Hidden champion and pump manufacturer Lewa is operating in almost all parts of the world—Nikkiso of Japan acquired the German company in 2009. Lewa has in-depth expertise in metering systems. Its innovative strengths and willingness to continually evolve lay the foundation for sustained business excellence. The company operates under the direction of a three-man German/Japanese senior management team. Chief Marketing Officer Stefan Glasmeyer provided an insight into the underlying strategy.
? Mr. Glasmeyer, how well is the collaborative relationship between the German mid-tier firm Lewa and the Japanese parent company Nikkiso working at the operational level? Have you seen the expected synergy effects?
GLASMEYER : Nikkiso was our preferred candidate at the time, because we expected a long-term commitment and long-term investment. This is exactly what happened. A lot of trust has been placed in us, and Lewa now hosts the strategic headquarters for continued development of the pump industry business. Because Lewa has an extensive network of international subsidiaries, we have been able to unlock the door to international markets for Nikkiso’s low temperature and canned motor pumps.
With respect to synergies, Nikkiso pumps have been included in the sales portfolio of a joint US subsidiary which operates under the direction of Lewa since 2013. From the start of this year, the same applies to the subsidiary in Singapore. Further, Lewa now has better access to the Japanese market.
? You have identified organic growth, expansion into new markets and greater innovation as the basic strategy. Has that plan been implemented?
GLASMEYER: 2014 was our best year ever. Turnover increased by around 10 %. We started 2015 with a firm order intake and despite the current cutbacks in investment in the oil & gas sector, we are expecting double-digit organic growth. Overall, we are doing very well in the process industry.
? Have you already noticed that projects are being shelved in the oil & gas sector as crude prices decline?
GLASMEYER: Yes, some projects in the FEED stage have been postponed. However we are also seeing a significant level of project activity in South East Asia and the Middle East while many investments in the US are downstream projects.
To make things clear: with our product portfolio, we are not solely dependent on the oil & gas sector. Our big advantage is to be active in many different markets and we have a presence in many different regions. So there is no critical dependency on specific applications, countries or customers. Fortunately we are also well performing in the system, package and aftersales business. From my perspective, the business with our partner products is also part of the good mix because we are not competing against our own developments. Instead, we are dealing with complementary products from well-known suppliers such as Sundyne, Wilden and Pomac as well as various IDEX group products.
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