Ivo Boscarol is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Management in 2022


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The MAS has awarded Ivo Boscarol, the former owner and director of the company Pipistrel, the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Management. He received the awardat the January Gathering on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

Ivo Boscarol is one of the most successful self-made Slovenian entrepreneurs after 1990. He is the former owner and director of Pipistrel, which under his leadership became one of the leading manufacturers of ultralight aircraft in the world. With this, he put not only the company itself on the global map, but also Slovenia. In April last year, he sold the successful company to the American company Textron, and focused his mission on giving back to society - both materially and personally.

Among the pioneers of entrepreneurship in Slovenia

The beginnings of the Pipistrel company date back to 1987, when Boscarol became the first private manufacturer and exporter of aircraft in the former Yugoslavia. Only a few years later, he joined the group of the most progressive Slovenian entrepreneurs after 1990, and his company became one of the leading manufacturers of ultralight aircraft in the world. Pipistrel has thus become a driving force and a synonym for innovation in the market niche of the production of all general aviation aircraft. With his leadership and vision, Boscarol combined entrepreneurship, construction and engineering know-how, design and bold but well-thought-out ventures under a common name - the latter brought the company great exposure in the public eye, and the construction of the solution earned, among other things, prestigious awards from the American agency NASA.

Breakthroughs that placed Slovenia among the technological superpowers

Within Pipistrel, Boscarol had the role of constructor, (co)designer and manufacturer of several motor powered ultralights, hang gliders and gliders. The planes he participated in the production of have received a number of international awards, and have also achieved several record achievements. In 2007, Pipistrel's aircraft won NASA's Future Personal Aircraft competition; they were the first in the world to develop the Taurus Electro two-seater electric plane; and in 2011, they impressed NASA again, winning its competition for the most energy-efficient aircraft, winning the highest prize in aviation history, US$1.3 million. Undoubtedly, the biggest success was the setting of the third milestone in aviation in 2020, when they were the first and so far the only ones to certify an all-electric plane for emission-free passenger transport.

From 2003 to 2011, both Pipistrel and Boscarol received several accolades and awards. Among others, Boscarol received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2003, in 2005 the GZS awarded him for outstanding economic and entrepreneurial achievements, and in 2011 he became Delo's Personality of the Year. In the same year, the President of the Republic of Slovenia awarded the company Pipistrel with the Golden Order for its contribution to the development of environmentally friendly technology and for the implementation of a winning innovative philosophy, which also made Slovenia one of the technological superpowers.

Excellence in creating added value 

Not only the awards, the numbers also testify to the success. Ivo Boscarol is a co-owner of 12 companies. The Pipistrel Group, which today employs around 400 employees, generated 92 million euros in revenue in 2022, which is 14% more than in 2021. The high dynamics of growth is also built into the plans for the future: they expect to generate 100 new jobs and increased the number of employees to more than 500 by the end of 2023.

The core company Pipistrel, which employs slightly less than 100 employees, is regularly ranked among the fastest growing companies in Slovenia. According to GVIN data, the company's operating income, which the company realizes in the largest share (95.7%) on foreign markets, has increased by 60% in the last four years: from 19.3 to 31 million euros. With a net profit of 4 million euros, the return on capital in 2021 reached 20.48%, and the realized added value exceeded 89,000 euros per employee. Pipistrel is one of the few companies that has never made a loss in its 33-year history and has had positive growth every year compared to the previous one.

New beginnings as an opportunity to give back to society

In April 2022, after 33 years of managing the company, Ivo Boscarol announced that he had sold the majority stake in Pipistrel to the American company Textron; their eAviation segment, where Pipistrel will be placed, will focus on the development of sustainable aviation. Boscarol retained a small business stake in the company and remains involved as a consultant and chairman emeritus of the company.

The employees of the company also received part of the purchase price from the sale, namely three euros for each working day. A few days after the sale, Ivo Boscarol donated part of the money to the local community. The municipality of Ajdovščina allocated the received donation in the amount of 25 million euros to the purchase of a rescue helicopter and the construction of a new medical center, landscaping, and the construction of an aviation museum and an interactive science center with a children's playground. Among others, he gave a donation of around 100,000 euros to Aeroclub Josip Križaj from Ajdovščina and Šturje parish, and 50,000 euros to Škofijska secondary school in Vipava. With the devastating fires in the Karst in July 2022, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia determined that it will pay all firefighters 94.50 euros per firefighter for more than 8 hours of work per day and 63 euros for up to 8 hours of work per day. On the same day, Boscarol announced that he would add the same amount as the government, namely 1.47 million euros, to the payment to the firefighters. The total amount of all donations in 2022, worth 30 million euros, was the highest donation to the public good in the history of independent Slovenia.

An example of innovation, breakthrough, success and excellent leadership

Boscarol turned the Pipistrel brand into a synonym for boldness, innovation and entrepreneurship, and his successes made both the company and Slovenia famous throughout the world. With his breakthrough work, big heart and feeling for his fellow man, he established himself in society not only as an exceptional entrepreneur, but also as an exceptional individual.

Because his actions are an example of innovation, penetration, success and excellent leadership, the MAS has awarded him the 21st Award for life's work in the field of management.

About Lifetime Achievement Award

The MAS awards recognition for life's work in management to colleagues who have made a mark in the history of Slovenian management with their achievements and influence.

The committee that nominated the recipient of the award consists of Tomaž Berločnik, Tjaša Kolenc Filipčič, Petra Juvančič, Medeja Lončar, Aleša Mižigoj, Sebastijan Piskar, Melanie Seier Larsen and Aleksander Zalaznik.

The previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award are (from 2021 in chronological order): Igor Mervič, Stane Rožman, Jože Mermal, Bogomir Strašek, Jožica Rejec, Aleš Mižigoj, Cvetana Rijavec, Danica Purg, Stojan Petrič, Cvetka Selšek, Niko Kač, Milan Matos, Zlatko Kavčič, Tone Turnšek, Tone Krašovec, Bruno Korelič, Miloš Kovačič, Jože Stanič, Janko Kosmina and Marjan Prelc. More about previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award. (link)