Xavier Pavon is the Managing Director of Fluidra Asia. Fluidra, a Spanish multinational listed group, is the global leader in the pool and wellness industry.
- Hello Xavier, could you please introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Xavier Pavon, I’ve been in Singapore since October 2007, getting close to 14 years already! Previously my wife and I lived in Shanghai for two years. What a vibrant city! Like night and day from Singapore. We have a daughter of 13 and a son of 11, both born here. I am the Managing Director of Fluidra Asia. I manage the subsidiaries we have in Asia, i.e., China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
How could our readers know a bit more about Fluidra?
Fluidra became part of the prestigious IBEX 35 index on March 29 of this year. Since then, the Company has increased its visibility and we are better known.
Fluidra is the global leader in the Pool & Wellness Industry. Founded in 1969, Fluidra has a long-standing experience in developing innovative products and services in the global residential and commercial pool market.
We operate in more than 45 countries through our subsidiaries. We have more than 135 sales branches and more than 35 production centers around the world, and a team comprised of 6,000 employees of multicultural background.
We closed 2020 with our best results ever. With sales of 1,488 million euros, up 11.0% compared to 2019. Net profits stood at 96 million euros; more than 11 times higher than in 2019. The EBITA was up 19.3% to 321 million euros.
For this year we are confident and we further improve our outlook with sales expected to increase between 25% and 30%.
How would you briefly explain the company’s business strategy for Asia?
In Asia our go-to-market strategy is different than other continents, where the market is more mature and sophisticated. Here there is a lack of specialized distributors, thus the majority of sales are through pool contractors and servicers.
Our value preposition includes providing turnkey projects and design services. We develop relationships with aquatic design specifiers to gain share in the commercial segment.
We have the most extensive on-ground support in Asia. As mentioned earlier, we have physical branches and operational staff in HK, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. We also have sales offices in Taipei and Manila.
Which are your main clients in this part of the world?
Our main customers are pool specialist or main contractors that work for the commercial space. The most active subsegments are hospitality—we supply equipment to high-end Hotel & Resort brands; Recreational—we build Olympic aquatic centers FINA-certified to host national and international competitions; and non-landed properties, mainly condominiums.
How do you deal in Fluidra to commit with sustainability and a positive environmental impact?
As a matter of fact, Fluidra recently has been assessed for its performance in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) by S&P, which awarded us a rating of 69 out of 100 based on quantitative analysis of our sustainability strategy.
In this regard, Fluidra has converted its syndicated line of 130 million euros, which was signed off in 2018, into green financing, also called ESG-linked loans, in a process in which BBVA acted as sustainability coordinator.
Given the products we sell and the very nature of the company’s business, sustainability and environment protection are top priorities.
In this regard, one of Fluidra’s goals is to be the market leader in HSE, and as such we strive to act responsibly, building a business that will be sustainable in the long term.
We view sustainability as a competitive and differential advantage. The product we market for the construction and maintenance of swimming pools require less energy and reduce use of water and chemicals.
Would you like to make a recommendation to someone thinking about coming to Singapore?
Be open-minded. You are coming to a country with very strong laws, which are strictly enforced. Depending where you are coming from, this could be a great challenge. In fact, we are experiencing this with the way Singapore government is managing the covid-19 pandemic.
Other than that, update your skills to navigate through cultural differences. Although personally I don’t have communication issues with citizens from Singapore, without the right degree of empathy you could fall into cultural traps.
You need to consider as well the cost of living. Singapore offers an excellent standard of living but this comes at a very high price.
And last, what is your favourite place in Singapore?
Bukit Timah Natural Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir. For nature lovers, these are beautiful parks, nice green spaces to get a break from the busy city. I go often for mountain biking and running, a good time to spend with friends.
Thank you for your time Xavier!
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