How important is brand for Ramondin? How do you care for your brand image?
The Ramondin brand is the summary of who we are, what we offer, our products, services and our raison d’être. For Ramondin, our brand is the perception held of us by employees, customers, shareholders, institutions, media, other companies… which is why it deserves preferential treatment and impeccable care.
Our product is implicit in the Ramondin brand: capsules for wines, liqueurs, cavas, sparkling wines… But also their quality, the added value we provide, the excellent service that we offer and the pillars that uphold our company: innovation, internationalisation, respect for the environment and support for Social Responsibility.
In addition to our corporate identity manual, which deals with the appearance and use of the logo, Ramondin has a code of conduct which governs all the values covered by the brand to ensure compliance in every plant in the Group.
This code is present in all Group decisions and in the relationships that Ramondin establishes with each of its groups of interest.
You have recently taken over the Chilean company INESA. What does this step mean in the company’s international expansion strategy?
We are currently a multinational leader in the manufacture of high added value capsules for wines, liqueurs and champagne, which we are following up with an unstoppable growth process after completing the takeover of INESA, a Chilean company that is also in a position of leadership in the screw-top business for wines and liqueurs on the Latin American market.
INESA mainly operates in Chile, but also produces considerable volumes for Brazil and Argentina. INESA generated sales for a values of 16 million US dollars last year.
With this acquisition, Ramondin now holds more than a 30% market share of the wine caps and seals sector. We have therefore reached an indisputable position of leadership in Latin America.
The Ramondin head office is located in Laguardia, and we have therefore added a new plant to the four we already had, in the USA, France, Spain and Argentina. With this new plant, we are also establishing complementary activities. The two are not competitors, but generate synergies to offer our customers a full range of products and provide greater immediacy of delivery to our market.
What markets currently have the most weight in the Ramondin overall business mix and what are the markets of the future?
If we focus on the screw-top market, which is a product range that we are strengthening in our portfolio with the acquisition of INESA, the future prospects are really optimistic. According to a recent market study, over one third of wine bottles in the world have a screw top. There is an upward trend, as there are markets where this is already the closure mainly used for wines, such as Chile, South Africa and Australia, and this trend is expected to grow over the next 10 years. The use of screw tops is growing at a rate of 7%, while wine consumption is increasing at 1%, so it is clearly gaining ground on other types of caps. In some markets this is already the type of cap primarily used by vineyards, such as in Chile, where 56% of bottles specially made for exportation have a screw cap.
In terms of the overall Ramondin business mix, the level of overseas sales exceeds 80% of our business. As well as plants in France, Argentina and the USA, the company sells directly to over 50 countries, through different sales delegations and its large sales network distributed around the world. If we talk about goals and challenges for the future, we could mention that there is still a lot of work to be done in different markets, both in some of the traditional ones and in other new markets that are growing fast: certain South American countries, Australia, etc. There are also emerging markets such as Asia.
What is the main competitive advantage of Ramondin over its competitors?
The key factor in the Ramondin strategy is based on two main pillars: differentiation with our high added value products and investment in innovation. We are characterised by banking on high quality capsules, differentiating ourselves from our competitors, and on ongoing support for offering alternatives to the market (new materials, anti-falsification systems, traceability, etc.). All this along with our guarantee and the reliability of our service, which is an essential part of our company philosophy.
Respect for and protection of the environment, an exemplary employment policy, transparency… in short, Social Responsibility is an increasingly important concern for vineyards and distilleries… which requires that partners and suppliers – in this case Ramondin – are also compliant. For Ramondin, Corporate Social Responsiblility has become a strategic concern, so much so that it is the only company in the sector that has AENOR IQNet SR10 certification for its CSR actions. Only around 60 businesses in the world hold this certification.
You have a Technical and R&D department. What value does this support for innovation add to your brand?
Unwavering product innovation requires understanding the type of market we move in. At Ramondin, we want to be pro-active and anticipate our customers’ potential needs in any part of the world. It is therefore essential to know our customers and have good communication with them: proposing ideas, but also being open to receive and listen to feedback, suggestions and proposals. It is also important to travel, get out and see what is out there. Seeing what our suppliers can offer us, but also what is starting to become a trend in other industries and sectors. Inter-departmental communication, key in terms of corporate transversality, must be indispensable for product innovation as a whole to function and keep going.
Under these premises, we have worked over the past year on the launch of new products. Our main innovation and hard work in R+D+I is based on making products that are environmentally friendly, particularly in terms of recycling.
Also in innovations to improve packing image, particularly in terms of capsule finishes to make them more attractive visually (new glossy decorations…), to the touch (new rough and velvety textures…), but we have also invested in new anti-falsification methods and more environmentally friendly products. Innovation has been one of the historical keys to the success of our company and must therefore continue on a daily basis, with all those involved working side by side and collaborating in order to continue making this point one of Ramondin’s strengths.
What are the challenges facing the company over the next five years?
The main challenges for Ramondin in the next few years include the integration of the new plant in the USA and INESA into the Ramondin Group, as well as the implementation of new management systems.
At this time we need to concentrate all our efforts on the integration process, the implantation of a new management model (we are introduction SAP to the Ramondin Group), keeping operations running smoothly (implementation of transversal processes) and capturing the synergies identified before the transaction and in the implantation of the new US plant. Integration is a very complex process and in order to be successful it requires an action plan that mobilises the entire organisation and maximises value.