How did the Gumption group make it through the pandemic?
BART EMBRECHTS: Excellently, on the whole. Thanks to all of our customers. You continued to go full out, despite the circumstances. Corona is a real killjoy, but it is also having a positive effect: it has significantly accelerated digitisation. At many of our companies, the order book remained well filled. Most even recorded an increase in turnover. The costs fell: no company parties, fewer restaurant receipts and diesel kilometres. That also often drove up the operating results.
As a group, Gumption went through a strong period. We have more companies today than before the health crisis. Maggy, EGHT Care, DNCS and TowerEye came on board to strengthen Gumption. We passed the milestone of 500 employees. The turnover of co-creation projects increased significantly.
What will the future bring?
BART EMBRECHTS: A famous management guru once said: ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it’, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. With our endorsed brands strategy in 2019 we built the foundation for Gumption 2.0. Today we’re putting an ambitious five-year plan on the table. The ambition: to double in size by 2025.
How? We want to lift the companies in the group to a higher level. They’ll all get the necessary support from our organisation for this. In addition, we are actively searching for investment opportunities in start-ups and scale-ups that strengthen our 360° approach. Today the centre of gravity of the Gumption group lies in Flanders. In the coming years we will be expanding in an equivalent way in the other regions of the Benelux.
Today, we’re putting an ambitious five-year plan on the table. The ambition: to double in size by 2025.
Is the organisation ready for that?
BART EMBRECHTS: That’s a good question. A five-year plan like this calls for streamlined processes, a clear policy on co-creation and acquisitions, and commitment on all levels. That’s why in February we created a new Gumption management team which, together with the board members will be giving shape to the growth story.
Who’s on the new management team?
BART EMBRECHTS: For processes and operations it´s Benjamin Kindt. As Excellence Partner, he’s responsible for finance & administration, subsidies, purchasing, IT and the Gumption platform for our entrepreneurs. Marcel van Buren is Co-creation Partner. In addition to our Dutch site he’s getting a number of other tasks: co-creation, mergers & acquisitions, disinvestments and exits, legal support and GDPR policy.
This is a story for everyone: it will never succeed with just the company leaders and a management team. Commitment and involvement on all levels are crucial, and that doesn´t happen spontaneously. Creating and maintaining the right business culture, generating employee enthusiasm, inspiring clients: this strategic mission is reserved for Liene De Bie, Experience Partner. Together we are making growth ambition as infectious as possible.
In all 18 companies of the group?
BART: Together we can mean more for our clients than each of us on our own. That´s our unique strength. It means: go 100% for your own company’s story, and reinforce it with the common Gumption story. Co-creation for maximum business value for the customer!