Marinella Manzoni starts NTS handover to Marco Manzoni.
A generational passage in the name of Business Continuity.
With a formal act – made official by the Board of Directors on the 25th June 2020 – Marco Manzoni became the new CEO of NTS. In this double interview, Marinella – who keeps the role of President of the Board of Directors – and Marco Manzoni – Vice-President and CEO, tell us about themselves and some key points from a professional and human point of view
Marinella, how can this event be included in NTS company history?
We can consider it as the natural evolution of a process lasting for many years.
The handover of legal representation from me to Marco makes concrete what we evaluated some time ago.
Personally speaking, I have always seen myself as a ferrywoman, since when the dramatic and unforeseen events of life – the death of my entrepreneur brother – led me to manage the company. At that time, I put my knowledge, my skills and a lot of commitment at the service of the company and I have always thought that my role – and generally our family’s one – was to make the company eternal, taking decision to assure its future.
Personalistic visions have never prevailed in NTS, but rather long-term shared visions.
Marco joined NTS eleven years ago, after his engineering degree and some experiences outside the company, with an expressly junior role: from production dept. assistant to sales dept. assistant. Since then, he went through a professional path which I think he perceived as long, but that everyone of us considered necessary to arrive where he is now.
To reach the proper authority for such a relevant role, in addition to practical skills and experience, it takes time and commitment: no shortcuts are allowed.
Marco, how did you experience the path that brought you here?
Looking back on it from today’s perspective, I’d say this time has been precious to me.
A necessary maturation period that, I confirm, often clashed with my youth impatience and with my energy, but today I believe it has been a proper passage.
After my degree, I myself felt the exigence to experience roles in different departments, as I understood – since I was very young – that nothing in life can be taken for granted, everything follows an evolution and therefore each single day must be gained with each single skill.
Growing, training, meeting and testing ourselves with realities out of our comfort zone are all forward-looking actions, that mark the history of managers, entrepreneurs and professionals in general.
The role of President in the Young section of Confindustria Bergamo allowed me to learn, experiment, innovate and widen my know-how, in general, to open to new worlds and especially to get to know other entrepreneurs and managers.
Among all the things I learnt, I like to remember one, or rather two. The first – a metaphor I experienced firsthand thanks to a training session – has been leading a sailboat at the helm with closed eyes, blindfolded with all the crew on board: it meant to activate some sensibilities which are innate in every human being and go far beyond sight (sound and touch) and that in the company we often ignore to use; the second is offering my time for guidance of young students in the schools: it’s impressing how it is important for them to have valid referees and how much hope we must have towards the future as there are so many smart young people, much more than we on average think.
Marinella, what does the word “future” include?
Today I’d say that the word “future” is a word that goes hand in hand with the word “speed”: of the strategic vision definition, of adaptation, of decision. A recent market survey suggested that, to keep our competitiveness over time, we had to break step. We have not hesitated to define new competitive strategies and undertake unexplored paths to achieve our goals.
We have also defined a new business model, which is progressively changing our approach towards the market, all this to ensure the deserved marginality to our company. It is evident that the historical time we are living, leads us all to be dynamic, proactive, energetic. Keeping up with these rhythms is not something that can be taken for granted and for this reason, Marco’s figure, with his energy and his spirit of initiative, represents an important piece for the future of NTS.
Marco, what was your mood when you decided to take on this position?
With a great sense of responsibility: the one that, after all, my family has always transmitted to me. When I was a kid I just had two occasions to stay with my father: during the (few) summer holidays and in the company. It was a habit to spend Saturdays or Sunday mornings accompanying my father for some control activities he carried out while machineries were not working, it was normal.
I’d say that, just like Marinella, I immediately experienced the concepts of sacrifice, moral duty and respect for work. Similarly, I got the same ferment that animated my father and I also believe that it animates every entrepreneur, in having and pursuing his own vision, in looking for new paths as well.
I am motivated to honor the value and business heritage that I have been given, here comes my will to put myself into play and spend all my commitment and abilities in NTS. This ongoing passage towards the third generation is in the name of continuity and innovation, common values and sharing.
