MILAN – Here is another interview collected during the intense days of HostMilano: this time, we talked to Ruggero Ferrari, the recently appointed CEO of Rancilio Group. Ferrari was previously at Gruppo Carpigiani. Both companies (Rancilio and Carpigiani) belong to Gruppo Ali, a group with subsidiaries all over the world based in Cernusco sul Naviglio (Milan), whose Founder and President is Luciano Berti.
Who is Ruggero Ferrari?
“I am an Ali Group manager, with ten years of experience at Carpigiani. I developed financial know-how at the Max Mara Fashion Group and Emak, a company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. Emak specialises in gardening equipment. I was Business Development Officer at Carpigiani, and CEO of some of the Group’s companies. I became the Rancilio Group CEO in September.”
From fashion to coffee machines: will Rancilio’s new releases become designer items?
“Reflecting what’s happening in the automotive scene, the coffee sector is seeing increasing importance placed on product aesthetics, with faster progress and development than in the past. Rancilio will focus on the look of new products, with a special emphasis on the kind of technical innovations demanded by professionals.”
What is coffee for you?
“It’s a pleasure. Like ice cream. If it’s well made it can also become a profitable business model for our clients.”
Which of Rancilio’s or Egro’s projects best fits this description?
“Our coffee machines are designed to meet baristas’ requirements by offering the best possible extraction performance and exceptional flexibility. Quality is a feature across our Rancilio and Egro product ranges, and we are uncompromisingly keen on the quality of our raw materials and the outcome in the cup.”
You presented 4 new products at HostMilano: what are their most innovative individual features?
“We presented four new products from the Egro and Rancilio brands but there are seven new features, because we also have the Connect telemetry system’s revisited interface and, in the context of fully automatic Egro machines, the new NMS+ milk system and Tea Brewer, which enrich the add-on offer. The latest products include the V50 grinder, the Egro Next Touch Coffee for drip coffee, the Silvia Pro and the Rancilio Classe 20, our top-of-the-range model. As well as renewed aesthetics, Classe 20 includes a touchscreen user interface to manage all machine parameters.
Classe 20 will be launched in three versions – SB, ASB and TP – with three different heat control technologies. The new patented system offered on the Steady Brew (SB) model guarantees a high degree of thermal stability (±2°C with WBC protocol) and exceptional repeatability in all consumption conditions. We show this stability in real time in the Extraction Lab area by simulating the simultaneous opening of brewing units, hot water and steam.
The most advanced versions – ASB with micro boilers and TP with Temperature Profiling – achieve a fluctuation of ±0.6°C, which is near the values recorded for Rancilio Specialty RS1’s stainless steel unit. The RS1 is thermodynamically more reactive. We are a benchmark for the entire sector in terms of innovation. This is clearly shown by the extraordinary results achieved with the stainless-steel unit. We have, in fact, inspired other competitors to adopt the same solution.”
Will there be a 30, 40, 50 model? Why start with 20?
“We wanted to maintain Rancilio’s traditional naming system without repeating the names of successful models of the past, like Classe 10. With Classe 20 we are moving towards a new horizon offering new levels
of innovation. ”
How would you evaluate this year’s HostMilano seen from the Coffee Pavilion?
“Attendance is remarkable, and I’ve noticed renewed interest in coffee, a positive revival of a trend. The market demands high quality and technology, and some players stand out in this new context.”
What are your plans for Rancilio?
“I have joined a market leader in the sector, with a deeply rooted tradition, a top-level team and a high standard of organisation. Our goal is to invest in ourselves, to talk about us, not our competitors, and become a benchmark for our ability to develop and provide innovative proposals.”
Are partnerships with Microsoft and Politecnico di Milano moving in this direction?
“They are prestigious partnerships with international players that reflect our company’s high standing. The partnership with Microsoft shows Rancilio Group’s drive towards Industry 4.0, and the workshop organised with Politecnico di Milano is an activity we promote to forge links with upcoming generations and develop products and technologies designed to improve the offer for tomorrow’s clients.”
One of your coffee machines, Rancilio Specialty RS1, is competing for the Compasso d’Oro Award
“We want to become a benchmark for design features, too, and we plan on developing new products based on Made in Italy values and aesthetics, despite the additional costs this entails in terms of research and development.”
You come from Carpigiani, whose turnover is much more impressive than the Rancilio Group’s. Have you joined the company to achieve that goal?
“I’ve joined Rancilio to create value for shareholders and for in-house stakeholders, starting from our employees. I don’t know how far we will go but we are backed by a financially strong Group. We are keen on growth but it has to be balanced and benefit all those who gravitate around the Rancilio Group.”