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Rotero Belgium 30 years

While Rotero NL is this year celebrating its 35th jubilee, the Belgian subsidiary is simultaneously marking its own 30 years in business. The two operations are closely intertwined, and there is certainly at least weekly contact regarding day-to-day issues and strategic decisions. “Rotero Belgium has proven to be the best channel to the Belgian market for our products”, says Gerrit Minnee, Managing Director of Rotero NL. “Our Belgian team is thoroughly familiar with the local market, and every day they continue to develop it further.” 

It was 35 years ago when, from modest premises, Rotero NL started business selling mainly electromagnets and relays. Over the years, many different brands and types of products were added to a product line-up that today ranges from rotary and linear drives to electromagnets, sensors and switches, plus solutions for cooling, heating and ventilation. 

“It was the coincidence of a new employee with a network of Belgian customers, together with agreement to represent another brand for the entire Benelux, that led to the idea 30 years ago of getting our feet on the ground in Belgium”, explains Gerrit Minnee, Managing Director of Rotero NL. “This turned out to be an excellent move. Aided by a bookkeeper, our new employee opened shop in a small building in the heart of Antwerp. The place certainly had its charm, but it was poorly accessible for trucks. As revenues and head count steadily grew, it wasn’t long before the time was ripe to shift to more suitable premises in Mechelen.” 

The business unit matures

In the years that followed, the Belgian unit continued to grow, in strong cooperation and close contact with Rotero Netherlands right up to the present. Gerrit Minnee: “First, our product ranges have a 95% overlap, and what’s more, we complement each other well in many ways. We frequently Skype and brainstorm with each other on technical issues, new products and non-standard applications.” 

That last aspect – besides the highly comprehensive product range – is one of the company’s strengths: Rotero is eager to tackle those technical challenges that larger companies prefer to avoid. The close collaboration on such projects between the in-house engineering team and suppliers has resulted in many creative solutions. It is a testament to the quality of those suppliers that they are able to provide such support when necessary. For example, with new developments and custom modifications, but also by providing simulation or test facilities. 

In terms of its own developments, Rotero is focused on motors, drivers and sensors, and of course, options for communication between these components mutually and with supervisory or control systems. For this reason, Rotero expects its people to have a high level of expertise, and ultimately, experience. Training is therefore an aspect that receives constant focus, driven by the notion that product specialists should not only be familiar with the price list; they should also have a solid technical understanding of the customer’s requirement at both a fundamental and product level. Which means training, and sharing knowledge. 

“It’s good that we have Belgian people in our Belgian offices,” says Gerrit Minnee, “because there are cultural differences that Dutch people don’t always understand. And vice versa. I think that entrepreneurship lies a little deeper in our southern neighbours. To achieve something there, it takes a lot more staying power, and much more attention to the social aspect. While we Dutch like to get down to business quickly, in Belgium they prefer to get better acquainted before taking on commitments.” 

Into the next 30 years

The Belgian site presently has a staff of eight, led for the past two years by Bruno Crapé. The current growth is expected to continue unabated – among other things, based on the fact that the recent ‘crisis’ had almost no effect on revenues in Belgium. With its exposure sufficiently spread across the target sectors, the company has weathered the storm unscathed. 

Gerrit Minnee forecasts more business in Asian markets in the near future. “In fact, that applies to every part of Rotero”, says Gerrit. “For example, we seem to have overlooked Korea. For no reason. Countless high-tech products and solutions are produced in that country by extremely hard-working people. So there’s loads of potential. By the way, we also manufacture products in Belgium – much more than in the Netherlands. An outstanding example is the production of our proprietary crossflow fans. We buy-in the individual components – for example, Taiwanese impellers and Japanese motors – and develop our own electronics. We then assemble these components into our own branded product. An absolute winner! Those crossflow fans are now good for 25% of our revenues, and we supply them worldwide. From Estonia, Latvia and Poland, to the USA and Australia. “There’s a bright future ahead for both sites, with a wide and comprehensive product range, and people who genuinely give all they’ve got.” 

Rotero @ Puglia
Celebrating 30th & 35th jubilee at Puglia (IT)

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Rotero Belgium Rotero Holland
Wayenborgstraat 10 Pompmolenlaan 21      
2800 Mechelen 3447 GK Woerden
Belgium  The Netherlands
T: +32 (0)15 451 840 T: +31 (0)348 495 150
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VAT: BE0433082828 VAT: NL008174210B01
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