Andrea Razeto, Icomia and the global goals of the boating industry
Vice-president of Confindustria Nautica, member of the executive committee of Icomia and managing director of F.lli Razeto e Casareto – a historic Italian manufacturer of locks, handles and other boat accessories -, Andrea Razeto is one of those personalities who represent the boating industry to the full, who know the sector in all its facets and with whom you would talk for hours. Born in Recco in 1967, Andrea Razeto is dedicated to administering Razeto e Casareto, an Italian excellence founded in 1920 and today appreciated by boatyards all over the world, as well as competently and attentively taking care of his representative work within Confindustria.
Of Icomia (International Council of Marine Industries Associations, the association that has been bringing together the world’s major national marine federations since 1965 with the aim of representing a single global voice for the boating industry), Andrea Razeto was president from 2018 to 2020 and last 3rd June, at the annual congress held in Gothenburg, Sweden, he was re-elected to the executive committee for the five-year period 2022-2027. So there could not have been a better opportunity to have a chat with Andrea Razeto as part of our ‘The protagonists of the boating industry’ column.
Andrea Razeto, how can excellence be achieved by producing everyday objects that often go unnoticed, such as boat handles and locks?
“ In over one hundred years of company history, our secret has always been to specialize in what we do. Manufacturing locks, handles and other small components specifically for the marine industry, we have always paid the utmost attention to the quality of raw materials: our items do not corrode, do not rust, are robust and vibration-resistant. We operate in a small and very specific niche, and for us mass production means limiting ourselves to a few hundred or a thousand pieces at most, compared to our competitors which have hundreds of thousands of items. This way we can better customize our products and meet our customers’ needs, while still providing a very wide range of items”.
Your company has won many awards thanks to its manufacturing excellence. Of all these, is there one that has given you more satisfaction than others?
“All the awards we have received have been equally important and have given me the same satisfaction, because they have covered different areas and products. We have received awards both for the company’s economic performance (such as that of Nomisma, which last year included us in the list of ‘Companies against the Wind’ thanks to our ability to perform well in the Italian manufacturing sector) and for the quality of our products, design and technology: each award has represented an achievement and it is difficult to name one more than the others”.
What new products is the company working on and what are your future goals?
“In recent years we have been focusing a lot on technology, but always remaining in the locksmith sector. In particular, at the last Miami International Boat Show we presented a system that networks the boat’s doors to make them communicate with each other and to integrate them with on-board domotics. Ossh Network has both the practical purpose of making the doors open and close from the cockpit, and above all the safety purpose. With this system it is possible, for example, to signal in a luminous manner that the doors are correctly closed, to alert the passenger in the event of unpleasant incidents such as the presence of smoke, or even to integrate with the fire-fighting system to signal escape routes and block fire doors. In short, it is a technology that increases the safety level of boats while maintaining a focus on aesthetics to integrate with on-board furnishings. In the coming years, the system will be implemented with further functions such as informing the crew who is inside or outside the cabin”.
Turning to your role as vice-president of Confindustria Nautica, what are the problems in the sector that you are most concerned with at the moment?
“Confindustria Nautica represents the entire boating supply chain, from boats to accessories, from services to ports and moorings, and at the moment, together with our technical staff, we are mainly engaged in monitoring the difficulties related to the shortage of raw materials, rising prices, and delays in deliveries. Furthermore, we continue to monitor the consequences that the boating industry is suffering due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as the reform of the nautical code, the entry into force of the new quizzes for the boating licence, and the renewal of maritime state concessions”.
What is the current situation of the Italian market?
“The boating industry is doing very well and has grown even during the covid period. Based on the monitoring of the Confindustria Nautica Study Centre, which measures the sentiment of member companies, we can say that in all likelihood 2021 for the boating industry will close with a turnover very similar to that of 2007-2008, i.e. to pre-crisis levels. This, moreover, will happen with a significant growth in exports: while in 2007-2008 the domestic market accounted for about 50% of total revenues, the percentage today stands at 25%. To date, in short, three quarters of the nautical industry’s total revenues come from exports, and if we look at boat production alone, the value rises to 86% for a value of around three billion Euro. At the moment these are only estimates, but we are very optimistic”.
How is the Italian boating industry positioned in the international context?
” Today Italy plays a decisive role in international boating: just think that out of the 1050 super yachts produced every year in the world, about half come from Italy. Our country is the second largest market in the world and our industries are particularly well known and appreciated in certain specialities such as accessories and ribs; but in general, Made in Italy boating is synonymous with reliability and quality for everyone in the world, and this puts us in a central position globally”.
What are the issues you are going to focus on as a member of Icomia’s executive committee?
“In addition to representing and promoting boating worldwide, Icomia aims to work towards the homogenization of national laws, so that boats produced in one country can also be marketed and used in other countries. In addition, we are very active on the issue of sustainable engines and paints, on which I have already done a lot of work during my term as president. Another topic on which I intend to focus my efforts is also that of rules and good practices for boat construction, so that boatyards think from the design phase onwards about the entire life cycle of a boat, including the decommissioning phase: in this way it is possible to minimize the impact on the environment”.