Since its founding by the Amon family in 1926, SICPA has been a powerful force in the security ink industry. Today, it is estimated that approximately 90 percent of the inks used worldwide in currency and security documents are manufactured by SICPA.
As such, SICPA has grown to the second-largest privately-owned printing ink manufacturer, recording approximately $750 million in sales in 2003. As the needs for inks for currency and other sensitive documents have become more complex over the years, SICPA has poured millions of dollars into R&D, developing innovative new products to thwart the efforts of counterfeiters.
Over the years, SICPA has branched out into other printing segments, but the best synergy has come in packaging. In recent years, the company has put major resources into its packaging operations, and has had great success in the field. Just this year alone, SICPA opened its new manufacturing facility in Bornem, Belgium, which will have an annual capacity of 25,000 tons of water-based and solvent-based liquid inks.
Much of SICPA’s recent growth has come under the watchful eye of Jean Daloglou, SICPA’s president and CEO. Mr. Daloglou, a 38-year veteran of the ink and printing industries, retired on Dec. 31, and he leaves a successful legacy behind.
Joining the Ink Industry
Mr. Daloglou’s path to the leadership of SICPA was a rich one, beginning with his joining the ink industry after postgraduate studies at Imperial College in London.
“I joined Lorilleux Lefranc in Belgium in September 1965 when looking for a job as a freshly graduated chemical engineer,” Mr. Daloglou said. “What attracted me at that stage was the fact that the company was international and could offer interesting possibilities for further responsibilities.”
Those responsibilities soon increased for Mr. Daloglou, who stayed at Lorilleux for two decades. During his last five years with the company, he served as managing director of its French subsidiary.
By 1985, Mr. Daloglou was ready to move on, and he took his business expertise to Heidelberg France as he became the company’s chairman and CEO for nine years.
The opportunity to come to SICPA Group was attractive to Mr. Daloglou, who joined the company in November 1993 as its global marketing/sales director of the commercial inks business unit. Two years later, he became managing director of the commercial inks division, and in December 2000, Mr. Daloglou was promoted to president and CEO of the SICPA Group.
It’s been a busy few years for the SICPA Group, beginning with its 2000 acquisition of Kromacorp, a Canadian packaging ink specialist, and Cromos in Argentina.
“In 2000 we fine-tuned our strategy and decided that SICPA should become a global player exclusively focused on two parts of the ink market: security inks and packaging inks,” Mr. Daloglou said. “The acquisition of Kromacorp and Cromos in 2000 allowed SICPA to strengthen its position in the U.S., Canada and Argentina. The divestment of SICPA’s heatset and coldset activities and the acquisition from Flint of Flint-Schmidt’s security inks activities in March 2003 allowed SICPA to finalize the implementation of this strategy.”
“Today, SICPA is global and specialized in security and packaging inks only,” Mr. Daloglou said. “We strongly believe that this focus on the more technology- and service-demanding parts of the ink industry is allowing SICPA to grow faster than the industry by gaining market share against most of our competitors.”
These changes also allow SICPA to remain in stride with its customers.
“Clearly the printing industries have been consolidating fast during the last 10 years, and more particularly in the packaging part of the industry, where big size global packaging companies have emerged and the consolidation will continue,” Mr. Daloglou said. “This trend impacts the ink industry. International packaging groups want to work with global ink companies that are able to provide the needed products, technologies and services everywhere the packaging groups operate themselves. This is going to accelerate the ink industry consolidation even further. Today only one ink maker is truly global, and the market requests at least one or two more challengers. Beyond those future global players, mid-size ink companies very specialized either geographically or in terms of product lines are still around. SICPA is definitely committed to play an active role in this industry consolidation.”
Mr. Daloglou said that SICPA’s focus on security and packaging benefits the company.
“For 75 years, SICPA has been a technology-driven company,” Mr. Daloglou said. “This becomes today the key opportunity for SICPA, since our customers’ technical specifications, both in security and in packaging inks, become more and more complex and demanding. This has been confirmed during the last three to five years and will be even more important in the years to come. Being very focused on two activities, SICPA is well armed to profit from this opportunity.”
Mr. Daloglou said that SICPA will be in good hands with Jan Secher, his successor.
“I have been working with Jan for a few months now,” he said. “What I believe to be one amongst his many qualities is his capability to combine a very clear strategic vision with a pragmatic day-to-day push for continuously improving our customer service level and satisfaction.”
Looking back, Mr. Daloglou said his experience at SICPA has been the most fulfilling of his career.
“My 10 years with SICPA have been the most rewarding ones,” Mr. Daloglou said. “It was a rare opportunity for me to lead the project of transforming a group of local companies belonging to SICPA into a truly global and focused ink company bringing to the ink industry unique and value creating technologies and services. I was privileged to lead a team of first-class professionals who shared the same vision and passion and through those years I have learned a lot by working with them. I sincerely believe that SICPA has today one of the best and most talented teams of the ink industry.”
Now that he is retiring, Mr. Daloglou expects to spend more time with his wife of 37 years, son and daughter and four grandchildren, and to work on his golf game.
“I do not intend to stay inactive, although my plan is to reduce my business workload and spend more time with my family and also to try to improve my golf handicap,” Mr. Daloglou said.