With a longstanding history of more than 30 years, pioneer engineering company Pragma has continued to expand its global footprint from the Netherlands. Headquartered in South Africa, Pragma specializes in the delivery of enterprise asset management solutions to asset intensive industrie. It recently moved to new offices in the Dutch city of Den Bosch.
Pragma develops software tools and management practices to help companies in the manufacturing and high tech industry to perform at their peak by shifting client’s maintenance practices from a reactive to a predictive approach. Pragma achieves this through maintenance management practices that are digitized to ensure that immediate action is taken when a potential failure occurs. The history of data accumulated assists in refining the maintenance plans per asset type, guaranteeing that the performance, cost and risk associated with an asset, strikes a perfect balance.
What started at the dining room tables of its founders, present Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adriaan Scheeres and Academy Director Arnold Botha, has grown into a global company with regional offices and partner representation in Africa, Europe, Australia and Latin America.
International expansion in Europe
In October 2019, Pragma acquired Dutch company CMS Asset Management, that specializes in engineering advisory services related to maintenance and asset management.
Pragma CEO Adriaan Scheeres stated, ‘Our international expansion strategy included plans for acquisitive growth in the Netherlands to expand our operations in the Benelux countries, as well as the rest of Europe. Europe is known for its first-class asset management capabilities, especially in the Netherlands, and we can now offer our expertise in these countries with an expanded network. CMS had all of the business characteristics that we were looking for. It offered the right size, culture and the entrepreneurial approach to complement our existing business in the Netherlands.’
Business growth in the Netherlands
‘Organic growth by relocating people and establishing your own footprint abroad is a difficult and a slow growth process. If your expectation is to grow and expand quickly, the acquisitional approach renders far better results, provided that you proceed very cautiously.’
Luc de Laat, Director of Pragma Netherlands added, ‘In support of the acquisition and local management team, it is very important to be able to embed some of your existing key people within the newly formed business, to ensure effective knowledge transfer and integration of products, service, processes, systems and tools to act as ‘integration champions’.‘
Support from the Invest in Holland Network
When asked how the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and the Invest in Holland Network assisted in the expansion of Pragma, Ronnie Taljaard, Managing Director of Pragma International stated, ‘NFIA assisted us in gaining networking opportunities with companies and suppliers with the same ambition as Pragma, both in South Africa and in the Netherlands.’