Some 80 years have elapsed since 1937, when the founder Pietro Tamburini opened a shop coloured powders near Treviso's railway station. Today, Colorificio San Marco S.p.A., the parent company of the San Marco Group is Italy's leading manufacturer and distributor of paints and varnishes for the professional building sector, with 10 production units and exports that reach over 100 countries.
1937- 2017 SAN MARCO CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF SUCCESS
In 1937, the first store in Treviso. Today, the company has 10 production plants, and exports to over 100 countries around the world.
A history of 4 generations of entrepreneurs, well worth storytelling!
Wars and the first venture of Pietro Tamburini: a dairy in Venice.
Pietro Tamburini was born in Venice in 1890, in a house situated near a grocery that sells spices and colored earth. By attending the shop and helping the responsible, Pietro listens to the speeches of the customers, "decorative painters and capable craftsmen." There is talk of plasters, marmorino, putties to be used to decorate the beautiful palaces of Venice, but also the components and the best methods to produce them. Pietro thus acquired, in an unconscious way, the first basic knowledge.
In 1911 Pietro Tamburini takes part of the Italo-Turkish War in Libya, comes back in 1912 and two years later leaves again for the front in the Great War, from which he will return in 1918. Just back thinks to work immediately, and opens a dairy in Venice.
In 1919 marries Elisa Pejeroni, marriage from which in 1921 was born the daughter Alessandrina.
From trade industry, but comes the crisis of 1929. The adventure of milk is over.
The dairies became from one to three. Peter went to collect the milk in the countryside surrouding Venice, and then distributed directly to families residing in the city, without any processing. The families had to boil the milk to remove impurities before drinking.
During a stay in France, Pietro Tamburini had learned that existed the pasteurization, a heat recovery process particularly suitable for very liquid food which minimized the risks to health. Pietro introduced it in 1927 in Italy by opening a production plant in Mestre, two years ahead of the first Italian legislation on pasteurization of May 1929.
In 1929 the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange and the subsequent financial and economic crisis in the United States caused a strong impact on the Italian economy: the contraction in industrial production, the reduction of wages and consumption, unemployment, trade union battles led Pietro Tamburini out of business in the milk.
Elisa Pejeroni, wife of Pietro Tamburini, died in 1925 after only six years of marriage when Alessandrina is 4 years old.
The birth of the paints business: the sale of coloured powders.
Enthusiastic man constantly on the move, Pietro Tamburini reconsiders the colorful earths he had known as a young man. In 1930 he began to sell them to grocery stores on behalf of several producers and other raw materials for paints, but soon his entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to get back on their own.
In 1937 he moved with his family to Treviso, and sets up a warehouse near the train station: so the supply of white earths and colored ones transported by wagons would have been faster and cheaper, which gave him an advantage over their competitors.
"Una storia che comincia nel 1937, quando, mio padre il Cavalier Pietro Tamburini abbandona la lavorazione del latte che aveva avviato nel 1920 per dedicarsi al commercio di terre bianche e colorate vendute a dipintori decorativi, artigiani capaci che facevano gli stucchi, i marmorini, i decori dei palazzi veneziani. Un business che ci porterà ad andare lontano...".
Alessandrina Tamburini, Honorary President of Colorificio San Marco S.p.A.
Here comes the 2nd World War in September 1943 and a strong aerial bombardment on Treviso forced the family to leave the city and then to transfer the stock of material.
The family moves to Mogliano Veneto, where in 1947 Pietro Tamburini buy a classic Venetian villa with a large adjacent agricultural land. In homage to the italian popular habit to combine in one single place the family and the company, "house and shop," Pietro implanted on the ground adjacent to the villa a war surplus shed (a prefabricated hangar) that became new warehouse. Here will live and work and still lives today Geremia's family.
In 1950 Pietro is 60 years old, he feels he has nothing sure on his business and start visiting suppliers and customers to look around. His daughter Alessandrina is 30 years old; in 1944, she graduated in Economics and Commerce at Cà Foscari University because she dreams of teaching, and is married with Lerio Geremia. Alessandrina already has a daughter and does some substitute in school. She won a competition to teach, but on 1951 Federico was born.
Again from trade to industry.
Here comes the 2nd generation and Colorificio San Marco is established.
Pietro Tamburini was dealing with different products: cooked and raw linseed oil, zinc sulfide, calcium sulfate, iron oxide, and others. The market was changing, however, and asking "ready and quick"products, then gradually Pietro Tamburini, also mindful of the knowledge he had gained when he was very young in the grocery store, began to combine the raw materials and test them on various types of surfaces. In this way he learned in depth the characteristics of the products and methods of application, and was able to advise customers in choosing the right product according to their needs.
These were the beginnings of research and development, destined to become a pillar of the success of Colorificio San Marco. Tamburini found himself selling raw materials, semi-finished and ready to use products, and providing advice to customers on how to use them.
The shed was no longer sufficient, and Pietro Tamburini bought other land around the house to install the first production plants and for oil cooked and resins.
The numbef r customers expanded and now also suppliers were offering their products and their "recipes" to Pietro Tamburini in Mogliano Veneto.
Soon there was need for an employee to issue the invoices to customers: Alessandrina then decided to leave school and start working at the Pietro Tamburini company.
On 14th May 1962 was established Colorificio San Marco, with a registered share capital of 30 millions lire.
