Carmine Scandale, currently Head of Sales of Commify Italy, has gained over 20 years of experience in sales management and over ten years of experience in services and communication. At the height of his career he decided to take a sabbatical year to attend the Executive MBA of Bologna Business School: “I read that learning is like rowing against the current: if you stop, you go back”.
What is your professional career?
I have been dealing with Sales Management since the late 1990s; I started with the sale of the “analog” product, if you can define it that way, arriving at that of the digital product. I was lucky enough to start from the bottom up as a salesperson in a Bolognese advertising dealership: it was the first step that allowed me to fully understand the processes and dynamics of managing a sales network. It is said that luck does not consist in meeting good companies but good leaders, and this is exactly what happened to me in my first experience: it was my first boss who understood that I had adequate organizational skills, problem-solving and leadership and, although very young, gave me responsibility for structuring and managing my first sales network.
In 2000, the first assignment as Commercial Manager for Top Sport by Edizioni Miglio, a Bolognese publisher of a great tradition: my first real experience at national and international level, which allowed me to understand how dealing with sales management means above all leading by example: the different meanings of authority, given by the job title, , or given by the ability to make things happen.
In 2002 Italy experienced a new and immense publishing phenomenon with the advent of the free press and also the most important Italian publisher decided to take the field: Rizzoli Corriere della Sera. It was a long, crazy and exhilarating journey with the RCS Group. The free-press quickly became a 150 million euros advertising sales market, and a fundamental habit in the media diet of every Italian. The economic crisis of 2008, but even more the ease of free access to information due to the spread of mobile devices, inevitably sanctioned that the free press was replaced first by online sites, and then by social media.
In 2012 Rizzoli offered me a new challenge: to deal with the development of Connecto, a Group brand that integrated multi and omnichannel communication solutions for RCS Group advertisers. Overall, it has been a fantastic 12 years in which working on significant projects with exceptional managers and collaborators, I had the opportunity to hone my soft skills and grow my business network.
In 2014, the meeting with the Spaggiari Group, a company born in 1926, also known for inventing school records, and has always been the undisputed Italian leader for supplies in the world of school. The CEO, animated by a disruptive vision, was looking for a manager capable of translating the project to innovate the world of school into execution while remaining faithful to the tradition that had made the Group a point of reference for the Italian school. A little less than 4 years after the start of my engagement, the digital ecosystem of the Spaggiari Group had about 1.5 million unique users every day.
Why did you decide to continue training?
It was time to realize my dream: despite having had the opportunity to do a lot of learning on the job in my professional career, I constantly felt a “lack” of skills. A manager cannot think that his skills or knowledge have an absolute value over time: the time had come to stop to train, a play on words that led me to take a sabbatical to focus on the Executive MBA.
Why did the choice fall on BBS?
I chose BBS for its strong territorial connotation, added value for my path, but I do not deny that my choice was influenced by the presence of Andrea Lipparini, Scientific Director of the Master and my Professor during my university studies at the Faculty of Economics of Bologna.
In your opinion, what are the strengths of the Executive program?
Exactly what I was told from the first moment: among all I can say the experience of contamination. The constant possibility of confronting students, who later became friends, from different parts of Italy and the world, but above all with different professional backgrounds, is priceless.
Short and long term goals?
Every day: transferring years of skills to my team and collaborators. Tomorrow: going beyond the current boundaries going beyond the commercial sphere. It won’t be easy, sales management is a real passion, it’s what I love, what I can do well; maybe making (again) a mistake every day … the important thing is that it is different from the day before!
What do you feel like to recommend to a future EMBA?
I recommend sharing the plan to attend the EMBA with your family, even before with your bosses and with the stakeholders of the company where you work. The EMBA is an all-encompassing experience, which absorbs time and energy: getting back on the books at an age in which it has not usually been done for at least ten years is not easy: it is a commitment that binds evenings and weekends. The EMBA does not only the student but his whole family.
Carmine Scandale – Italy
Executive MBA (EMBA) – 2017/2019