Kevin’s story: Sampierana U/C Spare Parts discovering the Middle East


How did your journey at Sampierana U/C Spare Parts begin?

My journey began in December 2022 here in Modena. In fact, almost all my working life has been in the construction and earthmoving machinery sector. The one at Sampierana U/C Spare Parts is my first experience in the spare parts sector.

Kevin Ricambi Sampierana UC Spare Parts

When did your journey in this field begin?

I took a 3-year break from the industry. After university the first 12 years I worked for Caterpillar, and lived in different countries, in 2011 I moved to Milan, spent 5 years there. I met my Italian wife and then we moved to Dubai.

In 2016 we moved to Dubai and in 2018 our baby girl arrived. At that point, we decided to move closer to home. I left CAT and found another job in Milan in a different sector because I preferred, at that time in my life, to put the family first and I worked outside the sector for three years.

Although the motivation and interest to get involved in the industry again was there. Thanks to a meeting with a head hunter, I became aware of a job opportunity at Sampierana U/C Spare Parts to manage sales negotiations with the Middle East and Africa.

That part outside Europe I knew very well from my experience in Dubai and this advantage helped me.

What are the biggest difficulties between the world of excavators and spare parts?

They are two quite different worlds. For machines, customers generally like Komatsu, CAT, Case. They already know what they want. For parts, it’s different: there is a lot more competition. Value for money is essential and in many cases there is little reliability with the customer, because initially the customer immediately looks for the lowest price. Perhaps my difficulty, as a salesman, was precisely this: to realise that for machines the customer already knows what he wants. For spare parts, on the other hand, the approach is quite different.

For Sampierana U/C Spare Parts, is the Italian market easier to handle than the Middle East and Africa?

This is more about our brand. For us at Sampierana U/C Spare Parts it is easier to manage this market because we are physically present here. However, abroad remains important to us and a market that we continue to explore. My last trips were to South Africa, Morocco and I am already in contact with customers in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it is not so easy for us sales people, if in Italy you can visit several customers in several days, with longer distances it is different.

Did you immediately start working on the Middle East?

Ho studiato ingegneria spaziale in Inghilterra e subito dopo ho iniziato a lavorare nel team Sales&Marketing. Posso dire di aver cambiato completamente strada, ma non bisogna avere paura. Non si può pianificare ogni passo della vita.

The first focus was that, mainly Saudi Arabia. Then I started to expand the radius to South Africa last year and we discovered some interesting new potential customers.

No, absolutely. The whole export team is aligned to the dynamics of market expansion, so that was an advantage.

U/C Spare Parts

Were you glad to get back to the Middle East through your work at Sampierana U/C Spare Parts?

Yes, because meeting African and Middle Eastern cultures gives you a different perspective on travelling to new places and getting to know them better. Saudi Arabia has changed dramatically in recent years. In 2016 the process to get a visa was very expensive, today already there are many changes also related to women’s culture.

When I went last year there was a lot more openness and for our industry that means a lot.

How do you manage in your day-to-day work?

I make the most of the possibility to work from home. I must say that the hybrid mode has been an excellent opportunity to balance private life and work.

Did you concentrate on business studies at university?

I actually studied space engineering in England and immediately afterwards started working in the Sales&Marketing Team. I can say that I changed my path completely, but there is no need to be afraid. You can’t plan every step of life.

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