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SABIANA: A FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND FAMILY TRADITION
A company that unites technological creativity, professionalism, family traditions and entrepreneurship: This is Sabiana.
The company operates on three sites in Milan and has been in the air conditioning business for 80 years. Entirely family-owned, the company is now being run by the second and third generation of the two founding families: Benvenuto Anatrella, and Franco Binaghi.
In Italy, the company is one of the biggest producers of fan coil units, with a 25% share of the market. This share is expected to grow thanks to the launch, in 2012, of a wall-mounted model, the Carisma Fly, which is entirely manufactured in Italy. In Europe, Sabiana is now the leading producer of cassette-type systems, with over 55 000 sold in 2012 – over a third of the total European production. Worldwide, the company is a major player in the radiant panels sector, thanks to which it has continued to win prestigious new contracts, including the heating of the ice rinks under construction in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
This important growth brought our revenues to over EUR €71 million in 2012, half of which was from overseas sales.
We asked Giorgio Pellegrini, son-in-law of founder Benvenuto Anatrella and Managing Director of Sabiana, to tell us about the company's projects and goals:
What is Sabiana's position in its market sector?
Sabiana is a major competitor in the international markets where we operate, and is even a market leader in some of them. In fact, in both Italy and abroad, we have frequently won important tenders, often beating our European, Chinese and Korean rivals. For example, we are supplying the heating equipment for the ice arenas that will be used for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Similarly, we supplied 2400 units for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Village, in Russia, as well as equipment for the buildings surrounding the new Formula 1 racetrack in the same city.
What have you focused on during this period of financial crisis?
The "lifebelt" has been our flexibility, combined with our reaction speed, as well as our employee collaborations. As soon as the bubble burst, we rapidly brought work in-house that was previously out-sourced. This has resulted in excellent savings by eliminating the margins of our old suppliers, while developing our production know-how. The strong collaboration provided by our employees has allowed us to make these changes quickly and efficiently. This philosophy has allowed us to "attack" foreign markets to compensate for fluctuations in our home markets.
Which countries do you export to, and what is their percentage contribution of export revenues?
We export to over 60 countries worldwide, from North America to the CIS nations, and we manage to sell some of our products even in the home territories of our biggest rivals. One example is our supply of heating systems for the huge Airbus A380 manufacturing plant in Toulouse. Our income from exports is now 50% of our total revenues.
Do you have sites or production lines abroad?
All of Sabiana's production is handled at our three sites in Corbetta and Magenta, as we have never believed in the benefits of delocalisation. It is no accident that our product packaging states "Entirely made in Italy". Our employee uniforms also include the "Proud to work in Italy" motto.
How and where do you expect to grow next? Where do you see the best opportunities?
We believe (hope!) to grow everywhere. In heavily industrialised countries like France or Germany, or in rapidly developing countries, like Turkey, where we have seen great results lately, and which, for Sabiana, is rapidly becoming a springboard for nearby markets. We feel strongly that "Made in Italy" can be found everywhere, thanks to our design tradition and the spirit that a well-made Italian product, from a business with a global philosophy, can generate.
What are the products you are focusing on at the moment?
We primarily follow two directives, that reflect the needs and desires shared by all the most evolved companies: on the one hand, we are developing products that respond to the need to improve the quality of life of individuals, such as our Crystall filter, which greatly improves personal wellbeing and health by removing the serious problems of indoor pollution. On the other hand, we are working on products that offer huge energy savings, such as our Duck Strip radiant panels, and our Pulsar panel, while always considering environmental issues. It is no accident that our sites are all self-sufficient in energy.
How much value do you place on R&D?
They are fundamental. Sabiana has always paid close attention to R&D, dedicating huge resources, and this is how we have become so successful worldwide.