People Francesca Gargaglia

Good Ideas Are Gender-Neutral

, by Diana Cavalcoli
Bocconi law graduate Francesca Gargaglia is a co-founder of the technology platform, Amity, which has grown from 10 to 250 employees in just a few years. In the world of startups, she says, merit always wins

From Perugia to Milan and then to Bangkok with the idea of really innovating. At the age of 31, Bocconi law graduate Francesca Gargaglia has lived and worked in eight countries and is now Co-Founder & COO of Amity, a technology platform for the creation of social networks and digital communities. On her LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as "a passionate entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience avoiding boredom and trying to be the best."


Raised by an executive and a doctor, Gargaglia explains that she has always been a "diligent" student who wanted to discover the world beyond her hometown in Umbria. Hence the idea of studying law in Milan. She says, "I've always been a curious person, and I’ve had a thousand interests since I was a child. After graduating from Bocconi, I looked for a job that would allow me to travel and build an international career." In part thanks to a summer volunteering in Salvador De Bahia, Brazil, Gargaglia became more interested in seeing what was happening miles away from home. This led to an internship at the United Nations in Jakarta, Indonesia, as a consultant, followed by working in Dubai at the Baker McKenzie law firm. "I then joined PwC in 2016 as a legal consultant. I was working in Johannesburg focusing on companies based in emerging countries, which has been very useful for the role I have now." Gargaglia had the opportunity to work as a consultant for M&A transactions with some of the best CEOs in the world, learning what it means to expand a company into new markets. In 2017 she then became Manager, Italian Desk Lead, but was beginning to understand that consulting is not her life's work.


In 2018 she met her two partners, Korawad Cheravanont and David Zhang, who are fellow Millennials. The three of them co-founded Amity with the idea of helping companies transform their apps so they are ready for digital communities. With headquarters in Bangkok, the startup has grown from 10 to more than 250 employees since its inception, and has over 100 client companies. The organization still has the soul of an innovative startup, however. "Today we have a very flexible structure," explains Gargaglia. "I would call it a liquid organization. We do have positions, but not an actual hierarchy. Everyone has different skills and our strength lies in mixing them together and knowing that each person has the responsibility to make the machine work." Gargaglia explains that she is often the only woman in the room. "The gender gap is especially noticeable when you relate to the world of developers or investors as founders. But I have to say that the fact that I am somewhat different has come in handy, as it allows me to stand out." To her peers she says: "Hit the ground running! It’s true that the world of startups is still predominantly male, but it is very meritocratic. The market is the only judge and it rewards good ideas regardless of whether they come from women or men."


translated by Jenna Walker

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