Editorial 30 September 2019
Giovanni Besenzoni, a real pioneer of Italian nautical science, leaves behind a set of values that we have the duty to preserve, promote and develop
by Francesco Michienzi
THE ITALIAN NAUTICAL INDUSTRY HAS LOST ONE OF ITS MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PIONEERS. Giovanni Besenzoni not only represented a firm that is a world leader in its market segment. He was also the perfect embodiment of a particular category of people who are the real driving force behind the Italian economy; people wise enough to look to the future.
Giovanni Besenzoni was a mild-mannered man, but he was also very determined and had a great sense of humanity. Born into a family of artisans, he was paradigmatic of a continuously transforming figure who took on globalisation, constantly changing production models, economic and structural crises, succeeding in constructing a modern firm that became symbolic of the Italian nautical industry. Our country now possesses a skill that was lacking in the 1980s. We are at the very forefront of material technology, hull design, propulsion and monitoring systems, and engineering.
Credit for this can be given to firms operating in the satellite industry, such as Besenzoni, which developed alongside boat building. We win numerous international awards for technological innovations and most of the components in foreign boats are made in Italy. Design, style, and creativity are the characteristics that have traditionally made Italian firms stand out on international markets.
“Developing excellent quality and technologically advanced products with a distinctive design. Produced on an industrial scale or made to measure for individual clients, with the guarantee of comprehensive assistance, anywhere and at any time”,was the businessman’s credo ever since he started his company, which is now being successfully carried forward by his children Giorgio and Fiorella. We will never cease to thank people like Giovanni Besenzoni for this important contribution to the Italian nautical industry, adding value to the sector as a whole.
The entrepreneur from Bergamo transformed business ethics into the ethics of excellence, with these values and principles not only finding applications at work but also in private life. It was unthinkable for Giovanni not to keep his word and respect agreements that had been made. He was able to offer more than was due through his actions, without asking anything in return. He was perfectly aware that every one of us possesses the means and resources to excel and produce great results. He always inspired his colleagues with this principle, encouraging them to tackle and resolve the technical issues that always arose.
He was particularly convinced that every firm is made up of people who have to be motivated, attentive, effective and have healthy interpersonal relationships in order to do a good job. He never looked for other people’s defects in order to justify his own, but instead promoted genuine values, setting an excellent example through the way he lived his own life.
He has left us a very clear legacy: a business without values is a business of no value. Being in the right is profitable: it’s no coincidence that the very best companies over the last one hundred years follow shared codes of integrity and that the corporate values and the values of those that work there coincide.
Ethics is not a luxury for the virtuous, but a financial necessity: more and more companies are discovering the link between profitability and ethics. They have observed the need to conduct themselves as good corporate citizens.
This vision was one that Giorgio Besenzoni shared. He did not consider a firm’s social responsibility and quality management to be a restriction on development, but instead saw it as a competitive advantage.