The Slovenia Times

IMP Pumps wins top growth company award

Winners of Gazelle Awards for best growth companies; Damir Popovič (centre) of IMP Pumps (Gold Gazelle), Aleš Knavs of Riko Ekos (Silver Gazelle) and Matjaž Jamšek of Metalia (Bronze Gazelle). Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

IMP Pumps, a Komenda-based manufacturer of pumps and pumping systems that exports 96% of its products and solutions to 80 countries, has won the 2023 Gold Gazelle Award for best Slovenian growth company.

The company, created through the restructuring of a part of the Yugoslav-era industrial conglomerate IMP, doubled its sales revenue from €15.9 million 2017 to €34.2 million in 2022.

Last year it generated €85,557 in value added per employee, which compares to the national average of €55,688.

The company has based development on its own brand and a range of premium products at a fair price, according to the newspaper publisher Dnevnik, which hands out the award.

The jury noted the company's human capital, a culture of respectful and caring interpersonal relationships, professionalism, business excellence and the leadership style of CEO Damir Popovič.

It is Popovič, a manager turned entrepreneur, who is credited for turning the tide for once foundering company with his "intuition for the global potential of pumps and pumping systems, his experience gained in the automotive industry and a winning kaizen mentality".

Dnevnik also praised IMP Pumps for having the lowest energy consumption index in its category of manufacturers world-wide.

In his acceptance speech at the award ceremony on 25 October, Popovič said they were aware they were good and were happy that others recognised that as well.

"The Gold Gazelle is a recognition for our team, for the people who really work hard," he said, advising those venturing into entrepreneurship to "love the people you work with".

The Silver Gazelle went to waste management company Riko Ekos from Loški Potok, and the Bronze Gazelle to transport technology specialist Metalia from Trbovlje.

Addressing the awards ceremony, President Nataša Pirc Musar called for measures and decisions that do not harm businesses. She said a welfare state could only develop alongside a strong corporate sector.

"We always expect a lot from you, who are the most responsible for successful business decisions. And we should ask ourselves day after day if we as the state give enough in return," she told the business community gathered.

Bojan Petan, chairman of publisher Dnevnik, said the selection of best growth companies over the past decades had proved to be showing a good picture of Slovenian entrepreneurship.

"The winners of the past years are still with us today, they have not lost their way in the battle for survival in the savannah of the Slovenian or global market," he added.

CEO of automotive industry supplier KLS Ljubno Bogomir Strašek received special praise for his efforts to rebuild the company after the August floods.

The company, whose problems have affected major car producers, is currently back at 25% of full capacity and keeps increasing output.


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