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VHT: the community as a strategic resource


A green idea is certainly that of VHT - Varese Hoisting Technology, because it aims to revive the economy not by waiting for the big investor, perhaps from abroad, but by making a system of the energies of the territory and the community. The company was born in January 2012 in Bodio Lomnago (VA) with a share capital of 4 million euros: half guaranteed by local credit institutions and half paid by about forty people who believe in the project.

So today the VHT shareholders have shares ranging from 0.5% to 10% and they are largely suppliers of components or system integrators who work with the company, but also other entrepreneurs and simple supporters. A network of widespread territorial shareholding which allowed VHT to take off and close 2012 with a turnover of around 500 thousand euros.

VHT's business idea was to relaunch the sector of technological lifting systems, already the flagship of the Varese industry, transferring knowledge and skills to young people and creating jobs. "A horizontal social structure and open that testifies to the community's desire to relaunch production activities in a territory that, due to foreign acquisitions and the distrust of local entrepreneurs, seemed to be doomed to de-industrialization ", he has declared Libero Donati, sole director of VHT.

The stages of VHT's industrial plan were: the acquisition of the Bodio Lomnago headquarters (15,500 square meters abandoned by Bticino), the purchase of machinery, the design, development and testing phases of the products: celectromechanical components for crane lifting (electric chain and wire rope hoist). The open day was held in June to present the sector operators, in September the first deliveries, in Italy and abroad, with requests that went beyond expectations.

“There have been some nice surprises from the Italian market - said Donati - even if in general the contraction is heavy given that our reference market has registered -40% in three years. However, we continue to fulfill our commitments and to grow we are focusing on foreign markets: emerging economies like Brazil, India, South Africa, Eastern Europe, but also the USA and Canada ".

VHT has no difficulty in establishing itself among the competitors for the quality of the products, which have a high content of experience but also an excellent quality-price ratio and are safe. “We gathered around us, in a kind of short supply chain, the best production companies in the area - Donati added -. We work together convinced of one thing: we do not deserve to be swept away by Italian industrial history, but to move forward, in Varese as in all of Lombardy, we must pooling resources and energy to cut costs and be competitive ".

VHT currently employs 13 people in the start-up phase. The objectives are rightly ambitious: to reach 80 employees in five years and a turnover, by 2016, of 24 million euros. The break-even point was set during the fourth year of activity (2014), with a turnover of approximately 11 million euros. The investment plan foresees, for the first three years, 1.5 million euros in research and development, 500 thousand euros in infrastructure and 3.5 million euros for the purchase of the Bodio Lomnago production site.



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