New York - "The industry has three years to complete the digitalization process; if companies don't change quickly, they will not survive. We see this process as an opportunity: we must use data more smartly to engage with clients starting from the products and services and then through the brand", said Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO of the Pirelli Group, in occasion of the presentation of the American edition of the book "Pirelli, Technology and Passion 1872-2017", written by Carlo Bellavite Pellegrini, professor of Corporate Finance at the Universita' Cattolica in Milan.
The meeting, moderated by journalist Gianni Riotta, from the newspaper "La Stampa", took place at the Italian Consulate in New York. The Consul General, Francesco Genuardi, and the Ambassador, Armando Varricchio, were also present. "Pirelli shows that Italy has a great opportunity if only it realizes it's a competitive Country", said Tronchetti Provera. "There is a lot of creativity and a great opportunity for technology". This innovation opportunity is linked to digitalization development and creation of "communities" linked to the big brands. "We must get closer and closer to our clients. Today's challenge is to change the business model: we must know each of our clients, we need to know what they want from us. If we create new contacts with them, they will be increasingly attracted by our brand".
Is a strong dollar worrying? "No, we are well balanced - answered the Italian entrepreneur - we don't feel a negative impact because many of our productions are local and we buy a lot of materials in dollars". Pirelli, back on the Stock Market since 4 October with shares at 6.5, yesterday closed at 6.92, registering a 6.9% increase. Data on which Tronchetti Provera did not want to comment: "We constantly asses our situation", he said after the meeting. "We shall see what happens in the next few months - he added - but it looks like the market is responding well".
Tronchetti Provera confirmed that the company will restart distributing dividends in 2019.Carlo Bellavite Pellegrini explained how writing the book was "the task of an industrial archaeologist searching for relics across 145 years of Pirelli's history, made of innovation, creativity and passion". A history that spans across three centuries: from its foundation in Milan in 1872 to its quick international expansion and today's multinational status and the capital subscription (63%) from Marco Polo International, owned by the ChemChina Group. A success that the author attributes to "Pirelli's constant attention to research, innovation and development, but also to the care it has shown to all the people who have been a part of its history".