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Beretta Five Hundred Years Old Family Business

Beretta is an Italian firearm manufacturer that was founded by Bartolomeo Beretta in the 16th century. They are the oldest active firearm manufacturer in the world and have supplied firearms to every major European war since 1650.

The company remains owned by the family even today as Beretta Holding, the parent entity. The Italian holding company holds direct or indirect participation in 26 companies.

It owns well-known brands like:

  • ● Benelli (motorcycles and scooters manufacturer)
  • ● Franchi (rifle manufacturer in USA)
  • ● Sako (Finnish firearm and ammunition manufacturer)
  • ● Stoeger (manufacturer and importer of firearms in USA)
  • ● Burris Optics Company (a trusted source of binoculars, scopes, riflescopes, sights, reticles, mounting systems for all hunting, tactical and competitive shooting needs)
  • ● Tikka (manufacturer of Rifles, hunting rifles, tactical rifles, scopes, optics etc.)
  • ● Holland and Holland (Gunrooms, Shooting Grounds facilities)

It is very rare that a company is able to stay true to its original mission and survived five centuries to remain the leading legacy of a market.

Manage the Paradox: Tradition and Change

Beretta expresses its approach to tradition and change as "evolution and innovation."

This paradox has helped Beretta move forward without losing sight of what came before, all part of the Company's overarching motto of ''Prudence and Audacity."

A paradox is comprised of two sides that appear to be opposing, but in fact are mutually supportive.

Balanced Time Orientation: Beretta maintained attention on both the past and the future. This can be seen clearly in its approach to business locations. Beretta 's corporate headquarters remained in the small town of Gardone (Italy), where the enterprise was originally founded. However, it established new facilities in the United states as a statement of its commitment to creating capacity for enduring global growth.

Balanced Hand-crafted and Technology-based Production: Each successive generation of the family assumed leadership in the business and was able to maintain the appeal of their hand­crafted product while introducing new products in response to market opportunities. They preserved the artisanal production methods of their earliest years alongside an equally celebrated commitment to applying large scale technologically advanced production approaches.

Strategic Rules

Avoid Over Dependence: Beretta decided not to devote more than 30 percent of their production to the military. For a private company, it is dangerous to be too dependent on military business. Some years it's very good business, some years it's very bad.

They consistently invested in up-to-date machinery - especially new technology. Other companies in the firearms business, like Winchester and Colt, did not invest in new technology and innovation, and therefore perished.

Beretta started working on the new model of 9mm pistol, well before its U.S. and other foreign competitors. They had time to do all of the modifications that were necessary in order to perfect the weapon. The U.S. military favored the Beretta 9 mm. pistol over its competitors because it was already the sidearm used by NATO forces, and it had several design and safety advantages. But one of the biggest reasons Beretta won the contract was that it was able to supply the weapon at half the cost compared with its competitors. This was mainly due to their foresight and investment in advanced manufacturing processes.

Beretta is among those Enterprising Families that have grown and prospered across many generations. In order to survive and thrive across the years, these family businesses had to balance the need to preserve tradition and adapt to change.

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