20 Nov 2020

75 years of history while looking to the future

FELCO is the sum total of its 75 years of adapting to the market and constantly seeking innovation. The experience acquired and company’s strong values enable it to look to the future with confidence. FELCO’s Co-CEOs, Christophe Nicolet and Stéphane Poggi, explain this.

What are the future challenges facing FELCO?

Stéphane Poggi. FELCO has long operated as an industrial focused company. Today, we need to change this paradigm. By moving ever closer to our customers, we want to become more of a solutions provider rather than just a product supplier.

Christophe Nicolet. This should also enable us to generate new sources of growth. The profile of the company must fundamentally change. To promote this change we have, in recent years, used new skills and integrated new business lines internally.

How has the company evolved over these 75 years?

S.P.  There has always been a desire to be flexible. This is one of the lessons learned from the founder. He struggled a lot at the beginning of the FELCO adventure and had to learn to always react and adapt quickly to circumstances. This is what we still do today, notably by always finding new ways to satisfy our customers’ needs, by listening to them and always developing new products.

C.N. And the best proof of the company’s flexibility is that it is still here after 75 years. FELCO has always had the ability to weather the storm and retain the resilience that has enabled it to get through crises.

So adapting came as second nature to Félix Flisch?

S.P. Yes, along with some marvellous strokes of genius! Such as offering durable products that you can repair and maintain yourself, notably using spare parts. Another stroke of genius was to consider exporting its product, from the very beginning, thereby quickly giving the company an international focus.

And this spirit still exists today?

S.P. The founder’s desire to always be entrepreneurial and innovative remains very much alive and we cultivate it amongst our employees. This vision has allowed the company stay in tune with the market by developing new products, such as our power tools and more recently our new digital solution.

C.N. The founder’s philosophy is also and above all reflected in the expectations of the shareholders, who are also his descendants. The members of the owner family give clear guidance to the company and convey its values.

What are these values?

S.P. They are the values of kindness, excellence, dynamism, and team spirit.

C.N. And for us, these are not just words; we translate them into action on a daily basis. This must be part of our shared culture.

How do you define your corporate culture?

C.N. It is evolving. The company has long been a family business with a paternalistic management, in the good sense of the word. Over recent years, however, there has been a move towards greater flexibility while retaining the strong values of a family company for whom profitability is not an end in itself.

And how has the brand's image evolved to date?

C.N. It has always been in line with its values, both in Switzerland and internationally. The choice of the brand name itself has been a success: FELCO sounds good in any language.

S.P. FELCO has always stood for professionalism and quality. Today, the brand is recognised worldwide. And even emotionally, when you see on social media how attached some customers are to their FELCO pruning shears, even having them tattooed on their skin!