Deemed an essential business during the height of Covid-19, the company both worked to better serve its customer base by continuing operations with a special coronavirus prevention plan and continued to keep strong communications with its fellows in the industry through hosting virtual events.
These were just some of the topics that gasworld spoke to Rafael Arvelo, General Manager of Equigas as part of its A Christmas Twist: The 12 Days of Content series.
gasworld (GW): What kind of year has it been for Equigas?
Rafael Arvelo (RA): Despite all the craziness of 2020, it has been a great year. We are 105% from our sales forecast. By the end of Q3 our 2020 sales surpassed all 2019 sales, which was an excellent year as well.
GW: As 2020 draws to a close, could you tell us about some highlights for Equigas from the year?
RA: 1) Virtual events, since February 2020, Equigas launched couple of virtual events:
- · EQUIGAS Happy Hour: A way to keep the industry socially connected.
- · EQUIGAS Coffee Lounge: A path to maintain customers informed with some trends and new technology.
2) New alliances and new lines of products added to the portfolio.
3) Our North Carolina warehouse was expanded in 60% and new offices were added.
4) New marketing development.
GW: The Covid-19 pandemic is, of course, the big talking point of 2020 and what this year will unfortunately be remembered for. How did Equigas cope during the pandemic and what role did it play in the fight against Covid-19?
RA: In every crisis, there is always an opportunity. The team developed conversion kits for cryogenic trailers, to switch the service from nitrogen to oxygen, in order to support the high demand of mobile hospitals.
We also launched a VoC process, to understand what was needed and to increase our stock, to support the gas distributors that were making a huge effort with their medical gases for hospitals.
GW: What’s been the most exciting application or growth driver for industrial gases this year?
One very exciting application was some of the equipment needed to launch rockets to space. Unfortunately, can’t make more comments about that… sadly!
GW: What does Equigas have planned for 2021?
RA: Participate in EVERY trade show! People need people, especially in this industry where we are all like a big family.
New marketing strategies have also been planned for 2021, that united to increasing our salesforce inside and outside, we are expecting another great year without a doubt.
We cannot let the uncertainty decide for us, we must keep betting for the best, work hard with common sense, keep the faith, stay safe and do not let anything stop you!
GW: Finally, in the spirit of the time of year and theme of the series, if you could have one industrial gases related thing for Christmas, what would it be and why?
I wish to this amazing industry a 2021 full of ONA: not only oxygen, nitrogen and argon, but also an optimal, nourishing and awesome year!
During this time of the year, we always post on our social media: “Don’t be late in finishing those jobs during Christmas, call Equigas, we answer the phone, and we ship the same day”.
A Christmas Twist: The 12 Days of Content series continues tomorrow with an exclusive interview with Nippon Gases Europe.