Italians have style and this is evident in the way they dress for work.
Styles of dress will vary from industry to industry with the more conservative professions of finance and the law favouring suits and ties and industry being somewhat less formal. Regardless of function, however, managers will invariably be very well-groomed wearing good quality, well-cut clothes.
The importance of appearance in Italy should not be taken lightly – if you want to be respected look the part! Looking good is as important for men as for women and women visiting Italy might be surprised to hear compliments made to them on their appearance. (Such comments are not considered politically incorrect in Italy.)
As it can get very hot in the summer, do not arrive with heavy northern European clothing in June – lightweight fabrics will make your visit much more comfortable.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
Despite Italy’s much publicised economic difficulties, following the global banking crisis, it remains a vibrant and attractive economy which not only has an active export base but which is also open to new products and new ideas from abroad. Doing business in Italy has proved highly successful for scores of global companies – and will continue to do so as the country continues to grow at a steady rate.
Italy has a well-educated and discerning consumer base as well as a vibrant manufacturing sector with thousands of SME’s producing a wide range of high-quality goods across a number of sectors. Both the Italian consumer base and SME companies need new products and services and are actively looking to work with international partners who can add value to their lives. If you are not doing business in Italy at the moment, you should start to scan the market for opportunities as soon as possible.
Italy represents an attractive opportunity but that does not mean everything will be plain sailing when you get there. Like all countries, Italy has a distinct and unique business culture. Don’t expect business in Italy to function like things do ‘back home’.
Italian business is very relationship oriented and who you know is incredibly important. How are you going to make those all-important first connections and, when you meet them, how will you make a good impression? Are you speaking to the right person within a prospect organisation? How effectively will you be able to communicate your ideas and what are the ‘hot-buttons’ in Italy? These issues could mean the difference between success and failure.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Italian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: