Back home in Denmark, he worked for three years as an assistant to the management team, reporting to the board of directors, and working on a number of projects – such as setting up sales subsidiaries in various markets such as America.
‘I then took a year off. My father called it “a holiday” but, in fact, I completed an MBA. When I returned to Nilpeter, I took up the position as COO.’
Reporting to his CEO father isn’t always easy. ‘This business is his baby; he has been running the company for almost 40 years. He took over when it was a fairly small company and has grown it to where it is today,’ Peter notes proudly.
However, they enjoy mutual respect and excellent co-operation. ‘I enjoy finding new ways to do things while my father has all the tradition and knowledge behind him. But it’s a good combination and we have fun!’ Peter says.
Peter has now taken over the foreign travel, particularly the long-haul flights, while Lars continues to focus more on the home market.
This is Peter’s first visit to South Africa and he’s very excited to be here, having heard so many stories about the local label-printing fraternity from Jesper Jorgensen who has long been – and continues to be – in charge of this region.
But he wanted to see and evaluate the market first hand, to understand it better, and perhaps to spot some new opportunities.
‘Not only is South Africa a traditional market for Nilpeter, but the entire African market is an emerging market in which I’m very interested,’ he explains.
Remaining a family business
Peter contemplates taking over as Nilpeter’s next CEO when his father eventually retires. ‘We’re happy to remain a family-owned business – this is a big part of Nilpeter’s DNA, part of our success,’ says Peter.
He comments, too, that the family feeling spreads throughout every aspect of the business, and particularly the many long-standing relationships. As an example he cites Del Wiggill, who has been Nilpeter’s South African distributor since 1971.
He also remarks that many label printers around the world are family-owned operations, especially in Eastern Europe, North America and Asia (in fact, in Asia some 90% of label printing operations are family owned). ‘We treasure dealing with family-owned companies as our entire business culture is built on such relationships.’
At the time of this visit, a number of Nilpeter installations are imminent in South Africa and Peter compares this country favourably with Europe. ‘From reading PPM, I can see steady growth in the pressure-sensitive field, especially in markets such as wine.’
And the reason for Nilpeter’s stellar success in this market, he contends, is that Nilpeter technology meets the needs for high-quality labels.
Nilpeter has plants in Denmark, the US and India. The latter manufactures presses for the Indian and African markets.
Nilpeter presses – major attraction at Labelexpo
At last year’s Labelexpo Americas, Nilpeter introduced two new UV-flexo label and packaging presses, the FA-4 and FB-3, and demonstrated the latest four-colour Caslon inkjet press, now available with a white or spot-colour print head (PPM Oct 2012). Also launched was the FP-4 flatbed hot-foil and embossing unit that offers enhanced finishing options.
The equipment was shown to a receptive audience under Nilpeter’s latest corporate banner ‘NEXT – Your Challenge – Our Commitment’. The message represents the company’s commitment to supplying customers with innovative technologies designed to meet future challenges. With optimised production efficiencies, Nilpeter claims that users of its presses can develop new areas of business.
The NEXT concept focuses on adding value for customers by optimising printing processes.
South Africans who missed Labelexpo Americas will have a chance to catch up with Nilpeter’s latest models when they go on show at Labelexpo Europe (in Brussels) later this year.