In recent years, international markets have become increasingly important for the relining market. Particularly the markets in Asia as well as North and South America are starting to show an interest in sewer rehabilitation. Given the urgent need for action, these regions offer enormous potential in the next few years and as such promise above-average growth.
In the future, the iMPREG Group will increasingly position itself in new markets, and as a result is putting together a strong, experienced team of employees both in the sales and the technology areas. iMPREG intends to be optimally prepared both for its tasks in Germany and Europe as a whole, and for the challenges of the new international markets.
Qualified technical sales staff for the French and North American markets were recruited in 2014. Francis Clauss, responsible for the important French market at the iMPREG Group since January 2014, soon also took on management of other key European regions as well as the French-speaking part of Canada. In October 2014, Johannes Bauer joined as a competent employee for acquisition in the growing North-American market, to manage the remainder of Canada as well as the USA. We have already laid a stable foundation in these areas in the past. As a result, our current aim must be to expand existing contacts and make sure that our system becomes increasingly established in these markets.
The new iMPREG Suzhou (Taicang) recently established in China is another main reason why the sales and services departments of the iMPREG Group need restructuring. In the spring of 2015, the iMPREG Group started setting up its production site in Suzhou close to Shanghai. Shanghai is China’s most important economic centre and also plays a key financial role in the entire Asia region. iMPREG already recruited qualified employees on site in Suzhou in the summer of 2015, and these are currently entrusted with setting up the new site with support from Germany. As a result, production of the GFK liner for the Australasian market will commence in China in early 2016. Christoph Lindner, sales manager of the iMPREG Group, will increasingly manage the sales team in Suzhou in the future and work on expanding the strong growth markets of Asia and Australia in the future.
In order for us to be able to continue offering our customers in the important markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland our usual competent and fast support, Jens Wohlrabe took over sales and technical advice for these countries in the summer of 2015. In the future, he will support customers both technically and by visiting and advising important end consumers.
The application technology is also facing challenges due to the greater size of the market and greater number of construction teams to be managed. As a result, we have also taken forward-looking measures to train existing and new customers in this extremely important area: Oliver Vorlop, an employee of the iMPREG Group for many years now, was promoted to Director of Application Technology. In his new position, he will play a major role particularly in educating and training iMPREG application technicians. It is of key importance for us, especially in far-away international markets, to have experienced staff on site who are able to reliably deal with demanding construction sites in a routine manner and to independently make the right decisions in possibly critical situations.
Undoubtedly, the iMPREG Group must continue to prioritise the training and further development of our users in both theory and practice. In the autumn of 2015, a new competent technician will join our application technology team so that we can continue to offer our customers qualified technicians on demanding construction sites in the future.
The conditions particularly on the South and Central American markets tend to be rather difficult for European companies. As a result, it is essential that we find high-performing, reliable partners on site before entering the market. For many years, demand for high-quality systems to effectively rehabilitate sewers was low. However, in recent months, the market – especially in South America – has finally started to gain momentum and is beginning to develop.
Therefore, in September 2015, Dr. Jürgen Alexander jointed the team of the iMPREG Group. After many years as managing director, e.g. successfully implementing the launch of operations for a market support company in Asia, Dr. Alexander will now manage Business Development for the iMPREG Group on the American continent.
The iMPREG Group is ideally prepared for the upcoming challenges and will win over users in existing and new markets with its high performance, high level of service and high quality. The iMPREG Team will continue to represent these values in the future!