Interview with Domenico Petrone
President VIASAT GROUP
“We have always believed that technology could improve the lives of people and companies. We can simplify complex data and human passion, talent and creativity are the primary elements of innovation. The Coronavirus emergency is creating a new agenda on the market and –in an optimistic view- we must be ready to change, with a view to sustainability and the ability to use data to provide useful information and knowledge for our customers”.
Mr. President, we cannot help starting with some considerations regarding the COVID-19 emergency.What is your point?
Since January, we have been experiencing terrible moments. I do believe that the world will change profoundly with this serious emergency and we will have to be good at exploiting all the evolutionary possibilities that will arise. We have to think for the worst and do our best. It is time to plan the evolution of design, production and development activities, and release all our creative capacity.
How did Viasat Group react to this unexpected scenario?
Viasat has maintained all its principal processes even in the most difficultmoments of the pandemic.We have been able to contain the negative impacts and to seize all the opportunities to make our organization flexible and customer-oriented. During the last ten years, we’ve made an extraordinary effort to develop our diversification strategy-both geographic and business. This has helped us a lot. Undoubtedly, ours is a complex organization with very articulated management processes that require commitment and focus. At the same time, it guarantees an effective distribution of risk on customer targets, geographicmarkets, technology and different commercial offer.
Road transport has always been operational, even during the hardest times.
Italian logistics has shown a sense of responsibility, commitment, reliability and self-denial in each process, from production to consignment and marketing. Even the most critical areas – the infamous ‘red zones’ -, have never been left apart or unsupplied. In the hardest moments of the lockdown, citizens were able to continue receiving their purchases. In this scenario, road transport has been and remains essential. However, we need to push towards modernization and technologies, also in compliance with European legislation.
Which services will they encourage?
In the medium term, the most innovative services will be achieved through the so-called intelligent roads, that will allow the connection between vehicle and infrastructure: they will provide real time information on road, traffic and weather conditions; in case of accidents, it will be possible to avoid traffic congestions; suitable speed alerts will be generated to prevent queues; parking areas, ports and interports will be managed in real time. A set of services to integrate the management systems of transport and logistics companies to increase operational efficiency.
Which priorities do companies have?
Simpler management of processes; safe and innovative solutions to facilitate dailiy activity management and result in greater competitiveness. Support for innovation processes and help to stay competitive on the market, fulfilling their customers’ expectations. Greater efficiency, then and cost reduction to make a significant business models conversion with advanced performance at competitive prices, thus maintaining high quality levels.
How will your Group react to the European future?
Modern and effective business management is mainly based on the ability to read, encode and transform a huge amount of data – deriving from the use of technology – into useful information. The growth of the Internet of Things is a sign of the new industrial revolution in which Viasat is certainly one of the top players.
In recent times, there have been many rumors of possible capital opening up to new investors. Is this true?
There will be no extraordinary operation involving – fully or partially – the sale of shares or the increase in share capital. Actually, the contact and comparison requests from investment funds and international industrial groups have increased over the last two years. After all, we have never excluded from considering any partnerships, from a ‘Business Combination’ perspective to place our Group in a bigger technological and commercial synergy, with the aim of earning further competitiveness on our products and services in the world. By choice, we always try to be flexible in adapting strategies and open in evaluating the possible alternatives submitted from third parties. That said, our business project continues in the wake of what has been done to date, in the interest of my family, managers, and all employees. We want to pursue an expansion policy, aggregating the best excellences, loyal to our ‘glocal’ philosophy: global thinking to act locally. A strategy that combines the different bits of intelligence of our Group to create synergy and added value in the various markets with professionalism, tenacity, and passion. We are ‘Interconnected’ with the future and we want our ‘dreams’ to come true, as well as in the past, turning into extraordinary concrete facts and lasting over time.