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Flavio Nappi, Co-Founder of MammaPack and ESCP alumnus of the Master in Management program, has an entrepreneurial mindset and a highly successful career. Also founder of the famous ESCP Regatta, Flavio told us about his current entrepreneurial adventure: connecting Italians living abroad to the products they miss the most.

Bringing value to the ESCP Community

Born in the beautiful city of Naples, Flavio found himself switching from a very theoretical Italian bachelor to the super interactive ESCP Master in Management. And he just loved it. “ESCP for me was a true discovery”, says Flavio. His biggest desire was to give something back to the ESCP community, the school that taught him how to give life to entrepreneurial ideas. That is why Regatta, now one of the most famous and successful ESCP events, was founded. During this 4-day event, the entire ESCP community gathers on the shores of the Capri and Ischia coasts. There, students and alumni network, have fun, and most importantly sail together. 

As Flavio says, it is an innovative concept that aims to provide students with work opportunities in a networking environment. “Regatta is one of my proudest achievements” adds Flavio. It was the first thing he thought about in the morning and the last thing in the evening, during his time at ESCP. For him, it was all about the responsibility toward the community of the school. Regatta gave him the right experience and knowledge to embark on his next challenging idea: MammaPack.

Bringing ideas to life

During his last year at ESCP, in Paris, Flavio was able to gather wide theoretical knowledge about entrepreneurship. There, he learned that behind every entrepreneurial idea there must be a specific intention. And living abroad gave him the intention he needed.

In 2012 the idea of MammaPack was born. Flavio noticed how hard it was to buy Italian products and ingredients abroad between French patisserie and the streets of the city of love.  “The idea was born both because of a personal need of mine, and because I thought this could help the many Italians living abroad!”. In 2013 the brand was registered, and only 2 years later MammaPack was working full time. 

The name says it all: a package from Mama Italy! Clients connect to the website and choose the products they need. Then, they receive the package directly to their door, wherever they are around Europe. Helped by the precious hand of fellow ESCP alumnus Romolo Ganzerli (Co-founder of MammaPack), the idea came to life. 

But first and foremost: was there really any demand? 
“We appealed to the resources of the community. We did surveys, asked friends and family, trying to spend as least as possible”, tells Flavio. The results were a major success. Located in the heart of Naples, the office now hosts 6 people. According to Flavio, communities are extremely important: but as much as we receive benefits from them, we also need to give something back. Flavio wanted to go back to his birth city and give value to his land. 

MammaPack’s co-founders, Romolo Ganzerli and Flavio Nappi (from left to right).

Keeping the Italian spirit flowing

The mission of MammaPack is simple: connect Italians living abroad to their origins. Italians are famous for being picky when it comes to food, therefore having the right products is a hard challenge. 

The pandemic also played a fundamental role in the success of MammaPack. What happens when Italians are stuck in their houses abroad? Clearly, they want some delicious Italian products! “We were not ready,” says Flavio. Because of the crazy demand, the MammaPack website had to restrict its opening hours. However, also due to the high demand, MammaPack ended 2021 with a revenue of 2 million euros.

Flavio now wants the company to grow, and he looks at HR as the key challenge for its brand. “People are the most important asset of every company!”, he says. Flavio likes to keep his team motivated. To do so, he gives them mini projects for them to improve MammaPack from the inside. He also adds that he tries “to do interdisciplinary tasks and connect different teams within the company”. In fact, it is important for him that the team is cohesive and cooperative at its finest. The value that Flavio gives back to his city is also essential. Bringing Italian products abroad is one part, but, as he says, “bringing the digital culture from abroad here to Naples” is the other.

Camilla, receiver of a MammaPack in Scotland.

What does the future hold?

Flavio’s office is adorned with posters from Regatta and his experience in Paris at Louboutin. The culture and the history of MammaPack are present on the walls, where events, comments from happy Italians receiving their products, andMammaPack’s manifesto hang.

Flavio rents part of his office to a Naples-based startup. “In Naples, there is no co-working space, so we want to do something in this regard”: every opportunity is good to give something back. Flavio sees MammaPack as THE meeting point for Italians living abroad. The company wants to represent the connection between Italian people and their culture, organizing events and helping them in their day-to-day lives. 

At the end of the interview, Flavio gave a precious piece of advice to all ESCP students wanting to become successful entrepreneurs: take the risk. The ESCP community is there to help you in your journey, so take every opportunity the school gives you. Network, gather knowledge, and experience as much as possible. Life is full of occasions and ESCP can give you the tools to reach the success you desire.

MammaPack is an e-commerce startup based in Naples, Italy. The company works as an online grocery store for Italians living abroad. Deliveries are made within 72 hours and up to 10 000 products are available.

Article written by Riccardo Morandi Benini and adapted by the Jean-Baptiste Say Institute communication team.