Trombini´s brief history
The economist Renato Trombini has been in charge of Trombini since 1194, but he has been working in the family companies since he was 12, when he started as an attendant in Casa Raimundo, a beverage and food store in Pilarzinho. Geraldo, his father, and the uncles Sinibaldo and Mirtillo were partners in this and other enterprises and, at that time (the end of the 40´s), six teenage cousins had already started learning the business. Therefore, the construction of the companies that made up Trombini, nowadays one of the largest corrugated cardboard boxes and multi-wall paper bags producers in Brazil, was an enormous, uninterrupted and common effort of the family. This is probably why Renato does not see his professional life in a way other than fully integrated with the family trajectory, first because of commerce, and then the company, which started in 1941 with his uncle Mirtilo Trombini.
However, the Trombini´s entrepreneurship started long before, when Cecília and Carlo Trombini, Geraldo, Sinibaldo and Martello’s grandparents, arrived in Morretes, coming from Veneto, Italy, in 1877, and settled down in the Italian immigrants’ colony founded there. They were fascinated by the idea of “fare l’America”, which illuminated the fugitive crowds fleeing from the big Italian hunger at the end of the XIX century. But “making America” was not an easy task, it required entrepreneurship.
Having poor health and suffering from the humidity, the heat, the insects abundance and the material difficulties, the couple moved to Curitiba, where they succeeded in getting a small farm. But Cecília died precociously and Carlo went back to Morretes with his four children – Rosa, Olympio, Achiles and Paula. Later, after several attempts to provide for the family, he returned to Curitiba, where he sold firewood and lived with deprivations (including dramatic times of hunger), which were very similar to the one suffered in old Italy. He died a few years later, a victim of the sequels left by an accident.
The son Olympio, father of Martello, Geraldo and Sinibaldo and grandfather of Renato, used to crush stones in Serra do Mar, leading Spanish immigrants coming from Argentina, who were specialists in the production of curbs and cobble stones. This is where the pavement on Rua XV, in Curitiba, came from. After that, he worked crushing stones in Araucária until 1914, when he went back to Morretes to work in stonework sites. Five years later he started dedicating himself to commerce. He was a fruit exporter to the capital, an owner of bar and manager of the Marumby movie-theater, in Morretes, and of the Paraíso movies, in Paranaguá. Thus the Trombini were arising, making America, standing up to walls.
Renato Trombini reports back to the beginning of the companies, an enterprise of the generation that followed the pioneers. In 1941, uncle Mirtillo quit the paper factory São Marcos, in Morretes, and founded a small commercial company in Curitiba along with his friend Albano Reis. Soon the brothers Sinibaldo and Geraldo, Renato’s father, joined the company. Mirtillo Trombini & Cia was born, which in the beginning used to buy and classify used paper to resell to factories. Then, it started to purchase new paper to place in the Curitiba market.
Around 1945, Mirtillo and the brothers added another enterprise to the company: Casa Raimundo, in Pilarzinho. Soon they opened two other stores in the same neighborhood. At that time, the new generation entered the scene, their cousins – Lenomir and Luiz Sérgio, Vladimir and Ítalo, and Renato and Raul –, Martello’s, Sinibaldo´s and Geraldo´s sons. They were teenagers, around 12-13 years of age, and were already working as attendants, delivery men, message boys. Some years later, this generation would be heading the companies’ option for industry, articulating their teenager´s boldness to the vision and the wisdom of the elder. In fact, after selling the stores and creating a large wholesale and representation area for the three States of the South Region in 1962, the Trombinis made the first steps into the construction of an industrial group.
In the memory book “Marks from My Life” published in 2008, Mirtillo Trombini wrote:
“Our second generation (Geraldo´s, Sini´s and my sons) was unrestful, rolling the sleeves up in order to face any type of industrial business, preferably in the paper area in which we were specialized”.
“We started with a small factory for paper bags to pack goods in the stores at that time”, remembers Renato, who was already 23 years old. He and the cousins, young and entrepreneurs, were anxious to overcome the low rentable– however labor-consuming – activity of representations. In addition, at the beginning of the 60s, Paraná opened to industrialization.
“In 1967, we installed the first corrugated cardboard box industry in Curitiba”, says Renato. Until 1974, the Trombinis assembled and bought several factories in Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, São Paulo and Minas, all for production of virgin and recycled paper used by the company itself for manufacturing multi-wall paper bags and corrugated cardboard boxes.
In 1990, the family decided to promote some adjustments in the companies´ management, making them more professional. Five years later, with renewed administration, The Trombinis decided to fuse the set of companies they had in only one corporate name, making them tight and selling some assets (factories and reforesting) to adapt to the new economic conditions in the country. At that time, Renato, who, in the past 33 years, had already been through all industries´ sectors, took over Trombini´s Executive Presidency. The cousins concentrated on the Administration Board, while two nephews became directors along with two more directors, who did not belong to the family.
Today, Trombini is the fourth company in the corrugated cardboard boxes sector in Brazil and the second in the area of multi-wall paper bags (adequate for packaging cement, fertilizers, seeds, and chemical products, among others). A performance guaranteed by industrial plants for Cellulose and Paper production in Curitiba (PR) and Fraiburgo (SC), two corrugated cardboard factories, one in Curitiba and another one in Farroupilha (RS), and a multi-wall paper bags plant in Curitiba. Above all, its production serves the national market (95%), concentrating on the South and South-East regions (85%).
Profit is not everything
“We have always had our company focusing on result. A company with no profit doesn´t make any sense”, says Renato Trombini. And adds: “We seek the performance of administrative work aimed to the shareholder´s remuneration, and the well being and good remuneration of the employees. This is fundamental in a good management process. In addition to the salary program, we have another one for sharing the profit with the employees”.
However, the profit might be essential, but it is not everything. “The businessman shall also aim the social vision”, clarifies Renato. Thus, Trombini often participates in actions, such as donations (food and Christmas baskets, food and clothing) and support to kindergartens, schools, libraries, hospitals and health service departments and several community sport activities. The company also participates in works, such as the SENAI program for underaged learners and qualification of machine operators (213 of its collaborators have already participated in these training since 2002). Monthly, Trombini forms groups of employees for courses and trainings, in addition to offering them health plans, leisure and sport activities and canteen at subsided costs in the company. In the municipalities where Trombini has factories, the company joins the city halls – as well as SESI – in different social programs.
Renato insists in pointing out “the real commitment of the company with the environment”. “Trombini”, he explains, “has as an environmental strategy: the ongoing monitoring of the impacts generated by its industrial activities through permanent diagnoses”. The Trombini Quality Program objective, Renato points out, “is to anticipate the possible impact, reducing its scope as much as possible”. He says that, in the last years, the company invested more than US$ 8 million in anti-polluting equipment and systems and more than US$ 12 million in the productive process optimization, which resulted in the reduction of the environmental impacts of its activities.
And the Trombini´s “hanno fatto l’America”, an interview with Renato Trombini, for the Fiep Magazine, carried out by the journalist Luis Manfredini.