Gianneschi Pumps and Blowers, an all-italian story

We talk to Cristiano and Alessandro Gianneschi, two young entrepreneurs from Viareggio who have taken over from their father Luigi, a man with highly innovative vision, and find out all about the foundation and current progress of Gianneschi Pumps and Blowers, a family-run leading international firm that has recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary

by Francesca Portoghese – photo by Andrea Muscatello

IN 1969, AS THE REST OF THE WORLD WAS LOOKING TO THE SKY AND WAITING FOR NEIL ARMSTRONG to take his first steps on the moon, Luigi Gianneschi in Viareggio was beginning to build his family’s future by reviving the electromechanical workshop where he had done his apprenticeship and that would go on to become a manufacturer of pumps and fans and a leading name in the nautical sector, subsequently taken over by his sons Cristiano, a mechanical engineer, and Alessandro, an electrical engineer.

«The electromechanical workshop revived by my father and his partner initially made pumps for floriculture and electrical systems for local hotels and restaurants», says Alessandro, the firm’s CEO. «With the arrival of sailing in Tuscany, the work changed course to meet requests coming from local industry. Without ever stopping the production of floriculture products, we decided to create two different divisions over the years: one linked to our origins and one focused on yachting».

When did you realize that you needed to focus more strongly on the yachting industry? In the late 1970s, we took part in Genoa Boat Show for the first time. Tuscany’s yachting production industry was already taking off and we began to receive local requests almost straight away. Our relationship with yachting immediately enabled us to field our expertise that, in addition to our production capacity, also included ongoing and continuous technical consultancy available to clients at all times, offering them peace of mind and security: an added value that we offer and that has always made us stand out. The orders were, and indeed still are, followed by an in-depth study of the product, which becomes a real challenge to be carried forward with the client. Within a very short space of time, the nautical industry accounted for almost 100% of our production and that first show also allowed us to explore foreign markets that now account for an important part of our turnover: we are present in the US, Turkey, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Asia, and the Middle East.

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«Our company is like a home to us and this might explain why we still call it our workshopjust as my father called it when he started this job». Alessandro Gianneschi

Which Italian yards do you work with the most? Practically, we work with all the shipyards, Overmarine, Codecasa, Rossinavi, Tankoa, Palumbo Group, Baglietto, Cantiere delle Marche, Fipa, including the three biggest groups on the Italian yachting scene: Sanlorenzo, Azimut Benetti Group, and Ferretti Group. We have established a relationship of mutual trust with each of them, which is translated into a two-way collaboration and allows for impeccable customization. Starting with the product request, we work together based on the technical specifications that vary depending on whether it is a boat under construction or an existing vessel. This is followed by the lists of countless variants, a real focal point in terms of the performance, weight, and dimensions of our products. Innovation and reliability underlie our daily commitment and sometimes the sheer size of our offer makes it difficult for us to get clients to accept our innovations. Instead, it is easier to put forward new products abroad. We have a large dealer network, which shares our philosophy and our values.

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Following the death of their father Luigi, his sons Cristiano and Alessandro have got to grips with the new global market, winning the trust of clients and employees who had lost a real leader. Between 2016 and 2019, Gianneschi Pumps and Blowers saw its turnover increase (10–12%), recording a trend in constant growth.

What do you consider to be your flagship product? Our flagship product is highly representative, a product that seems as though it has a heart and soul all of its own.  It is called Gigetta and it’s a patented pump created through the union of two hydraulic concepts. My father Luigi, whom everyone knew as Gigi and after whom this pump is named, wanted a self-priming product, a characteristic that can make a big difference on board and is very difficult to find on boats over 60 meters long. The Gigetta pump has a seal that lubricates the motor shaft, which therefore never risks running dry, consequently avoiding any chance of breakage. Thanks to his forward-thinking vision, our father decided to create a product that could meet the performance requirements of yachts over 60 meters long without have to use combined priming solutions. In addition to this pump, we have made many other products to meet the requests of clients from different markets, creating specific solutions that form part of our catalog today.

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The capacity to develop new products in 3–6 months has made it easy for the Tuscan firm to enter new markets such as commercial ships, which recorded strong growth during the lockdown.

How has your vision of the market changed in a pandemic scenario such as this? The pandemic has overwhelmed all of us, but we have played our hand in advance as we didn’t want to be unprepared for the return to work. Gianneschi Pumps and Blowers means quality and we have always demanded a very high standard of quality. We closed down our activities in advance to the government legislation and then we immediately set about studying our environments, undertaking to install everything we would need to resume business in total safety. It is worth mentioning that we were facilitated in this by the size of our workspaces, which are fortunately very big thanks to our recent expansion. The inevitable delays caused by these months of the shutdown have been reabsorbed and we are now able to manage the workflow with ease, even making a few improvements that we had been planning to implement for some time.

Three is the number that recurs most frequently in the history of Gianneschi Pumps and Blowers. Three people founded it: Luigi, Cristiano, and Alessandro; three are the main range of products, pumps, blowers and water pressure systems; three waves feature in the logo; three colors in the Italian flag, a strong identifying signal that emphasizes the importance of Italian production in the company’s work.

What are Gianneschi’s short-term and long-term objectives? In the immediate future we are counting on completing some investments that we made a year ago: in the management area, the improvements in our test room, and the development of product scanning. In the long term, we plan to expand our product range and reach other markets so that we can get ideas and aim for ongoing improvements in both production and technical terms. What’s more, although this is more of a desire than a plan, we want to go back to working directly with our clients as soon as possible, going beyond the virtual barrier.

(Gianneschi Pumps and Blowers, an all-italian story – Barchemagazine.com – May 2021)