Stefano Scaroni ceo of Deles Group explains what it means today to design and build business models with a systemic attitud

Entrepreneurs are changing.

It is no longer the time for the tycoons, for the fake until you make it, for the multiplication of capital at any cost, even to the detriment of the product and customers. Instead, it is the moment of wisdom and passion, of personal responsibility. And of a more moral attitude.

Stefano Scaroni, CEO of Deles Group, an Italian packaging multinational that bases its business on the One Source model.

Scaroni talks about contemporary entrepreneurship. Focused on an open concept of growth, which combines values, design, services, training and an idea of sustainable growth in a single systemic project that organically involves its entire industrial habitat.

Alongside the Deles Group, Stefano Scaroni founded with the chefs Matias Perdomo and Simon Press, together with the maître sommelier Thomas Piras, Exit, a brand dedicated to hospitality. In Milan, Gastronomia Urbana and Pastificio Urbano are two unmissable addresses for a cuisine deeply rooted in tradition and reinterpreted in a respectful but contemporary key.

The apparent distance between the two entrepreneurial fields is the key to beginning to understand what an entrepreneur is today.

What is the trait d'union between companies that deal with different sectors such as packaging, logistics and hospitality?

The recurring theme is one: what I do is not important, but who I am and how I do it. This is a general rule.

There are environments in which I feel more at ease and I am able to give more thanks to passion. Within the hospitality sector, I have found an attention to the care of people which is fundamental for me.

Humanly it is a world that gives me a lot, both in the relationship with the people who work with me and towards the customer.

My partners wouldn't have done what they did without a solid passion for their talent. It is a world that enriches humanly, like that of formation.

Is the human factor a value for the company?

Companies must be managed with rigor and attention to numbers. But the key is people and when an entrepreneur manages to build an ideal environment it is because everyone expresses their own talent.

But it is a choice that is made in two, it is the miracle of the encounter.

The value of people is what determines the success of companies and it is not an absolute value, but rooted in a context. We need people who are not only able and enterprising, but also suitable to function in the environment in which they operate.

Does the One Source model translate the value of the human relationship?

It is an idea that translates the concept of service and trust, two qualities that are the basis of sharing business objectives in terms of cost rationalization, sustainability and performance improvement within the supply chain.

We are interlocutors single, because in this way we can unleash our value on the whole supply chain and manage to achieve the objectives shared with the customer. We propose a relationship of trust total: it is the prerequisite for a constructive collaboration.

How was Deles Group born?

I was a manager before becoming an entrepreneur. During those years, I built up a frustration with the lack of freedom, with that famous compliance that is required in big companies.

Instead, it seemed clear to me that success stories are always the result of extraordinary actions.

Then I met my current partner, Matteo Zaffaroni, who owned a family box factory and had development ideas based on internationalization and services. We have built a friendship that also takes shape in diversity.

I bring the approach of a visionary manager, he has a more financial and industrial attitude.

This contamination has allowed us to grow. We have widened the value chain on packaging design, we have focused on the real needs of customers: fragility, weight, sustainability, rationalization of costs and resources.

We preserve the goods during the logistics cycle by modeling the activities around the peculiarities of the products. We have grown in terms of skills in logistics, supply chain, performance and attention during packaging design, with the most suitable, sustainable and economically rationalized materials.

What role did design and research play in the creation of the business model?

The Deles Lab (the research and development laboratory of the Deles Group) was born with the function of modeling our production on tailored solutions.

This path has led us from being a traditional box factory to the construction of a group that includes two macro realities: the original Scatoloficio and the Deles, more oriented towards design and technological solutions.

The Deles Group business model is ideal for our clients because it tends to improve performance.

A company dedicated to innovation, growth, talents and the future. We have nine industrial and logistic plants in Italy, 4 in Poland and we have just opened in Hungary. The group has a turnover of around 130 million euros. Design has played a key role in our growth.

What does the word design mean for an entrepreneur?

It is a very broad concept.

The project affects everything we do, even the design of our strategies and our organizations.

And it also includes the aesthetic aspect of creating functional environments to develop our best thoughts.

Design is everywhere. If the beauty that has surrounded us for centuries and characterizes Italian culture is transferred to what we do, it becomes a happy note. It is the constant search for an ideal atmosphere and affects any aspect of our lives.

You collaborate with the Politecnico di Milano and have founded the Deles Academy: why invest so much in training?

In 2017, we created the Deles Academy to build a neutral field that acts as a trait d'union between those leaving school and those already in world of work.

We place great emphasis on the value of generational diversity. For us it is the real challenge: to create opportunities to recognize mutual value. Very interesting contaminations arise from this.

The goal is to bring young resources into the company and put them in relation with the people who already work with us. We are a B2B company, hardly a boy from the Milan Polytechnic aspires to make a career within a company that he does not know.

The purpose of the Deles Academy and the collaborations with universities, which we are also activating abroad, is to demonstrate that designing a packaging solution for a lamp is as important as designing the lamp itself.

Education is a central theme in the development of our companies because we know that institutions and politics cannot follow us. The feeling is that if we entrepreneurs don't think about it, it's all over. The sense of responsibility to the people and the country is the most important thing.

What will the entrepreneur of the future look like?

We are rethinking our model by pushing on internationalization and working more and more on both social and environmental sustainability. We feel responsible for what we give back to the world and have started the path to B Corp certification.

We realize that what has been taken from the planet in the last twenty years must be returned, because the company does not end up within our four walls, but acts within an ecosystem.

With this objective and the will to seek continuous stimuli to contaminate our activities, we have launched a call for application for the Designer in Residence programme, two research grants from 5,000 euros each, you can find information on how to apply on our website.

We are looking for an encounter with a designer who can impact our system and shake us up, change our point of view.