Milan, 29 March 2019. Having talked with all the heads of the companies present in the DHH family about their 2018 performances, it was only natural to talk to the President of DHH, Giandomenico Sica.
Nico has shared a number of insights from his perspective in terms of how the past year went for the DHH and also provided some details about the current projects. In addition, we talked about the ambitious plans of DHH for the upcoming 2019 year.
How would you describe 2018 year for DHH as a whole? Could you also tell me about some key highlights of the past year?
Giandomenico Sica: “In terms of business planning, we were able to meet our goals and to keep the focus on organic growth in our group. We also managed to develop the companies just as we planned. In reality, 2018 has been pretty interesting for us, because we made several investments.
In fact, we started investing in cloud computing through both organic and extraordinary projects. When I am saying organic, I mean that we created a cloud computing unit inside DHH and we started testing this business in Slovenia. In regards to M&A, we acquired mCloud, which is a cloud computing provider in Serbia. This was one of the ways we chose to enter this market.
The past year was also very interesting in terms of organizing the group that we built in the first three years of DHH existence. We spinned-off Sysbee on one side, and on another, we reorganized our portfolio companies in such a way that is very similar to the conglomerate model. When I talk about conglomerate, I mean that there are several companies, all of them are independent and autonomous. Yet, they have a lot of synergies among themselves.
2018 was also a year of GDPR. GDPR impacted our business a lot and we made a lot of investments in order to be fully compliant with this new EU-wide regulation.”
What is the key lesson DHH learned in 2018?
Giandomenico Sica: “Working in a multicultural environment like DHH is challenging. I believe that we need to put some extra effort in managing the relationship with people because of the distance and because of the fact that English is not our first language.
I think that the key lesson that we took from 2018 was about the importance of taking care of the human side when it comes to handling situations at the workplace.
We built a number of internal tools to improve our communication. Aside from this, in order to further advance our internal communication, once a quarter, we organize an event, where we all meet together.
I believe that the majority of problems that arise inside of companies are due to the lack of proper communication. Thus, we work hard to make sure our communication is always on the top-notch level.”
Last time we spoke, you mentioned that there were some acquisitions in the pipeline for DHH. Did you expand your portfolio in 2018? Maybe there are some more acquisitions on the way?
Giandomenico Sica: “Yes, I was talking about the acquisition of mCloud. Besides, we also made our M&A team stronger, so we built a pretty important pipeline of projects and the flow of opportunities.
As of the moment, we are working on preparing some more acquisitions that are on the way.”
Are there any strategic projects you are working on right now?
Giandomenico Sica: “Yes, as I mentioned before, we are working on introducing cloud computing in DHH and further expanding this business line. We see a lot of potential in terms of growth with respect to traditional mass hosting business.
In addition, we are working to introduce the new web-hosting package with a focus on non-traditional web-hosting products. For instance, some of our companies are working on the package for a WordPress hosting and some other kinds of vertical hosting.”
What is the key strategy for DHH in 2019?
Giandomenico Sica: “Our key strategy for 2019 is to keep pushing with our M&A activities. We want to make a jump and we are working hard to prepare for it right now.
Ultimately, we want to enter a different kind of game – as of today, DHH is still a very small company even though we grew a lot in these three years. With our M&A focus, we would like to go into a different scale of the market in terms of size.”