On November 18th, students from the MBA Luxury Brand Management had the chance to attend a presentation from Mirko Bordiga, former General Manager of Ferrari Mainland China and current CEO of Ducati Asia Pacific. Mr. Bordiga, a well-known thrill seeker, gained an extensive amount of his expertise in the luxury industry through over 13 years of experience working for luxury automotive brands such as Ducati, Ferrari and Mazerati. His field of expertise is to build from the ground up and set up businesses in emerging markets, and during his time in Asia, became very successful in doing so. What makes him so successful? “Seeing opportunities where people do not see them and being at the right place, at the right time”, he says. Since 2005 and having opened 12 Ferrari dealerships in 10 cities in Mainland China, when the market for luxury cars did not exist at that time, he became an expert in taking challenges and understanding cultural specificities. “You see very successful Italians all over the world, probably because they are flexible. They know how to adapt,” explained Mr. Bordiga, hinting that a large part of his success was due to his Italian lineage. During his presentation, he gave invaluable advice to students. For example, when entering a new market it is very important to study the demographics in order to anticipate trends, listen to your customers and adapt to local tastes. Adaptability is an important concept to grasp, as he pointed out to his time with Ferrari and explained a few factors he had to change after understanding the market. He explained, “We had to adapt to the local specificities of the Chinese market and slightly modify our strategy” further emphasizing his understanding of cultural differences in different countries. His latest challenge is to raise brand awareness for Ducati in Asian countries where the demand for sporty premium motorbikes is not necessarily strong. He remains confident for success and based on his experience along with his driving passion for automotives, the outlook for Ducati to take that next step in Asia looks very bright. He concluded giving one last advice to the students by saying, “You have to believe in what you sell and get concerned. Passion goes a long way!”