Interview with Michele Poggipolini, Industry Leader of the Global MBA in Automation and Robotics

28 March 2022

Michele Poggipolini, third generation entrepreneur, CEO of Poggipolini Spa, world leader in engineering and manufacturing of specialties fasteners and precision parts and systems for the Aerospace and Automotive and certified supplier for Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, McLaren, Mercedes AMG, Leonardo, Safran and Boeing, is President of the Gruppo Giovani Imprenditori of Confindustria Emilia. Member of the General Council of Confindustria and BBS Industry Leader, Poggipolini describes the new Automation and Robotics track of the BBS Global MBA: “Our goal is to make the Automation and Robotics track the most participated master in the BBS Global MBA. We want to present the region, home to several Italian manufacturing excellences, where automation and technological innovation of the highest level are the base of constant growth in the national and international business. This is an ambitious plan for a highly qualifying and cross-cutting master’s program, able to provide new skills to high-profile professionals who want to develop their managerial abilities. All this with the hallmark of Bologna Business School”.

What do you think is the level of the Automation & Robotics industry in Emilia-Romagna?

Our region, Emilia-Romagna, is also called the Italian Smart Industry. Here, leading companies from different industries implement their supply chains daily with new technologies. Packaging, automotive, ceramics and food are just some of the businesses in which the region’s companies are vanguards and set national and international benchmarks. Robotics and automation are now essential in the production processes of businesses operating in different contexts, united by a common vocation and goal: the innovation.

For this reason, the new track of the BBS Global MBA has great ambitions: we want to give visibility not only to companies that are already a reference point in their market segment, partly represented in our Program Advisory Committee, but also to medium and small companies that participate in the supply chain; to suppliers; to all those exceptional companies that transform our manufacturing into excellence. The Master is transversal, we want to enable, with our network, the meeting between these companies and young talents, to provide superior skills to future managers who will be able to lead the digital transformation and technological innovation processes in different businesses.

How do local companies participate in the development phases of the Global MBA in Automation and Robotics?

As mentioned before, the Master aims to be highly qualifying yet transversal. A very important Advisory Committee is able to increase the attractiveness of this track and, at the same time, the companies, who are part of it, customize the class according to their real needs. This way, we create a positive effect, whereby the students of the Global MBA in Automation and Robotics follow training courses that meet the companies’ needs and, therefore, implement the necessary skills to enter the job market through these companies.

We are in our first year, so we are forming the backbone of a Global MBA track that has half the same program as the other courses, dedicated to high-profile managerial training, but another very specific class is on technological innovation in continuous interaction with the companies: we are thus able to offer our students internships in roles that are already required by the companies themselves and, therefore, important gateways to the job market.

For the same reasons, some companies provide full or partial scholarships. But our ambitions, also for this topic, are significant: I would like that, for example, a local company that has other offices in the world, could offer to one of its managers from New York, as well as from Sao Paulo or Singapore, the opportunity to train for a year in the country of the headquarters, in order to come into direct and close touch with the forma mentis that created the business, in order to acquire new skills, but also a deep knowledge of the activity in which he/she is involved.

The Master trains managers who have to handle complex technological processes. What kind of course can this track train on such technical subjects? Is a specific background needed?

This is why we needed a Master’s program of this quality: a very high level of technical training has to be combined with an equal growth in management. Applicants who are coming want to move up a career or to change direction: we are evaluating high-profile CVs of professionals who want to “get out” of their restricted working context, who want to acquire the necessary skills to lead a business, to start a business or to form teams able to manage a company through digital and technological transition.

The Master’s program, which is constantly developed through dialogue with companies in the PAC, is able to provide the necessary knowledge to meet the technological innovation that the community is demanding.

What do you think is the most important value of the course? What is the most important educational benefit?

First, it’s from BBS, and that is a very important point. Then, we are in Bologna, the manufacturing heart of Italy, where technologically advanced manufacturing is a normal routine.

To these, we add a course of study able to model itself on extremely wide-ranging applications because it is cross-cutting, built around the specific needs of companies with different working contexts, but with a common vocation for being technologically advanced. We are, as I said before, in the heart of the Smart Activities zone, and our program aims to provide the necessary knowledge to train professionals suitable for this scenario.

What is the future for a manager trained in this GMBA track?

New businesses with the core on technology world, managing a new business unit, or applying their technical background in other directions. Or, again, as I said before, a very interesting step would be to train technicians from a local company who would go on to develop, as managers, a foreign team, exporting the know-how but also the headquarters culture.

This BBS Global MBA track should attract new talent and be a service for the companies themselves which, by participating in the program from the beginning, will have professionals trained on their own specific needs. Managers to be included in the workforce through an internship which then becomes a career.



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