Today these two partner enterprises celebrate respectively their 40th and 30th anniversary: in this “double interview” with the two founding partners we will be talking about their history, between anecdotes and a few revelations, along with the plans for the future.
Certain roads intersect by coincidence in what would seem to be by “fate”, but it is often these types of situations that give birth to the most passionate stories. This was also the case for ATLA and TAG who, at a certain point in their journey, met up and created a partnership that is now even more successful and solid than ever.
But let’s take a few steps back, because the anecdote is rather unusual: it is October 24th 1978, in Chieri (TO) when a young aeronautical engineer, after a work experience in the automotive sector, takes the opportunity to purchase some machines and a warehouse, and decides, together with his wife, to start up their own business called ATLA (Azienda Torinese Lavorazioni Aeronautiche).
With a 10 year leap, it is now October 24, 1988 in Brianza: a young metallurgy enthusiast, working for a heat treatment company, became increasingly aware that this sector needed to see the introduction of important technological innovations that nobody up until then had put in place; to pursue this purpose, he founded TAG.
So here we are today, October 24th 2018: the two companies are celebrating two significant anniversaries, 40 years for ATLA and 30 for TAG; the journey has undoubtedly been a long one, and growth has been constant, but today the greatest satisfaction is to be able to look to the future with confidence knowing that, piece by piece, with so much effort and determination, two enterprises, that certainly shine within the panorama of Italian and international companies in this business sector, have been built.
We interviewed the two founders of ATLA and TAG, Engineer Ettore Gandini and Antonino Silipigni, to listen to the history of their companies in their own words.
Founding your own company is never an easy choice: what opportunities did you have a glimpse of? And what were the difficulties?
EG: “Our greatest difficulty, then like today, is facing foreign competition. We are a relatively small company compared to large groups such as GE or Siemens. However, we were often the only ones who were able to offer an extremely innovative and quality product, as highlighted by our partnership with Mitsubishi”.
AS: “As far as we are concerned, at the end of the 1980s, the greatest difficulties were financial ones when carrying out vital investments; furthermore, the vacuum and plasma technologies in Italy were still not particularly widespread at the time, and were joined by logistic and plant facility difficulties as well. The opportunities were determined by the fact that we were the first ones in Italy to have followed the path of technological innovation”.
What philosophy has been adopted to achieve a growth path within the company that still continues today?
EG: “Our objective was to become the leader in high technology special processes, keeping abreast of the times and investing in the most technically advanced technologies, ahead of our competitors. We have also paid special attention to encouraging younger generations, we want our company to by dynamic, with the best possible gender balance, especially at a management level”.
AS: “The experience gained in those years convinced me that there were two key levers to be put in place to face the market in a competitive manner: price or technological innovation. The use of the lowest price lever was instantly discarded, so we focused on the technological innovation aspects, which still today support the vision we have of our future”.
How did ATLA and TAG meet?
EG: “We started working with the same customers, more specifically the key encounter came about during meetings established to meet the requirements of Fiat Avio (today Avio Aero, of the GE Aviation Group, Ed.). On these occasions, we had the chance to get to know each other better and we discovered that we provided complementary services; heat treatments were, without doubt, the decisive factor”.
AS: “Exactly, in some ways it was a matter of “love at first sight”, as we 100% shared the same vision and strategy: merging our enterprises into the Group we have today was the natural choice”.
What are the advantages and future vision of the Group?
EG: “By joining forces, we are able to maintain a position of key player in both the IGT and Avio industry sectors, so, without doubt, the objective is to continue to strengthen this partnership”.
AS:“The main advantage consists in the verticalization of integrated processes to deliver a High-Tech finished product”.
What is the future vision of the company instead?
EG: “A generational changeover is currently in progress. We are transforming the company once again and approaching new markets. Our aim is certainly focused on consolidating and strengthening the Group”.
AS: “Our future vision is still based on our original cornerstone, which focused on a corporate structure projected towards skill and innovation, and the intention of playing an active role in proposing solutions to our customers”.