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"Working together for one goal - that fits well with IGP".

Laurent, what did you do before you joined IGP?

I have been in the coating business for 35 years. Previously for a large corporation. I started in sales and rose through the ranks over the years before joining IGP in 2015. I never studied. I always wanted to work and learned everything on the job.

How is IGP different from a large corporation?

Oh, there are some differences. IGP is a family business and smaller. And therefore, much more flexible. I also enjoy direct access to the management. Decisions are made quickly and without complications. It feels like being part of a big team. That was different at the big company. There, I was just one of many.

What do you do every day at IGP?

As Head of Region South West Europe, I am responsible for the markets in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. I sell our products and am in close contact with my customers. As head, I also have many general manager functions. I break down the corporate strategy to my area. The profitability of the business is of central importance. Administration, controlling and process improvements are also part of my job.

The most important part of my job is supporting people. I manage 12 employees. It is important for me to involve and inspire them. I support them in achieving their goals and encourage them.

When I was playing soccer, I learned how important it is to work well together as a team. Standing up for a goal together as a team and giving everything to achieve it - that also fits in well with IGP.

How has the market changed?

I've gotten old (laughs). The new generation works differently. More professionally, but everything also must go much faster. Sometimes this speed doesn't help you make the right decision. There is also much less personal customer contact today - a lot is done via MS Teams or e-mail. At least you see each other on MS Teams, which is already much better than an ordinary phone call. Digitalization and pandemics have changed work a lot.

Soon the search for your successor will begin. What do you tell potentially interested people?

That it's a great company with a very diverse job. Human resources, legal, general management, leading people - everything is there. It's an exciting position to gain experience, especially in international cooperation. And I tell him or her that it's important to get along well with the boss and the team.

Before I leave, I want to prepare my successor well and spend enough time with him or her. A smooth transition is very important to me. Maybe the right person will respond to this interview. Who knows.

We are curious about that. And, Laurent, do you already have plans for your retirement?

Yes. I'm looking forward to controlling my own agenda and not reading emails or reading them much less. I will continue to be active. Travel, sports and my involvement in the soccer club are important to me. I also plan to tackle some craft projects at home. Now I don't have time to do that.

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