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Interview with Achille Pedrazzoli

Project Manager, DemacLenko

1.When did you first discover your passion for snow?

I've loved the world of snow since I was small: I grew up in a mountain village where my father was head of the ski facilities. As the years went by my love for winter sports and everything connected to them developed from a hobby into a profession.

2.What precisely is your role at the company?

I am a project manager, predominantly for projects outside of Europe. My role involves managing the installation of new snowmaking systems and/or the expansion of existing systems: starting with a survey, then designing and sourcing the materials for the systems, and finally installing them, including providing initial training to the local snowmakers.

3.You travel a lot on business - how do you spend your free time?

It's true, I do travel a lot for work, but that doesn't stop me travelling in my spare time. I wouldn't call it a passion of mine, but I am certainly always very curious to experience new places, customs and cultures. I spend the rest of my spare time enjoying my favourite sports with my girlfriend and my friends: ski freeriding, downhill, windsurfing, canyoning, rock climbing etc. It's the best way I know to relieve the tensions that have built up during months of intense work.

4.Describe a typical day on site for us.

It's difficult to say - the beauty of this job is precisely that no one day is the same as the next. If I had to, I would say a typical day begins by getting up early in the morning, eating a good breakfast and setting off for the ski slopes! The sun playing hide and seek behind the peaks gives me the motivation to tackle the first issues of the day: discussions with the various companies involved in the project, sometimes heated, sometimes less so, before finally reaching a solution we all more or less agree on, which is the perfect excuse to take a break and enjoy the surrounding landscape with a cup of chai. I spend the morning monitoring ski slopes and constantly checking the progress of the pumping station. The afternoon involves a couple of hours on the computer to send urgent messages and organise both the site I'm on and the others I am monitoring at the same time. Then I return to the piste and get back to the checks and discussions, constantly searching for the best solutions. I spend another couple of hours on the computer in the evening, before a tasty buffet and a drink with my colleagues from the site, dinner, a chat and plenty of laughs. After dinner, I'm back on the computer...I'm not sure how and why, but the time difference always messes me up!

5.You're our Project Manager for Georgia - what differences are there between there and Italy?

Everything is simultaneously very different and very similar; the main things in Italy and Georgia are the same, but there are many differences in the more subtle nuances. People here are very friendly, it is lovely to feel so welcomed by the locals. The wonderful cuisine and excellent wine take me back to Italy, but I am brought back to Georgia with a bump as soon as I start to work on a certain invoice or try to procure materials that I could get in a blink of the eye in Italy. Georgia is a wonderful country, both culturally, with its history going back millennia, and in terms of its breathtaking landscapes; from the sea to the 5,000-metre-high peaks I cannot spare a moment from admiring my surroundings. I'm planning to come back here as a tourist to do some heliskiing! :-)

6.Imagine it's 2025: where are you, and what are you doing? What do you foresee for our company?

Wow! This is a little daunting, I've never made such long-term plans before...let's see, in 2025 I'll be 37...too old! By then I'll be bald and pot-bellied! :-) I'll be smoking a pipe on a rocking chair on the veranda in front of my house, directing offensive comments at passers-by!
And the company? Well, at the rate it's growing I'm sure that in 2025 DemacLenko will be even more successful than it is now: the spirit of dynamism that inspires this company will lead it to great heights.

7.You are a problem solver, but has there ever been a situation in your career where you didn't know how to react?

Oh, there have been plenty! Do you want to talk about my personal life!? Have a chat with my girlfriend if you like! :-)
Actually no, I'm lucky to have excellent colleagues that come to my rescue whenever I'm in difficulty; as a last resort I draw on my father's experience, which is a useful back-up for me!

8.What is your greatest dream?

Obviously to be happy and carefree in the company of my nearest and dearest. I'd like to be able to dedicate myself completely to a full-time project related to tourism in my home region, the Alps of Lombardy.

9.As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A champion skier.

10.Do you have a special moment you look back on in your work?

I have had many special moments. Each time a system is launched is a great joy for me: it represents the end of a project and the achievement of an objective. But the moments I remember with most happiness are entirely human in nature: in India, when I stopped to admire the majesty of the Himalayas, or when I was invited to the wedding of one of the local snowmakers and the explosion of colours in New Delhi. In Turkey, with the company's workers, where they lit a fire to cook a meal all together on top of the mountain, or the Bayram festival in Istanbul with my colleagues/friends. The evenings after work in old Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The time spent with our great colleagues at Leitner in Azerbaijan. The time in Russia where I didn't sleep for days on end because I was working during the day and hitting the clubs at night... I could carry on in a similar vein until you're bored silly!