BKT’s digital TV format – the BKT Network – is already creating new content. The subjects to be covered are numerous and varied: from technical training to first-hand accounts from users around the globe, from looking behind the scenes of sports sponsorships, to trade fairs, to CSR activities. Moreover, we will find special editions in which the Indian multinational will reveal curiosities and previously unpublished information, giving a platform to the key players in its success.
Each month we will find exclusive interviews, “Inspiring Talks”, where guests tell us their personal story through a chat in the form of an interview.
These tales of people’s lives will be intertwined with their professional experience, showing us a completely new side of BKT, through which the company aims to increasingly involve its community.
Of course, it must start with the number one at BKT Europe, the CEO Lucia Salmaso. 12 minutes of intense emotion. Lucia tells her story in a simple yet profound way, showing her dynamic approach as an impeccable professional, but also telling us about her personal life through her travels, favorite reading, her grand-daughters’ drawings hanging on the walls and music by Queen. Here are the key excerpts.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from what is around us, from people. My father was my first source of inspiration. With a ready smile, empathetic and ready to love everyone.
Many business leaders have also inspired me. Among these, the one who has influenced me the most is certainly Mr. Arvind Poddar, one of the founders of BKT.
The very first time I met him I immediately understood the depth of the values which united us, as we were also united by our vision of the future. That is why 11 years ago I chose to work with BKT.
A daily source of inspiration is certainly what my grand-daughters give me. At home as in the office, I surround myself with their wonderful drawings. They bring color into my life! I really do think that simple things can change your life.
How did you get into the world of tires?
To tell the truth, I “grew up” with tires. My father worked for much of his career in the tire industry. After completing my studies, it did not take long for me to enter this world, and I have now been here for almost 40 years.
A tire is not just a big black ring, there is a story behind every tire, a story that involves people, the person who will use it, and that is what I find fascinating.
A totally male-dominated world?
It is a male world, but underlining it is itself a stereotype. Where there is a challenge, as women, we know how to be up to the task without any difficulty, with a unique strategy that is ours alone. But it is essential, above all, that obstacles never undermine the strength of our motivation.
Do you travel a lot?
Before the current situation, I would say I used to travel a great deal. We have partners in over 160 countries worldwide and every two months I would fly to India. Without adding in the numerous international initiatives, including shows and events linked to our sports sponsorships. I can say that I used to spend a lot more time on planes than in my office. As for the future, we will see.
What does travel mean to you?
I have always been fascinated by different cultures, by different ways of approaching life, different priorities. I believe that travel means being open to other people, keeping your eyes and ears open, adopting a mental approach which is accepting differences.
I think that this is also the right way to approach our professional lives, sharing goals with the team for example, listening to what other people think, even if it is different from our own ideas. Diversity can be the source of great creativity.
What is your typical day like?
I get up very early, at six. A cup of tea, then I read my mail, the press review and I start the first calls with India. At eight I am in the office, I look at the photos of my grand-daughters and then I start my day.
The work is frenetic, but I am full of energy, ready for the day-to-day challenge. Even if I am aware of the fact that my professional life will be – let us say so – less intense sooner or later.
At this point, let us ask then how you spend your free time.
Reading is a great way of relaxing, for me. Above all, I read thrillers and historical novels. My home too is very important. I live immersed in nature, in a town on Lake Como. It is my little palace.
Then there are always my dearest friends and, of course, my grand-daughters with whom I spend a weekend every month as they do not live nearby.
Do you have any advice for a woman starting out on a managerial career?
Make sure that resilience – which is much more common in women than in men – becomes your real advantage, your strength. And then you have to be open to listening to the team, without ever losing sight of the goals.
A final question, your passions? (books, TV series, films, and so on)
I live my passions every day: they are my work and my grand-daughters.
If I had to recommend a book that I really love, I would say “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, which shows us the unique strength of the female universe.
TV series? Narcos. Film? Bohemian Rhapsody. I have always been a big Queen fan.
Here is the original episode in full:
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