IT and US: When the generational shift works and looks to the USA
- WTI Magazine #118 Aug 19, 2019
Imagine visiting a family business and being welcomed and accompanied tothe owner, grandson of the founder, by the grandson of one of the employees of the person who laid the foundations of the company. This is what has been happening in Palermo, from 1925 to the present day, in one of the leading industries in the production of paints and varnishes: Colorificio Giuseppe Di Maria. A story that almost seems like the plot of a film, where the passage of the torch from one generation to the next is perpetuated not only in terms of ownership, but also for most of the collaborators. A company in continuous expansion thanks to the daily commitment of the new recruits of a family of entrepreneurs and the support of specialized personnel grown with the company.
The company's history dates back to 1925 when Francesco Di Maria created a color factory in the industrial area "ante litteram" of the city of Palermo. In 1972 the family business was transformed into a public limited company and moved to the new industrial area of the city of Palermo, assuming the full characterization of "industry". Between 2000 and 2005 the company expands its area from 130,000 ft² to 430,000 ft². A very demanding phase of development and consolidation begins with a restructuring and the installation of new technologically advanced systems that allow to increase and improve the production. In 2008 the production range increased tenfold and the company opens a new warehouse of 107,000 ft² to enhance logistics.
This is the story of a company that, in its more than 90 years of activity, has succeeded not only in increasing its business, consolidating itself on the domestic market and expanding abroad, but also in maintaining its family and territorial identity. And yes, as the Di Maria family lives its territory, with an attention to social issues and a constant commitment to cultural promotion at 360 degrees: from art to sport, supporting young talents, without neglecting historical realities such as the soccer team of Palermo, of which the color mill is the official sponsor.
"Our strength has always been to work as a team, where, regardless of the surname, each member works with competence, winning mentality and dedication to a single goal: the growth of the company and the trust of customers. We offer foreign markets an integral quality, based on innovative and safe products. That's why we want our brand to become a reference point for excellence in the world, to which we can give our trust.
These words of the CEO, Emilio Di Maria, sum up the team spirit that animates the company founded by his father Francesco. The Di Maria family is a large 'extended' family, which includes the usual collaborators and also those who have just arrived, who live in a 'colored' company not only for the object of production but above all for the opportunity offered to the entire entourage to leave an indelible mark within a company history capable of regenerating itself through the continuous innovation of its products without ever losing sight of its origins.
Many innovations that in almost 100 years of activity have been born in the laboratory of the colorificio where research and development always go hand in hand with creativity and concreteness. The technicians of the laboratory, coming from the Sicilian Universities, are selected on the basis of strict qualitative and meritocratic criteria.
"Anticipating the needs of the market, we transform ideas into products that offer technical solutions and high aesthetic quality, and these are the foundations of our past history as well as the future of future generations. We strongly believe in the innovation of our products, targeting them to those markets where they can concretely represent the new that has finally arrived!” Melania Di Maria, Purchasing Manager, is proud to see the family business as an incubator of talent.
The Di Maria family produces and distributes numerous items both in Italy and abroad, which are used to paint, decorate and sanitize the environments and exteriors of any type of construction, representing a perfect mix of R&D and Made in Italy. Products that today are starting to conquer the United States, where the colorificio is launching its project of penetration and commercial development in these days.
"We firmly believe that the United States is a market where the innovation of our products can be the answer to specific needs of consumers, fascinated by the historical quality of Made in Italy. Our expansion project is based on this essential quality, guaranteed by our all-Italian production site. We are investing a lot of energy and capital in this project of expansion and growth of the company at a difficult time for our country, but as my grandfather Francesco Di Maria used to say, the biggest investments are made when the market is cold: to be ready, in the front line, when it will be recovering. Following his, we are taking our first steps.”
This is, in the words of Francesco Di Maria, Sales Director, the company's commercial development strategy in the United States. This strategy is based on the extensive and consolidated experience in Made in Italy of the Italian manager in charge, Paolo Internicola, and the acquisition of important stakeholders in the American market.
"Participating in the most important American trade fair event in our sector was a strategic choice: given the enormous success we have had, we have placed the first piece of a profitable commercial expansion in all the States. All visitors to our booth at the National Painting Industry Trade Show in Savannah were amazed and enthusiastic about the technical and aesthetic characteristics of our product lines.” Internicola is right: it does not happen every day that an Italian industry is among the main sponsors of one of the most important U.S. exhibition of construction products along with the big names in the sector.
The company for which he has chosen to work will soon celebrate one century of activity and, after having achieved important results in Italy and Europe, today looks to the expansion in the United States as the project that will characterize the next one hundred years ... we can bet on it!