NEWS & FAIRS > 2023 > FMGru celebrates its 60th year in business > Interview with Ferdinando Milanesi, Antonia Fuochi, Giacomo Fuochi and Marco Milanesi, the fourth generation

Interview with Ferdinando Milanesi, Antonia Fuochi, Giacomo Fuochi and Marco Milanesi, the fourth generation

In 2023, FMGru celebrates its 60th year in business. A good opportunity to review the history together with the owners Ferdinando Milanesi, President, Antonia Fuochi, Administrative Director and Giacomo Fuochi, Commercial Director.

Let's start at the beginning. When was FMGru born and where?

Antonia Fuochi:

FMGru was born around the 1920s, here in Pontenure, in the town's central square. And it saw the Fuochi and Milanesi families involved then as now. My great-uncle and Ferdinando's grandfather started out as blacksmiths but immediately began to expand the business by working as subcontractors for companies in Piacenza that produced machinery for agriculture. It was an artisan business but according to family stories, from the outset it stood out for its inventiveness and desire to do things. In the aftermath of the WWII, the second generation entered the business: my father Giuseppe, his brother Celestino, Giacomo’s father and Rodolfo, Ferdinando’s father and Umberto Milanesi, Ferdinando’s uncle.

 Ferdinando Milanesi:

The post-war period was full of transformation and growth. Our parents and uncles transformed a small workshop into a real company, with brilliance and an incredible desire to accomplish new goals. Let me give some examples. They invented an hydraulic machine to thread the tie rods that were used in construction. Moreover, they worked on the expansion of the Pirelli skyscraper. And finally, they also invented an industrial washing machine whose patent was later sold. During those years of economic boom, the construction sector was driving the economy. And even then, the intelligence of our fathers made the difference: working as contractors for a large company that manufactured cranes, they came up with the idea of starting to produce cranes.

Giacomo Fuochi

Then, as now, it was the market that drove the transformation. Along its growth path, FMGru has been lucky to meet many skilled and reliable collaborators who gave very significant contributions. For instance, I would like to mention engineer Molina and engineer Crociferi for their technical expertise and Mr Boselli for the organisational and commercial part.

Can you describe the milestones that made FMGru a market leader?

Ferdinando Milanesi:

The first step was the move to the current plant in 1963, which was also the year in which the first crane was produced. Ever since the firm has been constantly growing in terms of products and commercial success. The main target market has been the construction sector. In fact, from the beginning all our innovations have always been driven by the need to provide solutions for construction sites.

Giacomo Fuochi:

The most important innovations regarding our products have been the range of self-erecting high rotation and low rotation cranes with ropes for their ease of assembly and adaptability to different construction sites. At the same time, we have grown from a commercial point of view, both by organising a domestic sales network and, above all, by targeting foreign countries. As early as the 1970s, we started exporting to countries such as Turkey, Korea, Thailand, Brazil and Tunisia, and since then our presence in foreign markets has increasingly consolidated. Another important milestone of our commercial growth includes our first participation in BAUMA in 1977.

Ferdinando Milanesi:

Research and development to launch new products has never stopped and, indeed, we believe it is one of our strengths. From self-erecting cranes, we have moved on to MI tower cranes with a jib length up to 70 metres, up to the current TLX models with jib length  up to 85 metres, which allow ground mounting and high safety standards. We are now launching a range of self-erecting cranes with 80km/h axles, suitable for towing on the road with approval by the EC Directive and DMV, and the telescopic self-erecting crane with a jib length of 47 metres. In addition, since we want to expand our presence in the Anglo-Saxon markets, we have launched a luffing crane.

What are FMGru's future goals?

Antonia Fuochi:

Our first task is to keep the legacy of our parents alive by working with the same values they passed on to us; that is, always putting yourself out there and considering the company as a family.

The results comfort us: 2021’s revenues were €18,000,000 and in 2022 they increased to €20,000,000. We currently have sixty employees, a number that is rising. Also, the number of cranes sold has been growing steadily over the last three years. We have gone from 120 cranes sold in 2021 to 170 in 2022.

The fourth generation is already in the company with the presence of Marco Milanesi, Ferdinando's son, and we are already working along specific lines:

  • a sustainable production with the installation of two photovoltaic systems of 200 kW each
  • the introduction of remote control and connection systems on our products
  • investment in business process organisation with the purchase of management software

FMGru's first 60 years are already a wonderful milestone for us, inspiring us to continue to carry out our business to the best of our abilities.