Just 7 kilometres outside of Paris, a small company offers big-name customers products which keep rail transport on track. A business that is equipped for the future of Europe. We spoke with Managing Director Robert Pouget.
Robert Pouget, managing director of Pouget Rails
Mr Pouget, how did the business with tracks begin?
Now, to be precise, we don’t manufacture the tracks themselves. We develop and manufacture tools and devices which can be used to maintain train tracks. My father founded Pouget Rail in 1935; so, we have been in business for over 80 years. In 1936, we were the first to develop a lathe machine for coach screws! This was extremely innovative at the time.
Today, we are suppliers to large corporations such as Bombardier, Alstom, Eiffage and Engie – and that as a company with just a manufacturing team of twelve.
What kind of machines do you develop?
We are specialised in the area of mechanisation of train works, equipment and tools. This includes first and foremost track saws and drilling machines, track sanding machines and high-performance sanding units. We are the only ones who produce mobile scaffolding for tracks!
Over the past few years, we have been continually developing new machines which literally take our customers further. For instance, platform wagons that enable material to be transported on tracks. It’s one of our bestselling products today.
What do your customers particularly like about Pouget?
The reliability of our products is essential for our customers. Our strength, however, also lies in the fact that we can adapt to our customers’ needs very quickly. These can also change rapidly in today’s world.
What role does the European market play for your sales margin?
Europe is very important to us. Here is where we see huge long-term potential. We are already exporting mainly to European countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal. They make up around 25 per cent of our sales. We are also strongly present in Africa through the Maghreb and Gabon countries – however, indirectly so via French companies who have participated in tenders.
But of course a big role is also played by europages and the package that was chosen to best meet our needs. It’s fundamental to us that our company is visible in various languages.
What was your reason for having a company profile with europages?
We mainly wanted to be visible to customers in Europe. We have been listed on europages since 2012 and have noticed a significant increase in demand. Our contact person there supported us very well – especially at the beginning when it came to defining keywords that function in 15 European languages.
This also means that our product catalogue is accessible to more potential customers. Which has shown to be very positive.
Speaking of the future: how will the branch develop?
The fact that rail transport is gaining importance is a development which we’ve been seeing for a long time now. Sustainable mobility is a huge topic, and throughout all of Europe, there is a strong need for new and restored tracks. Regardless of whether it is about moving people or trade worldwide – rail is an extremely important factor as a transport system. We continually develop our machines further to keep up with maintenance needs. So, we’ll certainly be bringing quite a few more innovations on track in future too.
Mr Pouget, thank you for the talk and all the best of success for the future.