Based on the information from the Estonian business newspaper „Äripäev“ Jan 31 Jubilee special edition there are 40 companies in Estonia celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2019. This list includes two IT companies: Baltic Computer Systems and Ektaco.
As an Estonian Finnish joint company Ektaco was a kind of start-up in 1989 being in the forefront of innovation. They developed the first distant energy meters in Estonia and produced over 1000 PC type school computers for the Finnish market. Ektaco considers a good inner atmosphere and constant work with people the basis for its success.
The latter means that the company takes care of the motivation and willingness of its people and offering opportunities for development, says Mrs Külle Tärnov, COO of Ektaco. She considers active communication with Ektaco’s customers the same important. „We have been developing our products and support services based on the real needs of our customers. The customers value highly our quick support in implementation and adding functionality to our products,“ added Mrs Tärnov.
The company has managed to keep all the team also in the recession years and no one has been discharged, said Külle Tärnov. „When the business opportunities shrunk in one area we always had an option to live through that time based on other business areas and grow during better years,“ tells she about risk management importance.
After the last economic recession in Estonia the company has been continuously increasing its turnover but not with such ambition as the company has now. „Last two years, after the acceptance of the new, 2017-2020 strategy, we have been executing strong growth. It needs the team to change behaviour and adapt the mindset, tension coming along with a growing organisation and executing ambitions,“ comments Tärnov, adding that the company has become international as a team and also concerning markets that needs open attitude.
10 years’ goal. Grow considerably bigger, increase sale of Ektaco’s products in Estonia and other target markets and purchase a suitable smaller company with a matching product. The other alternative is that Ektaco has sold one or more business units to a large international corporation and its present owners have started several new ambitious ventures.
Lesson learned. An aggressive growth plan could have been launched earlier.
Recommendations to new companies. It takes considerably more time than we usually imagine. Have patience, be creative in solving problems and do not give up. Economic situation and business climate are changing around us and we need to rethink and redo our plans. Flexibility and quick reaction to these changes are valuable skills.