"Exports, the way ahead"


“The only way to exist is to advance, to grow, to develop, and to look far ahead.”
Those at least seem to be the thoughts of Sylvain Loze, Chairman of the I.P.I group, which specializes in the field of industrial pumps and hydraulic components. Interview.

HEC: What drives the success of a company in your business sector in 2013?
SL: You have to press constantly forward and show ambition. This is the approach that over the years has allowed us to grow from single-company status to that of a fully fledged French group. To function this way, we rely on a policy of consolidation whereby we pool our human resources and skills among all the group's component structures. This brings us real commercial synergy, which we channel into fulfilling our strong development objectives.

HEC: Those words aren't just hot air, are they: you have experienced a news-making year.
SL: Absolutely. Last April, after we'd been keeping an eye on southern Africa and on a company that represented a potential supplier and subcontractor for our group in that area, we finally made the acquisition. Among other things, this has allowed us to seize the prospect of developing sales not only in southern Africa but throughout the continent. Alongside this, we have been working on starting up a new compressor business since the summer. Our mastery of vane pump technology, as used in many industrial areas, gives us undisputed synergy in the vane compressor field, whether for compressors or vacuum pumps.
In partnership with a big European name in industry, our offering is already complete.
It lets us meet all requirements in the field and attack new sectors like petrochemicals, energy, co-generation, mining, water treatment—the list goes on.

HEC: You talk a lot about an ambitious development policy. How will this pan out over a 5-year period?
SL: We intend to continue developing, using all the levers we have available: organic growth with companies we nurture to maturity and external growth. We have targets in Canada, Belgium, and—it bears repeating—in southern Africa. We want to develop our export turnover to give us a real growth platform. We want to reach close to €50m turnover in 2015, with 60–70% coming from exports.

HEC: Keep on growing: is this vital?
SL: You can't stand still in these markets. A company absolutely needs to open its sales to the rest of the world. That's how to consolidate growth, to reach maturity. That's why we have this determination to stay open minded, so we can provide the widest response to the needs of our sector.

After working for Screg (Administration and Accounting Manager), Hecket Multiserv (Management Controller), and State International (Financial Department), Sylvain Loze (E.03) took over Pollard Pumps in 1997. In 2009, he created the I.P.I. group.

Since its creation in 2009, the I.P.I. group has specialized in industrial pumps and hydraulic components (hoses and connectors). The group has a turnover of €20m, with 30% going to export.