Focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, which in 5-7 years will be able to face international markets’

It is necessary to aim for a plan shared with Europe, structured by objectives, which aims at convergence between energy, telecommunications and automotive, investing in technological platforms that have a transversal and pervasive impact: blockchain, artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics. This is the thought of Francesco De Leo, Executive Chairman of Kauffman & Partners of Madrid, recently interviewed by Raffaele Barberio, Director of Key4Biz.

The complete interview is available, in Italian, here. We have selected the excerpt concerning small and medium-sized companies

We are experiencing an unprecedented phase of change in history. – he said – A change that accelerates the transition and calls into question some pillars of the economy, which we took for granted. The economies of the Eurozone, already structurally fragile after the 2008 crisis, are under systemic stress, due to an excess of debt that the ongoing pandemic is helping to make irreversible, if no action is taken, before reaching a point of no return. The number of “zombie companies” continued to increase, also due to the injection of liquidity.

It is a serious problem, which if not addressed in time, can trigger a “cascade of failure across interdependent networks”, slowing down and perhaps blocking the ongoing transition, which is fundamental for Europe’s competitiveness.

Europe has activated the Next Generation EU (Recovery Fund), albeit with some delay, but unfortunately, although it is a fact, the markets have already incorporated it into their forecasts and it is assumed that the first tranche of resources of the Recovery Fund will arrive before the end of 2021.

The real challenge is how selective its use will be, because to all effects and to a large extent it is a new debt: and this is good not to forget; and that the funds, instead of being investment initiatives, go to fill situations in difficulty.

History teaches us that in phases of rapid change the strengths are transformed into weaknesses, the dimensions represent an additional burden, and the survival instinct leads to a “risk-averse” orientation, just when, on the contrary, it is necessary to make a bet on the future, putting fresh resources into play and leaving one’s “comfort zone”.

The large companies are already structured to face international competition: I would aim – suggested De Leo – on small and medium-sized companies that, thanks to the projects and resources of the Recovery Fund, will be large enough to stay in 5-7 years. at the forefront of international markets.

In Europe we have already experienced a season like this: it would be a pity if, instead of aiming for the future, we ended up privileging sectors and companies that have already made their history. It would be an unforgivable mistake that future generations would pay for And neither the countries nor the whole of Europe can afford it, he affirmed.

In summary, mental attitudes must be reconsidered, necessary to be able to read and face the epochal change we are experiencing, between economic crisis, pandemic and the need to revive the economy and growth, favouring those who, due to internal structure and speed of change, can easily adapt and take advantage of new technologies.