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The adventure of Valter Scavolini
Rome - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - The adventure of Valter Scavolini began in 1961, when together with his brother Elvino, he opened a craftsman's workshop to build kitchen furniture. Today, 44 years later, Valter is still running the firm, but the workshop has become an industrial complex of over 200,000 square metres, the absolute leader in Italy in the sector of fitted kitchens, with 600 employees and thousands of people working in related industries, for an overall turnover which in 2004 achieved levels of € 215 million, up almost 10% on the previous year. Scavolini, however, has stayed the same: his entrepreneurial flair, taste for quality, and daily working method are still the same, that of a real pioneer of Italian industry.
Mr Scavolini, what has been the recipe for this success?
"No recipe, no miracle. We have worked hard to realise good products. And the market has rewarded us. Perhaps what changed our path was the successful intuition of building an image around our brand. In the 1970s we had already become a small industry with good prospects, but found it hard to emerge from the anonymous mass of Italian producers in the sector. We thus decided to approach the market in a different way: first through sponsoring a famous basketball team, then with a constant presence in the media, in particular in furnishing magazines, and lastly moving into television. We built up the Scavolini image. And this has permitted us to grow constantly".
So the secret is advertising, then?
"But that's not enough on its own - if you produce a bad product, advertising doesn't help. In fact, it can lead to your destruction. Our products meanwhile, were excellent, and are even more so today. First we invested in quality and in the reliability of services offered to our customers, and only then in advertising".
What role has product innovation had?
"A fundamental role. Scavolini constantly invests in planning and in technological and design innovation. Otherwise we would have stopped. The aim is to satisfy our customers' every furnishing and functional need, and to do so we offer 35 models and 180 finishes. We aim to always give the greatest attention to aesthetic considerations, design and the latest tendencies, and are committed to quality, also intended as the careful choice of materials and strict selection of suppliers". And what about business strategies?
"The commercial question is linked to the quality of the product and to the image of the brand. If you offer good-quality and become known, inevitably you will start to be in demand. The system develops automatically and the creation of a commercial network as capillary as that which we have realised in Italy derives precisely from this constant synergy between credibility, image and prices".
And what strategy have you adopted for foreign markets?
"We have only moved on to foreign markets in the last few years, but we have already achieved satisfying results. In 2004 we reached levels of €25 million and yearly growth is always in two figures. The aim is to concentrate our action in those countries where Italian products, epitomising design and quality, are most appreciated. We began in Greece, then Spain and the United States, and now we are moving onto the Russian and Chinese markets, with growing results in sales and image. The most promising signs in fact come from these areas, which in some industrial sectors represent an extremely serious competitive threat, but not for those who offer high-quality at acceptable prices".
Mr Scavolini, is it true that you only go around your factory on bicycle?
"Yes, it's true, it does me good to get a little exercise. And it's an ideal form of transport, comfortable and quiet".
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