Marcel Branaa, Zenda Leather Group

24 September 2009

Tanneries and locations:

  • 1. Zenda Leather, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • 2. Zenda Leather, Argentina
  • 3. Zenda Leather, South Africa

Production: Process approximately 7000 bovine hides a day for automotive, furniture and aircraft upholstery leathers. They also have four cutting and sewing operations in Uruguay, South Africa, Mexico and Germany. Two commercial offices are located in China and the USA.

Tannery employees: 2000

Key customers/brands: BMW, Audi, Peugeot, Citroen, Toyota, Ford, Sikorsky, Lan Chile, Hawker Beechcraft

Other information: Marcel Branaa is the latest generation of the family to run the tanning business since his great grandfather, Jean Jacques Branaa in 1890, founded it. He immigrated to Uruguay from the French Basque region.

Marcel took control of the business from his father Walter in 1992 after completing his studies in leather technology at the CTC- Centro Tecnologico do Couro in Southern Brazil. He also spent time following a career in business administration in Uruguay.

Originally a shoe and garment tannery the company switched production to upholstery leather 20 years ago and is now a well-established supplier to leading OEM's. In December 2006 under Marcel Branaa's leadership the family name was dropped and a new name Zenda Leather was created. Today Zenda have three tanneries, four cutting plants and two commercial offices located throughout the world.

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