A video-interview with president Antonio Gozzi to recall the highlights of Duferco’s history, from the very beginning of Bruno Bolfo’s entrepreneurial activities in Brasil up to the actual Group’s structure, operating in different countries and diversified over different fields and industrial activities, to discuss the present and the future of the Group, with a peculiar focus on the steel division.
A comprehensive dialogue led by the questions of journalist Lucio Dall’Angelo and composed of seven different chapters: the history, the innovation, the sustainability, the company’s and the steel culture, the globalization and the future of steel industry and of Duferdofin-Nucor.
Chapter 1: the history of Duferco Group
The history of Duferco begins in 1979 in Brasil, when Bruno Bolfo, a former manager of the Italian national steel company, started his own international steel trading company.
More than 40 years ago in South America began indeed an entrepreneurial adventure that established Duferco as an international group operating in different countries and diverse industrial fields, ranging from steel activities to energy trading and distribution and shipping.
Chapter 2: What does innovating mean in 2020?
Innovating has different meanings depending on the diverse fields and sectors of industrial activities. In the field of energy trading, for example, it means taking advantage of algorithms and of big data analysis’ capabilities to steer the business. In the shipping sector, it means sustainability: through different innovations – such as cold ironing or sustainable fuel – it is possible to reduce environmental impact of harbors and ships.
For what concerns the steel sector, innovation relates to the complete sustainability of our activities on the territory, which means taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies – such as big data analysis – to streamline the process. Indeed, in the steel sector technological innovation and sustainability are the same.
Chapter 3: sustainability
For the steel industry, sustainability means very tangible things. It means, for example, continuous control of the emissions which need to comply with limits imposed by the law. Many steel plants, then, are working hard to reach the goal of limiting water consumption to evaporation, as all the other water is recirculated.
In addition, the electric-furnace powered steel industry is the most powerful recycling machine in Europe. In Italy 15-16 million tons of scrap are recycled every year: it is easy to understand what our countryside would be without such a big recycling system.
Finally, sustainability also means safety for all the people working with us. We are strongly committed to the goal of zero harm, which is the real goal. But we are still not there. Accidents and injuries, even deadly, still occur mostly in the logistic processes. Regarding this, AI systems can be very helpful to prevent dangerous situations.
Chapter 4: culture
People and entrepreneurs working in the steel industry are the perfect example of a forward-looking attitude. Indeed, we usually invest huge amounts of money, which need complex commercial, technological and engineering planning and which are never characterized by short term payback. Therefore, I think that long term vision is essential to business endeavors today and I am quite skeptical about the widespread mainstream that asks for immediate return and short term payback.
The financial subculture that prevailed over the last twenty years have produced poor results: indeed, all the countries overwhelmed by this culture deindustrialized and are now exposed to the volatility of global financial markets. I prefer a slow-paced and patient capitalism, which tries to live up to the consciousness that the transformation of industrial systems, markets and ways of life is a complex process that requires the creation and distribution of value for all the people working in the companies.
In this cultural framework, the leader should play the role of the coach and be the ultimate reference for the decision-making process, which requires an attitude toward taking risks and responsibility that not everyone can bear.