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Guido
Piacenza

I belong to the 10th generation. Together with my brothers, Giovanni and Riccardo, I worked for around 10 years in our old factory, built in the 19th century

Mr Piacenza, you are one of the Italian members of the Henokiens Association. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

> Guido PIACENZA : I was born in 1941 and I belong to the 10th generation. Together with my brothers, Giovanni and Riccardo, I worked for around 10 years in our old factory, built in the 19th century. Being a lover of plants, as the family has always been, I had the idea of starting a nursery, proposing only plants that, till then, had never been sold in Italy.

Could you introduce your company and its activities? 

> GP. : Our family company is located in Pollone, between Milan and Turin, at the foot of the Alps. We produce high quality fabrics using noble fibres and, beginning from the 90's, also 100% cashmere knitwear for men and women, with the red label "Riccardo Piacenza". Our raw materials come directly from the countries of origin, such as Peru, Mongolia and Australia. In order to accompany its development, "Fratelli Piacenza" invested in the construction of a new plant that has allowed us to couple our traditional know-how with the most modern, state-of-the-art techniques. At present, our company is one of the leading exporting companies in Italy. 

Which have been the outstanding events for "Fratelli Piacenza" in the recent years? 

> GP. : The last few years have been marked by the opening of new markets in Asia, in the United States and in Europe and by the development of our knitwear and accessories collections. We opened "flagshipstore" in Milan, via Manzoni 25 and an outlet in Serravalle Scrivia, near the motorway Milan/Genoa.
Another important fact: the recent arrival of a General Manager who is in charge of many projects: first of all, the management of our plant and the introduction into the company of the 12th generation of the Piacenza family. 

Could you give us some indications about your major projects in the middle or long term?

> GP. : Our major project for the future can be summed up in few words : the determination to go onward with the history of a company that soon will celebrate its 300 years of existence! 

How can you explain the longevity of your company? 

> GP. : Very simply, our family archives, the age of our company and our historical gardens. In a word: tradition. 

Do the traditional values guiding the firm constitute an advantage as regards research and innovation? 

> GP. : Certainly. Tradition gives birth to experience. Companies of more than 200 years have had to do research, generation after generation, keeping an eye on change, on innovation not only on the world of their products. 

Which are the most important traps that your company must avoid in order to loose its independence? 

> GP. : The only trap is risk, but this is characteristic not only of business, but of all fields of our life on this earth! 

Is the transmission of the firm to a family member governed by clearly established rules? 

> GP. : Till now, no. But we plan to review the statutes to prepare the future. 

Is the new generation already working in the firm? 

> GP. : Yes, the 12th generation is already working hard in the Company. All family members luckily with different interests and responsibilities.

Do you have a message to communicate to all those who would like to start their own family business? 

>GP. : My message in a nutshell: the family company means essentially honesty and enthusiasm, love of work well done, a spirit of sacrifice and renunciation when necessary. It also means a determination to limit the risks and to prepare the new generation. But it means above all to pray the good Lord that His will may be done because we all are in His hands.