“From a human standpoint, as a man and an Italian citizen, I am feeling “small and big” at the same time.…
Owner, PIZZI by PGS (Borgosesia, Vercelli)
- How are you reacting to this emergency?
“From a human standpoint, as a man and an Italian citizen, I am feeling
“small and big” at the same time
. Let me explain better: small because, before such a catastrophe, we really feel small, helpless, we realize that the impact of such a big historical event is hitting all of us like Lilliputians before Gulliver.
You feel vulnerable, you know that the reports from the unlucky area of Bergamo you see on television, those sad and touching scenes, can also happen to you and your loved ones.
Maybe this is too “mathematical”, it is related to the dimensional comparison between the virus and us, but it shows our vulnerability against an invisible and powerful enemy like the Coronavirus.
At the same time, you feel strong, you want to protect your country and its destiny, its reputation (at the beginning, Italians were seen as infectors around the world), your compatriots, your loved ones, the elders: you watch out, with great strength and a sense of civic duty, as if you would like to “beat” your enemy, with grit and determination!
From a business perspective, provided you can make a distinction between business and life, I can say we reacted rapidly, deploying all the necessary measures to protect each person and each employee in the company, from the very start. We immediately realized that the enemy would cause serious damage not only to health, but also to the economy and finance.
So, we immediately started to monitor the development of costs in view of the emergency situation and the inevitable lockdown, with anxiety and worries for consequences that might be shattering, with the fear that this situation might be irreversible, but also with the strength and determination we have found in other occasions, supported by the passion and the typical resilience of Italian entrepreneurs, especially in the small and medium businesses. And so, we are finding the strength to keep in touch with customers and dealers in Italy and all over the world, to carry on with our sales action to convey a positive message, to be even more present than before, answer the phone, respond to the requests and needs of customers, follow up each offer even more accurately…
Always focused, with a positive spirit and approach, committed to solid sales evaluation and the desire to bring the company forward, imagining and finding solutions, facing the situation rather than accepting it passively, with a “we can make it” attitude typical of the Italian genius and flexibility.”
- What do you think is changing or will change radically?
From a social standpoint, in the short and medium term, there will be some fear in people, a sort of psychological constraint related to Covid-19, that will be seen as a threat for our health and our loved ones’.
Such awareness is a sort of alarm, anxiety that arises in front of danger, hence the awareness that this virus will live with us and which consequences this will have… Our lives will be affected for a long time, I’m afraid, at least until we find an effective therapy or a vaccine to eliminate it. Awareness is combined with the inevitable fear of doing wrong when you implement all the measures required to protect our health, which cannot be as effective as the vaccine that will come later on.
From an economic point of view, nothing will be taken for granted: after all, it’s always been like that, but Covid-19 will make this fact even clearer.
The global economic crisis might be even worse than in 2008, an unexpected event that upsets many of our previous beliefs, also in macroeconomic terms. As to our industry, I wish things might be a little different for myself and all of us, and I hope that, just like this virus has suddenly changed our lives in few days, we can recover just as quickly and go back to normal… Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I cannot, I don’t want to rule out this possibility…
In this tough period, I have often discussed with other entrepreneurs in our industry, and I must say that none of us can imagine that this emergency cancels all we have done and built so far. We have to stay strong, join all our efforts to carry on our companies, in this respect we find comfort in the response and support of many customers that are standing close to us.”
- What should the authorities and all of us do?
“Looking at our country, I must say that, from an economic point of view, we have to hope that public authorities are sensible enough to keep their promises and the commitment to support all business activities. It is clear that the first measure to support companies while the economy is “frozen” and in the subsequent re-opening period is to generate cash flow; with this support, companies have more time to react, they can wait for the situation to evolve having the necessary resources to meet the primary needs of their business.
So, it’s clear for everyone that it is necessary to give cash to companies that build the “skeleton” of Italian economy and that, as a result of the emergency period and the lockdown, don’t have enough cash flow. Mario Draghi himself, in an interview on the Financial Times last March 26, highlighted the need to activate mechanisms that enable banks to offer loans with low interest rates, so as to support employment. We must act quickly on the financial side, as well as on taxation.”