Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation
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Beghelli: ideas and innovation
Rome - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - He began as a craftsman at the end of the 1960s, producing small series of electronic equipment. Then, in 1976, he had his first happy intuition: to produce portable rechargeable emergency lamps. In 1982, he founded the firm that bears his name and within a few years became an undisputed Italian leader and one of the largest European producers in the emergency illumination sector. Today Gian Pietro Beghelli leads an industrial group with almost 120 million euros in annual sales and more than 1,000 employees. The company's international presence is continually growing and its exports have reached almost 40 percent. We asked him how much the creation of new products and services count in the development of his firm.
"It is a fundamental component of our history." replies Gian Pietro Beghelli. "The history of Beghelli is founded on creativity. The snow storm of 1976 completely isolated the town of Monteveglio and marked the birth of the first Beghelli product. We were able to identify in the consumer a need that was still latent and we were able to realize a product that was simple to use and able to satisfy that need. This is the recipe I consider to be the winning one."
"The company grew very quickly. What organizational and managerial challenges had to be met?"
"During the last few years, beginning with our quotation in the stock market, which occurred in 1998, Beghelli went through a profound change and evolution, which began with the acquisition of various foreign companies and continued with the progressive enlargement of our business from the traditional emergency illumination sector to the direction of energy-saving illumination and tele-assistance and tele-rescue systems. At the same time, Beghelli transformed itself from a firm based solely on the sale of innovative high technology products to a company that coupled these products with services of high added value linked to industrial and domestic safety."
"What strategies were used to penetrate foreign markets?"
"The acquisition by the Beghelli Group of various foreign companies was part of a strategy aimed at widening the activities of the Group towards the traditional illumination and energy saving sector as well as consolidating its traditional emergency illumination sector. In 1999, we acquired Elplast a.s., with headquarters in Brno in the Czech Republic, which is active in the development and production of illumination equipment, especially metal ceiling fittings. In 2000, the Beghelli Group acquired control of Luxnet, a Canadian company that produces and distributes illumination and emergency apparatus. Finally, at the end of 2000, we acquired Praezisa, a German company that produces centralized emergency systems. It is the second largest operator in the German emergency illumination sector, which is considered the largest in Europe. Besides representing a direct entrance into the German market, the acquisition of Praezisa has allowed us to develop the markets of Northern Europe and reach the important objective of 40 percent of sales abroad."
"What are the challenges for the future?"
"The consolidation of our market leadership in the emergency illumination market and an adequate positioning in the energy-saving illumination sector are definitely our strategic lines of action for the next few years. I also think we can improve regarding industrial and domestic electronic safety systems and the services related to them. The challenge deriving from foreign markets is an important stimulus to improve the quality of our products and increase their penetration into a global market where competitors confront each other in every part of the world."
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