In 1987, the 22 year old Johan Faes founded a sole proprietorship under the name Faes Flightcases. The term flight case comes from the world of music: touring bands used these types of cases for transporting musical instruments, sound and lighting equipment. As a musician with a technical background Johan himself began to build Flightcases for his band. Johan knew from the start that he would become an entrepreneur, when he was without work at a young age he saw an opportunity and registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
The company was started in the shed at Johan’s parents house. Not long thereafter the company moved to a small attic at the in-laws in Hooge Mierde. The further growth of the business and getting married to his wife Jeannette saw Faes Flightcases move into a completely renovated building on the Wilhelminalaan Reusel. Besides cases for the music industry Faes Flightcases also produced fishing cases for many years. In 1992 the company moved to Bladel, where it grew so much that it occupied two more buildings in the same street within a few years.
Growth boomed from the moment that they decided to start industrial deliveries. But this also meant that they would be moving away from the music world from that moment. The range grew due to more specialized requests, an advisory branch, service branch and later a trading branch arose within the factory.
What started as a sole proprietorship, by 2014 had grown into an organization with more than 70 employees and offices in the Netherlands, Belgium and India and strategic alliances in the USA and Hungary. In 2005, three so-called business units were distinguished, and the company continued under the name Faes Group.
Flightcases are now only a fraction of the current range of products and services: the current Faes Group is an all-round packaging specialist, which facilitates the entire logistics chain.
Could the young Johan have dreamed that a few decades later he would be president of an organization of this size, with a market position within Europe to be reckoned with?
What led to this entrepreneurs success, unlike many of his contemporaries? Were Flightcases a gap in the market in the eighties and nineties, or were other factors involved?
Johan explains, “The only way to succeed is to have a genuine interest in the customer.” “People often do not know what they want. By really knowing the client, by learning what makes them tick, you can discover what they need, anticipate this. This allows you to offer something unique, something with added value. Sales is largely a matter of perception; it involves much more to it than just providing a good product. You need to want to go the “extra mile”.
Business is a top sport, it requires energy, empathy, commitment. You will not make it if you wait: you have to see an opportunity and grab it. You can compare it with running a marathon: this takes athletes to the edge, even over it. Also at Faes Group, we always want to win. This is reflected in the corporate culture: the people who work here are like-minded. They enjoy their work, and go for it. “It is a fact, scoring is fun!”