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Francesco Mazzagatti is a self made businessman and serial entrepreneur from Calabria in Italy. He is the CEO of the Napag and the Viaro groups of companies and has an interest in other companies and investments. He divides his time between London, Rome and Dubai and is married with one daughter.
Francesco Mazzagatti’s father owned a small freight business based in Calabria which each harvest season drove to northern Italy. During this busy period, they drove the green peas from the farms to the canning factory. At 16 Francesco persuaded his father to buy a second truck so they could also transport green beans and work longer in the North increasing revenue. The following year they purchased another truck so they could also work the sugar beet harvest.
Two days after his 18th birthday, Francesco Mazzagatti registered a company, called Pascal, after his late brother, and applied for government funding to create a logistics centre. His first application was rejected because what he proposed did not create a sufficient number of jobs – the purpose of the scheme was job creation. At 20 he applied again for a grant and this time was awarded €1.6m to build a logistics centre near his home in Calabria modelled on the ones he had seen in Northern Italy. These were centres which had cold and dry storage facilities which allowed local growers and manufactures to store their produce safely and in the right conditions prior to distribution to wholesale and retail customers. Two years later, in March 2008, the project was completed.
Pascal Beverages and Logistics
In 2010 he diversified the Pascal business into fruit juices and cornered the Middle Eastern export market for juices. Already an expert in logistics he now taught himself the principles of international trade, trading and doing business in the Gulf region and wider Middle East. The Pascal production plant is based in Reggio Calabria the most southern province in Italy, where the Mediterranean weather helps fruits become much better produce quality. Pascal Beverages offer standardized juice concentrates and combinations of concentrated fruit juices and compounds. The products themselves are Halal certified and their quality, as well as that of the production processes they are based on, has been achieved with the utmost respect for the surrounding environment. As proof and affirmation of our commitment and care paid to environmental issues, the Company recently applied for and was awarded the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification.
The Oil Business
In 2012 Francesco Mazzagatti decided that if he could trade fruit juices he could also trade oil but he would first have to learn the business as he had done the logistics business and the fruit juice business. From 2012 to 2015 he studied the energy sector, the oil trading business, shipping, risk management and built up contacts and knowledge but did not attempt to trade or complete a deal. When he felt that he had the knowledge and the contacts, he entered the industry. From 2015 to 2016 the turnover of the oil trading business was $1m a year. He focused on the trading of oil cargoes and in 2015 he began to make deals, trade shipments and build a presence in the sector. In 2017 the turnover of the group was $167m. In 2018 Francesco Mazzagatti established the business in the UK and turnover rose to $244m. As he studied the oil sector and grew the company, he was also thinking of the future and of developing a new kind of energy and investment company.
In 2020 he launched the Viaro Group which is a new kind of energy and investment group of companies. The philosophy of the Viaro investment business is that as in nature as in business, it is not the biggest or the strongest that survive, but the most adaptable. Fast and unpredictable change means investment opportunities. Viaro looks at investments that reflect the nature of change and the nature of risk in the contemporary world. Francesco Mazzagatti has designed the philosophy of Viaro to reflect his own life experience and lessons. In this world of multi-faceted risk, he stresses the importance of planning. There is an unfashionable science which sits at the heart of our ability to manage risk. That is the science of planning and logistics.
As Francesco Mazzagatti says:
“When I was young my father had a truck for making deliveries. I looked at his business and I realised that he could do much better with more than one truck but that I had to understand the logistics of moving things around to run that business. That was the first business I ran with him as a child and it taught me to plan carefully, to think about routes, supply chains, delivery schedules, weather conditions and human factors, all at the same time.”
In running a multinational company in this highly complex world of information flows, political change and climate crisis, Francesco applies the same fundamentals. Logistics sit at the heart of the successful management of risk and the management of risk sits at the very heart of doing well in investments. He says: “It is not a poker game. Gambling is not the way to manage risk, it is the way to be destroyed by risk. In the kinds of deals that Viaro Investments wish to deliver in the future we cannot afford to gamble. It is not enough to think that you know the answer, you have to know that you know the answer.”
In 2015 his services to Italian exports around the world were recognised by the Under Secretary of Defence with a special certificate of recognition.