Last night Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan, the home of the Borsa Italiana, was the venue for the ceremony for the sixteenth edition of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
This important award, now in its sixteenth edition, was created to publicly honour the best Italian entrepreneurs who are still working in Italy, looking at creativity, initiative, innovation and attentiveness to business.
This year the award in the category Industrial Products went to Amilcare Merlo, founder and president of the Merlo Group. This prestigious prize rewards the company decisions that as always have focused on excellence and innovative technology applied to machinery.
The Jury, chaired this year by Emma Marcegaglia and composed of important representatives of the business and academic sectors, honoured Merlo “for having put an international expansion plan in place that has led Merlo to become a strong presence on European and non-European markets thanks to innovative commercial policies, modernisation of the production plant and a continual development of the technology of its products”.
The panel evaluation raises a material point and brings with it a key message, especially at this particular moment in time: it is possible to develop a model of an international company (the international expansion cited in the explanation resulted in Merlo exporting over 90% of its production) while keeping ones roots and therefore continuing to invest in Italy (Merlo made a clear-cut decision to concentrate production in Italy, with relative investments in modernising machinery and technologies, engineering, with investments in research, and all the company's strategic functions).
The fruits of this policy are the commercial results and the new products, the Turbofarmer P50.8 and the Multifarmer 40.9, which have just been presented to huge acclaim at the EIMA in Bologna.
These are products whose excellence has been confirmed by the winning of the EIMA technical innovation prize 2012 for two innovations, the M CDC (a system for providing maximum operating safety by preventing the longitudinal tipping over of the vehicle) and the M CVTronic (the Merlo original interpretation of the constantly variable transfer).
An industrial concern, then, which has asserted itself as a global player thanks to the courage to continually invest, while at the same time keeping its heart and mind firmly in Italy.