VF Venieri: Maintaining a Familial Legacy in the Ever-Changing Digital Era

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3/11/2024

Running a family-owned business can be challenging, but AEM member company VF Venieri has certainly withstood the test of time. The OEM, based in Italy, has been passed down from generation to generation after it was founded in the aftermath of the second World War. Through challenges and successes, the company has maintained its family focus and has only continued to grow as the manufacturing landscape has fluctuated over time.

AEM recently caught up with VF Venieri's Filippo Muccinelli Venieri to discuss the company's past, present, and future. 

AEM: Can you tell me a little bit about how VF Venieri got its start and the role your mother played in starting the company?  

Venieri: VF are the initials of our founder, Venieri Ferdinando, who was born in 1948. The business began through the conversion of old military tanks from World War II into tractors and earthmoving equipment for the agricultural industry. Essentially, the company was born out of the desire to repurpose something that was no longer useful at the time.  

My mother was born in the 1950’s; during her younger years she started getting acclimated to the family’s equipment business. She became a part of the ‘VF Venieri force’ from a young age, listening and learning more about the industry. She is the second generation of the Venieri family, and has always wanted to continue the family legacy even though 99% of her competitors, suppliers, and customers are men.  

AEM: What was the thought process or goal behind starting the company?  

Venieri: We have always believed in a made-to-order approach rather than pumping out large quantities of the same product. In order to be a quality company, you must be passionate about providing solutions through your products – which we very much are, and which is how VF Venieri started. 

Our goal has always been to manufacture products that are highly efficient, highly flexible, and have low maintenance costs. We want to develop machinery that is easily operable by humans, rather than something that is too complex and automated. We believe that making machines simple to use is the best technology.  

AEM: What were some of the challenges you faced in the early going? How did you overcome them?   

Venieri: There have been so many challenges to face over the last few decades. The 1980's was the genesis of internationalization – when VF Venieri started extending its horizons. This meant that new adjustments were necessary as our market suddenly extended further, meaning not only more possibilities to sell but also more competition to face. Another important challenge is the way in which technology has gained momentum over the last 20 years.  

The OEM agreements that we have made have also been very challenging, though certainly very rewarding, as we needed to ensure a correct “fit” with our clients. We have had to find the right balance with our suppliers as a result. Entire lines have had to be developed to cater for specific functions, beyond the simple front and back-loader functions.  

Finally, as in all sectors, we have had to navigate the globalization of brands, whilst continuing to build up our own family identity. 

AEM: When did you realize the company was fully established and set up for long-term success?  

Venieri: If we thought the company was fully established and set up for the future, to us, it would mean that we would be throwing in the towel in a way. A business can never be fully accomplished, as there is so much more to achieve and so many unpredictable factors in the long term. The world is in constant motion, and we are as well.  

AEM: What has been the biggest accomplishment since starting the company?  

Venieri: Seeing our machines leave this small yet advanced countryside and be used across the world as we have expanded over the years. 

AEM: What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business?  

Venieri: You must have passion, but you must also stay humble. 

AEM: What does the future hold for Venieri, and what will it take for the company to be successful in the future?  

Venieri: We look forward to a more Venieri-yellow-colored world in which we continue to maintain a global family-operated business and stay true to our values. We will need to continue holding sustainability close to our hearts as we continue to operate and grow into the future.  

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