Managing director of Wirquin Gwenhael Lecoent says innovation makes a difference to the market
Q: What is the importance of kbb Birmingham to your business?
A: Kbb is a show we have done since the beginning, I think for the past 15 or 20 years. It has always been a good show to meet my customers and develop my business.
Q: Congratulations on your recent Product Innovation Award win, this is your third consecutive success?
Four years ago we won the award for the Macdee Motion, which is a flushing [system] for the siphon. Two years’ ago we won an award for the Quick Fit, a mechanical flushing system and this year we won an award for a product called Nano, which is a trap and waste (two-in-one) for the basin and sink. It’s got a lot of benefits. It’s space-saving. When you open a cupboard [beneath the sink] you can normally see the drainage, which is not very nice. We try to be a sexy plumbing company. [With Nano], you don’t see the trap and you have access from the top.
Q: What has the reaction been like at the show?
A: We have had a very good reaction. The DNA of the company is innovation. I can see a lot of my competitors, here, with the same products since ever. It’s not very exciting for me. Innovation is how you make the difference on the market.
Q: How is business at the moment?
A: It’s quite tough with Brexit but as with everything there are opportunities. For us, we do what we are good at, which is innovation and new products, to take market share. If it’s hard for me, it’s hard for others and only the best will stay on the market.