In an interview with Maria Silvia Sacchi, Director of the Family Business Festival, on behalf of the Corriere Economia, Veronica Squinzi, Corporate CEO of the Mapei Group together with her brother Marco, talked about the legacy handed down by Giorgio Squinzi, sole former Managing Director of Mapei and President of Mapei Group, and Adriana Spazzoli, former Marketing & Communication Director. In the interview Veronica Squinzi emphasised how the Group’s long-term vision can help it get through this tricky period.
“A businessperson needs to be positive and think more about what will happen tomorrow than what is happening at “this very” moment.... Here at Mapei we are helped by a truly long-term vision. We are an excellent team striving together to achieve our goal”.
That is how Veronica Squinzi began her interview, talking about Mapei’s commitment to long-term actions focused on the society of the future in both Italy and the rest of the world.
The tricky issues we are facing at the moment need to be tackled head-on and solved. Thanks to a well-grounded company that has been in business for over 80 years and is focused around healthy values and a closely knit and determined team “it is possible to face up to what is happening at the moment and, at the same time, grasp new opportunities as they are presented”.
Veronica Squinzi pointed out that, just like her father Giorgio, she and her brother Marco believe in equality between men and women and emphasises that “(despite) having different personalities and skillsets, we manage to work together in complete symbiosis to lead our company forward... We can also rely on the openminded foresight of my aunty and cousin, respectively the company’s president and top adviser”.
In relation to internationalisation, she noted that: “It is a strategy we firmly believe in... together with technological research and quality it is our most distinctive trait. Our products do not travel well over long distances, so we are forced to operate on-site and be well-informed about and keep track of any economic developments or specific issues in our industry in every single country in which we operate”. This strategy takes on concrete form through the creation of companies with independent business structures and a local management team that can react effectively to the market, in accordance with the Group’s corporate strategy, and also by building local production plants allowing us to optimise costs connected with the logistical transport of materials.
In the interview Veronica Squinzi talked about agile working describing it as a vital approach to work during the current crisis, but not a work method to be adopted long-term: “This is a contingent situation. In my view people are “social animals”; they need to interact and interrelate... I like to go into the office and talk to my fellow workers: even informal meetings can lead to new ideas; it then takes a clever businessperson to turn them into successful inventions”.
In answer to a question about the current situation in Italy, Veronica Squinzi’s answer was to invest in innovation and Italy’s unique cultural-artistic heritage, to create interesting job opportunities and to attract and hold onto talented people (working closely with universities and research institutes), who are so important to the country: “To achieve this, every player in society needs to be involved, from government authorities and businesses to individual people. We need to start thinking in terms of ‘us’ rather than ‘me’”.
As an Italian company, Mapei is in the frontline in supporting the nation: “We are here and ready to help. We are going nowhere, and we will keep on investing in Italy because we believe in this country, where we have made one of our latest acquisitions. We have talked at length about internationalisation, which is so important for keeping our company healthy, but we are a glocal business: Mapei’s heart and mind are in Italy”.
Veronica Squinzi will be a guest at the Corriere della Sera’s Family Business Festival taking place on Friday 30th October 2020.
Credits: Giovanni Battista Righetti