European Business: Mr. Monini, how does your recent restructure put the company in a better position going forward?
Giovanni Monini: When the company was started by my father 40 years ago, it focused primarily on civil engineering projects. In 2000 we began to branch out into multidisciplinary projects. Today, we operate in three distinct areas and our new company structure reflects this. The business units Green, Plants and Infrastructures cover our activities in renewable energy, biopolymers, biorefinery and environmental protection, power generation, oil & gas and industrial installations, and roads, railways, harbor constructions and large-scale civil infrastructures respectively. By organizing these activities into three separate business units, we can optimize our processes while exploiting synergies across the board.
European Business: Italy like the rest of Europe is just now emerging from the coronavirus lockdown. How much have the restrictions affected your business?
Giovanni Monini: The lockdown has slowed things down somewhat in the engineering sector, but that has not been overly traumatic for us. On the whole, engineering has not been adversely affected. As a result, we are positive about the future. We see ourselves currently in the midst of a growth phase that has only been slightly delayed by the crisis. At the start of the year, we appointed a new French Managing Director, Olivier Severini, to push forward our growth plans and help us break into new markets such as Mission Critical Facilities engineering or EPCM projects. We see huge potential for the business in the field of BCM (Building Construction Management) and are also keen to expand our international activities.
European Business: What would you say are your main markets?
Giovanni Monini: Our activities are primarily focused on the fields of oil and gas, petrochemicals and power/energy generation. The Plants business unit, which focuses on industrial installations and power plants is currently the most important for us in terms of turnover but we see the greatest potential in our Green business unit. A celebration planned to mark our 40th anniversary at the end of September will hopefully be able to go ahead and will provide a platform for us to present our vision for a more sustainable future for the energy sector. If recent events have taught us anything, it is that new technologies must be orientated towards systems that are ‘eco-compatible’, in other words green systems that do not inhibit growth, wealth creation or employment opportunities. Our solid background in the green sector means that we can take a lead in this field with environmentally-friendly waste facilities, renewable energy generation installations and innovative plants for biodegradable bioplastics.
European Business: Investment in digitalisation has proved its worth during the Covid-19 crisis. How do you see digital technologies developing in the future in your industry?
Giovanni Monini: We have taken advantage of digital tools to allow us to continue to work during the lockdown. Digital platforms that allow entire teams to communicate and work on common projects at the same time have come into their own under the unique circumstances caused by the virus. We will continue to invest in these technologies, not just with regards to project planning, design and construction but also for commissioning, operation and servicing. Our in-house research and innovation efforts are focused on what we call Smart Engineering incico 4.0, a new kind of integrated engineering comprising of a competitive approach, integrated methods and common processes.
European Business: You are also hoping to expand internationally. Where do you see the greatest potential?
Giovanni Monini: We have worked directly for foreign customers for the past 15 years and have a great deal of experience in foreign markets. In addition to India, where we took over a company seventeen years ago, we are currently targeting clients in northern Europe where green initiatives are a priority. We also have several high profile international projects in the pipeline with our historic client ABB as well as General Electric. Our record speaks for itself.