Women & Cranes: Interview with Roberta Verdelli

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CranesY.com question: How do you describe your company, where did you start from, what do you do exactly?
Company Verdelli SIlvio (www.verdelli.it) was established 55 years ago and it started with an idea from my father’s entrepreneurial spirit, Silvio Verdelli. He is still active with a small excavation equipment company. The company has evolved over the years becoming a leader in this sector. Now it operates in the fields of: revision, resale and rental of wire rope crawler cranes, machines and equipments for drilling and lifting. Our specialization, the support of a good mechanical workshop and the production of spare parts allowed us to retain our customers and to become a reference point for the users of crawler cranes ,in particular Link Belt, piling machines, Soilmec, Mait, Casagrande, and hydraulic vibrators, PTC, ICE, Muller.

CranesY.com question: How did you join the company?
Being a member of a family business , it seems perfectly natural to me being involved in this activity since I was a child. I followed in my father’s footsteps and I was more interested in the commercial and technical aspects than to the administrative ones which remained the prerogative of my sister. I became very passionate and I stayed with my company.
Obviously the situation changed significantly during the past few years and the crisis in our country led us to open the doors for new markets. We have radically changed our company structure with very good results.

CranesY.com question: What’s like for a woman working in the male-dominated crane sector?
Just because I grew up in this environment which is extremely sectorial, the long-standing customers have absolutely no difficulty in interacting with me for more technical information and closure of contracts, but also new customers have no perplexity. It can happen, that in some foreign countries, the entrepreneur is looking for a male technician but after the initial concerns I am able to build very good relationships with these customers too.

CranesY.com question: Your rules for doing business
Honesty, fairness, competence. Have passion for what you do. Have confidence in the future. Have the courage to act. Constant and active presence. All customers and suppliers can find in us a partner that takes care of their problems.

CranesY.com question: What’s your typical workday like?
In the small and medium-sized enterprises, the entrepreneur must be versatile and deal with the supervision of all aspects concerning his own company’s organization.
I start from the workshop where I check the day schedule and I manage all logistic dynamics; customer relationship care through direct marketing, processing of commercial newsletters, company’s advertising promotion and market research, network and new electronic showcases research.

CranesY.com question: Being a working mom, how do you reconcile work and family, how much time do you spend with your family?
Fortunately many people have helped me and my daughter grows up in a secure and calm environment even when I am at work. However, it’s certainly hard for a woman to reconcile work and family life but a good organization is the key to manage family. Collaboration plays a fundamental role and I don’t expect everything to be perfect.

CranesY.com question: Aside from work, how do you like to spend your free time, do you have any hobbies?
My free time, apart from that dedicated to the family, is devoted primarily to the social and political commitment. I’ve been city councilor for 10 years and I’m the chairman of a culture club

CranesY.com question: Where do you spend your holidays, do you have a favourite place?
I love sea and art cities and I spend my free weekends relaxing myself in a spa.

CranesY.com question: What is your project for the next five years?
In a constantly evolving world, our paths may have slight deviations, but our main goal is to work to expand the foreign market, pointing especially to developing countries over the next few years. We’ll strengthen the structure to meet the technical assistance needs in situ for our customers. We’re diversifying our product range, while trying to assure customer care and spare parts production, that are both our strong points.

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