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UNIKA, THE ITALIAN BUSINESS THAT AIMS TO CONNECT THE ENTIRE WORLD
Specific know-how in the two sectors of robotics and oil&gas and offshore is being made available to companies around the world. This is the trump card that has made the Unika Group, based in the Veneto region in the province of Verona, a global market leader in the field of cabling.
We asked the Group’s President, Carlo Savoia, about the importance of operating in foreign markets and what the future holds in store for the company.
Mr Savoia, can we start with some facts and figures so that we can get to know your business better.
I’d say that the key thing to know about Unika, which also includes a distribution business, is that it is a relatively young group, established 15 years ago. Our turnover is around €31 to €32 million, with exports accounting for 60 to 65% of this figure. We manufacture everything in Italy and our company strategy means that we are increasingly working through outsourcing.
When it comes to foreign markets, do you have any that you would label as favourites?
When it comes to Unika the question you ask me is a fairly complex one and requires a somewhat detailed answer. We operate on two fronts: that of oil&gas and offshore, and the industrial front, namely robotics and automation, which implies two totally different markets. The first is a mature market, in which we compete against 3 or 4 big names, whereas the second is a niche market but one which offers some very interesting prospects, like in the field of motor manufacturing, for example, which in some cases, like that of the German manufacturer Audi, does not appear to have experienced a significant crisis. The prospects offered by these two sectors are inevitably very different. Russia, for example, is an important market when it comes to oil&gas but not when it comes to robotics. In Brazil there is the possibility of expanding in both sectors, whilst in the African states it is the infrastructures that represent the driving force and they too are in need of robotics and automation systems.
How are you moving on the foreign markets?
I’d like to say first of all that the large industrial groups are end clients and we collaborate with some businesses operating in the distribution sector, with which we work in forecasting, with an annual work schedule. At a strategic level, on the foreign markets we try to partner in situ, also because it is essential for us to get to know the local market thoroughly in order to plan any future operations.
So how do you see Unika's future?
Nowadays everything evolves very quickly and we can't just sit here alone offering ourselves here there and everywhere. I believe it is important for all medium-sized businesses to latch onto the large systems, not to be taken over but to do business even better. I am convinced, from this point of view, that business networks are an important concept to be promoted in Italy and also beyond our national borders.