Headed straight for the future

Thema Optical is one of the Italian businesses that has been able to intercept the evolution of the market. Roberto Valmassoi, CEO , tells us about their modular approach to the needs of the market they are developing.


Could you describe your business in terms of presence on the market and economic results?

Thema is currently present in over 50 countries, with two direct sales branches in the United States and China and two production plants, in Italy and in the United States. A few numbers: the group employs 100 people; in 2018, we sold almost 1,000,000 pieces, with a consolidated turnover of more than 16 million euro and an EBITDA of 17%.

You have recently launched a project that involves retail. Why?

The concept VeaStore is a natural extension of the V.E.A. Virtual Eyewear Assistant project, launched on the market in October 2018, and finds its consecration in its store and follows its dynamics.

We believe that the optical market, like that of other sectors, is rapidly developing and is increasingly in search of a unique product, custom-made and with a strong digital component. We have intercepted this trend and our intention is to experience the change as protagonists, from the beginning.

We wish to point out that our involvement will not be direct because we have no intention of entering the retail world either directly or through other companies. The realization of VeaStore shops will be entrusted completely to our clients.

Thema has an exclusive partnership with Gruppo GreenVision for Italy, so the development of VeaStore will occur within this context.

On which markets have you decided to develop it?

The concept presented at MIDO has aroused great interest worldwide. Currently, we have different requests, including USA and Korea. In Italy, as I said, we have an exclusive partnership with COI-GreenVision and, in these days, OtticaVista2000 of Turin inaugurated the first VEAStore.

You have invested heavily in technology. Why have you aimed in this direction and how much has this decision impacted on the growth of your company?

In a market of increasingly more demanding and selective clients, Thema was one of the first companies to perceive the birth of a new orientation, to understand the growing demand of distinction and to support the demand for “custom” products.

The increase in the request of personalised and unique products, immediately clashed with the poor efficiency of the traditional machinery, conceived and built to produce in series. This led to the birth of Thema Tech a division set up to design and sell production systems able to satisfy the new requests of the market.

The VEA project comes from this trend of the market and takes customisation to its extreme, allowing the consumer to create his/her eyeglasses according to the biometric measurements of his/her face.

Approximately two months from the closure of MIDO 2019, could you give us your assessment of this edition?

MIDO is the most important fair internationally and the best opportunity to present new products, especially the most innovative ones like ours, to workers in the industry from every part of the world. My assessment of this edition as regards our company is very positive.