,她提醒我小心一点,因为中国瓷砖品牌进步很大,设计水平也有明显的不同。相较中国陶瓷品牌,我们过去有很强的竞争优势,但现在差距已经越来越小。

A couple of years later, my wife who is a designer was traveling with me, and she noticed and told me that you better be careful, other different brands are improving a lot and the level of design is significantly better than five years ago. We used to have a very competitive advantage, but now the gap is narrowing.

中国陶瓷产业不断发展壮大,如今约有30个品牌表现非常优秀。他们的展厅即便放眼全球也是一流的,这些展厅放在米兰、罗马、伦敦或纽约等任何一座城市都毫不逊色。

Chinese ceramic industry keeps improving, there are about 30 brands in the market that are doing very well in the market. Their show rooms are top class, you can put their   kinds of showrooms in Milan, Rome, London or New York, and they will look good.

中国有成百上千个陶瓷品牌,而意大利只有十到二十个。如果去重庆、福州或杭州等城市的建材市场,可以很容易地找到三四十个漂亮的世界级的展厅,这在以前是没有的。如今,中国陶瓷品牌展厅的设计不可同日而语。

There are in the market hundreds or maybe thousands ceramic brands showrooms that are high end in China, but in Italy just ten or twenty have showrooms in their country. If you go to Chongqing, Fuzhou or Hangzhou to the right market, you can easily find thirty or forty beautiful and world class showrooms in the building materials malls in the country, that did not happen before. The design of the showrooms is at a completely different level.

不幸的是,没有人看到这一点,因为外国人在过去的三年真的很难来到中国。我想一旦他们能够再次回到中国,一定会非常惊讶。

Unfortunately, nobody has seen this, because for the foreigners that used to come to China to buy have not been able to come to China in last three years. I think they will be very surprised once they are able to get back to China again. Specially for those who used to travel to China a little bit more.

如果他们只是在佛山考察,那只能看到片面的市场,他们应该考察中国的主要城市,如上海,杭州等,以获得更全面的认知。

And if they only arrive in Foshan, they can only see apart of story, they should travel around China, especially to the main cities like Shanghai, Hangzhou and so on.


喻月明

您的发声非常重要,我们将在行业中传播您的声音。同行看到您的认同会非常振奋。因为你有国际视野,同时也更客观。

Yu: Your voice is very important and we will spread your voice in our industry. Other entrepreneurs will be happy when they read your story. Because your view of our industry is with a more holistic view of the world. Your voice better than our bragging, and your perspective is more objective.

汉贝托:几周前在意大利,我们一个合作了25年的意大利供应商告诉我他看了我的采访,他说我的分享和建议非常实用。我很高兴听到这个消息,我认为我做了一件正确的事。

Humberto:Before a few weeks ago, I was a little surprised when I was in Italy during CERSAIE with one of our suppliers who worked with us more than 25 years ago. He told me he read and saw my video interview and the proposal and that was very useful and interesting for them. I was very happy to hear that, I feel that I did the right thing. I didn’t realize that interview was going to have such a big exposure.


04.

明年不容乐观

但乐观的时代终将到来


喻月明

你的演讲、展示和趋势分享使得你在我们行业非常出名。穿越者,请告诉我你对明年的趋势的预判?

Yu: You are very famous in our industry because of your show, presentation and trends sharing. The man who lives in the future, What do you expect for the trends next year?

汉贝托:坦白说,明年不容乐观。

Humberto: to be honest, it is not going to be very good next year, it is going to be very challenging. Probably it will get worse before it gets better.


喻月明

我希望你能保持信心。

Yu: I wish you could keep confidence.

汉贝托:刨去经济、房地产、重建、货币、汇率、运输等其他任何宏观因素,明年都将是极具挑战性的一年。对于2022年而言,我们都猜到了开头,却未曾想到结局。

Humberto: Next year will be very challenging, remove complex macro factors like economy, real-estate, reconstruct, currency, exchange rate, transportation and any other things. I believe we all were wrong with the predictions of 2022, we knew it was going to be difficult year but not this kind of difficult and bad.

基于此,我对2023年的预期并不乐观。有人说明年会好起来。但我却不赞同,我认为我们的行业在触底反弹之前还有一段谷底时间要走。这就像一个循环的波浪,我不确定我们是否已经触底,但那一刻将会到来,我希望不要让我们等待太久,过程也不要过于糟糕。

based on that, the expectation for 2023 is not very good and I can tell you that upfront. Somebody said that it is going to be better next year. I said that probably not, because I believe that our industry is going to keep going in the wrong direction for a while before it starts going in the right direction. It is like a wave of cycle, I am not sure we already touched the bottom or not, but that moment will come, and from there, it will not go down anymore and from the bottom there is only one way to go and it will start getting better. I hope it would not be last too long and NOT much more LOWER ANYMORE.

