How Much Time Left?

By Francesco Romei
Consiglio Direttivo Assiot
A few years ago, it was 2013 to be precise, I attended a presentation by Sergio Marchionne at the Bocconi university in Milan, in which he focused on the “global challenges facing Italian industry” and “the increasingly small world in which we live”.
A student asked Marchionne: “What should the logic being used by Italian entrepreneurs be that will lead to success in the international market?” and “How much time have we got?”. Concerning the latter question, the answer was a categorical: “zero”.
Recent studies show that by 2030 the currently emerging countries will be those dominating the global market: India, Brazil but also Iran, Indonesia and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South America will play an increasingly important role.
On top of this shift, there is also the fact that the domestic market is in stagnation, forcing most medium sized Italian companies to rethink their way of doing business and to find new ways of growing.
But, in an industrial scenario like that of Italy, with 70% of companies classified as either medium or small, how can a firm like OTI, which I represent, be more visible and competitive on the international market?
There are some inescapable facts: firstly, the future is 4.0, there is no other way than exploiting technological innovation. Secondly, the central role of the human resources which every company has; personnel needs to be trained and given targets. They are the key to the success of any company. Thirdly, creating strength in numbers, the small size of Italian companies means they have little chance to compete individually on the global market.
Taking these factors into account, in 2017, OTI created, together with three firms in the sector, a network of companies. I was, and remain convinced, that reaching critical mass is the only path to competitive edge and credibility against multi-national competitors. It was for the exact same reasons that OTI decided to join ASSIOT some years ago. The association creates the opportunity to network and set up exchanges with companies of all sizes. This is not a chance to be passed up and I sincerely hope that many “small” companies like mine will take advantage of this essential tool and become members as we did. The recent merger between ASSOFLUID and ASSIOT into FEDERTEC is further added value; this is a new and bigger, multi sector body which counts many leading players among its membership. Going back to the question in the header, I have to admit that I don’t have an answer, but what I know for certain is that “together” we will be able to make use of the time we have in the best way possible. I’m pleased to give the floor to Maurizio Macca, General Manager of Ingranaggi Moreali Mario.