How was your start as the new Managing Director of BITZER Italia?
Gianni Parlanti: It was a smooth and exciting start. Obviously, I knew the team very well; they are very dedicated and technically very strong. The exciting part was re-establishing a direct relationship with our Italian customers, most of whom I have known for over 30 years.
Italy is an important market for BITZER. Which characteristics make Italy stand out from other European markets?
Parlanti: In terms of annual turnover value, Italy remains the No. 1 market in Europe for BITZER. This value is equally divided between the Refrigeration and the Air Conditioning and Process sectors. It is easy to understand the reason for the Italian strength in food production and logistic technologies. We are famous for food, but obviously to achieve this fame we have also had to evolve in the technology behind its production, storage and distribution.
As far as the ACMP sector is concerned, the reason for the important presence of OEMs in our territory probably stems from a mix of Italian entrepreneurial style and a very strong boost in world exports. We estimate that about 50 per cent of BITZER products sold in Italy are re-exported worldwide.
What is your perfect vision for BITZER Italia? What are your goals and aspirations?
Parlanti: Perfection is definitely a concept to strive for, but I sincerely hope not to achieve it, because then I would be bored. Our challenges, made up of victories and defeats, are the stimuli that push us to always keep striving to improve ourselves. At BITZER Italia, we are doing everything possible to make the market understand that in addition to ‘almost perfect’ compressors, BITZER can offer much more.
So to answer your question, I would say that our primary goal is the full integration of our fantastic compressors with heat exchangers, electronics and valves managed by our BDN and, as a result, the use of digital packages and field services.
Which activities will you focus on in the role of business development?
Parlanti: Following the #morethanacompressor slogan, in Italy we want to focus on the development of our electronic solutions. We invited BITZER Electronic to actively participate during the last Mostra Convegno expo in Milan and have been actively promoting those products for some time now. We have also started a close cooperation with Wurm and we are already starting to see the first positive results.
With Green Point Servizi Industriali, you are launching a pilot project that also entails structural changes. What do these look like?
Parlanti: In the last few years, BITZER has invested in companies with specific know-how related to energy: energy efficiency for industrial food and beverage production with VaCom and energy creation from waste heat (ORC) with ElectraTherm.
At GPSI, we envisage the possibility of combining this energy-related know-how with the Green Point activities. We created the new Energy Cycle which can be combined with the well-known Service Cycle. Green Point has the advantage of talking directly with end-users, and in many cases, the energy-saving potential immediately becomes the most important offer for them.
Specifically, the ‘waste-to-heat’ part of the story perfectly matches the circular economy philosophy that we have embraced at all Green Point locations for many years now.
Like all new things, it will take some time to mature and our learning curve is just at the beginning, though we are starting to see what the future will look like.
How will you manage this pilot project to implement innovation? And how do you expect this to benefit Green Point and BITZER?
Parlanti: The benefit I foresee for Green Point is the addition of a powerful tool like the Energy Cycle, which is a natural complement to the Service Cycle. With the same customers in mind, this offer could bring real ecological and economic benefits for our partners. The benefit to BITZER is that we are building a know-how extension for the group on the energy business, which will be essential for our future.
So far, the most difficult part was to find people with the right expertise, attitude and passion to embrace this ambitious project, and I believe that after more than a year we now have the right team.
You’re now back in bella Italia. What did you miss most about it in Germany?
Parlanti: It goes without saying that I’m happy to be back in my bella Italia. As far as work is concerned, I’d say I really miss the relationship with all the BITZER colleagues and the discussions about global challenges.
Regarding my personal life, Milan is not necessarily the best place in Italy for walks in the woods; I miss the greenery at my doorstep.
Thank you for the interview!