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FIGURES SPEAK FOR STEVANATO’S LEADERSHIP: 1.7 BILLION OF GLASS CONTAINERS FOR PHARMACEUTICAL USE IN THE WORLD
One of the main suppliers of glass tubing products for the world pharmaceutical industry is Italian. The Stevanato group (www.stevanatogroup.it) – founded in 1949 in Venice by Giovanni Stevanato, father of the current managing director Sergio Stevanato – is the world’s number one producer of vials for insulin and technology for the transformation of glass tubing, and the world’s second producer of phials. In 2007, more than one million 700 thousand containers were produced in the Italian company’s plants: this number makes Stevanato the third global player in glass containers. Earnings in 2007, which totalled 123 million euros, 70% of those made abroad, should see a noticeable increase this coming year, which Stevanato is expecting to end with a turnover increased by 18% at 145 million euros. And the mid-term objective is to exceed the threshold of 200 million euros in the next three years, also with the help of the management’s improved managerial calibre. To keep pace with growth and internationalisation as well as possible, the company undertook a project a few years ago to transform the company from a family one to a structured organisation of managerial mould, hiring managers with international experience and who shared a belief in the expansion project.
Having started out as a small initiative at a local level, the Italian company soon expanded its sphere of activity, first entering the European market and then the world one (70% of the 2007 earnings were made abroad) under the guidance of the current managing director and of his two sons Franco and Marco, Business general manager and Operations general manager respectively. The company’s family nature is therefore one of its distinctive characteristics, from the management to the workers. «We have a strong attachment to our region. Over the years - Sergio Stevanato explains- a lot of employees have been followed into the company by their children, who have come to work for us once they have graduated. A continuity that we welcome, since I am convinced that the company must increase its influence from an economic and cultural point of view, thus avoiding a superficial approach. This is an aspect that must also apply abroad. However our dream has always been to create a multinational company with its head office in the countryside, in Piombino Dese in the province of Padua, from where we are constantly casting an eye over the whole world».
And the whole world offers important opportunities, both today and in the years to come: this is the effect of the constant trend of growth in the purchase of pharmaceutical products, both in the West where the population is getting older and in emerging markets where sections of the population have more and more access to the use of medicines. One of the markets that Stevanato is looking at with most interest is the one for ‘vials’, the glass containers used for giving insulin, a field in which the Italian group is the world leader, followed – but by quite some way – by a German competitor. The market for vials doubles in volume and value every four years, owing to the ever higher incidence of diabetes. Sales of other products are also good, such as single use syringes and those for vaccines, heparin and allergies.
One of the aspects that protect the Italian company from ever increasing international competition is the ability to establish good relations with the world’s largest pharmaceutical groups, which operate in a strongly consolidated sector in which the top ten companies control almost the entire market. Seeing that these multinationals favour relations with a limited number of supplier companies that are of the right size and international standing, Stevanato will not be involved in the selection and consolidation process that will take place in the years to come in the sector in which the Italian group operates. Instead, they have decided to invest in internationalisation, technology, innovation and development (in the next four years, investments of about 30 million euros are expected for new production installations and another 30 million for new production plants). In order to continue to grow stably in the future too, in the end 2.1% of the group’s earnings are used every year to finance research and development activities alone.