I was really impressed by their process, discipline and methodology – they provided our company with, vision, guidance and support.
I immediately formed a bond with Jean-Pierre and Alessio at Argos. Argos has a team spirit with shared objectives. With them we have had relations built on positive interactions, application of a consistent methodology to each decision, setting clear organisational roles and anticipating issues. Transparency, informality and a pragmatic/no-nonsense approach was the common ingredient of every single interaction I had with Argos.
Without Argos, our company — a consortium managing a franchise network of frozen-food supermarkets — would clearly be on a different path. Before Argos’ intervention, the firm based its business on franchising and wholesale.
With Argos, the firm focused on direct ownership of its sales network. We integrated a new business model, a new store format and new organisational processes. Argos had the ability to value the strengths of the company by nurturing our exclusivity and uniqueness while finding ways to unlock unexpressed potential.
Human resources were always at the core of the strategy and were valued as a way to grow the company.
I’ve always considered change and challenging the status quo as stimuli — as does Argos. We shared the same vision on objectives, timing and pace of execution. I was actively supported in my management initiatives, while maintaining focus on the long-term strategy. Methodology and preservation of roles and functions enabled the firm to overcome all obstacles and contingencies which inevitably can occur in a long and challenging business journey.
Argos resolves complex situations, and seeks growth. with part of the founders retiring, they enabled the firm to grow with a new management team capable of managing a direct sales network.
They saw the great potential of the owned-network concept for us, and did what was needed to make it a strategy and then a reality. They supported many initiatives to accelerate growth: in less than four years the firm grew from revenues of c. €55m to c. €85m while employees grew from 150 to 500.
They supported me in an ambitious development program which required massive investments both in the development of the direct shops network, as well as in recruiting a strong and capable team. I appreciated a lot their capacity not to be short-sighted but capable of sacrificing short term profitability and cash-flows in exchange for long term sustainability and results.
Thanks to Argos, the firm was introduced to private equity best practices without any stress:financial reporting, analytical support to decision making, and management discipline in general were greatly improved during their shareholding period..
Argos Wityu’s engagement is active — playing an important role at each step, guiding the group through shared decisions — and focused on promoting the growth both of employees and the business.
Work aside, we shared moments of enjoyment and fun with dinners, events and music!
To a company considering partnering with Argos, I would describe that their team is dedicated to jointly work with the company, towards common objectives. I would encourage employees of a portfolio company to be enthusiastic and positive about this experience, as it will lead to new prospects of professional and economic growth.