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The entrepreneurship of Magnaghi Aeronautica’s president Paolo Graziano is a case of success

Every year, on the second Monday of each October, the United States celebrates its Italian American Heritage Month in an overlap with the federal holiday of Columbus Day. The country has been praising the presence of Italian expats since 1989 with more than 200 festivals being held in states and planned to look like they are made in Italy.

Between 1820 and 2000, over 5 million Italians immigrated to the United States, while currently there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent residing in the country. The same goes when we talk about Italian brands and inventions being used by Americans -- from fashion brands like Gucci to luxury cars like Ferrari or a Bialetti moka for a cup of coffee. What some may not know, however, is that Italians are also present in the aeronautic industry due to the excellent work being done by the Neapolitan company Magnaghi Aeronautica (MA Group).

Founded in 1936, the firm is currently led by the Neapolitan entrepreneur Paolo Graziano. The MA Group has specialized in design, certification, production and subsequent marketing of landing gear systems, equipment, hydraulics and electronic systems for aerospace use. All these products have allowed them to establish partnerships with some of the most important aircraft manufacturers in the world while competing with only two other enterprises which are giant multinationals.

This is important information when you realize that the MA Group is an Italian medium-sized enterprise. According to Graziano, it is precisely the “Italian resourcefulness” which helped them reach the top. “It is a quality that has made our country great in the past, which is part of our tradition and which we represent today,” says the president, who also adds that this resourcefulness combined with technical skills and technology research are both other ingredients of their success.

What is more, it is the very fact that they are a midsized company which allows them to maintain their agility, speed and dynamism. “These are fundamental characteristics of today’s market, although they are foreclosed to larger companies,” he argues. However, these qualities are only achieved when human capital is also put in the first place. “Technology without the competence of the technician to supervise it is useless. We not only have engineering technologies and processes that represent the state of the art in our sector, but also highly qualified technicians,” adds the president of the MA Group.

In spite of occupying the post of president of the company, Paolo Graziano likes to stress his entrepreneur verve and how this is different from a management approach. “The difference is that the entrepreneur has the ability to put a vision into practice, to look beyond, to imagine what is not yet there. The manager, on the other hand, must interpret the vision and put it into practice, with intelligence, experience and with the support of his team,” he explains.

As an entrepreneur, Graziano takes risks and courage and even “a pinch of madness” to make and establish the MA Group’s excellence. To explain the way his leadership works, he quotes a sentence from the lawyer Gianni Agnelli: “Entrepreneurs are a bit like Norwegian sailors who just need a slice of blue to get back to the sea when the sky is gloomy and full of rain.” Such an approach has proved to be successful as the numbers show: from 2000 to 2020, revenues went from €19m to € 91m and the Group has 8 factories in 4 continents, with 900 employees.

Currently, MA Group is also dedicating their efforts to join the global task-force against climate change. “Committing to safeguard the planet means respecting future generations by giving them a healthy ecosystem. The MA Group Landing Green project was born from the awareness that sustainability today represents a real strategic asset as well as a fundamental element of development,” explains the president of the firm.

Such is the commitment that this year, in 2021, Graziano has implemented sustainability as an item in their balance sheet. “The actions we implement and the commitment linked to the environment deserve special attention that we will be happy to share with our employees and customers,” he concluded.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes

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