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Tuesday 23 Jan 2018
Keystone Business Solutions


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XpatLoop Interview: Francesco Mari, General Secretary CCIU

XpatLoop Interview:  Francesco Mari, General Secretary CCIU

After being Vice-President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hungary for two years. Francesco Mari has recently been appointed by the Board of Directors as its new General Secretary. Law degree and Master in Business Administration from the Bocconi University in Milan, he has over 20 years of managerial experience which has taken him to the top of prestigious companies at the national and international level, such as “Merloni”, “Saatchi & Saatchi”, “RAS Allianz”, “Banca Popolare Commercio & Industria” and “Gruppo Mediobanca”.

Moreover he boasts 15 years of entrepreneurial activities during which he has specialized in business start-ups in sectors like services, web and telecommunications.

Having arrived in Hungary over ten years ago and deciding to establish himself professionally here, he possesses a deep knowledge of the Hungarian macroeconomic environment and has a managerial style which is practical and result-oriented.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in Hungary over 10 years ago as a simple tourist, then I fell in love with Budapest, so I decided to stay and work here.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Yes, I’ve been an expat also in the United States and France for job-related reasons and in England to study.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
What struck me most about this country was the quality of life here and the safety feeling you get living here.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend – What must they absolutely see and do?
The city by night, its lights, colors and magical atmosphere given by the Danube. The illumination in Budapest is a great example of technical ability. Another “must” are the Ruin Pubs and Szechenyi.

5. What is your favorite Hungarian food?
It may sound a bit cliché, but I would say Goulash, but also the goose liver, the best one in Europe is in “Paprika” Restaurant.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
A very good mozzarella.

7. What is your favorite Hungarian word?
My favorite Hungarian word is actually the name of a city: Újkígyós. When I first heard it it was really hard for me to pronounce, so to help me one of my Hungarian co-workers told me that “Új” meant “new” and „kígyó” „snake”, so then I could remember it and it became my favorite word.

8. What do you miss the most from home?
Friends and relatives that are still there, but I have many chances to make new good friends here in Hungary.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
My ambition is to become the greatest Trabant collector.

10. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
A job with unsympathetic co-workers and without great challenges.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
In Casablanca, Morocco. Definitely very different from Hungary.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Sailing in the Caribbean Sea with my young daughter Ginevra.

13. What was your favorite band, film or hobby as a teen?
Acrobatic Rock and Roll, I was a professional in it. And Lucio Battisti was my favorite singer.

14. Apart of temptation what can’t you resist?
Not buying a Trabant in a very good condition.

15. Red wine or white wine?
Red wine, absolutely. In particular one brand called “Sangue di Giuda” (Judas’ blood)

16. Book or movie?
Movies: Paolo Sorrentino to think about the social issues, Checco Zalone for no thinking and Roberto Benigni to watch a movie.

17. Morning person or night person?
24-hour person, depending on the needs.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
The epochal migration: quite difficult to understand the right solution...

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Pest side is the centre of BP life and I use the bike mainly, then no choice: Pest!

20. What would you say is your personal motto?

Just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I don’t love you.