Improving Human Health with Natural Remedies
In This Podcast
- A family business
- Committed to sustainability
- Massimo’s holistic way of perceiving disease
- The core values of Aboca
- How creating value brings back success
- We are all responsible for the future
Massimo Mercati is the leader of Aboca, a respected Italian agricultural company present in 14 countries that produces herbal products for human health. Today Massimo talks about how his father first started Aboca, their commitment to sustainability, his holistic way of understanding disease, the core values of Aboca, how creating value brings back success and why we are all responsible for the future.
The backstory of Aboca
Aboca is a company dedicated to innovation for health, present in 14 countries. Its mission is power-filled: to improve our life, our equilibrium and our health. Aboca is the leader in Italy and an international benchmark for medicinal herb-based products for health care and well-being.
Massimo’s father, Valentino Mercati, founded Aboca exactly 40 years ago. Around the time Massimo was born, doctors were giving children a lot of antibiotics.
When Valentino bought a summer villa in Aboca, Italy, he started thinking about what to do with the 350-acre fields he owned around the villa. So he started flirting with the idea of growing medicinal plants.
Valentino wanted to plant everything he had in mind without using any kind of chemicals. He thought that using chemicals in fields that are close to your home is extremely dangerous.
He eventually started studying the relationship between medicinal plants and human health.
A sustainable approach
Valentino and Massimo designed Aboca with one important thought in mind: they wanted it to contribute to a sustainable, healthy world. At Aboca, they go through the whole process: research, cultivation, production, distribution. They are in charge of everything.
Massimo and his team believe that economic success will be a consequence of a business model that’s able to create value.
Since our planet’s resources are not infinite, it’s crucial to have sustainability in mind when doing business.
A holistic way of understanding disease
Since the beginning, Massimo and his team have studied what makes natural products so powerful, and why they are sometimes better than artificial ones.
Aboca products sometimes work better than drugs because of their good therapeutic index (the relation between risk and benefit). They can be more effective than drugs when treating minor diseases because of their minimal side effects.
Massimo believes that illnesses are not separate from everything else, that our bodies function as complex systems and that there is a correlation between everything. He believes that we shouldn’t treat a certain symptom on its own, and that we should try to better understand what’s wrong on the whole.
In the western world, we see a disease as being something independent, whereas Massimo believes that a disease is the result of a process.
Coherence, humility and hard work
For Massimo, to give meaning to his life is all about identifying the values that are consistent with this meaning, and sticking to them.
What are the core values of his company?
- Coherence aka the capacity to be consistent. Massimo believes that keeping your promises is crucial, it’s about respect. He also thinks that being consistent is a key to innovation.
- Humility. You have to respect other people and listen to their opinions, even if they are different from yours. You might always learn something new from them.
- Work. You need to find the balance between working hard and working effectively. For Massimo, it’s important to subtract the obvious and add the meaningful in everything he does.
Good leaders are responsible and have a long-term plan
Massimo’s advice to leaders? Look at what can create real value. What drives value is not the goods you sell, it’s the people you serve. Creating value will also eventually bring you success and profit.
What should companies focus on right now? Understanding your core business. Massimo knows why he is here, what his purpose is.
What does the world need the most right now? Consciousness. Businesses need to realize that things need to change otherwise we will all face big problems in the future. The world needs leaders that understand the fact that they are responsible for the future. We need to go forward instead of backward.
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