Italian packaging and grading company Futura has created Futura Central Asia, a subsidiary based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
According to managing director Omar Papi, the new office will enable the business to be more competitive and efficient in the markets of Central Asia.
“For some time now, we have followed the markets of Central Asia closely. But to have greater control and proximity, especially at times like these when movement has become much more challenging, it makes strategic sense to have a direct presence,” he tells Fruitnet.
Futura Central Asia employs three technical sales staff (all of them locals), namely Asanali Mayemgenov, Ramesh Esanbaev, and Karen Babayanc. It plans to recruit further in due course.
From its new branch, it will operate not only in Uzbekistan but also Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as coordinating its partners’ activities in various Russian offices.
Futura already has several service centres across Central Asia, plus it has a base in Krasnodar, Russia.
“All of our key markets in the region are within about an hour’s flight from Tashkent airport,” points out Papi. “If necessary, very often we can even go by car.”
Technology that meets a local need
What opportunities does Papi see for an Italian company so far from its domestic market? “There are lots of reasons why we invested in this area,” he explains.
“It’s true that production of fruit and vegetables – both in open fields and greenhouses – is increasing all of the time. Our customers need sizing lines and packaging if they want to export those products.”
Papi says Futura offers high quality, flexibility, and completely bespoke packages. The software itself is simple to operate and translated into local languages, and support is always on hand. “So we never leave our customers alone.”
He adds: “Our technologies are perfectly suited to the local needs. They are completely Made in Italy, and they suit the processing of all types of fruit and vegetable grown in the area.
“We consider ourselves our customers’ partners, who add value to their products. Our technology enables them to serve the various distribution chains.”
Despite the obvious challenges presented by the pandemic since early 2020, Futura continues to make good connections in Central Asia, Papi insists.
The group is planning to connect with customers at a number of trade fairs in the second half of this year, starting with Agrotech Expo in Tashkent on 28-30 June.
After that it plans to be present at Macfrut in Italy, AgroWorld in Kazakhstan, YugAgro in Russia, and Fruit Logistica in Berlin.