Link's managing director, Assunta Fratocchi, and founder/president, Marco Piromalli, look ahead to the next 20 years of their company. New York (August 1, 2007)--Still a relative newcomer to U.S. shores, Link is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, marking two decades of providing cabling and connectivity for the pro audio industry.
The aptly-named Italian company established a North American beachhead in Orlando, FL a few years ago with the introduction of Link USA Inc., and many of its customers know they’re dealing with the same company that they’ve heard of (and often used) overseas. U.S. business manager Bob Vande Burgt is all too aware of Link’s history and offered his take on some of the factors that have contributed to the business’ longevity: “It comes down to three things: One, there is a true passion for, and dedication to, supporting the entertainment market. Two, many of Link's employees and founders have worked for decades in the business. Three, Link is always searching for the ideal solution to resolve customer interconnection problems.”
The company has resolved a lot of problems for people, then, judging from some of its clients. Link products have been used for shows by U2, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Simon & Garfunkel held at Rome’s historic Coliseum, as well as European tours by Blue Man Group and Pavarotti & Friends.
On the installation side, Link products have turned up everywhere from clubs (The Rock Club in Helsinki, Finland) to historic venues (Victoria Music Hall, Geneva, Switzerland); from TV studios (CNN Turkey, Channel 5 TV in Milan) to major sporting events (Olympic games in Australia, Greece and Italy); and from studios (Ancienne Belgique Live Concert Recording Studio in Brussels, Belgium) to government facilities (Central European Commission, also in Brussels). Oh, and then there’s also the hair salons: “Just last month, we sold a lot of Eurocable to be used for beauty therapy equipment!” said a somewhat surprised Vande Burgt.
That the company’s products have a wide purview, however, isn’t that surprising, as it has taken aggressive actions to broaden its reach in recent years. In addition to the founding of Link USA, which was created with the specific mission to facilitate the introduction of Link products in the American market, it also created LK Connectors, a company dedicated exclusively to the production of connectors and Link assemblies, in order to react more efficiently to the increased demand for Link’s products.
As a result of all this expansion, around 50 people work for Link--a far cry from 20 years ago when it was founded by two audio engineers. While Link products are obviously available in Europe, and the North American market is now being pursued by Link USA, the company is still looking ahead: “Asia is one of our last challenges,” remarked Vande Burgt.
For all the experience, product development and corporate history that Link has engendered since 1987, however, Vande Burgt felt that there’s no single moment that defined the company’s first two decades.
“More than one moment or product,” he said. “I feel that the complete range of products and the passion, vision, and focus of those who founded the company still resonates in the people and products of Link today. With over 20 years of experience, we now offer a compilation of solutions that can be mixed and matched to solve just about any connectivity need. We can control the entire process, from connector design and cable design, to sheet metal design. Because we have worked in the business, we can also help our clients understand the best ways to connect their gear reliably.”
While he and the company’s founders are certainly pleased with Link’s longevity and hard-won knowledge, the future of audio equipment is clearly not an analog one, and as such, Link is not resting on the last 20 years’ worth of results. Instead, it’s looking ahead and is aiming to change with the times as needed. “With the advent of digital requirements,” said Vande Burgt, “Link offers many hybrid solutions for carrying analog and digital signals simultaneously. Regarding the future, the coming of new digital technology is creating extremely interesting challenges--and Link is ready to embrace them.”