Giuseppe Ravazzolo is the CEO at WTCO, a management consultancy firm based in Italy, US, Turkey and Poland. Since 2009, Giuseppe and his group has been sharing their expertise in the field of innovation and continuous improvement through advisory support and on-field training. Here are what he has to say when it comes to developing a business in Italy – his home market.
My entrepreneurial journey began after 12-year of working in my family’s small company. As I wanted to start my own service business, I moved out and developed WTCO. We are currently expanding by acquiring suitable consulting companies around the world.
As the CEO of WTCO, I am proud to say that we have maintained the great yearly growth thanks to our efficient team, which is especially important in a country where the regulation can be particularly strict.
Our headquarter is in Italy, but we also operate in the USA, Poland, and Turkey. Each of those countries has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is necessary to understand what is good and what’s not.
For Italy, I can name two major advantages:
- Engineering: The economy of Italy has gradually diversified, shifting from food and textiles to engineering. Italy is one of the leading exporters of mechanical machinery and equipment in Europe, with production dominated by private enterprise. Italy is also the second most active country in field of engineering in the EU and gains increasing presence in Russia, Africa and South America.
- Innovation in industrial area: The government issued measures to promote innovation in industry with a focus on developing public/private innovation partnerships. Italy’s new industrial policy also values investment in highly-innovative programs in strategic sectors such as innovative technologies in cultural heritage.
However, some hurdles are to be taken into account: law and tax level. There’s no escaping the administrative and fiscal maze when creating a company. You’d better document yourself well before creating a company.
The only way to succeed in Italy is to keep developing new products and services. Differentiate yourself from your competitors with product and service quality. In our case, we are online 24/7, and are able to respond to customers in 1 working day, which is not common for Italian businesses.
You also need to be different, be smart. Networking is the key to success there. If I can leave you with one thought about tackling the Italian market, it is: be fast, and have a short, medium, and long-term plan for both your business and for your life.