Gian Luca Rana has been at the helm of the family business for 30 years, and his goal was always clear: to transform Pastificio Rana from a local business to an international one. This journey has never been easy or dull, and the challenge is one that Giovanni Rana’s young son took on personally, achieving success in Europe and the US in the following years that would make Pastificio Rana great. Gian Luca wanted to make fresh pasta, the heart of Italian culinary tradition, known and appreciated all over the world.
Despite his outward-looking gaze, Gian Luca Rana has always had a close, unbreakable bond with Verona; a deep connection with his roots and his childhood and youth saw him make personal commitments to both the city and the wider area as an adult. This commitment can be clearly seen in the prominent roles he has held in various local organizations and institutions.
In 2005, Gian Luca Rana was elected President of Confindustria Verona, the General Confederation of Italian Industry for the local area. In the role until 2009, he was the youngest President since World War II, and during his term he made it a priority to bring about advances in the area of professional ethics. His approach was aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that captures the industry’s development and the passion that businesses have for where they operate. It leverages innovation, expansion, and the coming together of businesses in order to successfully compete on the world stage.
Gian Luca’s commitment to the area was further strengthened when he accepted a seat on the Board of Directors of Banco Popolare di Verona, one of the most popular banks in Italy and now part of the BPM group, serving from 2005 to 2014. This experience gave him the chance to repay the support Pastificio Rana had received from the local community over the years.
Since 2010, Gian Luca has also been President of Società Athesis, which publishes of one of Italy’s oldest newspapers, L’Arena, and has a portfolio of major newspapers such as Bresciaoggi and Il Giornale di Vicenza, as well as many local television channels and radio stations. Through this position, he further strengthened his ties with not just the Verona area but also with other nearby provinces such as Veneto and Lombardy, where there is great business potential.
Having become a market leader in Europe by 2012, Pastificio Rana crossed the Atlantic, bringing the number of countries where the company has a presence to 58. The battle for the US market was an overwhelming success thanks to the expansion strategy developed by Gian Luca Rana, whose first step was to move to Chicago to see for himself how a complex country like the US really works.
If proof were needed of the company’s overseas success, IRI and Boston Consulting Group confirmed Pastificio Rana as one of the 5 companies with the greatest growth in the US market for 3 years running.
As well as the company’s stellar performance achieved in the US (winner of the 2018 Business Excellence Award), where it is currently the market leader, Gian Luca Rana was awarded significant recognition in 2019: the International Awareness Award from Fordham University, one of the most prestigious universities in New York City.
Gian Luca had this to say about the award during his speech, which he gave at the American university’s graduation ceremony: “When you feel you have a mission to carry out and you understand you want to leave your mark on the world, everything becomes clear. Any effort takes on meaning and all adversity becomes an opportunity to grow, to learn and to pursue your plan for your life.”