Andrea Calcagno: A Contemporary CEO Fostering a Data-driven Approach

Andrea Calcagno

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Being a CEO implies undertaking a plethora of crucial roles and responsibilities. However, one of the vital leadership aspects of a CEO is evolving in alignment with the company’s growth. A modern CEO has to have a clear leadership attitude and a high level of curiosity that can be spread throughout the organization for improving daily execution and reaching strategic goals. Moreover, CEOs have to execute a play-coach role to speed up the growth of the team.

A key requirement for me has been to evolve with the organization as it, itself, has gone through the different stages,” says Andrea Calcagno. As the CEO of Cloud4Wi, Calcagno is focused on evolving his approach from an operational perspective to one that is more strategic. According to Calcagno, this is done primarily by working with investors, building management relationships, and growing a company culture that’s emboldened to take on future challenges.

Calcagno pursued his master’s degree (M.S.) in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Pisa. He has spent the last 20 years in the retail, technology vendor, and telco-media markets, building professional connections with key Fortune 500 executives. He started his career at Telecom Italia Labs in Turin, where he performed advanced research and development activities on mobile access networks, receiving international patents on mobile broadband architectures. Calcagno decided to start Cloud4Wi, along with his co-founder, when they realized that there was an opportunity to bring an easy solution that allowed people to understand customer behavior and then align those online and offline behaviors for leveraging.

In a recent conversation with Mirror Review, Calcagno elaborated on his leadership, highlighting the challenges presented to him throughout his journey and how he and his partner founded Cloud4Wi, the leading location-based marketing company in the industry.

The following are the snippets from our intriguing conversation.

When was Cloud4Wi established?

In 2014, along with Davide Quadrini, CTO and Board Member, I co-founded Cloud4Wi with a group of key people. We were initially headquartered in Pisa, Italy, but the company moved its corporate offices to San Francisco in 2014, after our Series A financing round from United Ventures. In September 2019, the company then moved its corporate office to New York City to expand its global presence and boost overall growth.

What is the various line of services and solutions offered by the company?

Cloud4Wi is a comprehensive location-based marketing platform for filling the offline gap of the digital customer journey and, ultimately, driving revenue. Using customer offline data helps companies connect with customers in a whole new way by automatically sending perfectly targeted messages to the right customers at the right moment. Various leading innovative global companies such as Burger King, Campari, Carmila (Carrefour Group), Prada Group, and others rely on Cloud4Wi for driving performance and generating tangible results.

Being at the helm of the company, what are your primary roles and responsibilities?

I lead the company by partaking in an almost play-coach role to help our team reach strategic and operational goals. Thanks to our daily execution, we provide one of the best solutions to fill the online and offline gap for enterprise companies, bringing a competitive advantage for their customer journey strategies. So far, we have raised more than USD 20M through venture capital, allowing us to deploy our solution on a global scale. We’re currently used by more than 100 large enterprises throughout the world, with more than 80K active locations. This access has allowed us to collect information on more than 150M of mobile customers.

How do you ensure optimal client satisfaction?

Client and partner satisfaction is crucial for us. Every client has a dedicated Customer Success Manager. The CSM is the trusted advisor that provides the client with onboarding help, strategic advice, customer journey design, and more. Cloud4Wi also has service managers, product specialists, and customer journey specialists to guarantee a quick onboarding process, provide the finest support in alignment with your location-based marketing strategy, and the means to ensure there’s an effective and efficient adoption of our product. For collecting client feedback and improving our offerings, we also have an annual NPS survey that allows us to have our clients front and center in our planning. It’s truly comprehensive.

How did you manage to surpass the challenges presented to you throughout your journey in developing and executing leadership?

As a leader, you need to go through several challenges. Sometimes you see yourself alone, but this is the cost of leadership. I learned that it is essential to have business partners you can trust to see things from a different point of view. This helps you make the right decision or pursue the right direction. A good leader cannot pull himself to make fast decisions.

Being a high-executive leader, how do you ensure maintaining work-life equilibrium?

I firmly believe that a good CEO or leader has to allocate enough time to the family, friends, and their inherent hobbies or interests. I love to spend time with my family. That is the first source of my energy. I also love sports, especially soccer. Additionally, I enjoy cooking for my family, friends, and my employees, when I’m given the opportunity. Modern art is a passion of mine, as is listening to and reading leader speeches. Ultimately, the take-home message is that you cannot give your best if you don’t care for yourself and allow for personal time. Hence, I make it a priority to exercise every day, something that removes me from all the stressors of life. Irrespective of external matters or work-related issues, I have made a strong commitment to myself, and I think that’s solid advice everyone should take to heart.

What measures did you incorporate to surpass the challenges induced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our enterprise customer base helped us through the COVID-19 pandemic and re-start our growth after conditions had subsided to an extent. Fortunately, we had firm control of our cost structure, which was critical. For us, it was imperative to have complete control of our cash flow to generate a positive impact during the pandemic. Furthermore, we moved our execution from a strict office mindset to complete remote execution, improving our collaboration solutions and adapting ourselves to a new work lifestyle in the new normal environment.

How do you envision the future of Cloud4Wi in the next five years?

The gap between the physical and digital customer journey will slowly disappear within the next five years. With technological advances, there seems to be an imminent merger between those two facets of how customers interact with companies. Regarding Cloud4Wi, I envision we’ll become the number one and premier platform in location-based marketing technology. Innovative brands worldwide will use the platform to build new and compelling digital customer journeys by embracing customer offline data. We’re certainly excited about the ride.

Andrea Calcagno

Also Read: The 10 Dynamic Business Leaders, 2022.” (Vol.2)

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