Interview with Josep Pinent Isart, the ASFEL and Organizing Committee Chair

This interview with Mr. Pinent has been included in the press dossier, handed to the media on 8th November 2010. This interview offers Mr Pinent’s view of the trade fair as a professional and an Organizing Committee member

• What would you tell the firms of the sector which are currently considering the possibility of attending HYGIENALIA as exhibitors?

Despite being well aware of the hard times our economy is going through, and of the specific problems that the Professional Cleaning and Hygiene Sector is facing, I would encourage them to join the group of many firms that have firmly decided they will leave this cursed situation behind them reinforced.

To go about this, we are following a clear, simple strategy: to continuously improve internal structures with a view to increasing our competitive capacity as much as possible, and to make determined efforts in attracting new markets and consolidating those we currently control.

• What does a trade fair like HYGIENALIA offer?

Hygienalia came about from the determined vocation, in the broadest possible sense, of becoming a reference meeting point inSpainfor all those who make up the various links of the value chain: manufacturers, distributors, those providing services and users in the Professional Cleaning and Hygiene sector.

We intend to create a space that makes business opportunities easier for all exhibitors, irrespectively of other interests that are unfortunately so frequent in other events.

As everyone knows, the motto that defines us is that we are “an event designed by the sector for the sector”.

• “An event designed by the sector for the sector” Could this be the best way of defining HYGIENALIA? What can the professionals visiting HYGIENALIA expect?

Yes, it is the best way of defining the event which is not merely advertising, but a vision our entire strategy is centred on.

Those professionals visiting this trade fair will find a very ample offer, which includes the latest novelties and trends presented by a large group of firms which understand that our activity acquires greater strategic value on a daily basis, and that it is well worth paying special attention to this strategy.

For a long time now, Professional Cleaning and Hygiene is no longer a mundane and dispensable activity with only a minor impact on the running of our businesses. For most sectors, it is now of a more than relevant magnitude, particularly in the economy domain, which more than justifies clear dedication to improve its efficiency.

• What challenges and opportunities is the industrial cleaning and hygiene sector faced and presented with?

Regarding challenges, perhaps the most fundamental one given the situation we are currently facing is survival and this, in my mind, particularly applies to many of the small- and medium-sized firms that mainly make up our sector.

Having said this, we would enter the absolutely speculative business strategy field because there have to be as many roads as walkers to accomplish the aforementioned objective.

Nonetheless, I wish to stress what I believe to be the most relevant; operational streamlining, financial reorganization, innovation, the development of commercial force and internationalization; all in all, improved competitive capacity.

As for opportunities, it might seem somewhat paradoxical, but I believe that this sector must see this awful crisis as a chance to set up all those corrective measures normally left in the “good intentions drawer” during good times.

To cite a few, I would highlight the increased size of the firms that comprise this sector, whether it be through organic growth or alliances, mergers and purchases and, having accomplished the aforementioned, I particularly stress claiming and defending the place that our sector deserves in the market.

• What does counting on ASFEL’s support (Association of Spanish Cleaning and Hygiene Products Manufacturers), the organization of which you are Chair, mean for the trade fair and its associates?

ASFEL does not merely offer its support, but also promotes the idea, sets up the project and owns the brand that identifies it.

Yet we are no experts in events of this kind and, to guarantee its success, we have been concerned about it being run in the hands of, what we believe are, the best in their field. Therefore, Reed Exhibitions are organizing this trade fair and FeriaValenciais the venue.

With all this, we intend to ensure that the “by the sector for the sector” vision is maintained. But the most important point is that the practical organization of a project like this falls in the best hands, as I mentioned earlier.