Building a Successful Business In Italy and Europe: a Silicon Valley CEO Perspective

Mar 21, 2019 757

BY: Haresh Patel

First things first. As a small entrepreneurial Silicon Valley start-up 6+ years ago, why did we even attempt to do business in Italy? Why not focus closer to home? That’s an easy question. Our business then was entirely focused on helping renewable energy-focused utilities grow, scale, and dominate their respective markets. And one of the largest, most reputable and innovative energy utilities in the world is headquartered in Rome. But wanting to do business in Italy and Europe and actually doing business in Italy are two very different things…

One of the first things I noticed when we started talking to leaders in Europe is that business, especially in Italy, is steeped in relationships. It’s difficult coming in without those relationships established and without a well-known brand, which represents safety in decision making. We also observed (and appreciate) the understated, “no BS” style of Italian executives, unlike the typical American business bravado. We were lucky. We were able to forge connections in Italy through common passion: passion for disruption, for thinking outside the box, and for solving real business problems in interesting new ways.

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