Think of an incredibly successful Italian business whose name begins with “L”. Think of tractors, think of fast cars and precision engineering. Why are you thinking of Lamborghini?
Lincotek Group is a global provider of fully-integrated development and manufacturing services for the medical, aviation and energy sectors. The similarity between Lincotek history and the supercar maker is striking, and the company is celebrating 50 years in business. But it is before 1973 that we need to travel in order discover the roots of this Italian success story.
When Nelso Antolotti was a young man, he worked in the engineering office of the Fiat Tractor division. Following that he worked for Italian race car manufacturer Giampaolo Dallara, who had built his experience with Italian sportscar makers including: Ferrari, Maserati, De Tomaso and, yes, Lamborghini.
Nelso picks up the story about what happened next: “Despite appreciating those jobs, I had a desire for work for myself, something I inherited from my father.
“The opportunity came in 1973 when my father decided to retire and gave my brother and I a cheque for 10 million lire (approximately 5,000 euros) with the words, “Do something on your own!” At first, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do. I was thinking of opening a lathe workshop, but a friend of my father pointed me in the right direction: “There’s too much competition in turning; you need to do something more sophisticated.” He showed me a METCO gun that performed heat treatments as an example. So, I contacted that company, bought some guns, and tried to understand the market. After a few months, in a garage, we started our adventure.”
Innovation and Service
From Da Vinci’s ground-breaking sketches of flying machines and his advancements in engineering and architecture to Volta’s work on batteries, Italy has a proud history of and a commitment to creativity and ingenuity.
Lincotek’s secret was to use technology to innovate service, as Nelso describes: “Our competitive strength lies in the fact that technology helps us solve practical problems.”
Nelso’s daughter Linda, Group Vice President, expands: “In the 1980s, the main goal was to find innovative technological solutions to meet market needs, but today, supporting companies to achieve operational efficiency has become crucial. This means adopting more advanced technologies to improve the production chain.”
The commitment to creatively and ingeniously solving customer problems positioned Lincotek to grow outside Italy.
Wherever you travel in the world, you will find Italians. Long after the Romans acquired large parts of Europe, Africa and Middle East, Italians have been seeking their futures around the world sharing food and drink, culture and technology. And it is that spirit of exploration and expansion that has fuelled Lincotek’s enviable success.
Like the automotive industry, the orthopaedic sector has been consolidating with companies being acquired and merged. But unlike Ferrari and Maserati who were acquired by Fiat and now are owned by the Dutch conglomerate Stellantis, Lamborghini now owned by VW, it was Lincotek who was doing the acquiring.
Nelso describes the way they did it: “When we started focussing on the orthopedic solutions, we acquired a company specialised in industrial coating. In this way, we were able to provide products with superior coating at a competitive price, in turn becoming market leaders first in Italy and then worldwide. Following we acquired strategically positioned companies to fulfil our objective to become a global player that could cover all manufacturing processes in the orthopedic space.”
From US the China, that growth has meant many more employees and as a family business, it is only natural that a family culture should prevail.
And when we think of Italians, we think family. Big family. From multi-generational households to lively gatherings around the dinner table, family traditions and gatherings play a central role in Italian life.
With nearly 2,000 employees Lincotek has a large extended family which Linda values: “This family culture is a way of approaching problems and managing human resources with familiarity. I am proud that wherever you go, from the United States to China, you can still breathe this familiarity.”
With the sector consolidating and ever evolving technological advances, the outsourcing of non-core components to companies like Lincotek, which reflects the way the automotive industry has worked for so long. But now Lincotek is ready for a step forward: becoming a full solution provider. Nelso concurs: “In the medical sector, we now cover all stages of ideation and engineering with the aim of solving our customers’ problems. Worldwide, new regulations on registration, quality, and clinical data collection have made innovation a costly process that requires economies of scale to be profitable, leading to product and organizational streamlining. We support our customers by providing a “turnkey” solution, helping them achieve economies of scale and enabling them to maintain a comprehensive and innovative portfolio at competitive costs.”
After 50 years, when thinking of innovation, service, growth and a family culture, when thinking of an Italian success story, think Lincotek.