With a turnover of 350 million euros and over 1,600 employees, Aetna Group is Italy's fifth-largest packaging company. Expanding from its Villa Verucchio headquarters all over the world, this company has become a flagship of the Romagna region. At the helm for more than a decade there is its CEO Enrico Aureli, a man who has industrial spirit in his blood.
With an export share of almost 92%, it can be said that Aetna is a company with a profound international vocation. How is your supply chain organized outside Italy?
"I can tell you that our international vocation has very distant roots. My grandfather, the founder of SCM, always told me that a company must have solid roots in the territory, but a global vision. The structure of Aetna follows these teachings perfectly and today we have 15 sales branches (each of which is also equipped with staff to provide technical assistance) located throughout the world in France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Russia, Africa and Thailand. In addition to these, there are three production sites in the United States, China and Brazil, set up with the aim of integrating our production with their needs, as well as being recognized as a resident in the market".
What are the most important markets in detail?
"If we are talking about individual countries, the most important is without any doubt the United States, which alone accounts for between 20 and 25% of our exports. We also work very well in China, where we have been present since 2007 and today we export 10% of our product there. If we talk about continents, Europe is still our number one customer.
Looking at the last two years, how much has the difficulty of travelling affected your business?
"Having invested a long time ago in opening foreign branches has allowed us, even during the lockdown period, to always be able to guarantee a service to our customers. This has allowed us to continue working. In Italy, as we know, packaging was included among the strategic sectors by the government, so we have never stopped working internally either.
I can imagine that a highly technological company like yours is always looking for new brains...
"We are always in need of young, inventive people who want to get involved. It's thanks to their brilliant minds that we can seize competitive advantages and come out on top in the market. At this particular time, we are particularly looking for globe runners, i.e. people from Emilia-Romagna who want to spend a period of their life or their whole life abroad.
Why this particular figure?
"Because, going back to the territorial/global binomial, this allows us to take our values abroad. I'm talking about the values handed down to me by my grandfather: "the customer first"; "the satisfaction of our employees as the real key to business success"".
Packaging is one of the sectors that is investing the most to become sustainable. What is your strategy in order to achieving the objectives of less and less waste?
"The first step is to reduce the packaging material used to a minimum, while maintaining the same efficiency. The second step, on which we are already working, is to develop machines capable of using innovative biodegradable or biocompostable materials. We work on these projects every day in our TechLab in Castel San Pietro Terme".
“My grandfather, the founder of SCM, always told me that a company must have solid roots in the territory, but a global vision.