Water is one of the most precious resources and having access to it can be termed as a basic human right. However, rising pollution hazards have led to a major decline in water quality, and today clean water is a global concern. As a result, to counter the issue of water pollution, there has been a rapid growth in the water and wastewater treatment market. APG Neuros is the leader in wastewater treatment markets throughout North America, Western Europe, and the Middle East. It holds a strong foundation in both aeronautic technology and engineering, which enables APG Neuros to continually develop innovative products that year after year maintain the company as a key international player in the field.
APG Neuros was established in 2005 with a mission to distribute, manufacture, provide aftermarket support, and continued the development of high-efficiency Turbo Blowers and complete Aeration Systems. The distinguisher has been its focused approach that drives the successful product introduction and High-Speed blower technology, which is based on technical excellence, proven design, high-quality material, and complete product CE, UL & CSA certification. APG Neuros prides itself on driving and inspiring innovation through cutting-edge technology, in-house R&D program, and aeration solutions to provide maximum efficiency and operational flexibility for its customers.
Today, APG Neuro serves a wide customer base in over 600 cities and delivered close to 1,500 units over the past 15 years. These customers have built a solid platform for launching new products and services and act as good references for the new customers. “We see APG-Neuros capitalizing on its existing customer base and its strong brand to succeed in introducing the multiple new products recently launched,” says Omar Hammoud, the founder, and President & CEO at APG Neuros.
Omar is a leading Ecopreneur who strongly cares about the global community and has a passion for the environment. As a leader, he empowers his team and inspires his customers to work together to accomplish efficiencies in everything they do as part of the fight against global warming. At APG Neuros, Omar undertakes multiple leadership roles, and his responsibilities are not static. One day he is engaged with the customers to help them define their needs and the next day he is working alongside the internal teams and partners to develop the innovative technical solution that meets the customers’ needs. Omar is responsible for accumulating the talent at APG Neuros and while he also participating in regular daily meetings in every area of the business and offer immediate feedback or advice that will help maintain speed and value-added responses to the customer requests. Despite the wide customer base, Omar engages with the customers and reads the reports of their operational experience, and leverages the experience to further augment the products and services.
Omar and his team’s contribution have ranked APG Neuros among the best companies to watch for in 2021. In this interview, we got an opportunity to grasp a deeper understanding of the wastewater management market and why APG Neuros is the award-winning leader of the market.
Please define the current scenario of the industry and how does it affect APG-Neuros?
The need for better and more efficient wastewater treatment machinery is constantly growing and this gives our company the chance to expand into new markets worldwide using our expertise in affordable wastewater treatment solutions.
How will you describe the company culture at APG-Neuros?
Our company culture can be summarized in two words: Customer Responsiveness. APG-Neuros is committed to the company’s culture of strong customer engagement. We hire employees that work in the field of our customers, coach, train, and invite our customers to have closer communications to collaborate on creating innovative solutions instead of design at arm’s length. Engagement and closer communications empower our employees to excel in understanding our customer’s needs and meeting all customers’ expectations every time – striving to achieve excellence by using employee and customer collaborations to drive continuous improvement.
According to you what distinguishes APG-Neuros offerings from its competitors?
We currently offer 3 main products: the NX series Turbo blower, our electrically powered turbo blower ranging from NX30 to NX1000D, our Gas Turbine blower, powered by biogas or natural gas, as well as the 1MW Turbo blower, our largest model using power from 1500HP to 3000 HP. Along with these products, we offer new and innovative solutions that combine design and analysis of the aeration system, automation, and integration to the plant SCADA. We take care of our customers for as long as they continue to operate our product. We offer innovative preventive maintenance service plans that allow our customers to take advantage of efficient lifelong support options for the continued operation of our product in their facility. We worked hard to understand their needs and benchmarked to industry standards to develop flexible and competitive Support Plans that we are proud to offer. We cater our plans to the customers’ specific needs, so they will never be paying for something they do not need. We also offer a wide variety of spare parts that we supply our customers with if needed.
Do you compromise on environmental values to meet customer needs and expectations?
