Rancilio Group eyeing the Chinese market
September 16 - 2021
Coffee Geography Magazine
Rancilio Group has inaugurated Rancilio Group China based in Shanghai . The Shanghai branch will have the task of supporting and promoting the development and commercial presence of the Rancilio brands, Egro and Rancilio Specialty in China and further strengthen the expansion strategy on the Chinese market.
" We have a clear international strategy - declares Ruggero Ferrari, CEO of Rancilio Group - and the opening of the new branch in Shanghai is a fundamental step in responding to the needs of a market that is gaining more and more importance on a global level ".
Rancilio Group China will cover the entire region of mainland China and, in synergy with the commercial management of the Group, will take care of commercial relations with local distributors, roasters and above all with large chains, both local and international. The new Shanghai branch will also coordinate the technical assistance network already operational in the area and the spare parts dealer, working in synergy with the Italian structures.
The Shanghai branch is now managed by Yuan Li, Country Manager Greater China. The new branch will house the commercial offices of Rancilio Group China , an elegant showroom where Rancilio, Egro and Rancilio Specialty products will be exhibited , a large warehouse for product storage and a both commercial and technical training area.Technical and Service Manager.
From small mechanical workshops to world leaders four brands were united to form the historical Rancilio Group.
A journey through time that tells the story of two men, pioneers and visionaries who, starting from a brilliant intuition, have transformed their dreams into memorable entrepreneurial adventures.
Roberto Rancilio was born in Parabiago on 23 April 1896. He spent his youth in this small town just outside Milan, breathing in the sense of optimism and confidence that permeated society at the beginning of the 1900s. The atmosphere of the Belle Époque was waning, however. The outbreak of World War I left an indelible mark on the lives of people everywhere, and when Roberto was drafted, the Rancilio family was also deeply affected. In March 1916, Roberto reached the front. He was injured on 15 May during a firefight and was discharged with a badge of honor. After the war, Italy entered a state of feverish euphoria. It dreamed of restarting, and laughed and cried at the cinema with the films of Charlie Chaplin, Rodolfo Valentino and Greta Garbo. Despite widespread poverty and the deaths still being mourned, everyone wanted to forget the past and begin again. Roberto was convinced that coffee would soon take over Italy, and he strongly believed that the success of meeting places where it could be enjoyed in the company of others would continue to grow. It was the moment to transform this intuition into a fully-fledged business activity.
In 1927, at the workshop in Parabiago, Roberto built his first coffee machine piece by piece. The result was La Regina, a mechanical work of art. Having understood the importance of having his products associated with a recognizable logo, Roberto immediately designed the ‘double R’ logo, which still appears on all Rancilio products today.
The Officina Meccanica Roberto Rancilio officially began operations in 1930. The next year, Roberto introduced three new models of coffee machine – the Ottagonale, the Graziosa and the Invicta – and he filed new patents.
During World War II, Roberto was forced to suspend production of his coffee machines. To keep the workshop running, however, he converted the business to the production of milling, stamping and spinning machines.
Immediately after the war, Roberto Rancilio started melting down metal parts and pieces of howitzers to restart his business. During the same period and in much the same way – i.e. by reusing military materials and designs – the Piaggio Vespa was invented, and quickly became a symbol of Italy’s rebirth.
On his 60th birthday, on 4 January 1956 Roberto Rancilio passed away at his home in Parabiago. Not only did the company lose its founder and owner, but more importantly, it lost a man capable of involving everyone, with an authentic passion, in his human and professional adventure. His wife and three sons continued to this day to expand the company to where it is today.
Kastor Egloff was born on 28 November 1820 in Rohrdorf, in the Baden district of Switzerland. The sixth of ten children, Kastor had to start earning a living at a very young age. He worked as a field hand and, by a stroke of luck, he found housing at the ‘Neuhof’ educational institute in Birr, founded by educator and philosopher Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. This was an industrial school with cutting-edge programmes that offered some of the most deprived children, such as Kastor, the opportunity to take classes and learn a trade.
In 1836, he moved to Zurich, where he apprenticed at a mechanics company for four years. In 1849, Kastor returned to his parents’ home in Rohrdorf, married Barbara Stieger, and opened a workshop. The young couple produced metal ladles and skimmers, working on a treadle lathe. Every two weeks, Kastor travelled to Zurich to sell his products at the market or to hardware shops. In 1851, Wilhelm Egloff was born. He was the first of the couple’s nine children. Around the same time, a small workshop with a water mill was built on the site where the company is still located to this day.
The tragic year 1871 in the family is remembered when Kastor lost a hand in his work shop and just a few weeks later, suffered a stroke. His son Julius took over the company and, with the help of his brother August, went on to manage it until 1894, when Adolf and Karl Reber acquired a shareholding in the company, investing all their assets. This was a year of sweeping changes that caused the Egloffs being distanced from the company. When Hermann Weber joined the company with the Reber brothers, Kastor and Julius Egloff became silent partners.
Kastor Egloff died in 1905 at the age of 85. At the founder’s death, the company was still many years away from starting to produce coffee machines.
The Supra I, its first filter coffee machine, was introduced in 1934, a year after the death of Julius Egloff. And it was only in 1979, after various evolutions and changes in ownership, that the company’s name changed to Egro AG, composed of the first two letters of the founder’s surname (Egloff) and town he was born in (Rohrdorf). A tribute to Kastor’s entrepreneurial courage, which fully embodies the spirit of the company to this day.