Aéro Mag, a Quebec company that specializes in aircraft de-icing, operates in airports in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. They've revolutionized the industry and have gained worldwide recognition. Read on to find out how one entrepreneur's persistence has paid off.
Before founding Aéro Mag, president Mario Lépine worked for an aeronautical company for over 18 years. Inspired by cutting-edge European equipment, he recommended major changes to the usual de-icing techniques commonly used at North American airports. This fearless entrepreneur has disrupted the industry with his bold vision.
With its innovative technologies, Aéro Mag has radically transformed de-icing techniques: real-time electronic data transmission, de-icing aircraft with the engines running, using forced air before de-icing and, most importantly, recycling glycol, a de-icing agent, into a concentrated and certified product.
Helping the environment while reducing costs
Getting approval to use recycled glycol was one of the company's biggest hurdles. "The industry had a lot of misgivings," says Lépine. But after going through rigorous quality control, the company got the green light to move forward and expand operations throughout Canada.
Says Lépine, "That's where the trend is headed, because aeronautical companies realize that it has a positive environmental impact and, also, because it reduces costs." By recovering used glycol and the water it contains, Aéro Mag saves nearly 2 million litres of water a year.
The cost of innovation
But an entire industry isn't transformed single-handedly. Lépine needed major financial support to do that. Whether it was importing European equipment or meeting quality control standards, each innovative step in the company's rise needed the right financing.
So Aéro Mag turned to Desjardins. Their support has allowed them to maintain a healthy cash flow, given that they have regular major expenditures.
It's no accident that Desjardins has been supporting the company since 2008. Desjardins believes strongly in Aéro Mag's innovations. "As a Quebec business that's focused on innovation and efficiency, I think they're a good match for us," says Lépine.
Since it was created in 1994, Aéro Mag has grown and radically transformed the aeronautical industry. Thanks to the next generation, the future looks very bright. "It encourages me to surround myself with younger people, and there are many at Aéro Mag," says Lépine, who now works with his two children.
These up-and-comers are ready for take off!