10 Nov 21
10 Nov 21
Inspiring story Irritec GIULIA GIUFFRÈ, Board Member and Irritec Sustainability Ambassador.

 Named SDG Pioneer 2021 for sustainable water management by the United Nations Global Compact. 

1. What does “entrepreneurship” mean to you?
"Entrepreneurship" means being able to seize the challenges of the present and turn them into opportunities for the future. 
The story of Irritec is a true example of entrepreneurship: a pioneering company born from the forward-looking vision of my father, Carmelo Giuffrè, who was able to recognize the great potential of a technology that, at the time, was not yet present in Italy. A technology able to respond to the most important need of the planet, present and future: to save water. From the first plant founded in 1974 in Capo d'Orlando, today Irritec is among the world leaders in the field of precision irrigation. With 16 plants and more than 800 employees, Irritec has production and sales offices in Italy, Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Perù, Senegal, Spain and the United States.

2. What is the biggest experience or lesson gained on your growth journey so far?
Looking back to my journey, I think I've learned a really important lesson: setting a goal and working to achieve it is the greatest satisfaction that you can have. But there's more to it than that. It takes passion for what you do, and often also a non-immediate, non-linear way of thinking, able to combine ideas and teachings belonging also to different worlds. In a word, creatively. I learned it while I was studying Economics in Milan and in the meantime, I also dedicated my time to two of my greatest passions: acting and photography. Both helped to create a personal attitude that I then brought to the company and that helped me, together with my colleagues, to create those fundamental connections to build a sustainable future. 
Thanks to teamwork and the exchange of skills and ideas, the best solutions and projects based on the direct participation of farmers were born. It is the philosophy that drives, for example, Irritec programs such as Green Fields, which we launched in 2015 to encourage farmers to properly dispose plastic products after use, or our projects in Senegal, where we have just opened a site and where we will start a program to train designers and local maintainers. Because if we want the change to happen, we must do it together, even when the path seems full of obstacles. 
Otherwise, we won’t make a difference. With these activities and with our commitment we want to actively contribute to the ongoing change, which sees people and communities increasingly attentive to sustainability issues: together, we can make a difference to give the younger generations a better future.
3. How is your company acting as a game changer in the landscape?
Irritec is a pioneering company: founded in 1974, it was among the first companies to introduce drip irrigation systems and solutions in Italy. 
In particular, we are characterized by some values that have become fundamental elements of our work and for which we are recognized in the competitive landscape: reliability and sustainable innovation. Reliability emerges in our products, but above through the relationships established with our stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees and collaborators). 
"Don’t wait for rain" - is our payoff: in our action we have focused on innovation to produce irrigation systems that significantly reduce water and energy consumption and, furthermore, spread a culture that promotes more sustainable and inclusive agriculture. Our mission is in fact to bring to the world a replicable model of circular economy.
4. What Should Your Life Motto Be?
There is a quote by Winston Churchill that I made my own: “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking out potential”. Because, no matter what, excellence must be a habit: commitment (effort, in Churchill’s words) is the key to giving life to our full potential. It is not enough to have talent or fortune that, in fact, are worth little if not properly fed. I believe that 90% of personal success depends on determination: no matter how many times you fall, what is important is that each time you manage to get up and resume the climb towards the goals you’ve set for yourself. 
5. ELITE: the private market supporting companies, market players and the real economy. What’s your experience as ELITE member and why can be the game changing opportunity companies should consider?
With Irritec, we became part of the ELITE program: an important context that allowed us to compare ourselves with some of the best performing Italian companies. In this context, we have also had the opportunity to follow a training course and to make an important self-assessment regarding our inclusion in various areas, from finance to communication. 
In addition, Irritec was part of the selected group of quality Italian companies valued by the ELITE Basket Bond: an important step in our path of financial and corporate growth. As a result, we have had the opportunity to make major investments in the European market, mainly aimed at strengthening production at our subsidiaries and above all, to the pursuit of circular economy strategies, at the basis of our mission. ELITE Basket Bond has not only been a useful financial tool for international growth but has also allowed us to have considerable visibility. First of all, the banking sector immediately responded positively to this type of operation, a factor that allowed Irritec to position itself as a company ready to accommodate alternative sources of financing to the classic lines of credit. Secondly, we also had the opportunity to issue a mini bond. 
Using the ELITE Bond tool is therefore an opportunity for all companies that have important development plans: in addition to visibility, it is to be assessed as an additional solution and not necessarily an alternative to classic credit lines. A further benefit is the consequent certification: the company has the possibility to access the Bond only after in-depth analysis by recognized institutions.