Ali Group chief shares expansion vision

Gaining a stronger foothold in some of the world’s most promising emerging markets will have a big part to play in Ali Group’s future, one of the company’s most senior executives has revealed.

Massimo Giussani, executive VP of the giant Italian catering equipment group, said the slower rate of recovery in regions such as Europe had made global diversification even more important.

Writing in the latest edition of the Ali Group magazine, Giussani said that while the US market is recovering from the recession and Asia Pacific continues to grow, the economic upturn has been “slow to arrive” in Europe.

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But he insisted the difficult times were not preventing the company from innovating and investing with an eye on a brighter economic future, adding that clients were likely to be doing the same.

“With this in mind we are expanding our operations in emerging and growing markets, like China and the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and looking, as always, at potential future acquisitions,” he wrote. “We believe that with perseverance, creativity and dynamism we can navigate through this long recession and come out stronger than before.”

Giussani also lifted the lid on the acquisition policy that has seen Ali Group grow to encompass 73 individual companies in 26 countries under the leadership of founder and chairman Luciano Berti.

He said that while the number of brands in the group may sound “unwieldy”, it was not the case.

“Over the years, we have continued to act like a small company with a big vision, in ways that matter to our customers. When we acquire a manufacturer, we want its leaders to retain the entrepreneurial spirit that attracted us to them in the first place. With this entrepreneurial freedom, companies stay specialised. They retain their autonomy. They maintain close ties to their customers.”

The Milan-headquartered firm currently employs more than 8,000 staff globally.

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