With 40 years of experience in the challenging field of multidisciplinary engineering, Incico SpA in Italy has made a name for itself with numerous successfully completed projects worldwide. Its Italian team of 80 experienced engineers and technicians is complemented by a 30-strong team at its subsidiary company in India. With its sights firmly fixed on future expansion, it recently restructured its operations into three business units. European Business talked to Giovanni Monini, CEO and son of the company founder, about how the restructure fits in with his plans for the future direction of the company.
The ability to move goods swiftly from place to place has allowed the dissemination of information across the globe. As the opportunities to move goods has increased, so too has the complexity. Trexico Logistics BV has coordinated global logistics for over 20 years and has established itself as a specialized logistics expert across road, water, rail and air.
Europe has a reputation for taking the lead in power generation using renewable energy sources. The south of the continent, in particular, has a fondness for solar energy as it bathes in sunshine. EDF ENR supports the solar power industry with a wide selection of services ranging from conceptualization to installation and maintenance. The company will even aid customers in determining their financing options to ensure they can harness the power of the sun.
As one of the world’s leading solution providers in the field of production control and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), FORCAM GmbH delivers significant increases in productivity for its largely blue-chip client base. The innovative IIoT solution partner has, since its foundation in 2001, evolved its product portfolio into a high-performance manufacturing 4.0 platform with turnkey and fully scaleable cloud solutions plus a vital ecosystem of partner applications. More than 100,000 machines worldwide are monitored with FORCAM technology. European Business spoke to its Founder and Managing Director (CEO) Franz Gruber about how his company continues to disrupt the market.
SodaStream has been putting sparkle into tap water since 1903 and continues to break new ground in the beverage market today. Its innovative approach to the problem of plastic waste coupled with a focus on healthy products are what encouraged its takeover by global soft drinks giant Pepsico in 2018. Since October of last year in Norway and in Sweden, SodaStream owners have been able to make iconic Pepsi beverages such as Pepsi, Pepsi Max and 7UP at home.
Sensum d.o.o. transforms what used to be a manual, mundane job with efficient, precise innovation. Headquartered in Slovenia’s capital, Sensum, now entering its 20th year, is one of the premiere developers and manufacturers of automatic visual inspection systems for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies. Serving pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, Novartis and Roche, the Sensum brand was catapulted into the spotlight at the same speed with which its machines inspect thousands of pills. Since then, Sensum has continued to experience steady growth, thanks to its technology-driven leadership.
Real estate is a vital part of any successful investment portfolio. Real estate investments can satisfy the need for long-term, low-risk equity growth as well as generate more opportunistic, shorter term gains. But more than this, bricks and mortar investments are also investments in the very fabric of society, whether it is a residential, commercial, industrial or public building. As an expert in real estate investments of all kinds, Heitman is one of only a few privately owned companies in this competitive sector. It prides itself on its transparency and respect for clients – something it calls the Heitman Difference.
In order to create residential areas that feel pleasant for a long time to come, every urban planning project requires a dedicated approach. One has to enter into a relationship with the local people and surroundings, in order to find the optimal sustainable solution. The project teams of LEVS architecten are always looking for specific answers that suit a particular situation. They work on residential and urban planning projects in The Netherlands and other Western European countries as well as in Russia and rural Africa. The company is based in a former harbour area in Amsterdam and has 40 employees.
Mergers and acquisitions are commonplace, but while the initial proposition may seem attractive to the parties involved, what happens after the deal is done is decisive in determining its long-term success. In 2019, the KISSLING Group, a German specialist in switching solutions, was acquired by TE Connectivity to form TE Connectivity KISSLING Products GmbH. The company's subsequent focus on effective integration will ensure that this particular acquisition fulfils its potential.
Companies in the EU have had the benefit of an integrated European market for decades now. It has provided many opportunities to take products that have been successful in one market, and transplant them in new, untapped markets. To make this happen, you need a company willing to help you break in, like Lemar BV, a distributor of responsible food brands in the Netherlands.