Born the red lion logo, R&D puts on a white coat.
Enter the 3rd Geremia's generation.
The share capital increases from 30 to 110 millions lire in 1967, an increase of almost 500% in just 4 years after the birth.
The production site of Mogliano could no longer contain the growth, and in 1965-66 Colorificio San Marco moved to a new area in Marcon, further expanded in the 70s. To emphasize the size that was taking on, in 1972 the company became a public limited company and in the same year Alessandrina Tamburini, now the sole director, deposited at the Chamber of Commerce of Padova the brand of the stylized red lion on a white background with black lettering: red, black and white form from that moment the key elements of the "brand" San Marco.
The 60s and 70s were periods of major changes, all aimed at creating an enterprise to be solid, modern, future-oriented, able to reconcile with wisdom and foresight technologies and advanced processes and skills of employees. The production is organized in shifts, customer deliveries are outsourced to courier companies and owner-operators, the responsability for the various functions is carried out by ambitious people, capable, with proven ethics. They are employees who will make the history of the Colorificio San Marco. Recruited young people with modest tasks, will remain in the company also more than 50 years through the whole hierarchy, vertically and sometimes horizontally, always accompanied by a careful Direction to move the line further and rewarding the merit. With his entrepreneurial style partly inherited from his father, Alessandrina is the author of the values that create the culture of San Marco: strong ambition, perseverance, respect and care for employees, transparency and ethics.
Groceries, urged by their customers painters and decorators, had begun to ask more professional products with special application characteristics and resistance: San Marco realized them customized as a tailor and demonstrating the suitability after a series of tests and inspections. Pietro Tamburini understands that it was time to industrialize at least part of the production: thus the first paints in cans are produced in different colors and sizes, which are named with a proper name: Tamoil, Tamolac, Wasserlac, Wettercolor, Global, each name studied to communicate the product or the benefit offered to the customer.
To manage this evolution, which will open the way for paints and varnishes for the building sector, research and development puts on a white coat and his "head" moves to a new lab.
In 1978 joined the company Federico Geremia, the son of Alessandrina Tamburini and Lerio Geremia. After graduating at the University Cà Foscari of Venice in 1975, the military service, a master's degree, and a short work experience, he was appointed Head od Purchase Division. We entered the 3rd generation.
The glorious 80s with CAPs and new machinery.
The company is at a point at which follows the progress or follow it no more "This is how concludes the report that Alessandrina Tamburini had prepared for a" Meeting of reflection - improvement "in 1982. Colorificio San Marco had to overcome fixed patterns and old habits, had to be updated, had to increase the efficiency to reduce the tails of rears. It was not just a few work, but so much work!
Sta per cominciare un periodo di forte crescita del Colorificio San Marco, trainata da tre grandi vettori: la Ricerca & Sviluppo, la produzione e il settore commerciale.
While until then the innovations were drawn from customers' requests, the new laboratory of research, constantly reinforced, becomes an original engine of innovation. The UNIMARC system, launched in 1982 and still present in the product portfolio of San Marco, marks the watershed between the adaptation to the demands of customers and the development of an autonomous and innovative proposal.
The launch campaign was organized by Federico Geremia, who in 1980 became Sales Director. Federico, who used to set up his business with method and rigor, had developed an important launch campaign: each distributor received a kit containing posters, brochures, flyers, displays, color cards, merchandising material. Thus stimulated both the sell in both the sell out and the reputation of Colorificio San Marco. It was a great success.
To strengthen the distribution network in view of further launches of products, dr. Geremia creates the Professional Application Centres (CAPs), destined to become a key element in the commercial success of San Marco.
In the second half of the 80s Colorificio San Marco is equipped with advanced machinery - spectrophotometer, tinting machine, mixer - to alleviate the manual work and move on to higher value-added activities such as design and control. Some of these machines will be installed at the more evolved CAPs, increasing the competence and professionalism.
In 1990, dr Federico Geremia became General Manager and in 1995 President of Colorificio San Marco. The mother, Dr. Alessandra Tamburini, was appointed Honorary Chairman.
Colorificio San Marco grows and becomes international. The 4th Geremia's generation joins the company.
The change at the top management of Colorificio San Marco marks the beginning of a further deep renewal of the company. While it consolidates the commercial network of the CAPs in Italy, San Marco launches an ambitious internationalization strategy that brings the company's products to over 100 countries. Dr. Federico Geremia decides to give a further boost to the increase of turnover through targeted and sinergy acquisitions with the products and culture of San Marco.
1997 - Acquisition of ABC
1998 - Establishment of Eurobeton S.r.l.
2004 - Establishment of San Marco Adriatica d.o.o.
2005 - Establishment of San Marco Kolor S.r.o.
2005 - Acquisition of Tjaeralin S.A.
2008 - Establishment of San Marco DT BH d.o.o.
2010 - Acquisition of Novacolor S.r.l.
2016 - Establishment of OOO San Marco Russia
2017 - Acquisition of Eurocolori S.r.l.
In about 10 years will be established the San Marco Group, with 11 productive/commercial sites and a portfolio of 7 brands.
San Marco has become a major company with a strong competitive position in Italy and a steady rise in foreign markets. Now begins a challenging phase of further development and consolidation: under the careful supervision of Federico Geremia are already working the three children Mariluce, Marta and Peter, the fourth generation.