Giovanni Rana was born in October of 1937 in the town of Cologna Veneta, located in the province of Verona, Italy. At the age of 13, Giovanni Rana joined the family bakery alongside his brothers, quickly becoming fascinated by the work. When he turned 20, he started his own business as an artisanal pasta maker. What inspired him was a “belly” intuition that was deeply rooted in the social and historical structure of post-WWII Italy: a new generation of women started seeking work outside the home; which resulted in little time for making fresh pasta and home cooking.
Giovanni, while still a boy, understood that he could satisfy that new need: he would personally produce the best fresh pasta following the same principles as moms and grandmas. His philosophy has always been to use first choice raw ingredients and to respect all the steps for the production of the filling and pastry.
It was an instant success. After the first round of artisanal production, Giovanni Rana Company established the first industrial production factory in San Giovanni Lupatoto, a little town close to Verona, where the company’s headquarters are still located today. Giovanni Rana was keen on maintaining the quality of his products, which he continues to safeguard through a direct and constant research of new packaging and preservation technologies to ensure the safety of the raw materials used in his plant.
From a bakery boy to a successful entrepreneur, Giovanni Rana was surprised when his son Gian Luca presented him with a new way of interpreting the fresh pasta concept: fresh pasta is not only a traditional Sunday lunch staple but a fresh and tasty everyday meal solution for Italy and Europe. Giovanni Rana proudly witnessed his son, Gian Luca, broaden the horizons of his Company and begin the journey to conquer family tables across Europe. However, Gian Luca Rana’s project did not end there, he believed that it was time to also innovate the product offerings and categories. This is when filled potato gnocchi, fresh sauces and all vegetables fillings were born.
At the same point in time during the 1980’s, the Italian fresh pasta sector came under attack by the major multinational corporations. Giovanni Rana resisted all the lures of the big brass who offered millions to take over his company. At that moment, the Giovanni Rana brand was recognized as a leader in the category and owned 1/5th of the market with a growth strategy consolidated by the first communication investments. The multinational companies were offset by the image of Giovanni Rana, an honest man and passionate entrepreneur who became the testimonial of his brand. The company’s famous award winning promotional campaigns, where he acts together with Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Bogart and Stalin (thanks to the GCS technology (Green Screen Compositing)) - date back to the early 1990’s. As a result, the market share of Giovanni Rana rose at the same pace as the brand’s popularity notoriety, currently set at 95% recognition amongst the Italian population.
Giovanni Rana is also present in the promotional campaigns developed for the foreign countries in which the product is distributed. Through these efforts, Giovanni Rana obtained a positive public opinion in France and Spain, contributing to the international success of the brand. However, Gian Luca Rana held another surprise for his father and the big family of the Giovanni Rana Company: the United States.
U.S. deserved Italy’s most beloved pasta and therefore, in 2012, the first overseas pasta factory was opened in Chicago, Illinois. The big dream, which Mr. Giovanni treasured in his heart for so long, was realized with love by his son Gian Luca.
2003 – He was invested Knight of Labor from former President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
2006 – Honorary degree in Communication at IULM University of Milan.
Since 2006 Giovanni Rana has been president of the “Italia del Gusto”, a consortium comprising the major Italian brands of the food sector that aims to promote Italian food products on international markets.
Furthermore, he is President of the Italian association of fresh pasta producers (A.P.P.F.)
On June 2013 he was awarded “Leone del Veneto” from the Regional Council of Veneto with the following motivation: “For interpreting, valorizing and bringing to international success, with great innovation ability and explosive communication strength, the commitment, fortitude, intuitions, creativity and foresight of the Veneto’s entrepreneurship, recognizing its values, traditions and merits”.
On February 2014, he was awarded with the prize of the Legion of Merit from the ASILM (The American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit) for letting people know, through his products, one of the Italian food excellence in the United States.
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