The Most Powerful Italian Entrepreneur Has DiedIt’s the story of Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder and president of Luxottica, and executive president of EssilorLuxottica, the world’s largest producer and seller of eyewear and lenses. With around 80,000 employees and over 9,000 shops.
He died in Milan at the age of 90. The intense life of Leonardo Del Vecchio, one of the most brilliant and visionary Italian entrepreneurs of the twentieth century.
Born in Milan in 1935 from a very poor family, he started working in an eyewear factory from an early age. At the age of 21 he opens his first shop, which will soon become the Luxottica Group, today a colossus of 24 billion
He has come this far because he obsessively followed two principles that are common among successful people. I will devote a whole chapter of this article to explaining it to you.
If these precious mental attitudes are not part of your character, The good news is… you can learn them. Keep reading.
Although the family was very poor, his mother always managed to get by.
As a child Leonardo often accompanied his elderly father to help the peasants in the Lodigiano countryside. The hard and tiring life certainly did not discourage the young man
There had to be some way to turn the tables. That’s exactly what Leonardo did: he changed his cards on the table, thanks to the strength of his will and his stubbornness.
Despite the difficult family situation, Leonardo continues to study and work hard.
At 19, he managed to graduate as a chemical expert, and at 21 he opened his first shop. Today they no longer exist but they were once the engine of the economy of small Italian towns.
The workshops of artisans were small shops overlooking the main streets of the cities or villages. In a single space, or at most two rooms, there was the part dedicated to the public entering and the part of the laboratory where the objects were worked and produced. Leonardo made glasses.
In reality, he began working at the age of 15 as an apprentice in a Milanese factory producing medals and cups. The company was small, but it produced batches of metal eyeglass frames – this is where he learns the profession.
He also attended evening courses at the Brera Academy for engraver, and at 22, he moved to a town in Trentino where he is a worker.
After a year here he opens an eyeglass frame shop in Agordo, in the province of Belluno. Here the state had made land available free of charge to young entrepreneurs who had opened a new company.
The business immediately took off and in a short time the young entrepreneur was able to open another 5 stores.
In 1960, he founded Luxottica, a company that initially produced eyeglasses for third parties, but soon began to make sunglasses as well.
Success is rapid and in a few years Leonardo Del Vecchio becomes a successful entrepreneur. In 1974, he acquired the worldwide license for the production of Ray-Ban eyewear.
In the 1980s, Luxottica acquired other important brands such as Armani, Persol and Brooks Brothers.
In 1999, the company also acquired the worldwide license for the production of Oakley eyewear. In 2004, the French Essilor, specialized in the production of ophthalmic lenses, was also listed on the stock exchange. It is always his acqusition.
In 2007, the two companies were merged into a single holding: EssilorLuxottica.
Leonardo Del Vecchio was able to build a $24 billion empire from scratch. A real Italian miracle, which teaches us that anything is possible if you really believe in what you do.
He was such an innovator that in his last phase of life he also collaborated with Mark Zouckerbeg to create very special glasses. Forte already designed for a virtual reality or the Metaverse.
Not happy, in recent years he had entered into an important partnership with Facebook for the creation of smart glasses.
These are smart glasses capable of projecting information and images in real time onto the lenses. A real revolutionary, not only in the field of optics, but also in the field of technology.
Thanks to his genius, Leonardo Del Vecchio has changed the way of seeing the world for millions of people around the world.
This is just a small example of his greatness. The glasses are based on a Ray Ban frame and are able to take pictures, post them on social networks and listen to music. The first of its kind.
Leonardo Del Vecchio enters the US market after 10 years of growth and consolidation in the eyewear market, thanks to a loan obtained from Credito Italiano, which acquires Avantgarde, an American eyewear brand.
In 1993, just one year after the loan, Leonardo Del Vecchio returned all the money received, including the interest paid.
At the same time, he opens 4 new factories and employs 4,500 people in the period between 1993 and 1994.
In 1990 Luxottica is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, while the listing on the Italian Stock Exchange will take place only 10 years later, in 2000.
In 2007 Leonardo Del Vecchio became a shareholder of the French real estate giant Foncière des Régions, after having sold his majority stake in Beni Stabili.
Finally, he has strengthened his shares in the most important Italian company that deals with insurance policies and is Assicurazioni Generali.
Del Vecchio resigned from his position as CEO of Luxottica in July 2004, although he still remained Executive Chairman of the group.
Further sadness was his disappearance a few days ago. Italy has lost one of its best entrepreneurs.
However, in my opinion, two lessons remain as milestones:
To be an entrepreneur you need patience.
We must learn to reinvest earnings by risking
Focus on one aspect and invest all your energy to achieve the set goal. We must not get caught up in the anxiety of wanting to have the results immediately, but study the market and its dynamics well.
B) Reinvest the earnings:
The real secret is to reinvest every euro that you can put aside in new projects, in new ideas.
I risk a lot, but without risk you go nowhere.
As Leonardo Del Vecchio said: “Success comes only if you are willing to take risks.”
By following these two fundamental lessons, we are sure that you too can achieve great goals.
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