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Alberto Bertone

Reinventing oneself

“In business, it is the most tenacious that win.

My recipe? Communication and perseverance.”

Is it possible to enter the mineral water business with nothing and build Sant'Anna from scratch in only 15 years? With a background in the construction industry, is it possible to learn all about the capacity of pipes, industrial robots, water hardness, telemarketing, decentralized logistics and sustainability, while climbing the consumer rankings right in front of astonished multinationals? Is it possible that an audacious young man from Cuneo could dare to think big, forcing the sector to move ahead at least 20 years? Yes, it's possible. It’s incredibly possible.

ABOUT ALBERTO BERTONE

Alberto Bertone was born in 1966 in Moncalieri, Italy. After gaining managerial experience in his father Giuseppe's construction group, in 1996 they founded together a joint-stock company called Fonti di Vinadio, of which Bertone is now Chairman and owner. In the years prior to this, the Bertone family had tried to acquire companies in the mineral water sector. Unsuccessful, they changed path and decided to start from the beginning, or in other words, from the spring. One Saturday morning, while driving their 4x4 around the Vinadio Park, in the heart of the Maritime Alps, they came across a waterfall 20 meters high and 8 meters wide. This was the moment of insight. Together they founded the company, but Alberto Bertone soon took hold of the reins. The first two years were taxing, but an irresistible rise followed, with 100% annual growth initially and then from 25-30% from 2005 to today, in a market where the giants are happy with an increase of a few percentage points. One of Bertone's real talents is to think big and to invest heavily in manufacturing infrastructure. He created 90 km of piping. The bottling plant covers 60,000 m2, they use a lot of automation and the logistics department uses laser-guided robots. Sustainability is also central: green building criteria have been established; they launched the first square bottle in Italy (with 20% savings in terms of volume and transport costs) and, more recently they introduced a biodegradable vegetal plastic bottle made from fermented plant sugars. In 2007, Fonti di Vinadio became the Italian market leader and remains one of the few 100% Italian companies in this sector (and to think that initially the large retailers didn't want to stock these bottles, not even for free!) In the same year, Alberto Bertone became a member of the steering council of Fondazione CRT and won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young in the communication category. Total sales today stand at € 180 million with only 70 employees and 750 million bottles sold annually in the EU, an average of a bottle for every inhabitant in Europe.

INTERVIEW WITH PATRIZIO PAOLETTI

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

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CARTELLO coming soon.jpg

ARTICLES & OTHER RESOURCES

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THE JERUSALEM POST

INTERVIEWS

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THE NEW YORK TIMES

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