From the justification for the award of the 2018 Premio Roma comes a great lesson in corporate culture
Now and again, it’s a good idea to immerse yourself in a living example of corporate culture. Not the one described in the textbooks, but the real one – the living one – from individuals (entrepreneurs, managers, and also simple workers) who through their actions have embodied the essence of something which later, in books, becomes known as the culture of production. Or of getting things done, we could say. There are two possibilities of experiencing these examples: by listening to the voices of the protagonists themselves as they tell the story of the entrepreneurial adventures they have experienced, or by learning about their exploits through some piece of rare and excellent writing. Like, for example, the “Laudatio a Vito Pertosa” (Laudation to Vito Perosa), which Salvatore Rossi, the Director General of the Bank of Italy, has dedicated to Pertosa to mark the presentation of the Premio Roma.
Pertosa’s story is a classic entrepreneurial adventure of a man from the South of Italy (Monopoli) who continues to live and work in the area, even if his products and the man himself, as Rossi explains, now travel the world. Moving from making trains to controlling and measuring platforms and electrical products for airlines, Pertosa is now dedicated to the world of small satellites and ultralight aircraft, though he has also found time to re-purchase his first company.
All of this originated with the work of Vito and his father manufacturing agricultural carts. A business life full of adventure. The fact that his life began and developed in the South of Italy adds even more flavour to the story and makes it almost unique. Even though it is not a singular case. As Rossi explains: “Many people argue that the Southern economy is a prison of its society and its institutions, which are not suited to supporting progress. Poor social capital, an inefficient public administration when compared to its resources and a relatively suffocating bureaucracy slow down and impede the march of businesses and stifle enthusiasm. This is all true in many cases, but there are also some happy exceptions. There are entrepreneurs and companies which challenge gravity itself.” Pertosa is one of those and Salvatore Rossi tells his story with a light tone which is also attentive and profound. A tale from someone who is a friend but also an uncompromising economist.Rossi explains that for companies to make the jump in quality, it is necessary to have a favourable union between the personal attributes of the entrepreneur and the surrounding territory: a kind of alchemy where several different ingredients are needed, but where the characteristics of the entrepreneur are fundamental.
As well as being the story of the man himself, the Laudatio written to mark the Premio Roma also becomes a short lesson on good business management. Something beneficial to us all.
Laudatio a Vito Pertosa (Laudation to Vito Pertosa)
Bank of Italy, 6 December 2017