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THE DREAM OF FLIGHT IS OUR GIFT TO MAN
Rome - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - "The possibility of flying in the air, alone, without machinery, is surely one of the most ancient and desired conquests of mankind. Being one of the first companies to contribute in a significant way to what was once considered only a dream, fills us with immense satisfaction". These words were pronounced by Andrea Boschi to present his company, Paradelta, www.paradelta.it), in the spotlight during Italtrade, this week. Paradelta produces paragliding kites (apparatus used for free flying that exploits the same strategies used by gliders or hang gliders). The company also produces emergency equipment for airplanes, windsleeves, and all items necessary for sports, leisure and industry.
How did you get the idea of producing paragliding kites ?
Ours is a private limited company, established in 1982, but initially founded in 1980 with the name Paradelta Parma. We started because as practicing paragliders we were not satisfied with what the market had to offer. When we realised that others appreciated our products, we decided to continue. Initially, we concentrated on producing emergency equipment for free flying, which in those days meant strictly hang gliding, and to the design of spinnaker launch wings for parachute jumping. Afterwards the company was consolidated under the name of Paradelta in 1983, when we started producing paragliding kites. Over the years we have increased our production to include advertising and industrial products in addition to sports goods.
How big is your company today?
Today our turnover is about one million euros, with a total of 15 employees. We export 15% of our production, a strong reduction compared to a few years ago when we managed to send 60% of our production abroad. The reasons? Basically, rising costs and the introduction of euros, which made us less competitive from a pricing point of view. Furthermore, the decline of the dollar has increased our difficulties in the American market. Nonetheless, we still have some orders, mainly connoisseurs who appreciate the quality of our products.
Do you have any patented and copyrighted products?
This is indeed a painful issue. We have registered three patents, and just a month and a half ago I travelled to Russia because one of our patents was being used by a local company, then re-entering Europe through a German importer. Recently an agreement was signed - obviously with the advice of a lawyer - and we hope the matter will be solved and that our royalties will be paid. I understand that these issues are common, but in a company like ours, that lives and thrives above all on invention, innovation and customer satisfaction, these cases can cause a lot of difficulty.
I have noticed that your web site is very up to date and modern. How much has this new technology helped you in your business?
Very much. We have received many orders, especially from abroad, thanks to our web-site, through which users can have a quite precise idea of our products. The Web has also helped us to develop a market for all of those products - for example wind sleeves - that were previously niche items, and for which we have received many requests. For a small company like ours, this was a God-send. Keep in mind that we do not receive any aid from the government, nor is our category represented there: the fact is - we do everything by ourselves!
Can you describe the characteristics of the new Paradelta product, the Bamboo sail? And can you please tell us why all of your products have names that start with a "B"?
Bamboo is the ideal paraglider for those who want to have fun while safely flying. It is an intermediate/basic sail that allows for facing at best all sport flights, from beginner to cross country. The characteristic that I think will be most appreciated by the connoisseurs is the extreme ease of take off in any situation, together with its excellent stability during turbulence. With regard to the letter B in the name, this is not the first time that I have been asked this question. The truth is: our very first successful product was the Broken Wind. The name was chosen very casually and ironically, but it had an excellent feedback from all sport lovers. Since then, I suppose mostly for superstitious reasons, we have decided to keep the letter B as a good luck omen. That is the reason for other sails with the names Bingo, Bora2, Breathless, BiBreak…
Let's close with a curiosity: you also include kites among the items in your production. Why?
Even in this case, it was just a matter of lucky combination. We often used to go flying but the wind was too strong to take off. So, many of our friends used to take their makeshift kites along, and fly them for amusement. Together with Silvio Macarozzi, who is an authority on the subject, we decided to start a collaboration that would combine our reciprocal know-how in this field. This is the origin of Piro Piro, a range of kites available in three models all characterised by a design similar to that of paragliders, developed through an aeronautical CAD. Moreover, we are the suppliers of Alivola and of their fantastically entertaining acrobatic kites. As in our main business, we started for fun, but in the end it became something serious. And it's great playing seriously…………..