Despite initial skepticism throughout the company, by 2015 Coesia had achieved its “Ambition 2015” by exceeding the revenue goal of €1.5 billion. The company had created legitimate diversification beyond the tobacco industry, while at the same time significantly strengthening its competitive position in tobacco machinery. All the evidence suggested that Coesia’s transformation had been a success.
In mid-2016 a new goal, “Ambition 2020,” was set with the aim of further doubling the 2015 business. The group had made the crucial choice of adopting an operating model that was referred to as the “strategic enabler” model. The enabler model ensured that the individual companies had significant autonomy and P&L responsibility. Functions such as HR, R&D, marketing and finance were created at group level to support the individual companies. A regional structure was added to enable the companies to access global markets. A Coesia identity and culture was also emerging.
By the end of 2018, the group had expanded from 12 companies in 2010 to 21. The dramatic increase in size – both in terms of revenue and number of companies – brought new opportunities, challenges and dilemmas. The enabler model had delivered successful results, but the leadership team was reflecting on what, if any, changes were needed to make it scalable and efficient for a larger group.