Since 1958, tradition and innovation
Human life develops through generations of grandparents, sons, daughters and nephews, and the history of a company follows the same process, because it is made up, above all, of people. If it flourishes and lasts in time, it means that its founding ideas and principles of the “grandparents” came down to the following generations.
How was the world in 1958?
In the United States the President was Eisenhower (the one of the D-Day landings), In the Soviet Union Khrushchev, in France De Gaulle and in Germany the “iron Chancellor” Adenauer. The Italian President was Fanfani, there was the “good Pope”, John XXIII, and the singer Modugno launched in the song Festival Sanremo what may be considered as the best known Italian song in the world: Volare.
Our economy was also flying high: especially big companies in the north like Fiat, Olivetti Pirelli, were growing at an unbelievable rate creating new jobs. The “economic boom” was about to start and lasted until the early ‘60s.
A terrible war, which had finished only thirteen years earlier, and the lack of investments in R&D made us very dependent on more developed countries. This meant that many Italian companies frantically looked at all the industrialized world in search for state-of-the-art solutions.
Our company was founded in this economic scenario: its three founding members, now passed away, may be called our grand-grandparents. They had the idea to use some devices and systems that were imported and already used in the automotive industry also in other industrial fields. They gave this challenge to one of their young employees: Maria Minelli.
So, Verniciatura Industriale was founded with a very small capital in a small office in Milan.
Together with Maria, who was the manager, accountant and saleswoman, there was also a technician that showed the machines and repaired them: the products sold, indeed, were painting electrostatic guns. They used to go to the customers (often furniture makers or similar companies) and they organized a demonstration with the enormous guns and generators they had at that time. The technician protected himself with overalls, hats and handkerchiefs that covered everything but his eyes and they started showing the innovative “electrostatic painting”.
Then, small and medium-sized enterprises significantly grew. Therefore, they had the need to improve the degree of finish precision of their product with the new techniques of industrial painting, which allowed our company to grow, year after year, rapidly and relentlessly. To meet the needs of the customers, we started to add new or complementary products to painting, like pneumatic pumps, filters and valves that opened also new market opportunities.
Twelve years later, at the beginning of the ‘70s, the company already had about thirty employees, the sales force reached some regions of the North of Italy and the headquarters (which we had already changed a few times), once again, became too small.
In the meantime, the “economic boom” in Italy ended, and with it the big growth of the mass market. At that point, companies had to find new sales opportunities by exporting their products and, therefore, improve competitiveness of their products, finding new reliable and organized partners for this aim.
A quality leap was necessary: inputs of the market were well understood by the founding members that, always united, decided to invest to innovate their products.
The pioneering Verniciatura Industriale became the public company Verind and the present and innovative headquarters in Rodano, a modern and technological plant, was built.
With the inclusion of new high-tech products, the company was able to penetrate other industrial fields, like: anti-pollution, heat exchange, dosage and distribution plants.
These choices proved successful especially in the attempt to give continuity and stability to the company’s programmes reducing the blow, whenever possible, of the inevitable development fluctuations of the different market sectors.
The plant-construction area was developed, that became the essential area of the present Verind. The company wanted to be different from the competition with more and more complex and interlinked machines, both in Italy and abroad, to meet the needs of a more and more demanding clientele, the medium and big companies.
So, under the watchful leadership and experience of the “grandparents”, the generation of the “fathers” was formed since the ‘70s. These were the protagonists that led the company until the beginning of the new Millennium.
They were able to meet the challenges of the market and they gave their contribution by consolidating the company and differentiating the business, by meeting the new needs of the markets and the new development models, creating that philosophy based on flexibility that increased the potential of the company exponentially. In this way, they were able to create a big technical support and sales network, by developing IT technologies and by training their staff that shortly after reached 70 employees.
At this point it was clear than the sales activity in the first 10/15 years of history of the company was not enough to be on the market. We needed added value, innovation, information, research for new products and new niche markets.
Selling only the product is not enough anymore: you need to sell also a service with it.
Verind is a leading company in Italy in terms of quality and know-how of its range of products and references, organization and image. But the times, at the beginning of the ‘90s, were changing again: the company felt more vulnerable vis-à-vis to a certain type of competition, especially in the low-technology product range.
At the same time demand for automated machines was increasing, but this required new plant strategies and a close exchange of information with the few producers and specialized companies in that sector.
Once again, we needed to bet on the future and change: the company alliance with the Dürr group (www.durr.com) started, putting together the goals and visions of the two companies.
Our big partner from Stuttgart, world leader in the automotive finish treatment, produces extremely high-tech equipment and robots, has its own R&D centre, several thousand employees work in it and has top engineering activities and facilities to meet the needs of the most important car companies in the world.
The corporate name of Verind was not changed and Maria Minelli became its President. This collaboration opened a new era that lasted until present and that sees us working in more and more prestigious and complex construction processes, in line with the new production processes.
In the meantime, with the Third Millennium, the latest generation came: that of the “sons and daughters” and the “nephews”.
Everything changed since 1958 which is now so far away but the basic rules for success did not change also for the future generations: hard work, curiosity, passion, constant update, knowing the past and eyes open to the present.
They need to reach that experience that will make them witnesses of their time and makers of their destiny, like their predecessors:
“Wisdom stems from experience.” (Leonardo da Vinci)