A taste of family entrepreneurship: Marcello Persico

April 15, 2019

Founded in 1976, Persico Group is a well-regarded Italian multinational company primarily engaged in the Automotive, Industrial and Marine industries as a provider of a full range of services: from concept to design, engineering and manufacturing of prototypes, models, moulds, automation systems and turnkey yachts. Persico also operates in other industries, including Aerospace, Healthcare and Architecture. With its headquarters and main production facilities located in Bergamo (Italy), Persico has key production and sales units in the USA and México to serve its customers worldwide. Ladies and gentlemen meet Marcello Persico. What does Persico do and which is your role within the organization? Persico Group is mainly working within the automotive business, we produce moulds and automotive equipment. We don’t produce single components, but all the equipment and machineries designed for their production. I’m both Persico Group’ CFO and the manager in charge of Persico Marine, a unit dedicated to the production of racing boats and performance sailing yachts for private customers. When you think about your business, can you talk about a long-term perspective? My opinion is that we should always grow, because the bigger you are the more you can invest in innovation and technology, as well as in new markets. I consider growth the necessary condition to survive in a global market. Family firms are well-known to give value to non-economic values. Do you agree with that? Yes, I totally agree. As a matter of fact, my father never attends meetings when we talk about the economics, but he loves to join meetings about new products, new markets, new strategies and, in general, new perspectives. Moreover, we value our human resources and the way they run their jobs, both in terms of principles and values, which should be aligned with our organizational culture. Three very important questions now: Casoncelli o Scarpinocc? Scarpinocc. Polenta Classica or Taragna? Taragna. Val Brembana o Val Seriana? Val Seriana, no doubts. Do you think family-firms can be considered more risk-adverse than non-family firms? I can say that we consider ourselves highly risk-takers. Indeed, in the past, we decided to make investments even before completing the risk-analysis on the investments themselves. Anyway, nowadays it is important to find the right balance between feelings and numbers. A paradox in family business’ academic literature: family firms are better in terms of capability to innovate, but they have less willingness to innovate. So, even if they are reluctant to innovate, once they do it, they do it better than non-family firms. Based on your experience, do you agree with this statement? Personally, we are positively oriented toward innovation, with no restrictions, promoting innovation within the company and empowering our internal resources to innovate since we believe it is a crucial driver for business growth. Which is the main challenge for the future of Persico Group? As we are very fragmented both in terms of organizational and family structure, we often face the challenge to align our governance with the family in a very efficient way, being able to combine innovation willingness with innovation capability.   *Casoncelli: Stuffed pasta with mincemeat, parmesan, amaretti and other secret ingredients served […]

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