Ciao Milano!

Well, I successfully made the trek from Toronto to Milan and am excited to embark on my Lofts experience! Here are some highlights from my first day:

Location, Location, Location…

Duomo Cathedral, just outside Duomo metro station and less than a 10 minute walk to Havas

Traveling in via the Metro on our first day, I discovered that the Havas Village is situated in the heart of Milan’s city centre, and mere minutes away from the stunning Duomo cathedral. The office itself comprises 6 floors and has many outdoor terraces, many of which are sunny spots with picturesque views. Unlike the open office concept that I’m used to, teams are grouped in different rooms that shoot off from the main circular hallway. The media teams take up the third floor, which is where I found the desk that I would be occupying for the next four weeks, along with a thoughtful welcome gift :)

Welcome gift at my desk — consisting of a recipe and fixings for a traditional Italian pasta meal!

Mangiamo!

The team was so nice to have a traditional Sicilian lunch brought in for our first day (which we enjoyed on one of the amazing outdoor terraces). Most people who know me are well aware that I have a sweet tooth, so the cannoli were by far the highlight for me. Lunch was followed by a coffee run to a favoured spot around the corner, Caffe Napoli. They’re supposedly known for their coffees that contain a sweet “cremina” that gave me even more of a well appreciated sugar kick.

Havas hotspot, Caffe Napoli

Big Wins = Big Growth

Source: RECMA

Day 1 wasn’t just filled with impressive terrace views and tasty Italian eats. We also had in-depth meetings with Stefano Spadini (CEO, Havas Media Group Italia) and Guido Surci (Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer). Both spoke about Havas Media’s recent growth in the Italian market, which is definitely worth noting. It is both the fastest growing media agency and holds the #1 Vitality ranking in the market according to RECMA. This growth has been largely driven by winning the TIM account (which, for those not aware, is Italy’s largest telco company). But this wasn’t the team’s only recent new business win. In fact, throughout 2017, they boasted the impressive record of winning a new client every 3 weeks!

So what’s the secret to sustaining this upward swing? According to CEO Stefano Spadini, it’s about securing the right talent who are ready to embrace a challenge. He referred to stamina, determination and spirit all being important. Beyond that, he strongly believes that you need to be daring and make bold business decisions in order to be successful and grow. And lastly, he spoke of the competitive edge that comes with the recent acquisition by Vivendi. It gives us a different story to tell and the opportunity to connect to consumers through a content led strategy.

Overall, I’d say that there’s a strong sense of energy, vitality, and excitement that permeates the Milan office, making it a place that I’m definitely excited to be spending the next four weeks.

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