Promoting excellence for a new digital revolution

29 November 2021

Interview with Michele Poggipolini, CEO of Poggipolini SPA and new BBS Industry Leader


Michele Poggipolini is the new Industry Leader for the Global MBA in Automation and Robotics. In this interview, he tells us how he experiences this role and why it is even more important today, in an uncertain context and undergoing profound transformation, to continue to promote Italian excellence.

As an Industry Leader you will have the honor and the responsibility, among others, of promoting the excellence of our area, as well as the offerings of the School. How much, if at all, do you think the value of our industry expertise has grown in recent years and what has driven it?

The transformation, as well as the ongoing evolution, of the international market has totally changed the global industrial system in a profound and irreversible way, at an unprecedented pace. We are facing an epochal change, of both digital and ecological transformation, whose impact is now disruptive in all major sectors of the economy. I think of a sort of “new digital revolution” that is challenging the current strategies and business models of companies. I am honored to be, in this phase of major changes, the Industry Leader of the next Global MBA Automation & Robotics, an honor also for the company I represent.

Remaining on the subject of the growth of the sector, in Italy in general and in our area in particular, what type of people and talents should we focus on for the future and what are the professional skills that will be most sought after?

According to the latest Deloitte report “Italy 4.0: are we ready?” in Italy, the share of workers employed in high-tech companies is slightly lower but in line with the European average, in services 55.6% are employed in knowledge-intensive sectors (compared to an EU average of 58%), while in manufacturing the workforce employed in high-tech companies accounts for 32.2% (EU: 36.4%). Therefore, Italian figures are in line with European ones, although I believe that the lagging behind that we have is due to the inadequacy of an educational system that has not yet trained students in advanced skills ready for the changes we are experiencing. So, let’s welcome study courses, degrees, masters and high professional training that will bridge the gap. We will involve the industrial world in order to attract the talents and skills that are needed today to grow in terms of competitiveness.

Poggipollini 2

From an international point of view, why, in your opinion, should a student interested in Automation & Robotics focus on Italy and why on the Global MBA in BBS?

Because the subject matter covered by this Global MBA is cross-sectoral and belongs to all manufacturing supply chains and let’s remember that our area, unique not only nationwide, can count on twenty supply chains of excellence. In addition, increasingly advanced developments in the field of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence are fueling a radical and interconnected transformation between digital and physical systems, making the world of work different from what it was a few years ago. I believe that the encounter between the business world and the academic world can certainly contribute to the professional training of new excellences, young professionals with advanced skills in process integration, robotics, data analysis and digital transformation. And the Global MBA at BBS stands out among the best excellences in our region.

How important is management training in the industry of the future and what are the new challenges a manager will need to be able to meet?

The current managerial class is well aware of the changes taking place and must be helped by focusing on industrial strategies aimed at improving working conditions, in terms of the quality of the activities to be performed, with the appropriate tools and continuous, targeted and constant training, as it has been, for example, since the beginning of the pandemic crisis also with the use of smart working.

Italian companies, and especially those in our area, in my opinion, are at the forefront in terms of new technologies and are embracing change by increasing investment in the industrial sector both in the human factor, meaning in the appropriate skills, and in infrastructure and technology.


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