Industry profile: Jos Lisman

News Story
- 10 Dec 2009 ( #440 ) - IJsselstein, Netherlands
2 min read
Jos Lisman
Jos Lisman
When Jos Lisman stood down from the board in 2004, he was succeeded by his son, Koen. However, Jos remained active in the company and continued to work there for three days a week. But on 1 December, it was time for the real farewell: after 37 years with Lisman, he finally retired.

Jos was born in 1944. After his technical college education in Apeldoorn, he did military service. He then started work for the Ford importer, before moving on to Simca-Chrysler.

"In those days, my father had already started the company, and my brother Anton was already working for him. But because it was still small-scale, they couldn't afford to take me on as well," he recalls. "So, I started to promote international business for Lisman, alongside my normal job. When that started delivering possibilities and revenue, I moved to the company full-time in 1972."

Jos has always had a focus on purchasing and sales. While younger brother Anton concentrated mainly on Benelux, Jos was busy with the international trade. "In the early years, we started setting up our database of forklift ownership for dealers throughout Europe. This meant we were very well informed when a local industry started to perform (poorly). So we knew when such-and-such a dealer suddenly had 50 machines not being used in their yard. We were then able to buy them and move them to other countries."

He thinks that the business has enriched his life in many ways. "I went everywhere, making offers for machines: paper factories in Sweden, breweries in England, large contractors in the south of France, the Skoda factory in Czechoslovakia. I have always enjoyed that."

Jos was also involved for several years with Rentpower, a company that supplied traction batteries for electric vehicles, and with the agency for Kenhar, a leading manufacturer of forks. Rentpower was later sold. He also put a lot of energy into the purchasing of multipurpose components for forklifts for a company in India. "That didn't turn into anything, unfortunately. Not everything that you take on as an entrepreneur becomes a success."

The current economic crisis does not worry Jos: "Of course, measures have to be taken. But Lisman is a strong company. We have built up a reasonable amount of resilience over the years. Because we are privately financed, we will not have any problems."

Jos looks back on good years in which he enjoyed working very much. "With my brother Anton and Gert Versteeg, the management was a good threesome. And we have fantastic personnel." He also has good memories of his business partners.

"People come and go. But in May I looked up an 85-year-old contact in Palm Springs. The connection is still there; these are the good things."

Jos would like to thank all trading partners and dealers for the confidence they have shown and good business. "I wish everyone lots of luck and success for the future!"
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Previously about:
Lisman Vorkheftrucks BV Industry Profile - 24 Nov 2005 - IJSSELSTEIN, Netherlands - 3 min read
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