How to support stakeholders in the industrial sector in their digital transformation when you are an investment fund ?

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  • 28 Apr 2022


How to support stakeholders in the industrial sector in their digital transformation when you are an investment fund ?


EQT Partners, a major European investment fund strives to consolidate their portfolio of B2B companies by supporting the digital leaders of tomorrow. Sebastien Lorenz, director of EQT Digital explains to us in detail his mission in the transformation of these industrial companies. A workshop proudly supported by Oro!


EQT is a global investment organization founded in 1994, dedicated to investing in, developing, and owning companies across multiple regions, sectors and business models, with a focus on sustainability and digitalization. 


About a company that you would buy as an investor, how do you implement your methodology and your ambitions ? 


We operate as coaches and consultants, we never take operational roles in the company and we don’t decide. We are here to make the management of the company successful. We bring lots of framebooks, methodology and knowledge.  


What is the framework you bring in it ? 


We work with different teams of different companies and it is not their origin to be able to drive digital projects and this is what we come to play. 

From this empowerment coaching, we have 3 column of what we found extremely useful : 


  • IT strategy (Anything about infrastructure likeCloud migration cloud IT systems, cybersecurity…)


  • Growth (Product development, e-commerce, digital marketing…)


  • Data (Analytics,  numbers, machine learning…)


Due to the specificity of your domain, do you experience some difficulties explaining the way you produce your digital products to clients ? 


It is very understandable that the beginning of this kind of journey is scary. We don’t have a specific objective but we want to move in a certain direction with conviction. 

It is super ok to start with baby steps. You should not try to aim for the final goal of what nobody knows. Digital is something that can not be procured and it is also a culture of revolution.


What is the first key-success you have in mind when you start something ? 


I think it is very important to get a good status quo to get an assessment of where you are at the moment, and to formulate an ambitious target state. That can really help to understand what other industries' competition but also outside of your domain, people have achieved so there is a lot of inspiration. 

It is also important to listen to the people and understand the culture of the company you are working with to see where they are situated in digitalization. Your partners are usually coming from the more traditional  world.


Can you give us an exemples kind of specific on what has been delivered ? 


A speciality chemical distributor, Azelis. Part of the value creation strategy is the digitalization of their process and platforms. We’re doing this for  reasons : 


  1. The efficiency, so digitalization will create efficiencies within the companies and lower costs of sales
  2. Execution, so we have rolled out more than 30 platforms in 30 countries by now


It took us roughly a year to get there from the initial design thinking and understanding of what we wanted to build. The idea of those platforms is to create some digital convenience of what you know from the everyday’s life for the end users so you can buy products, safety data sheets, and you can do sample orders… This augments our excellent services we have in the real world. 


The idea now is to reach even more customers with those services and we are aiming to roll this out to a total of more than 150 market and country combinations. 

It was quite successful and the company within not even a year has not only learned to walk but really to fly and while we were super busy with this co-piloting, they have now gone down a route of producing not only for the buyers but also a portal for the sellers as it’s a two-sided type of marketplace model and the sellers also will get their portal now. 


Were they important difficulties in this project ? 


There always is. Here, maybe Dunlop protective footwear. It produces safety boots and we also had the similar journey but more e-commerce centric.  You can just go to dunder boots type of websites and just look at an e-commerce shop which is available both for B2C and B2B partners. We had to re-build this project because we started it with the wrong technology and the wrong target. 

But we finally made it so never give up ! 





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Open source training

Durée : 2 jours
Lieu : Paris