Has Italy recovered from the financial crisis of 2007 and from the sovereign debt crisis of 2012? Both analysts and the general public are split on the issue, as individual groups assess it from widely different perspectives. International observers, however, have been pointing at signs of recovery and singling out examples of excellence, suggesting a trend for general trust in the Country’s ability to bounce back from a tough decade. As we mentioned in our article about the Italian companies added to the Deloitte Technology Fast EMEA Ranking, analysing the same object from different perspectives and with different parameters might yield significantly different data and therefore lead to diverging, even contrasting conclusions. The Financial Times, for instance, ranked 186 Italian companies among the 1000 Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies for 2017 and identified certain Italian regions as a beacon of growth and progress in contemporary Europe.
Italian excellence confirmed
It is worth noting how a handful of companies made it into both rankings – the Financial Times’ and Deloitte’s – which is a testimony to the absolute peaks of excellence they represent. Most of the brand names included in these rankings are not particularly well known to the general public, but they managed to conquer their respective markets and grow by astounding percentages in an understated, almost subdued manner. Among the names that feature in both studies the most popular in its specific field is probably Caffeina, a creative agency that was born in 2011 and by 2015 had a revenue of over 1.5 million Euros. Most of its first year’s revenue was generated through Facebook, which served as a showcasing platform for their digital multichannel strategies. Afinna, also featuring in both the Financial Time’s and Deloitte’s rankings, operates in the field of international telecommunications, directing voice traffic through several international phone companies to ensure the best margins to its clients. It currently covers a monthly call volume of over 50 million minutes. Filoblu, which was also included in both lists, manages e-commerce platforms selling famous Italian and international brands. Among the other companies that the Financial Times ranked within the top 1000 in Europe there are a variety of brands, from television production companies to packaging manufacturers to organic food producers, all of which have grown exponentially over a period of four years.
Milan’s renaissance: a European financial capital
Most international analysts identify two major poles of Italian growth: Emilia Romagna and Lombardy – with the latter focusing mostly on the city of Milan. The acknowledged “financial capital” of Italy, while not yet competing with business hubs like Frankfurt or pre-Brexit London, is steadily attracting financial institutions and professionals, which balance their professional opportunities against the improved quality of life Milan can offer. If it is not likely that Europe’s financial heart will move to Milan for the foreseeable future, it is a fact that a larger slice of the Union’s finance operators is looking at the Lombard capital with considerable interest. In fact, most international banks are increasing the number of employees and opening new offices in Milan and will continue to do so over the next five to ten years.
Emilia Romagna: a leading force in European growth
Emilia Romagna stood out for its rapid and effective response to the crisis of 2012, from which the region pulled back quickly than the rest of the Country, to get back to a fast-paced and steady growth. What made a significant difference was the existing network of international relationships on which the local entrepreneurs thrived, expanding their exports while investing in innovation, creativity and new technology. The local enterprises also showed a healthy attitude to internal networking, sharing knowledge and working together toward common goals and being globally competitive, rather than competing with each other individually on the local market. This allowed most of them to stay abreast of changing markets, updating their offer and shifting their production goals to meet the needs of the global market, while benefitting from a positive local industrial environment. As both Italy and Europe work towards economic recovery, many hope that Emilia Romagna will be a positive example of proactive collaboration within industrial clusters, to create a productive ecosystem.Need help launching your product or starting a new business in Italy? Call us today!