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who essentially want to make a difference, who really subscribe to the life of manufacturing and packaging, and have the necessary passion and drive to take the business to greater heights. And I think we've got a very inspirational team right now. There's a great spirit out there and the guys are doing a good job." Having created this strong and stable nucleus of managers, Baglione believes it is important to make changes at the senior management level every five years or so, not hiring and firing, but moving managers internally to keep them fresh and motivated and to build on their experiences. " Change is very important," he said. " But equally, changing too much is not a good thing. So I would like to work on the 80/ 20 principle. Perhaps 20 percent of the current team may retire within the next five years or simply not make it as managers, and these will be replaced by progression from within the group- the beginning of our succession planning process." With all these changes now becoming embedded in the company, Baglione is beginning to look to future opportunities for growth. Firstly he expects to see strong organic growth. " And that will happen naturally through some of our larger clients," he said. Linked with that there are some interesting projects coming through on the rigids side of the business, and finally he is actively looking to make further acquisitions, ones that will fit very specifically with the company's overall strategy. One of the lessons that the company has learned from the large number of acquisitions it has made over the past 12 years, is the importance of doing professional and thorough due diligence. " I think some mistakes were made on that particular front in the past. But in the issue: how to identify and train the leaders of the future and ensure good succession planning. Previously, high flyers identified within one of the group's companies would have been put in charge of one of the divisions. " If you take a guy running one of our companies and put him in charge of a division, you're asking him to go from one to twelve companies in a single step. With the best will in the world it becomes very difficult for that person to succeed," he explained. " What we prefer to do is give him a business unit of three or four companies where he can build up his experience, and we'll groom him for something greater further down the road." None of this, however, would work effectively without a strong management structure to drive the group's objectives on a month by month basis, to ensure all levels of the business meet their targets and deliver the expected profitability. " I always say if you get your top team right you get your business right," Baglione said. And he has tackled this issue head on by making significant changes to his executive board, drawing together a new team of 10 key individuals to head up the business units, and appointing a new COO to oversee the operational activities. " When I look back on my career," he explained, " I've learned that to succeed you need a team of characters Astrapak " If you take a guy running one of our companies and put him in charge of a division, you're asking him to go from one to twelve companies in a single step. What we prefer to do is give him a business unit of three or four companies where he can build up his experience" Masterbatch SA manufactures and supplies a full spectrum of masterbatches, pigments and performance enhancing additives to the plastics industry. MBSA delivers unlimited customized solutions to its customers through products that are consistent and in accordance with the highest quality standards. Both respective industry leaders, MBSA and Astrapak share a common focus on core company values. By providing unrivalled products, service and expertise, MBSA has maintained a much valued and longstanding relationship with the Astrapak group. In the dynamic environment of the plastic packaging industry, improvements and technological advancements are constantly being made, further aligning the synergy between these two companies. As Astrapak continues on its successful journey it can be assured of the dedication and support of the MBSA team. Masterbatch SA June 09 www. bus- ex. com 37