Ranieri International’s numbers are growing, both in Italy and abroad. The Ranieri family has demonstrated its ability to react to the difficulties it faces and is setting itself new and increasingly ambitious targets. The next will certainly be its launch on the US market
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Andrea Muscatello
Just five years have passed since the effects of the crisis made their presence so strongly felt in 2012. What was to be done? Draw in the oars, wait and see whether the storm passed? This is not how the Ranieri family reacted. They are not used to thinking like this. Pietro, father of Salvatore and Antonio, who recently celebrated fifty years in the business, has made a lifetime of sacrifices to develop his company.
The results he has achieved should not just be attributed to the obstinacy with which he managed to overcome difficulties, but also to his vision. He started out in 1966 with a small mechanical workshop and started producing his first watercrafts in the 1970s. Leisure boating was almost unheard of in Soverato at the time.
Nevertheless, he has come a very long way since then and can now proudly boast a company with almost seventy employees, premises occupying 26,000 m2 and a range of forty-five models, including RIBs and rigid boats. «The best decision I ever made was to bring my sons into the firm», states Pietro Ranieri. This led to the foundation of Ranieri International, twelve years ago.
However, let’s go back to 2012. More than just a crisis, it was a real shock that shook almost all Italian manufacturers without exception, particularly those who, like Ranieri International, built crafts and boats under ten metres long. Antonio and Salvatore, however, share their father’s DNA and must have inherited the same ability to “see beyond things” demonstrated by Pietro when he started working with fibreglass forty years ago.
The crisis had to be tackled face on, rather than struggling through it, and Ranieri responded by launching a brand new range: RIBs. Numerous models were added within a very short space of time. The next will be the 38 Sport Touring. The Ranieri family reaped the rewards for this brave decision and the company started to grow again, particularly overseas.
It sells its boats and RIBs across Europe, as well as in China, Turkey and Taiwan. The firm became truly international with the arrival of Antonio and Salvatore and started working with new dealers, who contributed to making the brand known outside Italy. «We try to make products that can be appreciated abroad, without distorting our characteristics», explains Salvatore. In fact, all the production is carried out internally, just as their father always wanted. All the steps are carried out in Soverato, from design to delivery of the finished product.
The firm does not outsource any of the processes, meaning that everything is always under its control, from moulding to fitting out. «The Italian market is recovering, but we still have to focus more and more on the foreign market», explains Antonio. «Our next objective is to launch our brand in the United States», states Salvatore proudly. «We’re not frightened by the difficulties this entails, because we take a light and very gradual approach».
The idea to expand to the USA is due to numerous requests arriving from there. The brand is making more and more of a name for itself thanks to the many shows it attends. They recently tested the ground at Fort Lauderdale, but the real US debut will take place at the Miami Boat Show in February.
What does Ranieri International “light” approach involve? Antonio and Salvatore explain that before undertaking any initiative, they study the market of a certain country in great detail, assessing where they could position their brand and exploring the legal requirements involved, taking one small step at a time.
They will be starting out on tiptoe, but they can count on the assistance of a couple of dealers who have already been selected. «Ours is an Italian-made product and therefore we don’t think it will be in direct competition with American products», state the two brothers. They offer quality to match that of the craft produced by many American brands, but in addition to that they can boast a high standard of design that is missing overseas.
What is more, they don’t expect to rout the competition, but they want to carve out a niche for themselves. They have very clear ideas and are focusing on noticeably boosting their turnover, precisely because the American market boasts impressive figures and a niche position can translate into large numbers of sales. They are getting ready to take on the challenge. Nothing is being left to chance.
Work to expand the headquarters in Soverato with a new indoor area measuring 5,000 m2 got underway two months ago. Research and development at Ranieri International is handled by all three of them: Pietro, Antonio and Salvatore. «Our plan», they tell us, «is to improve, update and, where necessary, implement our range. However, we want to continue to specialise in the watercraft field, because that is what we know».
Ranieri International stands out for its hardworking approach, an ability to look to the future and a united family behind it. It seems that it has everything it needs to be a success, even in America.