SESCOM has been operating for just eight years and it has already become an international provider of technological services for retail and service chain stores.
SESCOM ensures smooth operations of their customers' facilities. The services range from providing basic maintenance services in facilities (such maintenance of heating or air conditioning) to strategic advisory services in terms of technical maintenance in the whole chain. SESCOM focuses on the precise alignment of scope and type of offered services with their customers' needs. The company puts considerable emphasis upon energy efficiency, new technologies and fast adaptation to market change.
The company develops its own technologies: SES Support® – a platform facilitating technical maintenance processes for chains and SES Control® – a solution enabling optimization of consumption of electricity and other utilities, monitoring technical parameters, data analyses and remote control of devices and lightning. SESCOM provides services to more than 31,000 outlets in Europe representing brands such as Orsay, Rossmann, MANGO, C&A, Tally Weijl, Calzedonia, Douglas, LPP.
Serving as the CEO of SESCOM, Sławomir Halbryt has always seen himself as an entrepreneur, as at the beginning of the '90s, when he graduated from a university with a degree, job offers available on the market were not particularly attractive. So he took his chances together with a friend and they set up their own business. – At first our business profile was aligned with my university major, which is electronics. We focused on emergency alarm systems and CCTV. We took advantage of the fact that at that time banks were setting up many branches and they became our first customers. That is how I started my career as an entrepreneur — recalls Sławomir Halbryt. His first company quickly expanded internationally and started its operations in Russia already in 1993. At first it provided services to banks, and since the end of the '90s, they started offering services to retailers too.
— In Poland this was a time of boom for construction of retail chains by foreign investors. In the course of a project carried out in Kaliningrad we broadened our offer with electric installations, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as general construction services — says SESCOM’s CEO. A fast-growing SESCOM was founded on a wealth of experience in 2008. The first version of SES Support® platform had been developed a year earlier.
— We registered the company shortly after Lehman Brothers collapsed – on the onset of the global financial crisis. We were not sure whether that had been a good moment to start a new business. Our customers were cutting cost drastically and were focused on savings. It turned out, though, that our offer matched their needs perfectly. The solutions we offered allowed them to control and optimize technical maintenance costs. The crisis affected many companies, but in our case it contributed to our growth — adds Sławomir Halbryt. The contract with their first big customer required the ability to manage air conditioning systems across many outlets.
— Coordination and delivery of services in many outlets that were located at a considerable distance from each other was a big challenge, but we were able to turn it into a success of a small company, that we were back then. We have expanded dynamically since the very beginning. In the first year our turnover reached PLN 3.5 million and our growth required more and more people — says SESCOM’s CEO proudly. From the beginning, he knew that the company’s future success had depended on the scale of operations. — We started on the Polish market. This is where we gained experience, build our brand and accumulated capital for further business development. However, from the very beginning our goal was global expansion — says SESCOM’s head.
After three years international expansion was a fact. In 2011 our customers offered us cooperation on Czech market as a token of appreciation for quality of our services. That is how the first foreign subsidiary was established. — Being a novice on the international market, we had to prove our worth not only to new customers, but also to our employees, partners and suppliers. Local market characteristics is important and must be taken into consideration in every aspect of doing business in a particular location — highlights Sławomir Halbryt.
SESCOM’s strengths — says the CEO — are the scalable business model, ability to adapt and technology it owns. — Our technical background has always been something that allowed us to stand out and is still our competitive advantage — stresses the entrepreneur. Today SESCOM is a group of three specialist technical companies: SESCOM (IT & facility solutions), SDC (energy performance) and SESTORE (investments, finishing and modernization works). The Group also comprises foreign subsidiaries based in: Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and Austria. SESCOM has offices in London, Milan, Berlin, Vienna, Ostrava, Budapest, Bucharest, Wrocław and Gdańsk.
SESCOM’s expansion in international markets is reflected in the company’s financial results. Export’s share in total sales is increasingly higher. The table below presents this trend:
|Year||Value of exports (in PLN)||% of exports in total sales|
Source: data of SESCOM S.A.
Sławomir Halbryt is aware of the impact the market changes had on SESCOM’s growth. On the one hand, he is optimistic about the future, but on the other hand he remains pragmatic. While making future plans, he is as forward-looking as possible, takes a wide range of risk factors into consideration and accepts the fact that markets change and some events cannot be foreseen.
— At SESCOM I have learnt the importance of the ability to quickly adapt to change and proactively seek new opportunities by being open to new market opportunities, new solutions, trends and expertise. Today this type of approach of particular importance as the social and economic environment is changing rapidly, while uncertainty rules on the market — says Sławomir Halbryt.
While entering new markets, he is always amazed by the variety of regulations governing business activity across the EU, including tax and employment laws. However, these are not obstacles that cannot be managed. SESCOM’s head has his three-ingredient recipe for success. The first ingredient is the ability to quickly adapt to change, the second – conservative approach to financial stability of the company (irrespective of the level of uncertainty on the market, financial security must be ensured), the third ingredient, in his opinion the key to overcome all obstacles, is the team of motivated people.
— This combination of strengths makes a business resistant to and able to deal with all kinds of challenges — says the CEO. He is also planning further growth of his company. Central and Eastern Europe is not enough for him anymore, though the company has built a strong position in this region. The plan is to expand in Western Europe.
— People living in Western Europe use services to a greatest extent than people in Central Europe. Awareness of advantages of outsourcing and openness to cooperation with external service providers, especially supporting their businesses, is common. Expectations of customers that are willing to take the opportunity to cooperate with us in new markets will facilitate our growth in this region — explains Sławomir Halbryt. Many existing customers of SESCOM have outlets in the UK, France and Spain, but the CEO’s ambitions go beyond these markets.
SESCOM focuses on the expansion in Western Europe, but it also is giving attention to its growth in other regions. Since October it has been providing services in Greece and the first long-term contract has been signed in Croatia. SESCOM’s offer has also reached the North parts of the continent – the Scandinavian markets.
In the future the company is planning to expand beyond Europe by entering even more demanding markets of North America and Asia.
SESCOM’s financial results for 2015/2016 financial year suggest that this year has been the best in the company’s history. Between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016 SESCOM generated sales revenue of PLN 54.4 million compared to PLN 33.5 million year on year. Net profit reached PLN 3.9 million compared to PLN 2.7 million in the previous year.
Consolidated results of the Group (SESCOM S.A. together with SESTORE Sp. z o.o. and SDC) are as follows: sales revenue at PLN 70.4 million and net profit at PLN 4.8 million. The same as in the case of individual entities, the results of the Group have been the best in the history.
Apart from further international expansion, SESCOM aims at moving from NewConnect, which is the stock market platform for smaller companies in Poland to the main market of Warsaw Stock Exchange. The prospectus has already been submitted to the local regulator. Entering the main market and making use of EU funds will make it possible for us to continue expansions and strengthen our position through investment in R&D, human capital and new technologies — says Sławomir Halbryt.
From then on the sky is the limit.