Andrea Menuzzo, born in 1975, the young entrepreneur at the helm of CAME since 2005, tells the story of the evolutions that have closely affected the company and its growth prospects. A highly challenging journey, of which Expo 2015 was only the beginning.
Compared to when you took over control of the company, what has CAME become after the journey you have taken?
Today, CAME has become one of the few companies in the world able to offer a cross-cutting range of products and services. The decisive stages of the journey that began ten years ago have without doubt been the development and consolidation of the sales network through a series of subsidiaries in Europe and around the world, in a process of growth that continues today, the strengthening of logistics with a new hub able to optimise timescales and activities and the expansion of the products we offer: thanks to acquisitions in recent years, in fact, we can now provide our customers with new products. You can therefore always interact with the same company, just with an even more varied and extensive product range.
In 2010, CAME was all about home automation. In just six years, it has become much more. What was the process of this evolution?
We concentrated the same technology growth rate over six years: our installers want products that are able to keep up with the times and we have ensured that they get them, pursuing a series of strategic acquisitions. In this way, the product also becomes a tool for them by means of which they can stay up-to-date and remain competitive on the market. Today, everyone around the world has objects that allow them to be autonomous, connected, technological and modern to varying extents. Following the path of development is always a winning choice.
In your entrepreneurial aspirations, what are the key points for the future development of CAME? Do you already have goals in mind for the coming years?
CAME has the idea of research and development written in its DNA. The concept of development should be understood in a dynamic way and we want to head in three main directions. The first concentrates on technological development in the strict sense: a challenge which for us gets more attractive every day, because it it allows us to take on even competitors that are a lot bigger than us, especially at international level. The second aspect involves an ongoing focus on the level of service provided and, in this light, intelligent evolution of service and support is a key point. The third concept of development, the most important one, concerns the idea of the company as a whole. I love to say that we are a pocket-sized multinational company, because while our dimensions are not typical of big companies, our experience on the markets, especially internationally, definitely is. You can’t go back, standing still is not very motivating and growing becomes our goal. We follow a “healthy” development idea because we don’t want to forget what we have done to date. We remain a company with strong family roots, in which people have always been the main focus. Those who work for us and with us must be able to do so in a healthy environment, also from the point of view of proactive collaboration among colleagues.
We read in the interview with the President that from the very beginning, CAME sought to offer integrated solutions rather than individual products. Today, however, it wants to present itself as a single point of contact for an increasingly broad world, that of Home & Building Automation. How do you intend to do that?
The fact that we invest more than 5% of our turnover in R&D every year shows that this type of goal can be reached through technology. And there’s more: with the establishment of CPD - the Came Project Department - we have created a department devoted entirely to the world of projects that perfectly reflects the idea of progressive integration of products and services. The birth of CPD is the right response for a market that is increasingly looking for turnkey solutions and, when possible, for single points of contact. In this sense, the extraordinary experience of Expo Milano 2015 speaks for itself: we did not only supply products but also helped to implement Italy’s first Smart City, working closely with highly prestigious technology partners.
CAME is deeply rooted in the area in which it was founded, but has a precise international vocation. What helped turn a company from the north-east of Italy into a global success story?
I’ll go back to using the image of the pocket-sized multinational: from our point of view, our deep rooting in the north-east of Italy has never been a limiting factor for international growth, quite the opposite in fact. An example: in Italy we have set up experimental projects with a strong local connection, as they are related to specific local needs yet are universal in scope. From this point of view, home automation offers incredible opportunities for synergy, for example, with the world of welfare and security. It is no coincidence that this has been the path taken by major international players. Our strong Italian identity therefore helps us hold onto our identity, which we then use as a starting point from which to experiment intelligently with new markets, also because we have always tried to seize those opportunities abroad that seemed most in line with our physiological growth path.
Given your experience, what do you think are the skills and abilities/personal strengths that young people need today to become entrepreneurs of companies, either large or small?
Certainly a penchant for travel. Moving from one part of the world to another allows you to concentrate your growth path over a short period, encountering a succession of both positive and negative experiences and learning lessons very quickly. Anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur cannot limit themselves to just looking at what goes on in Italy. They need the ability to step outside their own borders, to put themselves on the line and to find ways to improve their reputation. I would also like to point out the extremely important role played by the team that the entrepreneur chooses: a great company is not made with a single person in charge. Entrepreneurs are precisely that when they have trained their eyes to seize opportunities that others do not see, when they share them with the team and when they transform them into business both inside and outside their own company.