Giancarlo Zanatta, the builder and former president of the Tecnica Group who turned 80 in February 2018, took the opportunity of the Ispo show in Munich last month to present his autobiography, which reveals the interesting journey of a man who, over 63 years of hard work, built up a group that is now producing some 27,000 pairs of outdoor shoes and ski boots per year, in addition to skis and other products.
While the manuscript was completed one year ago, the book is now available from the company's website in Italian, English and German with a nice cover and lots of pictures, and the proceeds will be given to a charity to finance cancer research.
Giancarlo stopped studying at the age of 17 to make shoes in his father's workshop at a time when it was only producing ten pairs per day. He gradually increased the scope of the operation through organic growth and the acquisition of many different brands.
During his presentation, he recalled the vision that he had had for his Moon Boot in September 1969, when he saw images at Grand Central Station in New York of the first astronauts landing on the moon. Inspired by the shape of their boots, he developed the first prototype of an after-ski boot in 1970, using nylon instead of leather. After sales of 25 million pairs since then, the brand celebrated its 50th anniversary at Ispo by showing a line decorated with Swarowski crystals.
Giancarlo had already agreed to step down formally from the chairmanship of the group a couple of years ago, leaving the helm to his son Alberto, who serves as president, and to Antonio Dus, who has proven his management skills as its chief executive. He still has a seat in the board of directors, but insiders indicate that he has full confidence in their ability to make decisions.
The Tecnica Group has not yet moved into its new generation of managers. Giancarlo has six grand-children, the oldest of whom is nearly 30 years old, but he insists that none of them should get a position within the company unless sufficiently qualified.
Two years ago, the family sold a 40 percent stake to an Italian investment firm, Italmobiliare, retaining its control.