A public company, Noordco’s business is split into two divisions. Its real estate sector, established over 30 years ago, incorporates five separate entities: Noordco SA, ITC, LPBI, Immobiliere Lisa and Immoniali SA, which together, own 80 properties across Belgium, with a total of 50 tenants. Real estate business activities span residential real estate, corporate real estate, new real estate properties, trustee, rental management and valuation.
The company, an independent group with a stable financial background, prides itself on its professionalism and its extensive knowledge and experience of the business. The second sector in which Noordco operates is aviation.
Espace Voyages is an IATA-accredited travel agency, which cooperates with an extensive network of over 150 leading airlines, 65,000 hotels, insurance companies and other travel industry suppliers, which enables Espace Voyages to offer its clients top prices and optimum solutions to their travel challenges.
The company is designated an official travel agent for over 84 international airlines. In this sector too, its staff are highly professional and experienced. What links Noordco’s two businesses is the company’s vision, mission and values, which have ensured significant success in both of its operating sectors. These focus on people, community and quality of life “Our vision, and the target we want to achieve by our 35th anniversary in 2025 is to grow four-fold on four continents,” says CEO Lokman Sever. “Important for us is that, in everything we do, our entrepreneurial spirit and reliable teams enable us to add value to every life that we touch.”
The company’s mission – to contribute to rising standards of living by using our talents and energy to develop solutions that add value to people’s lives in every region in which we operate – reinforces this theme across both the aviation and the real estate businesses.
You have to love what you do. You also have to have courage and be honest and straightforward. Lokman SeverCEO
On a day-to-day basis, Noordco lives these ideals through its values of fairness, working from the heart, reputation, and people orientation; the values apply not only to its clients, but also to its own employees who are treated with the same level of respect with which they themselves treat the firm’s customers. Nowhere is this attitude more apparent than in the Espace Voyages agency, which specializes in air travel to Africa and South America. Many of its customers are Africans living in Europe, who wish to travel to their home country, as well as business people.
Mr. Sever is fascinated by the continent and its people. “I love the African culture and mentality – an appealing mix of naivety and sincerity,” he says. The business concept is unusual and tailored to the specific needs of the customers.
Flights to Africa are, in general, relatively expensive, and the agency not only sources the cheapest possible options, but also allows customers to pay in monthly installments. For example, in September 2019, a passenger books a flight for June 2020, and can then spread the installments over several months. “Espace Voyages was a pioneer in this respect,” Mr. Sever underlines.
Bucking the trend towards online bookings, Espace Voyages owns a number of offices in Belgium, and also has a franchising operation covering Belgium, Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company is aiming to expand its franchised network, and its great reputation means there is no shortage of business people looking to become franchise partners.
Mr. Severs believes he understands the factors which form the foundation for success in any business. “Most importantly, you have to love what you do,” he says. “You also have to have courage, and be honest and straightforward. I believe this combination is the recipe for success, which for me doesn’t mean earning a lot of money, but being happy in my work and having a clear conscience in every respect.”