In ONEtoONE we deeply care about the opinion of our partners and their level of satisfaction with us. That is why we have interviewed some of them to have a better picture of their personal opinion.
On this occasion we have asked a few questions to our partner Federico Forchielli, member of ONEtoONE Italy and with a very extensive and international professional career behind him.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional career?
After my degree in Business and Economics from Alma Mater Studiorum Universita’ di Bologna, I started my professional career in management consulting because I thought it was the best way to have a clear understanding of the real business world (and of course, I had the chance to be hired by an international management consulting firm).
From the beginning, my personal goals were to build not only a solid technical background but to develop some soft skills:
- Open-mindedness towards cultural and geographical variety – I lived in UK, Spain, USA. I worked for international companies and I run temporary management projects for Italian SMEs.
- Networking – I got an MBA at IESE Barcelona because it was ranked amongst the top business schools in Europe and the well-spread network in Europe I guessed would be a great added-value for an Italian. I developed an innovative approach to provide consulting services to a community of SMEs that had in common a geographic area and industry (Industrial Cluster) with the intention of enabling them to benefit from strategic thinking that was difficult to achieve individually.
- Country doctor attitude – I do consider myself a corporate finance guy but I am supposed to always understand the needs of my clients (even when they are not aware of them) and be able to deliver a solution they can deal with. In 1998, I founded my own consulting firm with the intention of staying close to the multitude of Italian entrepreneurs regardless of whether they wantrd to remain local or become international players.
What is the one thing you enjoy more about your profession?
After almost 30 years of professional activity I am tempted to think that nothing would surprise me anymore, but punctually, when I first approach a new client, there is always something that strikes me. I’ve met people with extraordinary stories, entrepreneurs able to find creative solutions to almost impossible problems with almost no education, leaders capable of keeping the equilibrium amongst family members involved in the business, 80+ year-old owners with interest for new investments for the pure desire to see their company grow, etc.
My profession will never be boring, I do not know which one would be the solution, there is no an “out-of-the-shelf” recipe, but I am sure there is one and I am supposed to find it.
What has changed in your professional life after you joined ONEtoONE?
A wrong answer would be “nothing”! ONEtoONE does what I do, every member delivers global solutions for local problems, good network and rigorous methodology.
The real answer is “tremendous changes”. Now I can count on “100 Federicos” each one working in his/her environment, industry experts that help me to reach a deep understanding of opportunities and threats, valuable back-office services, better visibility and, unmistakably, more time to be spent with my loved entrepreneurs and design their future winning strategies.
Can you tell us which has been your most successful operation?
Last year we faced a sell-side mandate, the owner’s first statement was “I want to sell a minority stake to a Private Equity Fund that brings money to develop internationally and I want to keep control of my company”. I knew that it was not the right solution but I also knew we could have walked a different path and reach the result, which is difficult (if not impossible) to explain to the founder from the beginning. We accepted the challenge and we won. He signed with a strategic partner with international presence that bought a majority stake, kept the owner as CEO with ample power, defined a business plan for the development of the company, etc.
Honored to have made the entrepreneur happy!