Made in Italy: features of doing business with Italian partners

How to develop business with Italy?

What are the features of the national business mentality of Italians, and why is it so important to take into account the cultural characteristics of this country?


The Made in Italy brand, which ranks third in the world in terms of recognition, second only to Coca-cola and Visa, is associated with such values ​​as beauty, luxury, creativity, culture, quality.

It’s no secret that Made in Italy products are considered to be among the most sought-after and high-quality products in the world, and Italian manufacturers are at the forefront in such areas as fashion, design, engineering and the food industry.

In fact, the Italian economy

It is built on these sectors, the so-called four “A”: light industry, fashion (Abbigliamento), mechanical engineering (Automobili), interior design (Arredamento) and food industry (Agroalimentare).

Made in Italy label

It is a guarantor of the high quality of products whose production is controlled at the national level by specialized associations, as well as through patents and certificates of origin, such as DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta).

According to ISTAT statistics, the key factor in choosing Italian manufacturers from a number of global competitors is high quality and reliability, followed by unusual design and creativity, which makes products made in Italy a special place in the international arena.

An interesting fact, but in addition to quality and design, one of the factors influencing the positive perception of Italian products is the “Italian lifestyle”. Thus, by purchasing a product or service, the buyer joins the culture and cheerful mentality of this country.

Three national features of Italian business

Often, Russian entrepreneurs face certain difficulties in cooperation with Italian partners, having understood the national basis of which, conducting a joint business is simplified and becomes more comfortable and rational.

When cooperating with Italian partners and manufacturers, it is important to study their national character, way of thinking, cultural, historical and social characteristics that directly affect doing business in Italy.

Basis of the Italian economy

Small family business First of all, you need to understand that more than 95% of companies are small family businesses, of which three-quarters are micro-companies with up to 10 employees. And only the remaining less than 5% are medium and large businesses.

That is why in cooperation, most likely, the business owner himself is directly involved in production, many employees perform several functions at the same time. Do not be surprised if one person decides on deliveries, documentation, packaging and sales. Hence the first problem that Russian entrepreneurs sometimes face is the long wait for an answer to e-mails.

Understanding this feature, an entrepreneur can easily get out of the situation by calling and duplicating an already sent letter. Most of the Italian companies were founded in the post-war period, today the family business is run by the second and third generation, who are fluent in English, the second most commonly studied language is French.

When first contacting the company, it is best to seek an official introduction

to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry or the Economic Development Office at the Embassy. Italians often ignore standard letters with offers of cooperation from unfamiliar companies and, on the contrary, willingly make contact on business recommendations.