Lanfranco Beleggia, 68, from the Marche region, is a brilliant example of a self-made man. But his life hasn’t always been divided between luxury hotels and boardrooms.
“My father was a carpenter, we lived in the countryside. After elementary school, the teachers directed the brightest children to middle school, the others to agricultural start-up. I was advised to work in the fields. That was a signal. It took me years to understand that it was a wrong signal “Beleggia begins.
“Up to the age of 21, I did various jobs, including the washing machine in the service station that my father took over in the meantime. I just couldn’t understand what I wanted to do in life. One day, I go to pay the insurance and the employee asks me what work I do. “The washing machine” I reply. “In my opinion, you could do more,” she comments. It was another sign; right, this time. ”
Putting two factors together (the leather district and a job where meritocracy counts), he becomes a representative of leather straps. He did it for ten years, climbed positions, became commercial director. Then in 1979 he founded his company Bros Manifatture. «From salesman to entrepreneur: I made the leap, because I realized it wasn’t that complicated. Sometimes we are blocked by so many fears, but it is wrong. We can do it all if we want to. With constancy, passion, will you can face the market with courage ».
And the choice of the sector? “I stayed in what I knew as a seller, but I improved it. I focused on the service, I solved problems that no one had dealt with before. Things done well can always be done better ». The company grows and, over time, makes prestigious acquisitions: Brosway, Rosato, Pianegonda, S’Agapò … “What I like, sooner or later I want to have. And avoid that Italian brands end up in foreign hands. And then never be satisfied: when things go well, you always have to set yourself new goals ».
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? “In my day people used to say ‘It’s late: the opportunities are over”. But the opportunities are always there. Anything can be fine if done with the right ideas. My secret? I’m happy. I’m 68 and every morning I’m happy to go to the company: I enjoy working ».