Norman Aquilina

In an environment of increasing competitive pressure and limited market size, Farsons Group CEO Norman Aquilina underscores the importance of innovation, agility and creativity, allowing businesses to move away from mainstream thinking and gain success without solely concentrating their efforts on growth.

As the CEO of Farsons Group, Mr Aquilina helms a long-established company that is a household name on the island. It is engaged in the brewing, production, sale and distribution of branded beers – including Malta’s most famous beer, Cisk – and the importation, wholesale and retail of food and beverages, among other activities.

Across most sectors in Malta, but especially within manufacturing, the effects of increased competitive pressure continues to grow. Salaries have increased across the board, partly due to a tight labour market and partly due to the increased cost of living, while an extremely tight supply chain and expensive freight costs are eroding competitiveness across Malta’s business community, which already needs to contend with the country’s limited market size.

Taking to LinkedIn, Mr Aquilina shared his thoughts on how to overcome competitive pressures when considering the inherent challenges for local businesses looking to scale up. He also argues that success is not just a matter of size, and that those with the foresight to move away from the herd are the “real winners”.

“Responding to ever increasing competitive pressure remains an ongoing struggle for many businesses,” Mr Aquilina shares.

“In what is generally an excessively fragmented local market, inadequate economies of scale is frequently one of the key factors hampering operational efficiency.

“Logically, scaling up either through diversification or extension would seem like an obvious consideration. That said, success is not simply a matter of size and scale. Indeed, the real winners are more often the innovators, those that can differentiate from mainstream thinking.

“Successful business growth is best built on depth, and not dilution. Deep rooted market presence, along with the ability in finding strength through creativity and agility are fundamental within strategic considerations on one’s competitive positioning.”

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