No, APG-Neuros is committed to achieving customer satisfaction by providing quality products and services delivered on time while maintaining a safe environment for our employees in a setting that promotes resource sustainability. We accomplish this responsiveness to our customers through our commitment to innovative solutions and our focus on quality and the environment. Conducting business responsibly is another area where we seek to act in a manner that promotes environmental stewardship, minimizes the consumption of natural resources, and prevents pollution.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your leadership style?
COVID left a visible change in how I conducted business the same way it affected all of us. Post-COVID, I am more focused on business continuity plans than ever before. This means putting in place backup plans for every aspect of our business. Before COVID struck, I used to travel a long way to meet our customers and partners. This limited my time with all other customers, partners, and employees. Now, I am more effective in using Video conferencing and remote meetings.
How did you manage to keep the team motivated and operations run unhindered, despite the pandemic?
We had to develop protective measures for all employees and work more closely with those that showed nervousness about the virus to make sure every employee felt we are taking note of her or his needs. We allowed all employees to choose alternate working from home, this added more spaces in our buildings for better social distancing. We shared our performance with our employees to let them know how we are doing and promised rewards for those that were patient with us during the Pandemic.
What are the three lessons that you have learned amid this pandemic?
The Pandemic helped us learn about ourselves, our employees, and our customers. The main lesson we learned is the value of a healthy workplace, open internal communications among management and employees where we can all speak with transparency and honesty to solve problems created during confusing times.
The second lesson I learned is how to trust employees that decide to work more often from home and even to believe that these employees can be more productive working remotely.
The third lesson is the value of having effective remote conferencing capabilities. It gave us significant productivity improvements realized by reaching a much larger number of customers in each session and corresponding saving in time and cost spent with traveling.
Apart from COVID-19, what are the different challenges APG-Neuros has faced in recent times?
Apart from COVID, our challenges include a fast acceleration of customer projects following a painful period of slow down, our customers now have less time available to complete their projects. One other challenge is hiring and retaining good employees that deliver our customer values and blend with our culture. We are constantly hiring in our head office location and regional employees across the four continents. We are also developing new employee benefit plans and opening a portion of our stock for employees to own, thereby making them company owners.
Could you share an instance that highlights your persistence and passion for work, which could inspire emerging entrepreneurs?
Building a successful company takes hard work and perseverance. I had only a few years to achieve product acceptance by our customers. Work gets even harder to sustain volume production, plan for organic growth with new technology developments. This also meant a constant search for financing. By the time we achieved sustainable volume production, we also had to work even harder to face off competitors who entered rapidly the market with products that appeared like ours. For a period of 15 years, I had to be creative and much focused to solve one challenge after another. During these fifteen years, I had to criss-cross from one city to another across North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. I rarely took time off for vacation. I am fortunate to have a supportive family that also lived the excitement and was satisfied with my coming home and spending quality time with them when times permitted. All I remember from the past fifteen years period is the joy of achievement and a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
What makes APG-Neuros exceptional in the water waste management market?
Our unique business model helped us propel our success over the past fifteen years. We managed to transform the stagnant wastewater treatment community and displaced old and energy inefficient technologies offered by dinosaurs over 50 times our size. We succeeded with love for the environment and our relentless focus on energy efficiency brought forward through a unique innovative high quality and smart connected product. We focused our attention on educating our customers on our technology offering and worked with them to make energy efficiency the priority in making decisions on future products. We avoided being drawn into the low bid blood bath by maintaining our focus on high quality and offering Turn-Key Solutions that included engineering to help our customers understand better their future wastewater treatment goals. While our competition argued with our customers to accept their standard product, we offered our customizations in our product to fit our customers’ goals for modernization of their infrastructure.
Lastly, what message would you like to share with our readers?
We believe that business models based on technological innovations that enable energy consumption reduction and the use of renewable resources are winners. We must all work hard to eliminate pollution created by our everyday activities from reaching our water systems and ultimately destroying our land and marine life. Governments have an important role to play in creating the incentives for funding energy efficiency and for sponsoring the development of innovative technology that can take tens of millions of dollars to bring to market.
APG-Neuros continues to lead the industry by constantly driving and propelling innovation forward through the most technologically advanced products.
We cater our plans to your specific needs, so you will never be paying for something you do not need.
We have succeeded due to the love for the environment and our relentless focus on energy efficiency brought forward through a unique innovative high quality and smart connected product.