He flanked Guido Grassi at the helm of Ocrim for a period of twenty years (1955-1975), during the great industrial transformation. Giuseppe Spinelli was a forerunner of modern management. He sensed the changes in the markets even before they occurred, and his contribution was fundamental to building Ocrim international identity.
Giuseppe Spinelli: The Man Well-Rounded Man
His business model was centred on a modern-day managerial paradigm. Giuseppe Spinelli was a self-taught person who, in the 1960s, was able to be guided by his great intuition, making use of the experiences, knowledge, relationships and cultures that characterize today’s good managers in what is defined as “the contamination of knowledge”. He was able to ride the complex intertwining of national political factors and international economic dynamics, giving Guido Grassi a valid support to launch Ocrim on world markets.
He was born in Cremona (November 21, 1908) and in his youth he worked in a print shop, but soon he devoted himself to a political career and, due to his ability to brilliantly solve problems, in 1943 he became provincial secretary of the Industrial workers association and, subsequently, the Podesta of Milan. He had a clear social vision of work and the value of workers, so much so that when Mussolini entrusted him with the Ministry of Labour in 1945, he fought to enact legislation in favor of the socialization of the productive economy.
At the end of the Second World War he moved to Argentina where he distinguished himself as an organizer and a profound expert in the world of business and labour relations, becoming one of the most trusted advisers of the President of the Republic. Peron, when later ascend to the power, appointed him Head of the Immigration Department of the Argentine Republic Navy, but when a military coup overthrew his government, Giuseppe had to flee to Mexico with his family.
Giuseppe Spinelli Meets Guido Grassi
In Mexico Spinelli met Guido Grassi. It was the period in which the Ocrim founder began to explore overseas markets and was able to appreciate Giuseppe‘s qualities and knowledge. Grassi urged him to return to Italy to join the company, which in order to grow needed a manager who knew how to integrate the entrepreneurial qualities of the founder with more specifically industrial and managerial competence. Spinelli came back to Italy, and after a period of six months studying the peculiarities of the company, finally decided to move permanently back to Italy in 1955, joining Ocrim first as General Director and then later also assuming the role of managing director.
He is remembered for being an authoritative, meritocratic, visionary and enlightened person; he had severe ways but there were many occasions in which his great humanity emerged. He was able, with Guido Grassi, to transform Ocrim into an even more international company and, thanks to his skills in the banking, commercial and industrial sectors, he was able to penetrate markets hitherto precluded. He knew how to surround himself with talented collaborators whom he trained by exercising his mandate with firmness and competence. He wanted to get to know each new employee personally and followed, even from a distance, the professional and personal training of the employees aware that the value and future of Ocrim lay in them. His professional and human experience had led him to be a person aware of risks, but brave at the same time, so much so that he foresees important investments at the right times.
In the sixties and seventies Ocrim gave great impetus to its expansion by conquering the markets of Romania, Cuba, the United States, Congo, Indonesia, Libya and Saudi Arabia. After 20 years of fervent activity, Spinelli resigned, leaving an indelible imprint in Ocrim and an entrepreneurial mentality that would continue to generate success. Passed away in 1987, his example still lingers in the company.
Photo: Giuseppe Spinelli, Giovanni Schintu and some collaborators