France Country Report

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Discovery Reports

Altrad Group enables clients to build from the ground up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 March, 2016, 3:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 March, 2016, 5:18pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

If there is one company that understands how to build from the ground up, it is construction equipment specialist Altrad Group, which turned a bankrupt scaffolding firm into a global success story that continues to inspire.

The company's first acquisition in 1985 was soon followed by many others, building on each successful takeover in preparation for the next. Today, the group has an annual turnover exceeding US$2 billion, 170 affiliate companies, 19 factories, 17,000 people and more than 1 million clients worldwide.

"Beyond these achievements, we take greater pride in providing stability in an industry that has been shaken by economic challenges, and supporting clients through their own growth locally and overseas," says Altrad Group CEO Mohed Altrad.

Used for construction works ranging from do-it-yourself home projects to skyscrapers, airports, bridges, nuclear plants and oil refineries, scaffolding constitutes nearly 90 per cent of Altrad Group's business. While concrete mixers only comprise the remaining 10 per cent of its business, the group dominates this niche industry - commanding a 90 per cent market share in France and 95 per cent market share in Britain.

Altrad, who also holds a PhD in computer science and was among the pioneers who built the first portable computer, insists that what makes the group unique is its service and business philosophy. "The truth is that our success lies in our people, not products," he says.

The company's core values include solidarity, generosity and humility - creating a working environment that fosters trust and respect, and rewarding passionate employees with career progression and financial benefits.

These values are a reflection of Altrad's own, and manifested in the three acclaimed novels that he successfully penned. Altrad's first book, drawn from his own background as a Syrian emigrant, has become a part of the Ministry of National Education's list of recommended reading for French students.

For the group, the next big growth is in Asia, where it serves clients through its offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and other key locations.

"Asia, particularly China, is the future for Altrad Group. Its economy is booming and construction is everywhere, yet workers can still be seen using rickety bamboo as scaffolding even with the most modern buildings," Altrad says. "There is vast room for improvement - and we want to be part of raising the quality and safety standards as we grow and build with our clients and partners in the region."


Altrad Group /