Stephan Colle from Belgotex International was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Flooring Awards. This award goes to the person who has gone above and beyond professional duty and industry norms in order to benefit the flooring industry.
Colle is Chairman of the Board of Belgotex International (subsidiaries include Belgotex Floorcoverings in South Africa, Beaulieu do Brasil (Brazil), Associated Weavers and Nyobe (which are both in Belgium), Balsan (France) and Beaulieu Pacific in Australia. Colle, who has been in the flooring industry for over 30 years, founded the progressive yarn manufacturing plant – NNI – in 1983 in order to produce hi-tech nylon yarn. The revolutionary techniques and fibres differentiated the company in the industry.
In 1984, Colle expanded the operation into a vertically integrated carpet manufacturer, called Belgotex Carpets. The company then acquired various operations throughout Europe, Latin America and Australasia and it also diversified into other flooring types (such as vinyl, grass and rubber).
While Colle might not be considered a technician in the flooring industry, he does have a lot of technical knowledge thanks to the time he has spent at various manufacturing facilities around the world. His experience and knowledge about raw materials, polymerisation, yarn and fibre manufacturing, tufting, needlepunch, tile production and weaving has helped him take the company to new heights each year.
Belgotex is the type of company that continues to invest capital into their manufacturing plant in order to ensure ongoing innovation in carpet technology. The South African team often collaborates with their international partners and machinery suppliers to specify the latest high-precision carpet machinery that is capable of producing large volumes of quality carpets at competitive prices.
What makes Colle an exceptional leader in the flooring industry is his commitment to helping colleagues and customers. He prefers dealing with colleagues and clients face to face, which has led to many long-standing relationships and partnerships in the industry. People who work with Colle have a deep sense of trust and belonging within the business, as he has a unique ability to relate to people at all levels – from the operator on the shop floor to international business people.
While Colle and his family are able to live anywhere in the world, they have chosen South Africa as their home. Colle is a proud South African and he is committed to contributing to the local – as well as the international – flooring industry.