Business Development Director - Italy, Transportation Industry

header curve


A market-leading global provider that has helped to revolutionize the transportation industry, and the leading integrator of payment and information solutions and related services for intelligent travel applications. Our client delivers integrated systems for transportation and traffic management, delivering tools for travelers to choose the smartest and easiest way to travel and pay for their journeys. Also enabling transportation authorities and agencies to manage demand across the entire transportation network – all in real-time.

As the world looks to recover and reopen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our client is committed to advance transportation's role in creating resilient cities that promote excellence, prosperity, and equity.

Working in partnership with Collingwood Executive Search they needed to recruit a Business Development Director to expand their market to the EMEA South region, developing and growing new business. 



Our client is forging ahead with their roadmap to deliver revolutionary transport management solutions to cities around the globe. They prioritize product development and this, alongside their existing market-leading portfolio of traffic solutions, places them in the ideal position to tackle these challenges.

They were looking for an Italian and English-speaking Business Development Director for their site in Italy. Responsible for identifying, advocating, and pursuing business development opportunities and setting the strategy for business growth within the region. Strong experience in transportation and fare collection was a must. 



The main challenge of the role was that our client didn’t have any physical presence in Italy. The brand had to be introduced and presented in a professional manner with further information to interest potential talent.

In addition to this, due to the nature of the business, the background of the ideal candidate wasn’t simply robust sales experience, but someone who had relationships with local authorities. 



We started our process with a detailed briefing meeting in order to understand the history, and gain insight into the day-to-day responsibilities of the role, key requirements etc. Following the meeting a job advert was designed by our team along with the assignment specifications, both agreed by the client.

Together with the client, we developed a clear action plan scheduling realistic timescales and update calls to keep them informed and engaged through every step of the process.

After a week of focused research, a selection of candidates we had engaged with, were presented to the hiring manager as examples of the talent landscape. This provides the client with the opportunity to see what our research has provided and express their views on the candidate’s suitability for the role. This collaborative approach from the outset really helps us to be more focused and familiar with their preferences, thus should not result in us having to go back to the drawing board with the whole search.

Transparency is the foundation of a trusted relationship with hiring managers. If the talent they are after is hard to find, requires a larger renumeration package, or for other reasons is just not out there, this is something we will feedback. The client needs to understand why the talent they are expecting may not be interested or simply isn’t there, and we can look at whether a different approach is required.

By ensuring our candidate management portal up to date, this allows clients to share our progress throughout. The client gains a valuable insight of the market that will help with decision making later in the process. 



Being such a specific industry, we did market research to identify target companies, competitors, and public companies in Italy as we fully understood where the perfect candidate should come from.

We established a search throughout those companies, identifying and approaching the candidates that match the brief. Providing the candidates with enough information to pique their interest, while keeping our client’s identity confidential. We engaged with candidates in a proactive manner, having an Italian speaking consultant at Collingwood really helped progress the search and allowed the candidates to initially communicate in their native language.

Our detailed interview report with market insights allowed the hiring managers to make informed data led decisions about the candidates. They decided to interview 3 of the those suggested, and a virtual interview was arranged for each, as well as face to face interviews in Italy at second stage.

The successful candidate was made an offer and started his new role in January 2022!

About the author
Doug Mackay
min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

Read more >
Doug Mcckay

Call Doug today to discuss how we can support you build high performing teams
Book a free 30 minute consultation call