In the lack of comprehensive information about Italian economic presence in Hungary, Italian businessman Alessandro Farina, with excellent connections in the Italian community here, helped create a database lists over 2,300 Italian businesses in this country.
“In 2010, we realized that there were an enormous number of Italian companies in the Hungarian market but nobody knew exactly how many, who they were, in which sector, in which region, what their turnover was, how many employees they had, etc. For years and years, I heard from different organizations that they were trying to set up a database until I decided that we would do it.” That is how Farina explains to Diplomacy & Trade .
The other reason for dedicating his time and money to this project is his community spirit. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs of several generations. I grew up with the spirit that money is the consequence of a good job. Therefore, the company that you build has a social impact, you have to start working within your organization for your employees and build an atmosphere that makes it viable to grow the company and have support from your people. Once you do that, then, you can work for the market,” he says.
He is the fourth generation in the family to be involved with the Rotary Club, trying to understand charity organizations, missions. “If you are able to make it interesting for yourself and be interested in what happens around you, then, your brain and your spirit opens up in the more interesting way on the long runhe adds.
Farina came to Hungary 20 years ago as a young man and over the years, he built his own life and career in this country, always trying to involve other people and build contacts with Italians and Hungarians alike, always trying to understand what was happening around him in this country with a strange language.
“In 2008, I realized that Italian newcomers to Hungary did not understand anything in this country and there was no sufficient help for new Italian businesses set up in Hungary (about 150 a year). In their mind, they made an international decision but were missing the international side and ending up in a small corner of little information. In order to help these people, we set up the website ‘economia.hu’, which instantly became the leading communication channel for Italians in Hungary.”
It was the staff at economia.hu that created the first database of Italian companies in Hungary in 2010. The second, updated version has just been completed, producing impressive numbers. While the survey two years ago found some 1,800 Italian companies, this year’s figures show over 2,300, with 12 firms set up in the past month.
“I feel it is not just my task, it is a task for the whole Italian community in Hungary to build the next stage of this database. We’ve had recent discussions with the Embassy, with the Chamber, with ICE on how to make the best use of it and in which direction it should be further developed,” Farina explains.
He believes it is in the fundamental interest of Italian entrepreneurs setting up businesses in Hungary to know about each other’s business activities so that they find a suitable business partner that is already here rather than looking for one in Italy.
economia.hu, which Farina calls ‘an instrument of ITL Group’ has so far attracted tens of thousands of visitors and the database is likely to gain even more popularity in 2013 as the project turns into a really effective business-to-business tool.
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