Q&A A business with a big heart

Editor: Barbara Schulz

Founded in 1955, Italian company Millutensil is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. What makes the company stand out is its leadership; three women run the family business claiming that even competitors seem fascinated by their slightly different style of leadership. We talked to Luigia Assi Just.

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A good team: Luigia Assi Just (middle) and her daughters Beatrice and Veronica Just run the family business, which generated a turnover of approx. €17m in 2014.
A good team: Luigia Assi Just (middle) and her daughters Beatrice and Veronica Just run the family business, which generated a turnover of approx. €17m in 2014.
(Source: Millutensil)

ETMM: When you founded Millutensil in the mid-1950s, what product line did you start with?

Luigia Assi Just: Our company was founded in 1955, exactly sixty years ago. We actually started off selling wood-processing machines. After a while, we became active in the mould sector and have never looked back since.

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ETMM: How have things progressed since then?

Just: Today, we produce die and mould spotting presses, die-splinters and machinery for sheetmetal processing. Having taken our first steps in the field of mould manufacturing, we quickly noticed that there was an urgent need for safer and quicker production, but an even greater need for adjusting moulds more accurately to suit different applications. Paradoxically, while milling machines have become ever more precise, the demand for die and mould spotting presses has increased. This is due to the fact that moulds have become more and more complex, while the need for quality checks and greater operator safety have increased. We are also focussing on automation in order to improve our customers’ production efficiency.

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ETMM: It is quite rare to see three women in leading positions of a company. How has that worked out for you?

Just: Ours is indeed a female-led company. My daughters, Beatrice and Veronica Just, have been supporting me in managing the company for several years. Seeing three women leading a company in a traditionally male-dominated industry is of course not that common. Actually, this is what makes us stand out. I would say that we show an outstanding inclination for human relationships, special attention to details and a strong sense of duty. What’s more, being a family-owned business is a considerable advantage, since our customers know who’s behind Millutensil and whom they can turn to if they have a problem. It’s not by chance that our slogan is “a business with a big heart.”

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