INVERTO-Office Milan „Grow as One“

Giovanni Grillo has been Managing Director of our new Italian office in Milan since summer 2022. In this interview, he tells us about the first few months, his team, and his plans for the future.

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Could you give us a brief rundown of your background and tell us how you came to join INVERTO?

After studying in France and Italy, I actually started out as a quality engineer in the UK, focusing on quality assurance and process capability. While I was working there, a consulting firm carried  out an optimization project within the company. I came into contact with them and then my second job was consultant …

It was love at first sight and I’ve been in consulting ever since. I kept coming across BCG in my projects back then, and then I found out that one of our competitors – INVERTO – had become part  of BCG and was planning to open an office in Italy. I decided to get in touch and soon found myself facing a new decision.

What in particular attracted you to the launch of our new office?

First of all, I’d already demonstrated that I knew what was involved in setting up a subsidiary. I also remember being impressed from the start by our discussions by the company culture and its  extremely professional structure. I didn’t think it would be hard for me to fit into the INVERTO family.

Being part of BCG also attracted me a lot. Over the last 20 years in sales, I always had to work flat out to have enough projects for my team, whereas here it seemed to be the other way round: I  could focus more on developing the team and client relationships.

What challenges are your clients currently facing? Are there differences to other European countries?

At the moment, Italian businesses are also concerned with the resilience of their supply chains, high energy prices, and pressure from inflation.

Italy has been hit harder by high energy costs in particular than France or Spain, for example, as we don’t have any nuclear power stations. In addition, stagflation means that the government’s resilience fund that was set up to help and support businesses during the pandemic is no longer as generous, and as usual, bureaucracy means companies struggle to get the help they need in time.

Italy has a higher proportion of medium-sized, family-run businesses than France or Germany. Although these businesses have a competitive advantage because they can react quickly, flexibility  and responsiveness alone can’t solve every problem if a big tsunami comes along. This is where we can help by providing smart cost management solutions so that management teams can  concentrate on their strategy for survival.

How do you see our future in the Italian market?

We have a three-phase business plan. Our slogan for the first year was “Grow as one”, focused primarily on building up an experienced and diverse team. We’re currently starting on the second phase, in which we are pushing to double our team and our turnover in the next 12 months. The key word for 2023 will be “consolidation”: consolidating the team and its project capabilities as well as delivering
the highest quality projects to our customers. We want to make our mark on the Italian market as well as within BCG. After that, the main focus will be on adapting structures and integrating them into all INVERTO processes. We also want to continue to build a close working relationship with BCG. If we keep up our current pace, the Italian office could have a team of over 50 by 2026.

How do you get a completely new team to adopt the “INVERTO culture”?

I have to say it’s been easier than I expected. INVERTO has an unbelievably structured and professional onboarding process. Newcomers only need a couple of weeks to feel VERY INVERTO. With  projects, we also have the active support of experienced colleagues from the other locations, who can show the Italian newcomers the INVERTO way of working on a daily basis. This help  has been invaluable for the Italian team, and particularly for me, so we can build up a powerful and efficient company in Italy!

These are exciting and challenging times for INVERTO and for you personally – what do you do to unwind in your spare time?

Ten years ago, my wife and I decided to leave the urban inner city and move to the outskirts, to a more rural setting. There are no traffic lights in our little town, so it’s very easy for us to unwind.  We just walk out of our front door and we can take our dog for a walk, take the children out to play tennis, or go surfing, if the surf’s up.


Icon - As you have the inside track, what’s an absolute must on a visit to Milan?

As you have the inside track, what’s an absolute must on a visit to Milan?

I’d say a stroll along the Via Montenapoleone to breathe in the most fashion-conscious air in the world, then exploring the Brera district (and maybe also a visit to the Pinacoteca museum),  and then last but not least… coming to our INVERTO office! Every Friday from 6pm, we serve great aperitifs on the 6th floor, with a view of Milan Cathedral.

See you soon in Milan!

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