Back in the 1970s, Massimo Galimberti was one of the visionaries who believed there was a future in selling wine by mail order in Spain. Today, 48 years on, the time has come to hand over to the next generation and his eldest son, Carlo Galimberti, is taking over as president.
Madrid, September 2021.– Carlo Galimberti joined Vinoselección 24 years ago. For a long time, he was in charge of new projects, some outside Spain, in Uruguay, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, Peru and Italy. This led to the establishment of the Club’s international division, which he has been running for three years. His work has been focused on managing international subsidiaries, launching new lines of business and optimising areas of vital importance to the company.
He is excited about taking up this post and now faces the challenge of continuing to strengthen Vinoselección’s outright leadership in online wine sales in Spain and expanding it internationally. ‘The active president and board that I envision need to be able to rely on a strong and robust management. The board has therefore renewed its confidence in the general management’, he explains. In addition, convinced that ‘a company is built from large, small, rapid and sometimes strategic actions’, he discloses that ‘we have established an external board of directors for Vinoselección made up of professional and independent men and women to advise us on taking important decisions’.
Beginnings: a visionary of mail order
Italian-born Massimo Galimberti founded Vinoselección has been president ever since. Over these past 48 years his influence has extended to every action undertaken by the company, which is currently present in seven countries with more than 160,000 customers and an annual turnover of 33 million euros in Spain. From his position he has contributed to shaping Spanish society’s taste for wine.
On 10 May 1973 Massimo Galimberti launched Vinoselección’s first campaign by sending out 10,000 brochures and secured the club’s first 100 members – one percent, a by no means inconsiderable figure for 1970s Spain when mail order had a very bad reputation. At the time Galimberti was still working as a physicist for an engineering company. As he says: ‘The distinctive feature Vinoselección offered the wine world was the added value of information. Back then people drank more wine, but of lower quality. Today they make choices based on better judgement, with preferences, aided by communication and information that wasn’t available then. We began to provide that added value. We not only supplied wine, we brought people a little happiness’.
A generational changeover
Massimo Galimberti’s passion for enterprise rewarded him with the gift he claims life has given him: being part of the wine world and witnessing how it has evolved in Spain during this time. Now, after nearly five decades at the helm of Vinoselección, he is handing over the reins to his eldest son, Carlo Galimberti, to ensure the continuation of the family and commitment to the growth of the business. All this is possible thanks to the organisation of the changeover, beginning with the signing of a family protocol, the creation of a family board and changes in the governing bodies of the company, which now has a robust board of directors. This new board recently chose Carlo as their president.
‘As president of Vinoselección, it’s my job to steer the company along a path of growth, continuity, and economic and financial stability, as well as respect for our values and always safeguarding the interests of the family who own it. This is also what sets a family-run company apart from the rest’, Carlo states. ‘What is more, strengthening and developing the company in the Spanish and foreign markets is a priority. This is a challenge, because economic cycles are shorter, competition is more dynamic, technology increasingly makes a difference, customers are more demanding, and constant professionalisation is a priority’.
Carlo Galimberti: enterprising spirit
Carlo Galimberti (London, 1968) has a degree in Management from the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP). Born into a multicultural environment, he speaks four languages, to which he has recently added Portuguese.
He began his career with US company Gemini Consulting, dividing his time between Paris, Milan and New York. Two years later, in 1997, having lived abroad for fifteen years, he returned to Madrid to join the family company. Since then, his work has been focused on running international subsidiaries, launching new business lines and optimising areas of vital importance to the company. Constantly seeking new ways of promoting wine, in the 2000s he started up pioneering projects such as Wine Day, where 230 Spanish wineries open their doors to wine tourists, an emerging sector. He later established the night-time version of wine culture with Wine Night and launched a restaurant guide with comments by customers. Over the years he has concentrated more on the management and development of foreign branches and has created an international department, of which he is now in charge.
‘The various projects undertaken over these years have brought me into contact with many areas of the company, from publishing to marketing, and from management control to promoting wine clubs overseas. This is one of the advantages of a cross-cutting perspective, as it gives you firsthand experience of internal processes’.