|Openness to new markets and sustainability are the watchwords for the Italian based multinational company SOL Group, one of the European leader in the production, applied research and marketing of industrial, pure and medicinal gases as well as in the home care and in the industrial markets.||
“We are a company always in expansion. The market indexes suggest that during the next decades the strongest developing area will be the Asian continent and the recent joint venture with the Indian SICGIL has been a great opportunity to get to this enormous market with our experience and know-how.” Daniele Forni
The company has a long tradition in gas production and distribution. Founded in 1927 in Monza, a city 15 km northeast from Milan, it has gradually expanded its business from the Italian territory to the Western European countries during the Eighties. After the constitution of new countries in the former Yugoslavia, it has enlarged its activities through the buyout of some companies already operating on the Yugoslavian territory and it has gradually expanded through the Balkan area. The 2010-11 has seen the group reaching new achievements: the joint venture with the India’s CO2 market leader SICGIL, which led to the foundation of the SICGILSOL, as well as the entry as competitor in the U.K. and Spanish markets in the field of the home care.
Actually the SOL Group is present in 21 countries and over 2,100 people are employed in the subsidiaries of the group. The 2010 annual revenue was 518 million Euros. Since 1998 the company is quoted at the Milan Stock Exchange.
“Our strategy is simple and it’s in line with our history. We can summarize it with three words: enlargement, diversification and qualification” explains Daniele Forni, Commercial Director of the Italian based multinational company. “SOL group started building and managing plants with large production capacities to serve steel plant and glassworks in Italy, went on expanding its sales of liquid and compressed gases to hospital and industry, but it was quick to catch the opportunity of a new area of activity when a new service based on oxygen therapy at home of patients with severe breathing difficulties was being developed in the United States during the Eighties. SOL, through its subsidiary Vivisol, was one of the first companies to offer this service in Europe.”
Actually Vivisol is one of the leading European companies in the home care, principally in the areas of oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, diagnostics, therapy of obstructive sleep area syndrome, artificial nutrition, telemedicine and advanced medical devices and home aids. The company has more than 40 operative centers in Italy, France, Belgium, the Nederland, Germany, Austria, Greece and more recently Spain UK, where SOL was not present with the traditional industrial activity, and provides home care services for more than 150.000 patients daily. But the home care is just one of the different activities inside the group.
“The home care is an important part of our business and needs high standard health system, which is not still developed in many countries. Nevertheless we don’t forget our industrial origins and we are continuously expanding our activities in different fields, including energy and industry, scientific research, agriculture, ecology environment and food technologies.” Sol group diversified also in new activities: in 2002 SOL group has acquired Energetika, the hydroelectric power station in Jesenice, Slovenia.
“We are a company always in expansion” continues Forni. “The market indexes suggest that during the next decades the strongest developing area will be the Asian continent and the recent joint venture with the Indian SICGIL has been a great opportunity to get to this enormous market with our experience and know-how.”
The enveloping of the Indian economy during the last two decades and the growing demand of new infrastructures make the country one of the most interesting area for the industrial development but also in the field of health services. “Actually in India there are some changes about medical gases,” explains Forni: “A new request for qualified services is rising, which we can satisfy, comparable to the European standards. Our goal is to integrate the potentiality of the developing Indian market with the quality of the services we developed in Europe and building an innovative solution provider for healthcare sector in India with long term experience ranging from gases, equipment, to process consulting.”
Even the economical crisis has not slimmed down the goals of the company: “Of course, we are conscious of the financial crisis, but thanks to the geographic distribution and the diversification of our activities, our economic development was always positive. Even in 2009, when the crisis was really strong in the metallurgic industry, which is one of the most relevant sector for SOL group, our growth was positive (+1).” The recent debt crisis has not still had effect on SOL’s activities: “Anyway it’s clear that if some countries where the health system is mainly State-run, will delay payments, we risk to have less resources to invest in our growth” concludes the Commercial Director. “That’s why we can’t stop. We are a company always on the move, searching new areas and reaching new frontiers: it’s just opening to new markets and developing the concept of sustainability through our products, which means environmental management, clean energy and quality healthcare on the cheap, we could reach new achievements.”
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