Liftronic Celebrates 30 Years
Australia’s largest independent hosts elegant soirée to thank employees, clients and colleagues.
Liftronic Pty. Ltd., headquartered in Sydney, celebrated 30 years in business with an elegant soirée at L’aqua Cockle Bay in Sydney Harbor on October 1. Approximately 120 guests enjoyed cocktails and a three-course dinner featuring delicacies such as lamb, scallops and shortcake made with mango and raspberry. The guest list included longtime clients, suppliers, builders, developers, property managers and industry consultants. Managing Director and CEO Milan Debelak gave a speech detailing the history of the company, which traces its roots to 1921 Egypt. He stated:
“My father’s father, Milan Debelak, Sr., established with his brother-in-law the Alexandria Lift Co., and our family’s path of three generations in business and the Addison family’s two generations in business began in this truly exciting industry.
”In 1952, big changes were afoot in Egypt. King Farouk was ousted, and Gamal Abdel Nasser took control of the country, nationalizing businesses and expelling foreigners. Our family’s origins are Slovene/Yugoslavian, areas that were once part of Austria, so our time in Egypt was limited. Shortly after Nasser took control, my grandfather became seriously ill and entrusted the company to his eldest son, Vladimir, at the ripe old age of 20. The company continued to grow until, due to the political situation, we had to leave Egypt, and everything we had, behind.”
The family, consisting of Vladimir Debelak, his pregnant wife, a one-year-old Milan, and Vladimir Debelak’s mother and three younger brothers, settled in Melbourne, Australia, in 1963. With several years of lift-industry experience under his belt, Vladimir Debelak and other shareholders launched Precision Elevators in 1970. It became the largest and most successful independent of its time, and was sold in 1984.
Milan Debelak and Kevin Addison worked for the new owners at Precision for several years but missed the autonomy of being part of an independent, Australian-owned company. So, in 1985, they struck out on their own with Liftronic.
The company has been going strong ever since, and some of its employees have been there since the beginning. Liftronic produces a diverse array of lifts, from dumbwaiters to high-rise to vehicle lifts and those for public-transportation systems. Milan Debelak told the crowd that Liftronic stands out for its tenacity and passion, leadership and integrity, growth and investment, and transformation and renewal.
Liftronic’s ability to engineer bespoke solutions shows its engineering strength. Its staff has a depth of knowledge backed by a strong financial standing, which allows it to grow its service base organically and take on and service units from third-party suppliers. It is this flexibility, Milan Debelak states, that will allow the company to prosper in the future. He stated:
“Our last 30 years has delivered many, many highlights and achievements, some you may know, but I wish to share the following with you. Liftronic has installed close to 3,000 lifts and escalators, paid more than AUS210 million in wages, employed a workforce that has worked a total of more than three million hours, employed more than 600 people and trained more than 100 apprentices. The employment number may seem small, but this is due to our low churn and high retention rate. We are one of the largest, if not the largest, supplier of vertical-transportation infrastructure in Australia. In the last 24 hours, nearly seven million people have been carried in our lifts and on our escalators. I cannot even begin to calculate what this would be over the last 30 years, although it has many, many zeroes. We have come a long way in the last 30 years.”
Australian entertainer and broadcaster James O’Loghlin served as master of ceremonies, and musical entertainment was provided by a four-piece jazz and blues band. A highlight of the evening was when employees presented the three directors, Milan and Vladimir Debelak and Kevin Addison, with Tiffany & Co. cufflinks engraved with the company logo and anniversary dates of 1985–2015.