March 2017

14 APAC / March 2017 , Glen Stratton fromAltro talks to us about what the company have done to help transform everyday spaces into environments that can improve the wellbeing of everyone that uses them. Drive for Constant Improvement Altro is a third generation, family owned business that manufacturers hygienic floor and wall coverings. Altro APAC is a fully owned subsidiary with teams in China, Australia, New Zealand and distribution partners in most other Asian countries. Glen Stratton spoke to us about the firms impact in the industry. “We are a global leader of specialised products to the health, education, hospitality, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. We are often first to market with innovative products. Our client base is rather wide including governments, architects, builders, flooring contractors and end users. “In Asia Pacific, we are focused on delivering the highest quality solutions and an exceptional customer experience. Because we offer specialised products for high function areas we can separate our products and services from our competitors, who have a more general approach to these sectors. By building long term value added relationships we feel this will continue to set us apart into the future. “We have spent a lot of time as a team establishing who we are, what we stand for and why we are doing what we do. We are very focused on staying true to these principles. Bringing in talented people, empowering them and then supporting their own growth is also proving beneficial.” Glen explains what the challenges of working in the APAC region are and how he has managed to overcome these challenges through keeping motivated and positive. “As we sell premium products in the construction market with a focus on safety hygiene and sustainability, the biggest challenges have been emerging markets where these factors are lower priorities for many of the individual markets. Ensuring we stay true to our core strategy while addressing specific local needs is proving successful. It is a slow process however we have persistence, our own good people and some great regional partners taking us forward. “I get the motivation I need to succeed from our people. Helping them succeed and achieve their own goals in both business and life is very satisfying. There are times where you need to step back and reflect and finding that time for personal thought is also important to me.” “One of the appealing things about the APAC region is that it is so diverse. This provides big challenges however also big opportunities for companies who get their strategy correct. Of course these days, no one is truly isolated from world events however I feel there are still many emerging markets in the region that will provide a bright future for us.” As well as staying motivated in order to ensure the success of the business, Glen lists the other attributes he has that he believes have made him successful. “Active listening, patience, persistence and a drive for constant improvement are behaviours I hold dear. I also feel the focus to strip away all the distractions and focus on what is really going to make a difference is a constant goal.” Price and technology are the main changes that have appeared in recent years in the construction industry. Glen explains these changes and how they affected business. “The construction industry continues to become more and more focused on price. The majority of building continues to be completed as cheaply as possible rather than delivering quality long term solutions to end-users. Margin issues and time line pressures for our customers continue to increase and in 2016 we saw several large flooring contractors enter in to periods of financial hardship or liquidation. “As we supply products to specialised areas such as Hospital surgeries, developments in technology is going to play a huge part in our future. Altro have a dedicated innovations team with the specific goals of creating products that contribute to healthy environments and improved well-being. Recently we were awarded the ABA Business Award for Product Innovation for Altro Xpresslay, which was a very proud moment for us. The award was nice recognition of our constant drive for new and improved products.” Finally, Glen outlines what Altro APAC PTY Ltd have to look forward to in the near future. “In five years’ time we will have delivered the first stages of our plans, which will mean we are a very different company than the one we are today. This will have provided the foundations for our longer term plans through to 2035. We have very clear goals and an ambitious vision. My focus is on our amazing people and helping them to achieve what we have set out to do, and of course ensure we all have a great time doing it.” K Company: Altro APAC PTY LTD Name: Glen Stratton Web Address: 1701AP01