Interview with UIFRA’s new President, Mr. Fabián Menichelli9 December 2015
An interview with Fabián Menichelli, the new President of UIFRA (Unión Industriales de Fideeros de la República Argentina)
by Juan Manuel Airoldes (Uniòn industrial de Fideeros de la Republica Argentina)
What are your expectations as regards your new position at the UIFRA?
Honestly, I have the greatest expectations. Although the honor of occupying this position was granted to me now, we, at UIFRA, have formed a very efficient work team.
Our pasta industry is, maybe, one of the most complex around the world, due to its heterogeneity. This, that at first may seem a great difficulty, gives us the opportunity to enrich our experiences when making decisions.
According to your opinion, which are the strengths and weaknesses of the Argentine pasta industry?
As strengths we can mention the great production capacity that the industry has achieved during the last years, around 550,000 tons per year. Besides, we can mention our comparative advantages for wheat production, and the good quality of our workforce. I also believe that, in a troubled world, Argentina, and the South-American region nowadays clearly appear as a good alternative for investments.
We should look for the weaknesses in internal issues such as the backwardness in infrastructure, or the erratic policies that punish production.
The Argentine pasta industry is becoming strong, but each year exports less. What are the reasons for such fact, and how can we revert this?
We should look for the reasons mainly in the macroeconomic context with which we had to deal during the last years in our country. We need to analyze successful experiences from other countries, and adapt them to our own reality, designing a medium-term action plan. I think that the foundations of this industry should be: connections in the value chain, and strong interaction and cooperation between the public and the private sectors.
Which will be your priorities during the first months of your term in office?
My priorities will be to continue in the road started by the prior Executive Committee and to develop it. To continue with the policy of inviting leaders to work with us, and strengthening bonds with other related institutions, at a national and international level. In short, to continue making our influence and professionalism grow.
Which are, from your point of view, the urgent alliances that this industry should develop?
Our main counterparty is still formed by workers, the labor unions.
At the domestic level, we have opened our dialogue with the rest of the wheat value chain.
We are becoming conscious about the chain to which we belong, and that represents a change. I don’t want to forget about the State, together with which we will have to work, proposing changes and suggesting ideas and solutions, because nobody knows our needs better than us.
How can the UIFRA contribute to solve the problems of our SMBs, or how can it support them?
The small-scale may be a problem if the SMB intends to compete as an equal with large companies. But the SMBs own flexibility gives a lot of opportunities to consumers eager for exclusivity and new experiences.
Leaving traditionalism and innovating is an important, yet unavoidable trip for a lot of the SMBs nowadays.
My special thanks to my colleagues and friends for the trust given to me; I will try to give my best in this position to obtain the results we are looking for.