Trade & Consumer Goods
Everybody is talking about hygge these days, but only a few are familiar with fika, the Scandinavian way to take a coffee break. Surprisingly, people in the Nordic countries drink more coffee than anyone in the world, even the Italians. Good coffee and good coffee machines are of utmost importance for a relaxed fika – coffee machines from Jura Sweden AB for instance.
Climbing up a ladder, regardless if this happens daily as part of a job or rarely to pick cherries, change a light bulb, hang a decoration or fix the roof, is potentially dangerous and an easy way to injure yourself. The better to be on the safe side with ladders designed and made by Telesteps AB from Sweden. The company’s safe and sturdy ladders are often copied yet still second to none.
Huge changes are afoot at office supplies specialist Staples Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG. Its holding company, Staples Solutions in Amsterdam, recently announced the sale of the German retail stores and online business, leaving the company free to focus exclusively on the complex and demanding wholesale B2B contract market.
Good nutrition and high-quality ingredients for cat and dog food were the prerequisites for Baldassare Monge when he set up Monge & C. S.p.a. in 1963. Mr. Monge was the first to produce wet pet food in Italy and has always done things differently from most competitors in the pet food market. A move that has paid off, as today Monge is the leading name for cat and dog food in Italy, ranking among the top ten in Europe and taking 27th position worldwide. Monge produces healthy and tasty cat and dog food for the global market, serving customers in more than 90 countries.
Recent years have seen a steep surge in traveller numbers, and statistics show this development is likely to continue. At the same time, travel retail has experienced equally strong growth as mirrored by the development of Dufrital S.p.a., a subsidiary of the leading global travel retailer, the Dufry Group. Today, travel retailing is even outperforming sales on the local high street. It seems that shopping while travelling has turned into an unmatched experience.
Mix your favourite smoothie or shake wherever you want. The times of preparing your smoothie at home are over. The BlendJet is a portable powerful blender that is perfect for healthy drinks and meals on the go. We talked to founder and CEO Ryan Pamplin about the product development and its key functions.
In the dynamic world of consumer electronics, demand is often driven by emerging trends in other sectors. Products designed to support independent health care are a prime example, as are devices that support the smart home concept. Successful manufacturers recognize that their product range has to move with the times. Dutch company Cresta International B.V., which has been in the consumer electronics business for over 40 years, continually achieves this. Its health care and smart home devices now play a central role in its broad portfolio of small electronics.
Italy produces nine million t of paper and paperboard each year – in terms of production and technology, the industry is a leader on a global scale. The Tuscan city of Lucca plays a specific role in Italy’s paper industry. With more than 140 paper mills and tissue converters, Lucca is an officially recognized paper district in Europe and home to major companies of the booming industry. Companies such as Cartiera dell’Adda, a grey board manufacturer with an outstanding tradition and an exceptionally strong innovative drive.
Supermarket and hypermarket chains, DIY stores, discounters and other large retailers are increasingly expanding across borders. This presents challenges for suppliers including own-brand (or private label) suppliers, who need to provide uniform stock for stores which may be thousands of kilometres apart. As a one-stop-shop for private label cleaning equipment, Belgian company PDC BRUSH has gained a competitive edge by rapidly adapting its business to this new trend.
Why buy a ride when you can build one yourself – and foster your children’s engineering skills in the process? That’s the idea behind Infento: The Dutch company manufactures and sells kits from which children ages two and up and their parents can build actual rides. European Business spoke with Infento’s co-founder Sander Letema about the rave response his product garnered from customers and Kickstarter investors, the importance of engineering skills for succeeding in the jobs of the 21st century and why children’s shorter attention spans are no problem for Infento’s ride kits.
How to turn the clock back – without going under the knife: That is what many people dream of. And there is no end of new products that promise just that. But can they really keep what they promise? We talked to Natalie Franz, founder and Managing Director of Magicstripes. She has developed adhesive strips that rejuvenate the eyes and also work to combat droopy eyelids. In an interview with European Business, Natalie Franz explains exactly how they work and why customers choose them.
