A taste of family entrepreneurship: Michele Scaglione

March 18, 2019

Maglificio R. Scaglione Srl is a family-managed company founded in the 1960s in Bergamo, Italy. The business mainly focuses on the production of knitwear with a major expertise in cashmere wool. While targeting a top-quality level market. Maglificio Scaglione is a small and creative environment with a long-term experience in a luxury niche of the textile industry. What Maglifico Scaglione does and what’s your role in the business? Maglificio Scaglione includes two different businesses: on one side it is a knitwear supplier for many high-level brands while, on the other, it manages its own fashion collection called Scaglione, which is distributed all over the world through its own shops and in partnership with other retailers. I just joined my own family business after many years abroad and I am now part of the third generation, together with my sister. Talking about my role in the business, I consider myself absolutely multitasking at the moment, even if I’m mainly working on coordinating the two souls of the company, being a knitwear producer and a recognized fashion brand at the same time. I am still leveraging on my recent working experience in London as it allows me to be detached from the family dynamics within the business and to be able to keep an external perspective and highlight potential issues to be solved. Family firms differentiate themselves from non-family firms as they value not only financial but also socio-emotional wealth? Do you agree? Absolutely! In our particular case, as a family, we feel constantly emotionally involved in the business. Indeed, our name is connected to our brand so we can’t allow any brand dilution as it won’t just affect the brand, but also the company reputation. When you think about your business, can you talk about a long-term perspective? We strongly believe in a long-term perspective as we are investing efforts and money in our future. My recent decision of joining the family business is connected to the firm continuity, a strong value for us. But again, I want to stress that my experience outside the company was crucial to gain managerial expertise and to improve my capabilities of looking forward, strengthening our core competencies while spotting new business opportunities. Let’s switch to funny questions! Casoncelli* o Scarpinocc*? Casoncelli, for sure. Even if Casoncelli and Scarpinocc look very similar, the meat inside Casoncelli makes the difference! Polenta Classica o Taragna***? Polenta taragna, the cheese makes the polenta taragna tastier than its classic version. Family firms are considered more risk-adverse if compared to non-family firms? In respect to your experience, do you agree with this statement? I strongly agree. I perceive the risk aversion from two different points of view. From a financial perspective, every single investment is pondered as we want to use our own internal capital. It means that we will directly bear the consequences of a potential wrong investment, and when I say directly, I mean that the family will make sacrifices to re-invest the capital within the business. On the other side, the communication perspective already mentioned above is very risk-sensitive as well. As I’ve already explained, we expose […]

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