From India to Belgium, from Finance division to HR, a career across four continents. We have talked to Francesco Lipartiti, current Chief Operating Officer for the ISEAP region.
What’s your current role in Maccaferri?
For about a year now, I have been working as Chief Operating Officer for ISEAP, a large and diverse Region encompassing India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. My role involves supervising operations and marketing activities, participating in strategic and development projects in the region, and helping to create synergies between regional management and between Corporate and the Region. Thanks to my role, I got used to having direct contact with the various business division and to travel extensively, allowing for an in-depth knowledge of regional dynamics, although the ongoing pandemic has led to significant challenges and required a much more focused effort on the digital front.
When did your career in Maccaferri begin?
My path in Maccaferri started in 2008 as Financial Controller for the foreign subsidiaries. Being a very curious person, I have always tried to seize all the opportunities that a multinational group offers to its employees. Initially I had short-medium term experiences abroad, traveling between South Africa, North America, Mexico, Greece, Portugal, India and Nepal. During a visit of a few months to India, I fell in love with the country and at about 30 years old, in 2009, I moved to New Delhi to manage the Finance division of the Indian subsidiary. After a little more than four years, in 2014, I was asked to pursue a new important JV project between Maccaferri and a Belgian multinational company, and so I started a new adventure in Belgium. Three years later, in 2017, I once again returned to engage in the Asian region as CFO of the APAC region.
Maccaferri also allowed me to prove myself in different job positions with increasing responsibilities. During the various changes of location, I took on several roles. In India, I immediately worked as Chief Financial Officer, while in both Belgium and Asia, I was also in charge of human resources management, as well as continuing to be responsible for the Finance division. Often these positions, like the one I hold today, did not exist and had to be created from scratch and this was a great opportunity because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to enhance my skills.
You have had the chance to travel a lot, do you have any interesting anecdotes related to cultural differences or environmental situations that were a bit extreme during one of your experience abroad?
I still remember the first time I landed in India in 2008. India is a country full of traditions and culture that impressed me a lot since the first day I arrived. However, at the beginning it was not in my plans to move there and I thought I would leave after the expected months. Instead, after a short period of stay, I was the one who asked to stay. For me, India was a fundamental experience, not only from a professional point of view, but also from a personal one, thanks to the human relationships I built.
I remember with pleasure also the experience in Belgium. Having to face again a new local and business culture, and, having to manage all aspects of a start-up, was very challenging. When I arrived, we really started from scratch. It was a 360 degree experience from which I learned a lot. Three years later, when I returned to Asia, I was very pleased with the contribution I gave to the success of this project.
What are your future challenges?
For the next few years, I definitely see myself in Asia. There is still a lot to be done and I want to stay where my experience consolidated over many years abroad and my know-how can continue to create value for the Group and to the development of this region with great growth potential for the future.
What would you recommend to a young person who is just starting out in Maccaferri?
First of all, it is very important to know the group, its strategy, its business model and, therefore, to have a 360-degree vision in order to seize all the opportunities that a company like ours can offer. Maccaferri has a great tradition and an enormous pool of knowledge, which finds full expression in an expert management that can support and inspire young people in their growth path. And that’s not all: the group’s international presence offers interesting opportunities such as the possibility of rotating employees between the various locations. This helps to spread the corporate culture and create a great sense of community.