“A boat can be built with three elements: hull, engine and an Osculati catalog.” So jokes Alberto Osculati, who with his siblings Giorgio and Claudia, the third generation to head the company founded in 1958, carries on the largest nautical accessories production and distribution company in Europe. “We like to consider ourselves ‘facilitators’ of solutions available to construction sites and shopkeepers, we are the . (Pictured, left to right: Alberto, Claudia, Giulia, Mario, Giorgio Osculati)
The secret of Osculati’s success lies precisely in its business model: “On the one hand, there is our logistics, which guarantees speed and on-time delivery both to construction sites and to our 5,000 dealers around the world. Every day, 15 tons of products leave our warehouses in Segrate (Milan) and Lucca for 96 different countries.
On the other, production: we are the only ones, thanks to a Design & Engineering department constantly working on experimenting with new solutions, with a catalog of 21,000 products, more than 20 percent of which are developed and manufactured by us. It is precisely the variety of choices and reliability that have made us what we are today in the international market.”
That is, a company close to 70 million in annual sales (“with 30 million goods available in stock, professionally priced”) with 125 permanent employees and 70 seasonal employees handling logistics. “On every production boat that comes out of Italian and foreign shipyards, if you look hard enough you will find at least a good 10 percent of Osculati components,” Alberto says with a hint of pride.
Meanwhile, the accessories market, in more than 60 years, has changed a lot. “Just as has happened in the automotive world, where a latest-generation model wins the comparison, in terms of ease of use, performance and comfort, with its older counterpart, boating has also gone in this direction. To the benefit of the consumer who is now able to choose higher quality accessories at a reduced price.
Another cornerstone of our philosophy is to make solutions accessible to a wider audience of boaters that until a few years ago could be found on high-end boats. Such as the shower that is yes as big as the one at home, but is elegantly recessed (our product is called Adriana), or the retractable dimmable mood light (Aurora), or even the telescopic stepladder with extra-large steps and easy folding system. The boat does not change size, but it is much ‘richer’ and more comfortable.”
Not everything, however, can be done “in-house” for now: Osculati is known as a distributor of famous brands in the marine industry such as Lewmar, Whale, Oceanair, Polyform, Henderson, Marlow, Bomar, Ritchie, and many others.
Last but not least, the issue of sustainability, “to which we are attentive and sensitive,” Osculati continued. “In 2016, we opened one of the first warehouses in Lombardy that is certified Class A for energy conservation, uses geothermal systems and solar panels. We have been using only energy from renewable sources for more than 10 years, and our catalog is printed with paper from sustainable sources. In this, and only in this (laughs, ed.) would we like to be copied by other companies in the industry.”
He closes, “Sustainability does not just mean ecology. It means fighting for gender equality in the company, offering ongoing training to employees, supporting social and inclusion projects-Osculati has been doing this for years.”