A message from the new EUEW President – João Bencatel

May 27, 2015

Dear fellow wholesalers,

I am an independent electrical wholesaler from Portugal, with a company that began 93 years ago, and which is in its third generation. I have actively participated in the projects of our national association for about 25 years. Now I accepted the challenge to be the President of the EUEW. My mandate will formally begin in the 60th EUEW GENERAL CONVENTION, in Lisbon, on the 5th June. Fortunately this will not be a challenge only for my own. It will be a challenge for all of us. Our businesses need changes and innovation to tackle the challenges of new technologies and new competitors – the theme of our 60th Convention. The same is true for the EUEW where we all need to know what changes and what innovation the European wholesalers want.

Recently, as we all recognize that the scope of the regulations and the policy decisions that impact our business are more and more European, the EUEW became member of Eurocommerce. We are trying to put the electrical wholesale issues on its agenda. But this is only a first step of our challenge.

Today, the companies have transnational ways of organization and networking. It is impossible for all of us to ignore the impact that both globalization and digitalization have in the business, from the products manufacturers offer to the daily relations with our suppliers and with customers. It is up to the wholesalers to carry out the changes and the innovation that the EUEW may need. I am receptive to consider all the proposals, including the proposal for changes allowing a more active and direct participation of independent wholesale companies or groups on the work and the decision process of the EUEW, all together with the National Associations, in a balanced way.

But what is important now is to keep moving this discussion forward. The EUEW must continue to debate its mission and the optimization of its organization. And I want to obtain a result of this debate. As a consequence it is also important to discuss the form and timing of our Conventions. These Conventions are becoming more and more important platforms for networking and debating. The EUEW Conventions are more and more important not only for wholesalers but also for all our partners in the chain.

With that purpose in mind, our next and decisive step will be to enlarge the discussions and to hear a range of wholesalers or transnational wholesaler organizations. Their opinions will help us to know how can be the EUEW that all the European wholesalers may recognize as its own.

Nevertheless, no matter what shall be the result of this debate, the EUEW is and will continue to be a unique institutional forum where all of us can meet with each other and meet all our partners. In the EUEW we will keep putting forward the values and the value of the wholesaler as the strong and unsurpassable link of the electrical chain.

The EUEW needs also evolve its organization in the way that will be considered as adequate for improving the competitiveness of the electrical wholesale businesses in this new, fast and digitalized world.

I will conclude by stating the obvious. The EUEW will be what all European wholesalers want it to be. Therefore I ask for your participation to let us know the change and innovation that you want for the EUEW. I am sure that the EUEW will be stronger with your participation in this process.

I am looking forward to see you in Lisbon.

João Bencatel