During the spring when Covid-19 had paralyzed multiple industries and markets around the globe, Arnon trumpeted its message through full-page ads in the Swedish media: “We believe in Sweden”. The reactions did not hold back.
– Overall, the response was very positive. The industry sensed we were going to set down roots in Sweden, but there was some skepticism given the situation we found ourselves in. The fact that we went for full page ads in the media was a powerful marketing ploy to demonstrate that we don’t back down when the going gets tough. I’m delighted that we followed the plan through to fruition, says Harri Lamminen.
Arnon was founded in 1978 and is now the biggest OEM in the Nordic region for industrial electrical and automation solutions. The firm booked revenues of SEK 540 million in 2019, and it is forecasting positive figures for 2020 with turnover expected to be approximately SEK 650 million. The company’s head office is in Tampere, while it has branches in Turku, Vaasa and Kauhava, as well as its own factory in Poland. The Finnish giant already operates in Sweden thanks to partnerships with players such as ABB, Climeon and Xylem, and it expects to grow even more thanks to its new Swedish outfit. The company definitely sees itself as much more than just a straightforward electrical and automation firm.
Arnon’s business areas range from advanced intelligent systems integration to solutions that encompass industrial electricity, customizes automation systems, technology development, unique digital connectivity features and its own proprietary cloud services. Research and development takes place internally in the company’s departments, and always in close consultation with customers who are frequently involved in services within the sectors of marine, energy, mining, industrial automation and renewables. Words that characterize the company’s communications – both internally and externally – include team spirit, engineering finesse, development and integration. “Art of Automation” is ARNON’s watchword and slogan.
Jörgen Hedström is Sales Director for Sweden. He summarizes the company’s first six months on Swedish territory in highly positive terms:
– The industry has shown tremendous curiosity in us and has wanted to know more about the way we think. Given that our philosophy is based on always developing in close collaboration with our customers, it’s obviously very positive to have the opportunity to disseminate knowledge to others. I’m personally surprised at quite how many business connections have been formed in such a short space of time. It is evidence that our way of working together closely and thereby winning in partnership is something that is attractive.
Explain why business is local.
– In practice, it is very simple: it is about acclimatizing to the prevailing business culture in the country you want to operate in. Regardless of whether it concerns small or large companies, they most often want to have a local base. This makes it easier at every level to meet each other’s expectations, says Jörgen Hedström.
Arnon’s vision is that the Swedish organization will grow to more than 100 personnel within three years from the current size of 14. New hires are already being made. Revenues are estimated at SEK 250 million, and Sweden is going to be the firm’s fastest growing market.