Interviews - Commissariato Italiano Esposizione Universale di Shanghai 2010

Davide Croff
Davide Croff

"The Italian excellence drawing the world skyline". An Interview with Davide Croff, President of Permasteelisa.

Chairman Croff, Why Permasteelisa has chosen to commit as a partner in the Italian pavilion at the Shanghai world Expo 2010?

For two reasons. The first is certainly the importance of the Expo and the significance that this event will have at a global world level. The second binds to a very simple concept: Permasteelisa is an example of Italian excellence in the world which, starting from the small town of Vittorio Veneto, arrived to be the world leader of its market. Sponsoring the Italian Pavilion is not only an opportunity to give visibility to our work and skills, but also a tangible sign of the results we have achieved in these years of international expansion.

With which spirit the company faces this partnership?

Our role as partner for the Commissioner General for the Shanghai World Expo will allow us to live as protagonists the Italian pavilion contributing, with our know-how, to the implementation of the external structure. Permasteelisa can also provide a direct and in-depth knowledge of China and in particular the city of Shanghai, a metropolis that has seen us as leading actors of the radical renewal of the skyline in recent years. Let me quote just one exemplifying case: last year we completed the World Financial Center, the tallest building in the city with its 492 meters.  

The Shanghai Expo means China, but also Asian markets, what are these areas to Permasteelisa?

For us the parts of the Far East are, without doubt, strategic, to the point that the Asian market represents just under 30% of the orders received by our group.
We are in the area since 1986, when the company, then known as Isa, took over the Australian Permasteelisa beginning the international expansion that now allows us to be present not only in China but also in other important markets as those of India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Can you describe who is Permasteelisa?

In a nutshell, Permasteelisa is the world leader in the design, construction and installation of "curtain walls", the facades of large buildings, and operates on four continents, with about 50 companies distributed in 27 countries, 14 manufacturing sites and more than 6,000 employees. The main strength of the company is precisely the widespread production structure that allows Permasteelisa to serve effectively the local context, keeping in all markets high quality standards. In essence, while proudly retaining our strong Italian roots, through our network we can be Americans in the United States, Germans in Germany, Chinese in China and so on.

What are the challenges for the future?

The main challenge is to consolidate our position, improve it and make it sustainable in the face of increasingly fierce competition. The crisis in the international markets has involved all the stakeholders in our industry and we too have had some backlash that I would call, however, physiological. The recovery is expected soon and our strategy is to transform the moment of international crisis into an opportunity, oversee our markets in Europe and in the United States, but at the same time consolidating our presence in high potential markets such as Asia that I believe, today, are the most interesting among the emerging ones.