Marinella and I have a common idea which is deeply-rooted in both of us: the company is not a private entity but it is a common good. I also believe that our approach comes from what we have lived in our history.
Differently from the companies that are still directed from their founder, our history – that has been marked by the premature death of the two founders, father and son – imposed a managerial approach to everyone: delegation and continuity. We have taken – and we take every day – the founding values as our dowry and then we interpret our professional role also following our attitudes and personal experiences.
A mix of experience, history, courage and personality that is always a must when you have great projects on your mind.
Let’s talk about entrepreneurial risk. Marinella, how far is it necessary to go further?
As for each business action, NTS has a balanced and rational vision.
NTS financial soundness is an important aspect that can never be put in the background: experience shows us that the life of a company can be interrupted by unexpected moments, like the one we are living right now due to pandemic.
By the way, financial soundness is always a good base to overcome the inevitable difficulties and to approach more ambitious projects of development and growth.
Marco has always been attentive to all these issues, he is in charge of Risk Management for years, we have a shared approach. And also in the next three years we will share the strategies about risk management, as well as all the necessary actions to manage it.
Marco, in NTS can we talk about generational handover?
More than a generational handover, I’d say it is about generational continuity: the respect of those who preceded us and the trust of those that will continue.
You said you are changing your business model, what do you mean?
In the last years we investigated a lot to better understand who we are and the results we want to achieve. Recently, we signed three prestigious partnership with companies that will share a new path with us. We wish to propose ourselves more and more as an Industrial Solutions Provider to satisfy the new requirements of the market: more service and higher speed. We think we can reach these evolutions with different modalities, if possible also through new acquisitions in a perspective of horizontal and vertical growth.
We aim at an economic well-being to keep making new investments, innovations as it concerns technology, organization, skills, human resources to build a safe workplace, healthy and stimulating; we have been analyzing punctually our costs for years and, recently, we are also identifying the quality of the turnover to focus on.
Right before the lock down, and for sure accelerated by it, we made commercial proposals through new digital instruments and with great innovative and consultancy features, also supported by the new high added value services such as NTS Tech and NTS Academy.
Thanks to our constancy and commitment, the market is now recognizing values that before were not fully expressed and we have reached a great result: we are selling technical consultancy, technical problem solving, without moving any polymer or metal shavings.
This novelty reveals the propensity of the market to recognize our know-how in addition to the fundamental and more and more innovative manufacturing. This is our direction, as also clearly stated in our industrial plan till 2022, a guiding instrument for the managerial action, a defined and challenging direction shared by all of us.
Marinella, what should we expect from Marco?
Continuity, bus also innovation and energy.
Marco’s entry in the company brought many innovations, some of them deriving from his personality, some from his education. I am referring, for example, to the use of instruments of strategy and sharing: I think of Business Model Canvas and Lego Serious Play training method or the necessity of an Industrial Plan, these instruments allowed us to get in black and white many features of our company that were unexpressed and to share them with our collaborators, having a guideline to state with awareness the direction we want to follow.
NTS has always believed in the centrality of the person and Marco will continue on this path, with his undeniable relational and communication skills.
Marco, how will NTS invest in people?
All those who know me know also this: in my office, among many others, there are always two post-it stating these words: “Business Model” and “The Person at the center”.
NTS is, and will be more and more, an active environment, dynamic, productive, reach of prepared and energetic people. The introduction of a HR figure focused on career development and continuous training highlights our belief in a business climate strongly based on the values of professional and personal growth.
Increasing the cultural level in the company is a long-term daily challenge that may reserve some disappointment but, in an overall view, gives always great satisfaction in raising the bar of organizational growth goals.
Marinella, 2020 is proving to be a tough year, certainly one of important changes. NTS decided to change its CEO right in 2020. A change within the change?
Marco’s role represents a change in continuity.
Some time ago we scheduled this date for the transfer of delegations and we proceeded according to our plans. From an economic point of view we are living this moment as we lived the financial crisis of 2008: we believe that life (human and professional) is reach of unforeseen events and it is always necessary to face them with rationality, method and vision.
We have never thought that contingencies could change our long-term plans.
NTS is a sound company where the shared vision always comes first.