Tibor Egri, Chief Executive Officer
KITE (Kukorica és Iparnövény Termelési Együttműködés – Maize and Industrial Crops Production Cooperation) was established in the 1980s as part of an irrigation development programme, with the purchase of an Israeli licence, as a plant producing the most modern micro-irrigation system of the time in Nádudvar. In the early 1990s, POLYDUCT was spun off from this company and became independent, and has since become a well-known and respected company in the region.”, says Tibor Egri, CEO and one of the major owners of POLYDUCT, about the company’s start.
In addition to reforming the irrigation technology of Hungari- an agriculture, the need for plastic pipes for the construction of telecommunication and gas network infrastructures was an exciting market at the time, and POLYDUCT was founded in 1992 as the first company limited by shares to be established by way of open foundation in Hajdú-Bihar County in response to this new challenge. They played a significant role in the production of KPE (polyethylene) plastic pipes in Hungary but, with the opening of the market after the political changes in 1989-1990, three international European plastic pipe manufacturers also set up factories in Hungary. These were able to supply the market with a full range of sizes and in almost unlimited quantities, making it impossible for the Hungarian plant, which was considered to be of small capacity, to survive. This posed a new challenge for the company, and in the mid-1990s they began the “transition” to rotational moulding technology, which also uses polyethylene as a raw material. The advanced technology, to be built from scratch attracted the company’s management and challenged its engineering staff to learn the three-dimensional design software used to design products and tools. In addition to being innovative, this has increased the potential for added value and protected their know-how for their unique, richly designed in-house products. In the process, they started to manufacture their own moulding tools, which, in addition to the establishment of the plastics industry in Nádudvar, marked the beginning of the emergence of a new profile in the company’s life, the metal industry.
They entered the market with new, mainly environmental products, which were unknown at the time and, after many years of work, they convinced major customers of the modernity and durability of their products. However, hazardous waste containers, lifting shafts and separate waste bins, which have been manufactured using the new technology since 1997, were doomed to success after convincing institutional and corporate customers.
Tibor Egri, who was the company’s sales manager until 2013 and then became CEO in 2015, also played a role in the latter.
After the turn of the millennium, three main product groups and business lines emerged: water utility products (water meter and sewer manholes and tanks); urbanisation products (separate waste collection containers for public areas, plastic products for playgrounds, composting bins, diversion signs, street furniture); and industrial co-operative products (e.g. tanks for large sprayers, grass collectors for lawn mowers, custom-made industrial plastic components).
They have been present in the Romanian market since 2007, and expanded to Serbia in 2018, and to the whole Western Balkans region through the Serbian partner. Export revenues currently account for around 10% of the sales revenue. This is also a good result, because transporting large, hollow plastic objects is not cheap, so competitive prices are very difficult to maintain over a certain distance. In addition to the continuous development and refinement of production technology, and the development of new product lines, they also developed wastewater treatment equipment for smaller plants and residential communities. These can now be checked online to see if maintenance intervention is required, so this new solution is expected to be well received by the market.
In recent years, as playground equipment has grown and expanded to become a successful product, they have faced more toolmaking and metalworking tasks than before, while the increased engineering activity has also demanded industrial collaboration space and manufacturing space. The 4000 square metre plastics plant in Nádudvar and the 2000 square metre metals plant in Püspökladány proved to be too small for this, as the company, which now has over 100 employees, has increased its former toolmaking and metalworking brigade from 5 to 39. This needed a solution. The further investment and expansion in Püspökladány, on the metal line, on the 3.6 hectare industrial site purchased in 2018 serves this purpose. In addition to their own resources, with the Funding for Growth Scheme from the central bank and the aid from HIPA, they finally built not only a 1,300 square metre industrial hall with overhead cranes, but also a 2,200 square metre warehouse and a covered hall. An additional 500 square metres of office space and social facilities have been created to serve and cater for 100 employees.
Tibor Egri has always been for diversification, which allows them to undertake the parallel development of three distinctly different business areas with additional financial and intellectual challenges, and to continuously expand the conditions for both the plastics and metal activities.
A key priority for the future is to ensure that the HUF 800 million expansion in Püspökladány, together with a major investment in productive assets that is now being launched, will enable a rapid return on investment.
The company has always pursued a prudent financial policy, as the mentality of its owners has always been to not raise external capital, always reinvesting profits to grow their wealth and their company.