Brussels, 16 February 2022. Aertssen Group from Stabroek was crowned ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2021 this evening. CEO Greg Aertssen received the prestigious award from Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon, in presence of a limited audience. The 27th edition of the award, organised by EY in collaboration with De Tijd and BNP Paribas Fortis, was originally planned for December, but was postponed to today due to the Covid measures. A professional jury, made up of leading representatives from the Belgian business and academic worlds, chose Aertssen Group ahead of the other finalists Cegeka, Destiny and Heylen Group. Aertssen Group succeeds Stow, last year’s winner.
The ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’ 2021 was also presented during this ceremony. This award is given to Flemish growth companies which have performed impressively during the past year. This year, the honour fell to Deliverect from Ghent. Deliverect beat B4Plastics, Biotalys and UgenTec. Deliverect received the award from Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon. As the 16th winner of the prestigious title, the company follows in the footsteps of Robovision, the 2020 winner, also from Ghent.
An award for Belgian companies that stand out
EY has organised the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ award since 1995. For 27 years, the award has highlighted Belgian companies that stand out through their innovative approach, bold international vision, strategy, healthy financial position, dedicated teamwork, good governance, ambition and determination to continue to grow.
During this edition of the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’, Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambonpresented the award to Greg Aertssen, CEO of Aertssen Group and son of the founder, Marcel Aertssen. The company from Antwerp was also a runner-up for the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ award in 2019. This year, Aertssen Group is the winner.
Michèle Sioen, president of the jury, explains why Aertssen Group was chosen: “Aertssen Group simply fulfils all of the criteria required for an ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’. The company has not only achieved strong growth over several years, it has also maintained a solid balance sheet and can count on sound governance with external directors. For many companies, reinventing themselves has almost become a must during the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s practically Aertssen’s trademark: time and time again, this family business succeeds in turning setbacks into new opportunities.”
Patrick Rottiers, CEO of EY Belgium: “Sustainability has permeated all strata of the business, an essential attitude to adopt nowadays and of which Aertssen Group can be justly proud. Indeed, many of its projects help create a better world. Reasons why Aertssen Group has earned the title ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ today are its ability to connect all of its business unit pillars so effectively and its beautiful international projects.”
“We’re proud that we still managed to hold this edition of our prestigious award, albeit rather later than planned. It was more important than ever for us to give our businesses a platform and put all of the nominees in the spotlights. Every one of them has shown unprecedented perseverance and flexibility of which we can be very proud in Belgium. They deserve our appreciation more than ever”, responded Rudi Braes, Vice-Chair EY EMEIA.
Deliverect chosen as ‘Scale-up van het Jaar’
During the award ceremony held for ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2021, the ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’ 2021 was also presented. This year, Deliverect from Ghent was chosen as the winner by the jury, succeeding Robovision, the 2020 winner.
The ‘Scale-up van het Jaar’ award is a prestigious prize, given by the Flemish Government to reward fast-growing companies that are developing strongly for their efforts and motivate them for the future. The jury chooses the candidate which it believes could one day be a winner of ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’.
“With its inspirational entrepreneurship and the unparalleled growth Deliverect has achieved in just 2.5 years, this company from Ghent is a worthy winner of the ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’. Its technology for digitalising and facilitating often conservative hospitality businesses is not just cutting-edge but essential in the booming takeaway business. This is demonstrated by the thousands of small hospitality businesses in its customer portfolio, as well as global players like Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Deliverect can count on a strong team, a growing network and rightfully dedicated shareholders declaring long-term commitment”, commented Hans Crijns, Professor of the Vlerick Business School and president of the jury.
“The ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’ is awarded to companies which have the potential to become ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ some day, and the jury is totally convinced of this in its choice of Deliverect. Given the scale and development of the sector, there is huge potential for growth, even beyond the sector. Besides, Deliverect’s business model is highly scalable, with well thought-out licensing formulas and intelligent plug & play software. Deliverect is an obvious choice: They already nailed it, now they scale it”, said Stefan Olivier, partner EY Belgium.
Winner ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2021
Turnover: € 294 million
Number of employees: 1,336
In 1964, Marcel Aertssen set up an earth-moving firm, after he was forced to cease his farming activities due to the expansion of the Port of Antwerp. By 2021, led by the third generation, Aertssen Group has grown into an internationally respected partner for construction and industry, offering a range of services including major infrastructure works, lifting projects, exceptional transport and storage and assembly of heavy agricultural and construction machinery.
List of winners of ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’
Aertssen Group is the 27th name on the impressive list of winners in recent years, along with Stow (2020), Kinepolis (2019), Ardo (2018), WDP (2017), Vyncke (2016), DEME (2015), Katoen Natie (2014), Willemen Groep (2013), La Lorraine Bakery Group (2012), Soudal (2011), Taminco (2010), Studio 100 (2009), Cartamundi (2008), Groep H. Essers (2007), Metris (2006), Option (2005), Deceuninck (2004), Miko (2003), Omega Pharma (2002), Resilux (2001), Melexis (2000), Sioen Industries (1999), Compex (1998), Icos Vision Systems (1997), ECA (1996) and Real Software (1995).
Winner ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’ 2021
Head office: Ghent
Number of employees: 230
Deliverect is a scale-up established in 2018. Deliverect is advancing globally and forms the backbone of on-demand food via the centralisation of online orders for restaurateurs or FMCG businesses. All online orders are managed centrally and online menus are updated in one place. Reporting for all online sales channels gives a complete picture of sales. This improves operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
List of winners ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’
As the 2021 winner, Deliverect joins the impressive list of winners in recent years: Robovision (2020) – Guardsquare (2019) – Ontoforce (2018) – Playpass (2017) – MediaGeniX (2016) – Destiny (2015) – CMOSIS (2014) – Medec (2013) – Itineris (2012) – Skyline Communications (2011) – Clear2Pay (2009) – Netlog (2008) – Financial Architects (2007) – Transics (2006) – Televic (2005).