While waiting to meet Pope Francis in Paul VI Hall the anticipation of the 1200 members of the Economy of Communion (EoC) was calmed by several testimonies from entrepreneurs including Clem Fritschi who began like this: “Mine is not the story of a successful man of business, but a love story. After finishing my studies in Switzerland I worked as a warehouseman in London, to learn English. That’s where I met Margherita. We fell in love and, since she’s from Turin, I decided to find work in Italy. Two years later we got married and had two children. All of a sudden the company I was working for decided to close down. Then a few colleagues and I put together our settlements in order to keep the place going.” That’s how Ridix began, a company that has been offering cutting-edge products on the Italian market in the field of precision engineering since 1969.
“In 1974 my family and I took part in a Focolare Meeting in Bergamo, Italy. It wasn’t a happy time, we had just lost our first son10 years old, in an accident. The encounter with the spirituality of unity was like a cure-all for us, to the point that even amidst our tears Margherita and I said to each other that we had met God-Love. We went home with only one word in mind, the verb: LOVE. Love everyone, love even at work. One of the young men that I met in Bergamo asked if there would be a position for him in the business I started. That’s how Ugo, then Paolo, and then Michele got on board. All three became associates.
The company slogan is: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his riteousness, and the rest will be given to you as well.” All of us want our relationship to be deep and sincere. We allow each other to make mistakes and to argue, but to experience the presence of God we also have to hurry ourselves to recompose unity with one another. The success is overwhelming: Today there are 9 associates and 70 collaborators, many highly qualified in selling, contract signing, commissioning, maintenance and management. We have an annual turnover of more than 30 million Euros. Loving one another and trying to love everyone, even our enemies: that’s the success of Ridix that I will try to describe with a few short phrases.
- Inclusion of people affected by addiction or in difficult relationship problems, people from immimgrant backgrounds and from poor countries.
- Stable employment opportunities for young people.
- Overcoming moments of crisis through a 20% reduction in everyone’s salary, partners included, so that jobs don’t have to be lost. The sense of belonging that is generated with this practice always turns out to be a factor of success.
- Following the takeover of a client by a multinational, there was a loss of 20% of the annual turnover. Because of a totally unforseen occurance, in one week the entire amount was recovered without losing a single employee.
- In seemingly irresovlable situations, the correct inspiration arrived at just the right moment to simplify everything and overcome the difficulty.
- The ability to support and carry out new entrepreneurial initiatives.
One part of the profit is donated to the poor. Thanks to this sharing, Muslim teachers on the outskirts of Tangeri, Morocco opened a kindergarten in a garage that allowed 40 children to be ready for primary school.
The secret to our success? Communion. Which means transparency, sincerity, truth even when it is hard to say, devoting time to building positive relationships. The “promised land” we’re all heading for is a company where everyone is happy. Happy employees because the company is healty and the atmosphere collaborative. Happy clients because of just relationship betewen quality and product pricing, and purchasing services. Happy providers, because of long and prolific collaboration. We may be tired at the end of a day, but we’re happy and satisfied because we’ve done our job well.