我记得2008年的时候,美国的市场简直糟糕透顶。我们可以查一下行业的数据,它用了十年才恢复到同样的水平。中国目下的困境可能不像当时的美国那么糟糕,但明年我们仍将面临挑战。我们的首要任务是生存下来,行业可能会在两三年后触底,随后才会复苏并重新增长。

I remember that in 2008 in USA, the market was in terrible shape, It went down to a terribly low number. We can check the figures of our industry, it lasted ten years to recover to the same level. China's woes may not be as bad as that time in USA, but there are still challenging for us next year. I hopeful the best, our first priority is to survive, we might touch the bottom after two or three years, we are going to recovery and climbing up again.


喻月明

你对这样挑战有什么应对策略?

Yu: What are your plans for this challenge?

汉贝托:最重要的是我们应当清楚的认识自己,在公司的财务状况上我们需要付出120%以上的专注,并做好每一个重要的细节。这些细节不仅仅体现在财务方面,还有创新、投资、营销等方面。

Humberto: The most important is that you should know what kind of ground or floor you are walking on, and we need to put 120% attention on our financial situation and doing everything with significant diligence and analysis. Not only about the financial, but also the innovation, investment, marketing and so on, actually… everything!

当2020年疫情袭击我们的时候,大多数品牌在第一季度表现很糟糕,我们也损失了很多钱。但我们在第二季度以非常强劲快速的力量反弹,我们可能是当时表现最好的陶瓷公司之一。2020年全年我们的表现并不差,从2020年到2021年,我们每个月都达到了预期的目标,销售额保持稳步增长。

When the pandemic hit us in 2020, the first quarter was horrible for most brands in their history, everything was closed and we lost a lot of money, but we bounced back the second semester of the 2020 year strongly and with fast power, the industry in general and us along with them. Probably we were the one of the best performing ceramic companies at that time because of our size to get out of the hole. And we recovered from the big loss of the first quarter and ended having a decent 2020 year and we were glad it was over. The recovery kept improving in the first semester of 2021, we reached our targets every month for 18 consecutive months, and our sales increased placidly since June 2020.


喻月明

市场在2021年8月开始下行。

Yu: The market was going down since August 2021.

汉贝托:没错,在这段困难时期,墨西哥总部问我,你确定我们要投资那么多钱来改造所有的ICC展厅吗?

Humberto: Exactly, but it was interesting that during this difficult time, even our boss in Mexico question and asked me: Hey Humberto, are you sure we should invest the kind of money in remodeling and upgrading all ICC stores?

我的回答是我们别无选择,我们必须这么做,当市场复苏的时候,我们可以在竞争中处于更有利的位置。因此我们将ICC门店改造为ICC Global门店。同时,2019年我们引进了ABK品牌的原装进口系列,它在市场上获得了欢迎并且卓有成效。2020年我们改造了一半的终端门店,2021年我们又改造了另一半。回过头看,2021年对我们而言发展的也还不错。

I said that we did not have another choice, we have to do it and expect for the market to do better, we could be in a much, more better position than the competition when it gets better. So, we remodeled the ICC stores to ICC Global stores. And in 2019 we imported ABK products from Italy, the global collection products and we had to do something with them, the tiles and the investment in inventory. Eventually It worked, because in 2020 we remodeled half of our stores, and 2021 we remodel most of the other half of stores, and 2021 was a very good year for us.

2022年对任何人来说都不太友好。但对我们而言,2022年没有那么糟糕,我们没赚钱,也没有亏损,只是保持平衡。我们应当准备好生活在一个充满挑战的时代,要格外小心我们所做的每一项决策,不要做愚蠢的决定。

2022 has been not good year for anyone. But for us, it has not been as bad as it has been for most. We did not win or lose, we are glad it is almost over and just keep the balance. Be ready to live in a challenging time, and be careful with everything you do, do not take foolish decisions.

最终希望尽快在2024年,2025年或2026年,我们将进入一个崭新局面,届时ICC将处于一个有利的位置,因为我们在这个艰难的时期做了正确的布局。

Eventually I hope sooner than later maybe 2024, 2025 or 2026, we all will be on a different situation, our company is going to be a right position because we did the right layout in this tough time.

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