55-year-old Lode Peeters is the co-CEO of Sopra Steria Belgium. In March 2023, the IT group Sopra Steria Peeters acquired the IT services company Tobania, thereby making Sopra Steria an expert in application building, the cloud, cybersecurity and infrastructure as well as business consulting, data analysis, testing and support. With a combined turnover of around €225 million generated this year, the merged company joins the top ten in the Belgian sector.
Bart Steukers, CEO of Agoria, calls Lode Peeters the right man for the job:
“Lode knows Agoria and the tech sector inside out. He has moreover been a member of Agoria's governing body since 2019. He has experienced everything as an entrepreneur, but also as a manager of small to large companies in a rapidly evolving sector driven by a dynamic economic context. In addition, he has worked a lot in the past with the manufacturing industry, which he also values highly as a beacon for our society as a whole.” - Bart Steukers, CEO of Agoria
Lode Peeters sees five major priorities for his presidency: "First, I want to mobilize the hidden talent for our companies. The need for qualified personnel is still on the rise among all Agoria members. We therefore need to open other doors to boost our recruitment capacity. Furthermore, we should continue to invest in the great innovation potential that puts our companies successfully on the world map. We will therefore continue to motivate our governments to support us on this front while continuing to guide our companies in their innovative projects."
Lode Peeters also wants to help ensure with Agoria that, given the growing public deficit, the fiscal pressure on our companies and employees does not continue to have a negative impact in the coming years. "We must also continue to raise awareness of the need to digitalize. Our companies have to be thoroughly digitalized if we are to become more competitive. As such, cyber security and environmental, social and governance criteria will henceforth also be on the digital agenda. And finally, we need to embed the manufacturing industry as the beating heart of our economy, for it fuels our service and knowledge industries. And we can be rightfully quite proud of our manufacturing industry who are the real ambassadors for our exports and the innovative nature of our country."
Technology federation Agoria brings together more than 2050 technology companies and everyone who is inspired by technology. With 327,000 direct and as many indirect employees, the technology industry is Belgium's largest sector and Agoria the largest federation in the Federation of Belgian Enterprises. Some 70% of Agoria's members are SMEs.
The technology industry in our country creates €42 billion in added value. That is just over 9% of the gross domestic product. In 2022, the technology industry generated a turnover of €162 billion. The sector derives about half of its turnover from exports. Investment amounted to more than €4 billion. Companies in the sector account for €7.5 billion in fiscal and parafiscal revenues (National Social Security and corporate taxes).