When everything started Clemente Sciamma and Joe Kahil create Codital, a company specialized in the electrical and lighting fields, that offers basic but essential services to international importers looking for new sources of lighting manufacturers in Italy for the first time. The knowledge of languages, different cultures, rules, regulations and requirements of foreign countries - as well as a perfect management of all practices concerning international trade - represent the key factors of the company's success in acquiring trust and respect from customers and manufacturers alike. The open minded mentality and the natural vocation for a fully customer oriented company create long term partnerships along the years.
The 70's & 80's: the golden age of America Codital becomes "buying office" leader for the North-American market.
Codital begins its long-lasting collaboration with Schonbeck - to this date a world-renown Canadian lighting manufacturer - and many among the largest importers of lighting fixtures and parts in North America.
Maurizio Sciamma, Clemente's brother, establishes MG LEE CO LTD - correspondent office in London of Codital Milano. They work closely together at both ends of the market expanding successfully their clients portfolio.
Several Italian manufacturers appoint Codital as their representative for the North American and UK markets.
Clemente closely works with Hamis Asfour, founder of Asfour Crystal Company in Cairo, Egypt, in the search for materials, components, and required technologies for the manufacturing of crystals to be used in the lighting industry. Asfour is nowadays one of leading manufacturer of high quality crystal parts for the lighting industry.
Italy has shown since the 50's its firm leadership in the creation of design combining materials, shapes and colours in an original synthesis that expresses the art and the traditions of craftsmanship. “Made in Italy” becomes a status symbol abroad and catches the eye of consumers all over the world, from western to emerging markets.
Asian emerging countries (first Taiwan then China, Vietnam and next India) start to produce and export massively, making in-roads in the sector, especially via an increasingly large market quota which harms the "made in Italy", notably in the markets that are more open to international trade as the Anglo-Saxon market.
1988: first steps towards the generational transition Ronny Sciamma, Clemente's son, joins the company. Full of goodwill and ideas, he makes a turn of 360 degrees in the company, starting a more modern style of management, and keeping in mind the need of creating a team of young people capable of managing the generational change in a manner that is both natural and painless.
1990/1992: the difficult years Ronny brings Giuliano Ruga, his friend and university colleague, into Codital. Together, they create new strategies in the commercial field, the organisation and the administration of the company.
The Anglo-Saxon market goes into recession. Chinese production, with very competitive prices, takes advantage of this and increases its market shares internationally. Italian factories must expand and reinforce their geographical exposure by exploiting all the new opportunities present in the global market.
Clemente sets forth the collaboration with Tokyo-based "Akane Lighting Co Ltd Tokyo", an important Japanese company specialised in the field of assembling, importing and selling of lighting appliances to the largest local distributors.
1992/1997: riding the Asian tigers Asian countries are booming and the building frenzy encompasses the market. The "nouveaux-riches" turn-up their noses at local production and will only settle for the European style, especially for fashion products or furniture made in Italy.
Ronny feels the changes in international buying power, organizes a pool of high profile factories and finalizes exclusive agency agreements within South-East Asia, starting travelling intensively in the area. Codital, building strong relationships with major importers and distributors in Honk Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, becomes the most competent partner for exporting to Asia.
1995: The challenge of the Russian bear In 1995 Ronny has again a long term vision and understands the potential of the newly born markets in the former Soviet Union territory. Codital selects and in-groups top manufacturing companies leaders in the classic décor and decides to participate, among few other Italian companies, to the first edition of Interlight - the international lighting exhibition in Moscow.
The success of the collections attracting the high end customers after years of constraints pushes Codital to participate to the exhibition in Moscow for the following 4 editions - till 1998 - enabling them to create a well distributed network of reliable customers and impose a high profile image for all their represented brands.
Codital becomes one of the most important and well known players in the field in Russia, and the companies of the pool enjoy constant growth of their yearly turn-over.
Andrea Fishman becomes part of Codital's management, handling Codital's expansion towards other post-soviet countries like Ukraine, the Baltic Countries, Kazakistan, Belorussia.
1997: the Asian turmoil South-East Asian economies suffer a dramatic currency and financial crisis that drastically reduces consumers' purchasing power and brings the whole area into a serious recession after years of double-digit growth. The Asian markets are severely narrowed down and take a new dimension. Once again, the Chinese industry knows how to benefit from this situation and takes a further leap forward increasing the quality of its products and refining its marketing approach.
In 1998, though the financial crisis hits Russia, Codital still manages to keep its market share. The strong customer-oriented vocation of the company and its relations with the most reliable and solid customers are key factors in the good performance despite the economic difficulties.
Looking at the future Codital establishes new collaborations and organises a series of trips to new places such as Central and South America, the Middle East, the Gulf countries and Eastern Europe; it also activates visits to the largest emerging countries - namely India, China - visits that require a long time for the researching and selecting of strategic partners for the long term.
Nowadays Codital operates in about 30 countries with a staff of more than 20 people and strives continuously not only to find the best ways of serving its own network of clients around the world, but also to determine how to move in a flexible and co-ordinated manner, in a market that fluctuates inevitably and, sometimes, suddenly.