71-year-old Mario Putin heads and owns a large catering holding, Serenissima Catering Group. It includes 13 companies, one of which is Rossi Giants, created in 1992 - it was she who applied for registration of the wine trademark Il vino di Putin ("Putin's Wine") in November 2020. The Il vino di Putin brand was registered with the European Patent Office on March 6, 2021, patent protection extends to 28 EU countries.
In his homeland, Putin is called the "king of canteens" because his main company, the Serenissima Catering Group, caters and operates more than 600 canteens throughout Italy. The holding serves more than 350 hospitals, schools and social institutions, supplies food to bars and restaurants. Putin has set tables for world-famous fashion houses such as Armani, Gucci and Bottega Veneta. Even the Vatican is listed among the company's clients.
In 2019, the company made a record revenue of $ 486 million for itself, its net profit was $ 10 million. For comparison, in 2018, the holding's revenue was 31 percent lower. Rossi Giants, which also caters and sells food and beverages, earned $ 74 million in 2019.
That year, the organization registered another brand of wine - Leida 19.88. This dry sparkling wine can be ordered on the official Rossi Giants website for € 19.5 per bottle. Italian Putin emphasizes the exclusivity of his product: "The exclusive Rossi Catering label is designed to bring something unique to your table." The Leida rating is 19.88 on the Vivino service - 3.4 points out of 5 possible.
The Italian press often clarifies that Putin is the namesake of the President of Russia, and emphasize that in the case of the Italian businessman, the emphasis is on "and". The entrepreneur swears that he is not related to the Russian leader, and yet Italian journalists rarely miss a chance to compare them.
For example, one of the subtitles in the publication of the Roman magazine Il Mondo reads: "Tough as Vladimir". It's about Mario Putin's way of doing business.
Italian Putin owes this comparison to a lawsuit with his business partner Silvana Sorsi, who owned 47.5 percent of the Serenissima Catering Group through the jewelry company Alfabetoro. Sorsi was involved in fraudulent schemes and was accused of tax evasion.
Sylvanas Sorsi herself has accused Mario Putin in court proceedings over the years that he allegedly runs the company like a dictator, manipulates the board of directors and never properly pays dividends. But the legal showdown did not bring success to the partners. The publication Quaderni Vicentini in 2014 stated that the court, native to the Italian businessman Vicenza, "always agrees with Putin." The same publication calls Mario Putin the "Vicentian king."
His biography has been published on the official website of the entrepreneur. Mario Putin was born in the province of Vicenza, an hour's drive from Venice, in 1949. The youngest of 10 children, at the age of 16, he left for Spain, where he worked with his older brothers in their company, which manufactures machines for cutting and processing ceramics.
Four years later, Putin returned to Italy and went into the automatic plant business. During the same period, he became the owner of a warehouse in the industrial area of Vicenza, which he leased to the company Serenissima Restauration, specializing in the supply of products for businesses. Soon, Putin acquired shares in the company, and in 1986 he bought a controlling stake. Since it is difficult to scale the distribution of fresh food, he adopted the Cook and Chill method of industrial cooking (rapid refrigeration and storage of food at a reduced temperature).
Mario Putin does charity work and funds social programs - Serenissima Catering is partnering with a charity project in Vicenza, offering daily hot breakfasts and dinners to people in distress.