Evoca’s UK Managing Director believes Evoca Group is on the brink of a golden age of unprecedented success. In a series of articles exclusive to Planet Vending, he tells us why…
In Reasons to be Cheerful – Part One, Hervé Donneaud discusses the dynamism of the Group’s financial backers.
When I arrived in the UK to take over the helm at Evoca on the first of May 2018, I’d already been with Evoca for 15 years and my background was in finance. Initially, I managed Evoca’s leasing business in France, before being appointed as Country Manager and I arrived in the industrial heartland of the West Midlands from my home in Fort Lauderdale, where I’d spent three years managing Evoca’s business in both North and South America.
British people are able to demonstrate grace under fire and I really like that.
I’ll be honest: Leaving my life in The Sunshine State to take up residence in the Black Country was a huge upheaval. It took a couple of months for me to adapt, to find my feet and get my bearings. Now though, I’m used to the British mindset and British virtues. I like the general use of understatement you Brits have, and your ability to stay calm in a crisis. British people are able to demonstrate grace under fire and I really like that.
The business environment is complicated in this country, as it is everywhere. We find ourselves in a situation of unprecedented turbulence and naturally, I’m concerned about the recession – how bad will it be? And inflation; where will it end? There are any number of red lights flashing. But when it comes to Evoca as an organisation, as a business – I’m more than happy. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve.
The beauty of this group and the reason I’m so enthusiastic about the future is the fact that our financial backers are very dynamic; they are right at the heart of our strategic decision-making process. When I was in the States and we were in the process of acquiring Cafection, the Canadian company, I got to work very closely with the key person at Lone Star Funds, and I thought ‘here’s a guy who has a very clear vision for the industry’. He spoke fluently about coffee, the coffee industry, coffee machines: to be honest I hadn’t expected him to have so much background knowledge and it blew me away. I thought, ‘this is exactly what we need’, and I was right. Four and a half years on, honestly, we have really been able to go a long, long way.
That’s why I’m optimistic; that’s why I’m so enthusiastic and eager to be a part of what lies ahead. It’s genuinely exciting, because we have a clear plan, we have the right products; we have the right people and the support of extremely dedicated and committed financial backers. Some may not feel comfortable with the concept of private equity backers and sponsors, and at Evoca we’ve had disappointing relationships in the past; but this one is just brilliant.
As a group, we’ve been able to bolster our position in many business segments and geographies and wherever you look, the numbers look good. The only clouds on the horizon are those of global uncertainty (to put it mildly) but meanwhile, as you like to say, I’ll ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.
NEXT TIME Hervé Donneaud tells us why his management philosophy is based on empowering people.
There’s much more about Evoca Group on Planet Vending, HERE