A low-rise building, sometimes anonymous, of those built in the 70s to house the offices of one of the many small and medium-sized businesses that urbanized the northeast of the wonder in its image and resemblance to that which has since built over a few decades his myth about the shed and visionary talents of the visionary entrepreneur, of the parón, who stubbornly and intuition shapes his own life and the territory that surrounds it.
The address is also a whole program: via del lavoro 7, a stone’s throw away from the freeway.Part of the table top in the middle of the room and for an orange chair. Only one, at the top of the table, in the middle of a can of black chairs.
“It’s not the president’s favorite, on the contrary, he’s always sitting among us where there is room,” explain collaborators Armando Donazzan, 51, father of five and head of a group with more than 1,000 employees, 180 million euros in turnover and merging ten companies into a single holding.
The Northeast Panther
And to think that it all started in 1971 when Leone Donazzan founded the electromechanical company of the same name in Bassano del Grappa, specializing in the repair and winding of electric motors.
A competitive sector, in which the small Vicenza factory embarked on a path of internationalization from the early 80s until it met its first setback in the 90s, when the fifty-year-old Leone joined and then took over from his son Armando, not once thirty years old. It takes a good deal of bright madness and resourcefulness to take over the family business while the patriarch is still firmly in command, taking on the challenge of restarting his innovative and international vocation.
Right from the start, the young Donazzan stands out for his resourcefulness: making quick decisions, he begins a path that he leads over the years to get 17 companies and earn the nickname “Northeast Panther” in the field. Companies that are apparently in trouble, in which management has lost sight of the real potential of their products and workers, are the ones that the Vicenza Entrepreneur is focusing his attention on: he gets them by keeping them in the holding absorb and relaunch them by finding them. Place in the retail store and new outlet markets for their products.
In Tournament with Real Madrid and Barcelona
The difficulties did not fail and still do today, with a market that has now fallen into the grip of inflation and the scarcity of raw materials, which mainly affects mechanical companies. So far, Orange 1 has not recorded any significant production cases, the company said, but this is mainly due to the wisdom of the management, which oriented production to the personalization of electric motors, to abandon the “mass” market and put the result . from the specialties of the individual companies of the group to cover all the promising niches.
Therefore, Sicme Orange1 is permanently active in large motors for hydroelectricity and the Montebello plant, which by its barycentric position has become the management heart of the whole group, monitors the segment of small and medium-sized motors without forgetting the melt. of aluminum, active with 3 factories in Italy, Slovakia and Romania in the precision turning division, Orange1 Precision.
After more than two decades as an entrepreneur, Donazzan continues to thrive, both in the company and in life. The role of the Panther suited him and he made it into a real brand.
“We organized a tournament in Bassano, one of the best of the season with Barcelona, Real Madrid and the whole international basketball world,” said Giacomo Rossi, General Manager of Orange 1 Basket Bassano. “Armando was in the stands and, when the matches were over, he went down to clean the pitch with a broom and a mop. He’s not the classic sponsor or owner, he’s one of us who has the innate skill has to identify problems and solve them.
Life in the Foresteria
As in many business stories, the sport with its values, successes and defeats finally represents all the values of the company and Orange 1 is not missing either: on basketball courts, but also on rally circuits and on the track in which the Lamborghini is. official partner, manages to show the human face, out of passion and determination that accompanies both the company and the entrepreneur and constantly seeks new challenges, without reserve and investing in people in their skills that may not yet be expressed, little In Bassano, the Foresteria was born: a center that can accommodate 30 children, offers them a scholarship, guarantees them a high level of academic education and the opportunity to play basketball, which counts along with the other 100 young people who come to the Orange 1 field every day.
“There is a whole world that revolves around children from basketball coaches to chefs passing by housekeepers, doctors and psychologists. We must do everything to make everyone feel at home in Bassano del Grappa,” the general manager commented. in Foresteria, which come from 13 countries, 4 continents, 5 religions and speak 12 different languages and this multicultural environment allows them to grow rapidly. From where they arrive we accompany them until they are completed, after which they leave the Orange 1 system and start at the universities, colleges and the particularly talented in professional basketball ».
Basketball has become an opportunity to provide a driving force for many children to a better future by rewarding their sporting merits without neglecting their education. “Armando Donazzan is everyone’s older brother: he’s not an ordinary person, he has a dose of generosity beyond the ordinary, while still being the entrepreneur he is,” Giacomo Rossi concludes. “Every time we have a meeting, I’m amazed at how I manage to keep up to date with everything basketball is about, even though I know nothing about basketball to the point that when I talk about organizational and structural issues, it strikes me as You’re coming to propose the solution that I’m thinking I would do for a living, I’ve been thinking for a month.
The human and entrepreneurial figure is the same and is revealed both in the management of the company and in sports: Donazzan are the talent but it is instinct, friendship and passion that push him now towards basketball, now and towards car racing and volunteering. “The opportunity to give young people a future, to look at it in a positive way with a smile, was the goal that inspired the idea of Orange1 Basket, an innovative project,” explains Armando Donazzan himself. “I try to resist Bassano, the city where I was born and whom I love, with a project that I believe can give a lot of satisfaction.” The company thus becomes a social value, investing resources even where economic and image returns are sometimes tight or zero, with the innate ability to keep the right bar to manage a company in which you can breathe an electric air, full of passion, Thanks not only to the engines produced there.