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Pursuing Excellence: The Chemistry Behind ARETE’s Success

22 May, 2024 | Alex Teoli

From basic glassware to comprehensive laboratory setups, ARETE has been an established key player in the laboratory supplies market in Malta for the past thirteen years.

Specialising particularly in consumables and benchtop instrumentation, their commitment to swift response times, efficient order processing, and comprehensive documentation sets them apart in this market. They believe that selling goods is only the starting point of a commercial relationship. Expectations from the market are high and added value is now considered a part of the package.

As ARETE undergoes a transformative shift in leadership, Findit sat down with the founder Francis Micallef and his daughter Emma Micallef (set to take over operations next year) to uncover the driving force behind their success and what lies on the horizon.

How would you summarize ARETE's role in Malta's laboratory market for those unfamiliar with your work?

FRANCIS - ‘ARETE is a small company that has managed to establish an important market presence within the laboratory supply sector. Our major focus is on consumables such as glassware, plasticware, analytical chemicals, microbiological supplies, disposables, Personal Protective equipment, standards, clean room supplies – essentially all the tools needed by a laboratory’.

EMMA - ‘Yes, and aside from all this, we also supply a wide range of equipment, educational supplies, analytical services, process filtration equipment, safety storage systems and spill control and a host of other bespoke solutions. We have, throughout the years, designed and constructed laboratory setups in schools, pharma labs and other industrial applications’.

Reflecting on ARETE's thirteen-year journey so far, is there anything in particular that stands out? Key milestones that have shaped the company along the way.

EMMA - ‘We began with very humble beginnings in 2011 but with a huge passion and will to succeed. Since then we have slowly but surely expanded our company and the clients we service from industry, pharma, life sciences, education and other sectors.

Today we stand as one of the top players in the sector but, while keeping our feet on the ground, we seek to further expand our operations and services. We are a tightly knit team, driven by a will to be of service. We have invested in our people who have now been with us for years, ensuring continuity and a level of service that has set standards in our industry’.

FRANCIS - ‘Three years ago, we underwent a rebranding process, launched a webshop for consumer products, invested in bespoke software for internal processes, and initiated a three-year succession plan, marking significant milestones for our future growth.

Additionally, we've strengthened our supplier base to offer a wider range of products and services, staying attentive to market changes and evolving client needs. Keep in mind that our name ARETE is a Greek word that signifies the concept of “the pursuit of excellence in what one does to achieve best outcomes”. And this is our driving force’.

I believe there is a handover currently in process, could you shed some more light on this?

EMMA - ‘Yes so back in 2021, we celebrated our tenth anniversary. This also marked the beginning of a three year succession process where my father, Francis, would slowly hand over the reins to me.

Now that the process is almost complete, my father can take a backseat while still contributing through his experience in certain areas like business development and financial issues’.

FRANCIS - ‘Yes that’s right, I can relax a bit more now. My daughter is well poised now to take over the management of the company and will from next year be the driving force of our business, something of which I’m immensely proud of!’

As Arete transitions leadership, what challenges do you anticipate in the lab supply industry, and how does ARETE plan to address them?

EMMA - ‘There’s never a dull moment – markets are constantly in flux. All this contributes to an exciting mix of challenges, beyond which we see huge opportunities’.

‘Past experience teaches us a lot, although what lies ahead is uncharted territory. Business dynamics have changed and this change in leadership will give a needed boost of fresh minds, more aligned to the new way of doing business.

36/6, Manol Mansions, Vjal De Paule, Hal Balzan, Malta  BZN 9022

+356 2144 7577

 Arete Ltd. offers a wide range of products and services, ranging from small test tubes, to fully equipped laboratories. We also offer laboratory turnkey projects, where the design o...

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