Riso Scotti

A worldwide player in 70 countries. Guided by its CEO, the famous «Dooottor Scotti», the company has grown ten times in size. Today it's following in the steps of the Expo theme of «feeding the planet» by donating foodstuffs to Africa

Protagonista dei mercati globali, in cinque continenti e 70 paesi. Sotto la guida dell’ad, il famoso «Dooottor Scotti!», l’azienda è cresciuta dieci volte. E seguendo il tema dell’Expo, «Nutrire il pianeta», dona alimenti all’Africa

Dario Scotti

Dario Scotti

The delicate tasks of business transfer and generational transition within companies are analysed in university courses, at conferences and by consultants ready to offer their methods to the families concerned. However, perhaps a visit to a company such as the centuries-old Riso Scotti would be sufficient to obtain an answer. The company is now in its sixth generation, 15 decades from when Pietro Scotti opened his business in a mill all the way back in 1860, before there was a united Italy.

It’s a company in which something extremely rare has taken place: In 1983 the 27-year-old Dario Scotti was offered the role of Ceo by his father Ferdinando, along with considerable operational autonomy. This occurred just four years after he joined the company, soon after his graduation from Pavia University with an economics degree, for which he had written a thesis on European rice. The trust placed in him was amply rewarded. Since then the Pavia-based company has grown tenfold, while the Riso Scotti brand has become popular throughout Italy. This is all thanks to an athletic, youthful man who, in the 30 years spent at the helm of the company, has demonstrate the consistent ability to innovate, coming up with solutions and ideas. Just a good mountaineer would be prepared to face any massif, Dario Scotti eschews hesitation.

«I was an only child, so in the end it was normal for my father to open up a space for me», defends the man, who, at 59, is known nationwide as «Dooottor Scotti» and serves as the spokesperson for a now international company. Certainly this is the case, but not everyone could come up with new products from Carnaroli and Arborio rice, enhancing the precious substances contained within the grain to make them a healthy, functional foodstuff that is perfect for people who want to stay healthy without sacrificing their enjoyment of goodness and flavour. This revolution has made Riso Scotti a player in global markets, and today the company is active in 70 countries. 

How does one achieve this kind of success by starting with a simple, humble product such as rice? How is it possible that the 40,000 quintals of product processed in the 1950s have become 1.4 million quintals today? The ever-humble Dario Scotti is down to earth when revealing his entrepreneurial philosophy. «Two concepts are required: Do the normal things that you’ve always done, and do them meticulously. For us, it involves buying the right rice, processing it in the correct way and selling it well. Then there’s the introduction of new marketing content. For example, in 1992 we were the first to launch vacuum-sealed rice».

Many other important initiatives followed concerning innovative rice-based products (biscuits, pasta, milk, oil, crackers and cakes). Additionally, there have been innovations galore in terms of the company’s strategic vision: from the Danube Project, launched in Romania in 2005, to the joint-venture established in 2013 with the Spanish multinational Ebro Foods, the leading rice company worldwide that opened up markets on five continents to Riso Scotti, thereby extending their range to Italian risotto.

Thanks to such efforts, in 2014 Riso Scotti achieved a turnover of 171 million euros, a figure that reaches 219 million when one includes the entire group and its other activities, such as soy and organic supermarkets. Moreover, an increase of a further 10% is expected for 2015. For the Ceo, who is now also the president, it has been an extremely satisfying year. First, the company sponsored the Rice Cluster, representing Italian rice at Expo Milano 2015. In due course it took the theme of «feeding the planet, energy for life» very seriously when Dario Scotti travelled with his closest partners to Ethiopia and donated 175,000 thousand portions of rice.

Now, with his infectious optimism, he expects to do even more in 2016. «Indeed, because the foundation has been laid for a boost in quality and quantity in the future, when we’re not only much bigger, but better, more diverse and oriented toward innovation. I don’t want to spoil anything, but over the next few months we’ll have many great, major projects in the pipeline».