We are pleased to present interview with Antonio Goldoni, EMEA – Distribution Manager, and Sergey Zakharov, Area manager Russia, from LU-VE.
Dear Antonio, Sergey
Please share your opinion, do the data on imports of refrigeration equipment and compressors reflect the dynamics of Russian market over the past 9 years? Whether the results and sales dynamics of your company match the data in our report?
Sergey: It is not correct to focus only on the volume of sales of compressors in euros.
Let's study the statistics in pieces. It may be an interesting result. We see a clear trend towards the introduction of new energy-saving technologies, which leads to a reduction in the compressor size and its cost.
Sales of LU-VE GROUP in the Russian Federation increased more than 2 times over the past 5-6 years.
What changes in the refrigeration equipment market do you expect due to the significant economic downturn in Russia and in the world?
Sergey: Yes, unfortunately, there will be a fall. How much?! It is very difficult to predict.
Our company does everything possible to ensure that these changes are minimal for us,moreover additional investments in the production plant in the Russian Federation (Lipetsk) are expanding the range of units we produce.
How long has your company been working in the Russian industrial cold market? Please tell us about the most important decisions that the company has made and what results it has led to.
Antonio: LU-VE Group is one of the major manufacturers in the world in the air heat exchanger field (listed on the Milan Stock Exchange).LU-VE Group is an international company (with HQ in Uboldo, Varese, Italy) consisting of 16 manufacturing facilities in 9 different countries: Italy, China, Czech Rep., Finland, India, Poland, Russia, Sweden & USA, with a network of sales companies and representative offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. We have been on the Russian market for more than 20 years. During this time, we opened an office in Russia in 2006, now it has 16 highly qualified specialists.
We opened a factory in Russia (in 2007) LLC "SEST-Luve" Lipetsk, now it has more than 260 employees, and 15,000 m2 of production area, well over than 20 million euros (without VAT) sales volume. This is only a part of the group strategy, The strength of the Group lies in its employees: over 3,000 qualified people with a global surface 600,000 sq. m and 3,235 sq. m of Research and Development laboratories. The group has 83% of products exported to 100 countries. Group Turnover €419,2 (pro-forma 2019). Last year Lu-Ve group performed the acquisition of AL Air (a spin off of Alfa Laval company) with a great representative in Russia.
What is the most popular product of the company in Russia? Model or series. Brief description, photos, how long it has been on sale. Approximate product sales per year.
Sergey: Our products are used in various fields, commercial and industrial cold chain and refrigeration, industrial air conditioning, transport cooling and air conditioning, cooling of power plants, data centers cooling and medical institutions.
Periods are variable and each sector where we work can go up and down following the market segment. We are present in many fields and this diversification of LU-VE group constantly give very good result. We don’t have a most popular product as we are present in many fields of application and depending on economical trend this is really various.
The opening of plant in Lipetsk, we began to produce and sell more air coolers for commercial and industrial cooling. However, these sales are often the drivers of sales of other LU-VE GROUP products. We are proud to supply Made in Russia products for our country.
What types of products the company produces in Russia? Does your company have any plans to launch production in Russia or expand production?
Antonio: LU-VE Group produce locally the evaporator and condensers for commercial and industrial cooling, gravity coils for cabinet and heat exchanger for transport cooling. We are everywhere it is needed cooling and refrigeration. The Lipetsk factory is now under a big changing process. We are increasing our production possibility. Contact us in a couple of month to organize a factory visit to see with your eyes the state of the art of Cooling and refrigeration production.
What are the main tools and channels of product/brand promotion that you use? What tools do you find most effective in the Russian market of refrigeration hardware?
Sergey: We use traditional channels to promote our products:
Participation in exhibitions, seminars and conferences, working with our partners on joint events.
However, the main advertising of our product is QUALITY and highly QUALIFIED STAFF. On side we are starting a massive campaign on Instagram and Facebook to be closer to our partner, customer and the end user. They can virtually enjoy our solutions.
Have you ever faced the problem of counterfeit products on the Russian market? If so, please tell us about specific cases if possible.
Antonio: Our product is one of the nodes for complex cooling systems, as there is no such counterfeit here.
Of course, there are cases where some manufacturers indicate deliberately false characteristics on their products, misleading the consumer. Such cases have a negative impact on the entire industry.
Eurovent certification system is very important and appreciate and it allows the user to be sure of the quality and compliance of the declared characteristics. In 2000, LU-VE was the first company in Europe to achieve the important “Certify All” certification of EUROVENT for all products. EUROVENT awarded LU-VE a certificate of merit for never having any failures in test performance compared with declared data. LU-VE is the only EUROVENT certified company to receive this important recognition. Result of Mean Failure calculation: 0%.
The basis of the industrial philosophy of the LU-VE Group is the principle that: “IT’S THE GREY MATTER THAT MATTERS MOST!”
LU-VE HAS ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATE LABORATORIES IN EUROPE and cooperates with 23 UNIVERSITIES & RESEARCH CENTRES in 13 countries (Politecnico di Milano since 1986).
We are seeking such cooperation also in Russia.
How do you assess the prospects for using natural refrigerants in the medium term in Russia?
Antonio: Natural refrigerants are coming to Russia, not very fast. As Lu-Ve group we stronghlybelive in CO2 and Ammonia as future refrigerant without forgetting the traditional system. CO2 is now starting its new life on Russia territory, we just finish to supply our evaporators and condensers for the biggest warehouse in Saint Petersburg working with CO2 for energy saving and for being environmentally friendly. This is a great success.
CO2 will probably grow in the Russian Market in the coming years, Russian climate is perfect for the application of Transcritial and Subcritial CO2 system with very hi-efficiency. We will continue to promote the technology for Energy saving and environmentally friendly solution. We have the experience to help the market to reach an important goal for the energy efficiency. Our experience since 2004 on CO2 counts on:
2004 1ST CO2 trascritical installation in EUROPE (Coop, Wettingen)
2010 1ST CO2 private test facility in EUROPE for CO2 heat exchangers test
2015 1ST CO2 transcritical installation in LATIN AMERICA (Carrefour, Colombia)
2016 1ST CO2 transcritical installation in RUSSIA (Magnit, Voskresensk)
2018 1ST CO2 transcritical installation in INDIA (INDEE project, Chennai)
2018 1ST CO2 transcritical installation in MIDDLE EAST (Al-Salam, Amman)