«We were rivals, and then he became my dear friend» – Corriere.it

«We were rivals, and then he became my dear friend» – Corriere.it

‘It is The only person who lived a very important part of the way with me. He had some sort of filiation with me, even though we were only nine years apart. Italy is losing a great entrepreneur, who had the ability to work, the courage and the optimism this country desperately needs.”

Carlo De Benedetti recalls the long history with Roberto Colano. Two very different men, whose paths crossed many years ago: «Colaño worked for a company in Mantua, Fiam Filter, which made oil and air filters for cars. At that time I was the head of Gilardini. We were competitors… ».

“Yes, we also produced filters. We met then and I saw great potential in him, not only as a manager, but as an entrepreneur. So together we founded Sogefi in 1981, he is the managing director and chairman of the board of directors. Our long relationship was born in this way ».

Then Olivetti’s turning point?

 «When I found myself without a general manager at Olivetti, with Caio gone, knowing his abilities, dedication to work and talents, I suggested he leave Sogefi. And he became the president of Olivetti. And to tell the truth, I remember he didn’t say yes right away…”

 «He was so attached to his wife, Aurita, that he returned to Mantua to speak to her. Then he came to Iveria and accepted the challenge. Together, we made the decision to sell Omnitel Pearl (the mobile phone company, Mr. Dr) to German Mannesmann who resold it to Vodafone. In those years he did an extraordinary job, he tried to cut costs also because Olivetti was in a strange situation, there were no more products for which he was born, typewriters, and he became the most liquid company in the world. Italy, a kind of safety that, however, continued to leak in its traditional business …  ».

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Then he left for a communications adventure. It was the mother of all privatizations and became the mother of all companieswinged…

«He contacted the group of shareholders of Brescia, in particular Gnutti, and invented the purchase of Telecom Italia. process, and I told him, I was totally against it because I didn’t think we had the team to run it. I considered it a difficult and wrong task. He did the same because he was a completely independent and determined person. The takeover offer was organized, then my son Marco went with him and Colanio chose him as managing director of Tim ».

There is a history of money and business in Italy, in this story written by Colano, the protagonist of a part of the country’s history…

â????????????????????????????? When Gnutti sold Bell (the holding company that controlled Telecom, Mr. Dr) was really bad at it, and cut ties. His passion for being an entrepreneur, his ability to work and his courage were very important to him. Who in fact decided to buy a Piaggio ».

A company with great traditions, but not at the time a group in great shape, is now a gem…

 “He did an exceptional job at Pontedera, reviving a brand like Vespa and despite being a small group compared to the Japanese giants, he managed to make it a protagonist in the global market. A man who left Mantua, with a degree in accounting but with a really impressive entrepreneurial ability. He was so attached to his family that when he was working in Olivetti he left his city in the morning to come to Ivrea and also returned at night to return to his wife Oretta and sons Matteo and Michele. I am losing a true friend.

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For a long time we talked on Sunday morning at ten. We’ve always done that. He talked to me about his projects, from opening the new factory in Vietnam to new ideas for potential companies. This was Kulanyo and these conversations are among our most beautiful memories that I will cherish.”

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