#Designgoeson: Designdiffusion.com talks with Filippo Santambrogio, CEO of Viva, about the health emergency, online communication and China
A story that opens up different perspectives for the future, in relation to the current global crisis. Viva, a company based in Brianza, reached a distribution agreement with Casa Jolie, in China, last March 10th, in the middle of the Covid-19 health emergency. We have talked about this agreement and future beyond the crisis with Filippo Santambrogio.
How did you manage to sign such a positive agreement in the middle of the Covid-19 health emergency?
The agreement with Casa Jolie is the last step of a process begun a long time ago. Of course, new technologies are of great help today. Thanks to the technological platforms that we have implemented for several years now, we can constantly communicate with the world, and we have been able to keep working from home, with no interruption. The commercial structure was already designed for remote work and advice, so we have just enhanced the platform.
Viva has a strong international vocation. In your opinion, how will the health emergency affect your exports?
We are implementing all the forms of communication offered by the new technologies to keep contacts and support alive. Thanks to smart working and the way our work is organized, which allows us to easily comply with health regulations, we are still working. Also because not all countries have stopped working; there are some areas where everything is still working and clients are waiting for our products. After all, 70% of our turnover comes from exports.
Viva Porte, travels and fairs: what future awaits us?
The travel ban did not prevent you from signing a distribution agreement in China. Do you think that the Chinese market will recover soon?
China has resumed economic activities for a couple of weeks. Very slowly and with caution, of course, but almost all shops have reopened, and bars and restaurants can open in accordance with the rules, etc. China is a large country with a very interesting potential market; in the long term it will prove to be an excellent investment and an excellent market for Made in Italy.
Don’t you think that travel restrictions will affect this development?
Surely many things will have to be reconsidered. Online communication will be extremely helpful. Without remote communication, we could not have signed the distribution agreement with Casa Jolie. We are considering also further communication activities we are working on. For this year, almost all the important fairs have been rescheduled, and many have been cancelled and postponed to next year, so we need to come up with something new.
However, the big question now is what will happen to trade fairs in the medium- to long-term period. Can we really do without them? I’m not so sure. While it is true that many procedures can be simplified and often do not need physical contact, I think that fairs, touching and seeing a product, cannot be replaced. And human contact will be necessary as well. It is hard to imagine that we can do without it.