Interview with Jerome Benoit

Face2Face
Jerome Benoit
Jerome Benoit
CEO
Delta Plus Group
Delta Plus Group

What is the basic principle that you follow in your business?

Despite being a multinational and a listed company our group remains a family company. My father started the company in 1977 and my family still owns 50% of the shares. This is really a strong identity and I am trying to keep this spirit despite our fast development. Basically being a family business means being faster than other companies thanks to short channel of decision, being more long term oriented and more efficient because it is your money you are playing with not some share owner you never met...

Which is that new thing in protective apparel that will have a boom in near future?

Future in safety apparel will come from 2 sides: one is definitively the design. People are now used all over the world to follow fashion trend in their daily life and they will for sure want to find it too at work. The challenge will be to propose our clients efficient comfortable protective clothes that also look nice. The other side is definitively going to come from fabrics. The level of protection required by the market is going up and fabric suppliers are for sure investing a lot to create new fabrics responding to the protection segment.

Which are those areas where there is a need of disposable clothes and accessories? Are such clothes and accessories eco-friendly?

Disposable clothes are made from polypropylene or polyethylene, two plastic raw materials derived from oil. So it would be difficult to consider them eco-friendly. They protect against chemicals and bacteria, and most of the time they also have antistatic characteristics. They are used in various areas. Main well known segments are food industry, laboratories, and chemical industry. But you can find them in many other utilization. For instance in agriculture in Europe, farmers are now in the obligation to wear them when they use pesticides.

Do you think that marketing for protective apparels is different to that of the rest apparels or clothing? How?

The main difference with protective apparels and normal clothing is the organization of the market. In normal clothing, the people buying the garments are the ones that are going to use it. In PPE market, we only sell to companies and not to end users. We mainly target buyers security managers and unions when we are doing marketing. They are the ones taking the decisions and most of the time the users are not consulted. Our marketing is BtB oriented and not BtC as in normal clothing market.

Which are the regions where there is a good scope for PPE?

PPE market is driven by the normative environment. So the most growing areas are countries trying to implement, control or improve local regulations. For instance, Europe and North America are now considered as mature countries with stable flat markets. In the opposite, developing countries and especially BRICs are having a fast growth. They are implementing their own standards and norms in term of PPE and they start to really care about protecting people at work. We will for sure invest in these countries for the future.
Published on: 07/10/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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