Giorgio Pignataro, Regional Manager-Middle East, tells Hotel & Catering News ME all about one of the oldest professional kitchen equipment and the innovations of their brand, Angelo Po.
- Can you please tell us more about your company, role?
Angelo Po is a unique company for it is one of the eldest, if not the eldest manufacturer of Professional Kitchen Equipment in Italy, and possibly Europe, founded 1922 by Mr. Po, and at the same a very modern entity which, since 2016 belongs to Marmom Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.
Our daily job is to protect and enhance our 99 years of history, while at the same time project our brands in the future, by leveraging the managerial, industrial, and financial capabilities of our Holding Company.
My role as a resident manager is to lead the team in Dubai. We oversee the brands Angelo Po and Sagi in the entire Middle East, and our mission is to make sure every single market gets the products and the attention it deserves, and that the voice of the market is always heard, in real-time, by the headquarter.
In my experience, it’s this continuous exchange of information between the Middle East Market and the headquarter in Italy which has made, and still makes, Angelo Po a very well-known and respected company in this part of the world, for now, more than 20 years.
- What are some of the unique advantage points of your brand and how does it stand out in the Hospitality/Catering landscape?
Angelo Po designs and manufacturers in Italy complete professional kitchens of all size, ranging from horizontal and vertical cooking lines to all types of food storage. Along with the necessary (quite significant) industrial capabilities, we have acquired, in almost 100 years of work, and collaborating with world’s renewed designers also from other industries, an extraordinary design experience which enables us to help our international partners and clients design professional kitchens of any level of complexity.
- What will be the biggest challenge for your sector in the months ahead?
We think the biggest challenge of our industry, and possibly many other industries, is to try and imagine a next-normal, and not get trapped in the new-normal we are experiencing today.
As we speak, the F&B and Hospitality industries, which are our some of our key target sectors, are enjoying a moment of euphoria and optimism, despite the challenges brought by the disruption taking place at the supply chain level. Everyone wants to enjoy their freedom after months of restrictions and investor confidence is at a high level. I think our duty is to try and imagine what will happen next, when Covid is over, and people will have developed new habits and new ways to socialize.
I am extremely positive that food will continue to be at the centre of many people’s life, and that with creativity and investments our industry can even gain further economic significance.
- How have you evolved this year and how has the pandemic transformed your strategy?
I can certainly say the lockdown hasn’t stopped us from working and innovating. While the company was investing heavily in product development, the management also gave top priority to transparent communication, avoiding the mistake many companies made to let people guess (and worry) during the first phase of the pandemic, dominated by uncertainty. In our case, the Company was always first to communicate with its every stakeholder, and thanks to this level of transparency everyone felt somehow relieved and subsequently developed a higher sense of belonging.
- What is in the pipeline for your company and its product offering
As mentioned earlier, lately we have launched various new products ranging from refrigerators to the new Icon 7000, an addition to our “flagship” modular kitchen line which can be described as elegant, versatile, durable, and high performing. We have also invested massively in technology, particularly in the Internet of Things, and our latest combi oven, ACTO, is a good example of it, for it is designed to be controlled remotely. We do believe in this technology, which we think will be instrumental to the growth of our industry.