Career

Philippe de Moerloose is a Belgian businessman and entrepreneur, born in June 1967 in Watermael-Boisfort (Belgium). He is the Chairman & Founder of the SDA Group (formerly known as SDA-SDAI Consortium) and African Equities. SDA Group is a company specialized in the distribution of vehicles and machinery, and employs several thousand international employees.

 

After growing up in the congolese province of Katanga, Philippe de Moerloose founded DEMIMPEX when he left ICHEC Brussels in 1991 to develop import-export activities in Africa. DEMINPEX will become a few years later the SDA-SDAI Consortium, before taking the name of SDA Group. Today it is one of the leaders in the distribution of vehicles, machinery and equipment on the African continent.

 

In less than 20 years, Philippe de Moerloose has developed a company operating in more than 30 countries with three main sectors: automotive distribution, distribution of construction equipment, mining and forestry machines and distribution of tractors farm. Mainly focused on Africa, it has seized the opportunities that the continent could offer to transform them into an exceptional business and creating value in all the countries where its activities are located.

The first years

Service, intuition, passion and work are perhaps the foundations of the success of Philippe de Moerloose. And it is no coincidence that these three elements are inseparable from Africa where the custom of self-giving to the community, the value of effort and the uncertainty of tomorrow are common elements of everyday life.

 

After growing up in the congolese province of Katanga, Philippe de Moerloose founded DEMIMPEX when he left ICHEC Brussels in 1991 to develop import-export activities in Africa. DEMINPEX will become a few years later the SDA-SDAI Consortium, before taking the name SDA Group.

 

Between the years 1990 and 2000, Philippe de Moerloose laid the foundations for the future SDA Group by developing a flourishing commercial activity and then buying up numerous companies in the sector (VRP, Transco, ATC RDC, Sogerrwa, etc.). These acquisitions will allow him to broaden his field of activity but above all to work with teams from various backgrounds. This mix will allow the group to continue to evolve and grow, obtaining the representation in Africa of many first-class brands such as Nissan, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen or Ford but also manufacturers of equipment such as John Deere, Hitachi, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo trucks.

 

“More than mere acquisitions, it buys know-how and creates an invaluable network that it develops in order to optimize sales and expand the structure to offer its customers the service it considers their duty: the same than the one of which everybody benefits in Europe. ”

 

Quickly, Philippe de Moerloose made the SDA Group a reference for a diverse clientele (mining companies, commercial companies, transport companies, African governments).

Progression and diversion of activities

Thanks to his success, Philippe de Moerloose seeks to continue the development of the SDA Group he has built entirely, alongside talented and experienced collaborators. Over time, he develops a specialty for resuming and repairing companies in difficulty due to poor management or lack of perseverance. A real professional runner, it is no coincidence that Philippe de Moerloose has covered the marathon for years. In this way, he created a hub and an industrial center by recovering assets that others have not had the strength to make profitable.

 

Intuitive, Philippe de Moerloose very quickly understands the need to give an international dimension to the SDA Group: it creates logistical bases in Dubai and Antwerp as well as in China. On the merits, a sales strategy focused on the quality and speed of service offered to its customers. The setting up abroad does not frighten him, Philippe de Moerloose considers it as a means of developing or adapting, while finding new engines of growth.

 

Understanding and meeting customer needs is the number one goal set by Philippe de Moerloose. With low margins and fierce competition, the strength of the SDA Group lies in its flexibility and its large inventories of vehicles and machines. Usually delivered within two or three months from factories, the SDA Group has the ability to deliver its customers within a few weeks. A strategy based on the availability of large warehouses, vehicles, machinery and spare parts. Managed by the best professionals in the sector, offering the best possible service to discerning customers.

 

Today, the SDA Group has several thousand employees worldwide and has increased from 15% to 20% per year over the last ten years. Despite this success, Philippe de Moerloose still has a strong taste for challenges, surpasses himself and binds deeply to the African continent. He is fluent in Swahili, a language he usually practices during his many trips and stays in the area where he grew up.

The reality of the field

Africa is a continent where there are many difficulties, in a competitive sector like international distribution and logistics. Another need to succeed: be patient and approach people by understanding their culture, without losing their own personality. In this respect, Philippe de Moerloose has always relied on his taste for work, his optimism and his humility.

 

Philippe de Moerloose clearly testifies on this subject: “A reductionist image of Africa, systematically shown as unstable and dangerous, is transmitted by certain media. Africa is an area of ​​extraordinary growth with multiple opportunities in all sectors, including infrastructure, agriculture and services. There is a youthful population, full of energy and talent, who asks only to receive benevolent support and material means to express themselves. That is my belief and my deepest conviction. That is why I trust and invest. The business world in Africa is changing positively and it is also thanks to this that we can express ourselves fully. Successful companies are those that create value for the greatest number of people, not those who try to capture the maximum wealth “.

The winning re-assessment

Today, Philippe de Moerloose retains a certain nostalgia for the time when he embarked on this adventure, conquering the distribution market in Africa. It was during this period that he acquired this talent which became the other guarantee of success for the SDA Group and African Equities: its ability to know how to surround itself with diverse, talented and experienced teams.

 

What is more natural, then, that the results are linked in this way. For the women and men who have built this group are those who have acquired with it the qualities of vision, strategy and perseverance necessary for its emergence. Few men manage to pass on their qualities to their teams, but those who do so are likely to earn more than all the dividends in the world can offer.

 

At a time when import-export companies or financial holding companies are often decried because of their short operational views, Philippe de Moerloose succeeded in proving that it is still possible to reconcile financial objectives over the medium term and industrial objectives on the long term. But also that it is possible to succeed in Africa, in several countries at the same time.

 

An example of an entrepreneurial model that earned him several flattering portraits in the specialized press: