The official visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to France last autumn created the foundation for an effective dialogue between the business circles of the two countries. At the same time, within the framework of the Uzbek-French business forum in Paris, agreements were signed with representatives of leading French companies. At the meeting, French entrepreneurs spoke positively about the changes taking place in our country, in particular, about the opening of wide opportunities for business and investors. Thanks to the liberalization of the currency system and transparency of the business environment, they want to implement and are already implementing their projects in our country. Noteworthy is the fact that among them was such a world-famous company as Fives Group.
Fives is an industrial engineering group that designs and supplies technological equipment, machines and production lines for the largest international companies in the aluminum, steel, glass, automotive, aerospace, logistics, cement, energy and sugar industries. Fives Group’s subsidiaries and representative offices are located in more than 30 countries, and the total number of employees is almost 8,700 people. The group has gained wide international recognition due to the high professional level of its specialists and the ability to effectively implement major international projects.
In an interview with the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine “EBU”, held in Paris, Jean-Marie Caroff, Director of the Department of International Development of Fives Group, shared information about the company and his opinion about the prospects of bilateral cooperation with our country.
– Mr. Caroff, first of all, I would like to hear a few words about Fives Group and its activities, so that our readers have an idea about your company.
– Fives is a group of companies with a 200-year history. A network of 100 subsidiaries and regional offices located in 30 countries allows the group to implement projects worldwide. The company specializes in the design of technological lines and production complexes based on its own technologies and a portfolio of patents for technology. That’s one direction. Another direction of our activity is the supply and installation of high-tech equipment and automated systems for production. All Fives Group companies have the same approach to the design and installation of technological equipment.
– So, the company offers complete turnkey solutions?
– That’s right. One of the strengths of Fives Group is its organizational structure. Fives is structurally divided into 17 division, each of which is guided by the goal to fully meet the needs of customers. Each company in the Group operates on the same principles and specializes in specific industrial areas, for example, cement, glass, steel, aluminum, energy, etc. We also have companies that develop integrated solutions for the automotive industry. There are companies that specialize in intralogistics – supply equipment for sorting centers of large courier companies and companies engaged in e-Commerce. There are a number of units that provide equipment related to energy and cryogenics. These are the various industries for which we design and supply production lines.
However, our units work in conjunction. Thus, the production of glass and steel is in the same division, as in both industries, production complexes are based on the principles of heat engineering.
The Group of Companies is an independent structure. Fives is managed by the Board, which is controlled by the Supervisory Board. The majority shareholders are senior management – our Chairman, Mr. Frederic Sanchez, and other top managers. The Executive Committee comprises, in addition to the members of the Board, of the heads of the functional and operational departments of the Group and the heads of missions abroad. The Group itself has an annual sales volume of about 2 billion euros.
– It’s no secret that no business can do without promotion and healthy competition. In France itself, is there competition in the field of industrial engineering?
– Certainly. In each segment, our company has competitors. These are mainly EU companies – Italian, German, Scandinavian firms. There is little competition by American and Japanese enterprises. This is a niche of high technology in mechanical engineering, but in the category of simpler, well-established technologies there is competition from Chinese companies that supply the market with equipment for the production of cement, various types of steel, glass and so on. The great advantage of our solutions is that we provide the best technologies in terms of energy consumption, low carbon emissions, the lowest risks of environmental pollution and long service life. That is why we are different from Chinese and other Asian technologies, which use a different approach in this matter.
– Can You tell us in more detail about the international presence, including your successes in joint projects, the situation in the CIS region is particularly interesting?