Think of watches and you automatically think of Switzerland. The country is home to many of the world’s most prestigious watch brands; many are distinct in their style, all are sophisticated and well made. Few, however, can generally be described as fun. RJ Watches SA offers its customers something unique; a high-end, exclusive brand with highly creative, limited edition timepieces made from materials that, in some cases, have made history. RJ Watches’ CEO, Marco Tedeschi, explained to European Business just what makes RJ Watches different and what the firm is doing to develop its business while retaining its niche.
Opening a gourmet cooking school is an innovative way to communicate and market to potential clients. However, for Czech-based Potten & Pannen - Stanek Group, fresh ingredients have always been key to moving forward as a business. For more than 25 years, the company has been refining its recipe as an importer, distributor and retailer of kitchen equipment, adding a great in store experience and cutting edge smart equipment, to its reputation for luxury and sophistication. Under the leadership of executive director, Milos Stanek, the firm is looking to meet the market of today with a set of innovative new growth tactics.
Who doesn´t know this feeling of having a beautiful bouquet at home but you don´t have time to buy them as a surprise for your loved-ones or yourself? The British company Bloom & Wild has the solution. They offer a flower delivery service. We talked to founder and CEO Aron Gelbard about the meaning of flowers and how they make sure flowers are available all year.
From humble beginnings as a family-owned, Swedish based company, to the successful adoption into the Datwyler portfolio, Elfa Distrelec is now one of the leading electronics suppliers in Europe. Since 2008, the company has undergone rapid growth in response to the needs of their newly merged supplier and customer networks. Their promise: to deliver a truly personalised customer experience.
The rise of e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’ is to be welcomed as studies have shown that the risks of consuming nicotine by inhaling vapours produced by an e-cigarette are much lower than those associated with inhaling the smoke produced by burning tobacco. It was the desire to wean his two sons off smoking that encouraged Didier Martzel to begin his research into e-cigarettes in 2005 and register his first patent for a ‘cigarette substitute’ during that year. Three years were necessary to set up Gaïatrend’s foundation, followed by the launch of its first e-liquid brand named Alfaliquid in 2010, under the aegis of his eldest son, Olivier.
Paying attention to sustainability is key in a very wide range of markets, as younger generations make different choices in their lives. For a relatively young company in a sector that is growing fast, the challenge is to keep pace. EcoRide AB started at the right moment and is continually improving its offer of electric bicycles. The company is headquartered in Gothenburg, and has production and assembly sites in Sweden, Poland and China. With about 100 employees worldwide, EcoRide realizes a turnover of about 10 million EUR by producing and selling its own brand in the Nordic region and producing e-bikes for OEMs elsewhere.
The packaging has a huge influence on the sales of a product. In particular, luxury products need to have appropriate packaging that not only protects its content, but also attracts the attention of the consumer. Promotional objects can increase brand loyalty and boost sales. Manifesto Factory, based in Paris, is a preferred partner for luxury brands in the promotional objects and packaging sector, offering a broad range of high-quality packaging solutions and customized promotional objects such as bags, purses and accessories for the luxury market.
As a product container and delivery system, the humble aerosol can is hard to beat. The fine mist created when its pressurized contents are released covers the surfaces to be treated or cleaned evenly and completely, while its aluminium or tin plate body is completely recyclable. The only hiccup on its path to domination came in the 1990s when the CFC gas used as a propellent was linked to damage to the ozone layer and banned. Today’s cans contain environmentally friendly alternatives that are just as effective. Group Riem S.P.R.L. has been making products in aerosol cans since 1963 and remains as convinced of the benefits of this technology as it was then.
For centuries, the small German town of Glashütte, which is nestled in the mountains south of Dresden, has been producing some of the world’s most sought-after timepieces. Employing the same techniques of mechanical watchmaking that have been passed down through generations, Nomos Glashütte has reinvigorated the town’s beloved tradition. European Business sat down with the company’s CBO, Judith Borowski, to learn more about how Nomos applies local know-how to create its world-renowned watches.