Heir of Lamborghini family blown away by Kerala's natural beauty

Tonino with Usman Rahman, who is also the Lamborghini brand ambassador in Dubai and partner Angela : Manorama

Kochi: Looking at the backwaters in Kochi and stretching his hands above his head, Tonino Lamborghini said, “I have been to many places in India. But Kerala is ‘high level’. It is not just beautiful, it is exclusive… Like Italy.”

Tonino Lamborghini is the founder of the company which makes luxury cars and other luxury products including watches and eyewear, which can be owned only by a few people in the world.

Though the car manufacturing business is not with the Lamborghini family anymore, the brand by that name continues. The Lamborghini family’s business is in the luxury line of watches, mobile phones, sunglasses, bags, clothing, and boutique hotels.

Tonino visited Thrissur and Kalamandalam and went on a boat cruise in Kochi backwaters with the Time World group MD Usman Rahman, who is also the Lamborghini brand ambassador in Dubai. He spoke to Manorama just before leaving for Munnar with his partner Angela…

Italy also has many canals and backwaters. What else is there to see in Kerala?
Kerala is different from Italy. It is a unique atmosphere and experience here. This place enchants the soft aspects of our psyche.

Can’t the Lamborghini group invest in Kerala then?
Business is not just an investment. We should get the right business partner who knows the practices here. The manufacture of luxury line products requires a huge investment. Besides, we need Italian employees who are experienced in the making of such products. Nevertheless, Kerala is a place where boutique hotels, resorts or luxury houses can be built.

Did you find Lamborghini products in Kerala?
I spotted a Lamborghini car. As this is a land where the sun shines very bright, sunglasses which block ultraviolet rays have a good market in Kerala. Lamborghini products including coffee, energy drink, gin and vodka have distributors in Kerala.

In Italy, like in India, family businesses are passed on to the next generations, right?
Yes. However, in Italy, most families are middle class. Business is handed down to generations. In India, the number of business families and the worth of their assets is very high.

Isn’t Lamborghini's business being handed to son Ferruccio Lamborghini and the next generation?
He is a new-generation businessman. His focus is on reducing pollution and conserving the environment. He is into electric car making. In Pune, he is associating with Kinetic and making battery-operated scooters and a golf cart.

Why is Pizza being sold and profited by American companies across the world despite it being an authentic Italian dish?
Is it pizza that the Americans sell? That is just burger-pizza. You have to come to Italy to have the original pizza.

Did you try food from Kerala?
Superb! I like spicy foods.

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