Mikropakk was established in 1991 and has been in family ownership ever since. Their main activity is closure and packaging manufacturing with injection-moulding—or injection-blow-moulding technology, to be more specific. Their facilities produce more than 1.5 billion plastic parts per year. Nowadays, they also offer packaging systems and developments to the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and household chemicals industries, besides developing complex engineering technology solutions for aerosol manufacturers, the construction, pharmaceutical, electronics, and medical industries. Since 2002, the leader of Mikropakk, renowned on European and global markets as well, has been Gábor Fazekas. He summarises the credo of his team, not just as a catch phrase, but based on actual experience: “To truly excel at your work, you have to also see it as a hobby.” He thinks that this approach to work and business management applies to him as well, although he withdrew from daily operations years ago and now focuses mostly on accomplishing strategic, R&D, and growth goals.
Mikropakk’s history goes back to before the 1990s, when Gábor Fazekas’ father started to design dies for plastic production. Starting by assessing market needs, they then made the dies. At that stage, developing their business model further was obvious: they decided to give injection moulding a go.
The manager believes in organic growth. He does not think that relying on products or niche markets that ensure a considerable turnover increase in a short time would be effective. “Focusing on a few major areas would imply an exposure and a higher risk than what we can take”, explains the leader of Mikropakk. In the 1990s, they became one of the leading suppliers of Hungarian pharmaceutical companies, not least as a result of their research and development. He regards this as a major milestone. This was the when the modernisation of the pharmaceutical industry ended in Hungary, when, for instance, modern plastic caps replaced the simple cotton balls placed in vials. Orders from the pharmaceutical industry still account for a big part of Mikropakk’s annual turnover, which is expected to be between HUF 8.5 to 9 billion this year. The company’s EBITDA (steadily the triple of the industry’s average) allows them to finance their development projects from their own resources, so they rarely rely on external funds, although these would be available—mostly from banks.
What the company is especially proud of is that it delivers high-added-value and comprehensive solutions to its customers. They often make implicit needs explicit by explaining how their partners’ production lines, packaging or filling processes could be improved. This forward-looking mindset has made Mikropakk the leading player on one of its key markets. They have developed a special valve that put an end to the clogging problem of PUR bottles.
The company has been exploiting the advantages of production automation, which they regard as key to quality, stable, and monitorable production. They say that they were already harmonising production mechanisms back when this method was not even called par4.0 yet, and even the very concept had yet to be conceived.
Mikropakk has currently 250 employees who work in its plants in Budapest and at other places in the country—most of whom have been with the company for decades, which is quite uncommon. Gábor Fazekas says that their team developed as a whole, and that they have acquired the way of thinking, vision, and mindset necessary for organic growth together.“You can learn this knowledge, and we need employees whose mindset can fit in the vision supporting the company’s growth plans”, he explains.
Regarding their outlook, they think that now the packaging industry has a high demand for the innovative solutions the company can provide. Other industries expect a stable supplier background and cheap workforce. Mikropakk wants to be a cooperative partner of packaging clients. Partnership primarily means that the company can present improvement opportunities that often even the clients do not recognise.
One cannot go without mentioning the contemptible accusations against the packaging and plastics industries, which the company regards as a challenge, but also as a risk. It is generally known that members of the plastics industry cannot be held liable for the pollutions they are accused with. The products of the industry can be completely and inexpensively recycled. Solving the pollution problem would rather require organisation and coordination on the part of users.
Thanks to its organic growth, Mikropakk long ago reached the level of economies of scale required for a company to survive in the industry. Currently, they have nearly 100 injection-moulding machines and they do their best to secure as many orders for semi-finished products as possible. They have several patents, and the manufacturing of equipment “protected” in this way generates between 40% and 50% of their annual revenues—a proportion they want to increase to 80%.