Let’s Start the Interview:
The Worlds Times: Explain the background of you and the Company in detail.
Nico D’Incecco: Our team has a solid experience on prefabricated construction acquired in over 25 years of activity in projecting, manufacturing and developing various building solutions always with an eye to the green technology. During our business activity we have built any kind of wooden structures like residentials, commercials, schools and sport facilities. The company born in 1998 was founded by our current CEO mr Giustino Di Donato together with his sister miss Francesca Di Donato, their family has been in the lumber business since the 1970s. The second generation actually steps from the lumber trade to the construction business. Strength and passion of a dynamic environment with eyes fixed to a better future. The spirit of innovation originates from love for nature, because the only way doing business that we have known is to improving the environment in which men live, investing in the quality and style of the habitat, ensuring well-being and harmony. Our activity contributes to bio-architectural development through solid and advantageous answers, the result of a work made of commitment, intuition, seriousness, and above all passion
The Worlds Times: What are your goals?
Nico D’Incecco: Our challenge is to revolutionize the prefabricated affordable building industry through smart designs and innovative manufacturing processes. A-FOLD uses ground-breaking building technology and innovative materials to build modern modular homes that unfold to provide, quickly and easily, an affordable, high-quality, sustainable living space. Durable and earthquake resistant, it’s the perfect solution for any kind of purpose: residential, commercial, resorts and even disasters relief accommodations. We design safe and cozy spaces that can grow, move or change with your needs. Designed for an extremely comfortable living, A-FOLD guarantees an innovative and affordable housing solution.
The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of A-FOLD right now?
Nico D’Incecco: A mix of traditional craftsmanship and technological innovation, with advanced production facilities that are spread over an area of 20,000 square meters, taking shape as an important reference in the market of wooden buildings, with a focus on green building. The environment is the protagonist of each project and its compliance with an essential element of our corporate philosophy. A spirit of enterprise that innovates in the name of progress and accountability. A team of experienced professionals is available to the customer to offer a complete and personalized service, able to respond to any request and fulfill any need. A technical department composed by architects engineers and surveyors, analyzes requests and identify the most appropriate solutions. Inside the plant, in an area set up specifically, we study the prototypes whose ultimate realization is guaranteed by cutting edge technology and experienced operators.
The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?
Nico D’Incecco: About five years ago we started developing a new concept of foldable home in order to offer a brand new concept of building system to the market. That was another amazing journey through unknows treats and opportunities that brought us where we are.
Thanks to significant investment in R&D and to the capacity of our technical team, we have reinvented the modular house with an innovative and patented folding system which is perfect even for tourism industry applications. The modular system allows various set-ups with maximum flexibility, can be easily modified, expanded and rearranged according to customer needs. In addition, the innovative folding system ensures ease of shipment, as the folded house can be transported on a common truck or container, and simple installation that is done on-site in just a few hours.
The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?
Nico D’Incecco: During over 25 years of business we have dealt with the most different and unpredictable challenges. As innovators we face everyday difficulties of every kind from technical issues to market response to innovation in a traditional business like the construction that has remained pretty the same for the last 100 years. Talking about the last born product in our company, A-FOLD houses, we had to deal with the most severe crisis in the last decades as we were ready to start distributing them just a few months before the pandemic happened and that definitely slowed down our project and entails an impressive rising in the raw materials prices and shipping cost as have never seen before.
The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.
Nico D’Incecco: Visionary is the first word that comes to my mind as we have always tried to anticipate market’s needs but also solidity and resilience are a couple of important adjectives that fit us.
The Worlds Times: What do you value most about A-FOLD vision?
Nico D’Incecco: Sustainability, environmental and social sustainability. The world should be moving toward sustainability every step it takes. Our planet is asking for that and our communities are divided more and more everyday between the ones who can afford a very high end lifestyle and the rest of the people that will never have the capacity to buy a home for its family. Respect for the nature and affordability are the value we keep following in our day life here at A-FOLD houses.
The Worlds Times: Tell us about a A-FOLD project that forced you to be innovative and creative.
Nico D’Incecco: I would not say that there has a been a particular project that forced us to become innovative, I would say that innovation is in our DNA, nevertheless if I have to spot a particular situation in which we have tested our incapacity to give efficient answers to the questions our environment was asking that’s the severe earthquake that hit the center of Italy in 2009. We took part in the first aid and disaster relief but it took months to accommodate all the people that have been left homeless from the earthquake. What possible response we can provide to such a disaster? Something affordable and easy to install, that is where A-FOLD houses originate before we realized that such a building technology can provide the same efficient answers to the real estate market as well.
The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of your company and how do they stand unique from your competitors?
Nico D’Incecco: Strategies are important to survive the competition and to gain advantage on the market but in such a fast developing business environment in which technology offer continuously improvements in every field of our life and in which developing countries are gaining impressive production capacities I think that vision and values are more important that strategies and that they will pay a better dividend on the long term.
The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the roadblocks/challenges in your career? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?
Nico D’Incecco: Resiliency and unshakable faith in everyday work, no shortcut can lead us where we want to be. I do not have a memorable incident, there are good days and bad days and you have to overcome adversity and uncertainty every single day of your life in your business and in your private life. Getting on our feet after being hit that are what all about.
The Worlds Times: How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
Nico D’Incecco: The step from being a company operating in our national territory to go global has had quite an impact. For over 20 years we have built wooden structure just in Italy and then all of a sudden we have started shipping our products in the USA, in central America, Europe and middle east. We have to consolidate these results implementing production plants in north America as well as in the north of Europe. We see ourselves keep thriving and growing as a business and as a team.
The Worlds Times: Tell us something about your upcoming products or services?
Nico D’Incecco: We launched the glamping lines a few months ago, the local tourism industry is growing at a terrific pace following the pandemic and people feel the urgency to be immersed in the nature as it never happened before. Again, we need to consolidate our current position, but as usual we are already looking to a product that will enlarge our product portfolio without distorting our nature. A foldable mobile home is what we are working on at the moment, prototyping wil happen somewhere before the end of the year.
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