Graduated in Economics at Bocconi University, Giovanna Brambilla started her career as marketing manager at Calzaturificio di Varese, part of Benetton Group.
In 1992 she became part of TMC Amrop International, a Human Resources consulting group, as responsible for research, then became consultant and partner of the TMP Worldwide Search.
Mrs Brambilla has been part of board of director of Alumni Bocconi for four years.
Nowadays with significative experience in Industrial, Customer, Fashion and Luxury goods, she is a partner at Value Research, a human resources consulting firm that helps companies to find leaders and specialists within Europe.
We had the pleasure to have lessons with her, and she kindly agreed to answer some questions about her career, Human resources and trends.
1. Mrs. Brambilla, we want to go a little deeper in your profile. As described you changed from marketing to human resources, from mass market to other different sectors. How were these changes for you?
It was a way to refresh my mind changing dramatically after 6 years, the experience and the scope within a company. It was like a newborn, completely refresh.
2. Could you please introduce to us your role at Value Search?
I am the founder. I created the company after 10 years in the business of executive search. I was a manager in a multinational company, an American big company and I decided to leave the secure and well organized job and once again change the rules of the game and create my own company.
3. What is the most difficult part of your actual job?
To provide added value to my clients, to find talented people which can have the competences required by the client in term of job competences but also have the soft skills to properly fit the different company cultures.
4. How do you analyze the luxury market, considering opening positions in Italy? And in other markets that you interface with?
Luxury market is evolving and has a lot of opportunities mostly for young people at present. So, it is a market where there is a need to cover international roles with talented and proactive young people. I think that it is a good moment for you (young people) to face this market and have opportunities in the luxury field. Luxury is going well at worldwide level, so it is a sector performing in terms of incomes and turnover and profits. At the same time frontiers of the luxury marketing are enlarging.
Luxury market is the most international market at worldwide level. As Value Search we have a team which speaks 8 different languages and we can source and interface with people at a global level, and this is the other value that we try to tell to our clients, to have an international vision.
5. But there is one country in specific that is a good market to find a job in luxury field?
For sure the ups of luxury companies are in Italy and France. And also in USA we have interesting brands, not so luxury oriented, but for sure interesting in terms of dimension and approach to the market, very merchandising oriented. UK too is interesting with relevant brands and international coverage.
I think this four markets are the most interesting ones, in terms of hubs of markets, not in terms of consumer.
6. Which are the areas, considering HR in the luxury sector, that will become trend in the next years?
Some key roles evolving quiet fast that are all the roles that involve the need of the client – or potent ion – with the company. For example: merchandising and product development, but even digital communication and CRM.
So all the links in terms of products and communication between a company and consumer.
7. Which are the characteristics and backgrounds, in general, most searched in luxury sector leaders?
International coverage and experience, ability to work in a fast environment, remember that collections change every 6 months, so it is really a very fast market, ability to work with geographically spread teams – located all over the world- and the capability to work and coordinating people, because it is more and more a team working.
8. Which do you think are the backgrounds or characteristics that are mandatory for good leaders but hard to find in the market nowadays?
Team building and team leading with the capability to deploy a clear strategy and let people work to implement this strategy.
9. Based on your knowledge in the luxury market, do you considerer Italian companies fully international, also in hiring processes (e.g. they hire foreign people on a regular basis), or they focus on Italians with international backgrounds?
Both, it depends on the culture of the company, but even the scope of the role.
10. As you know in our master, we are young professionals that have few years or no work experience yet. Could you please leave here your advice considering that we all want to be part of the luxury world?
To be passionate and transmit this passion, do not keep to yourself. To be humble at the same time and hard worker for a dynamic sector. Also the capability to be open to changes.
Thank you very much for your attention Mrs Brambilla. A lot of success!
Catarine Cantamessa and Fabiana Allinio