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Three Finnish firms recognised for internationalisation

Harvia has helped people to relax with its sauna heaters since 1950.

Ville Hannikainen

President of Finland Sauli Niinistö has given the 2020 Internationalisation Awards to Harvia, Lojer and Supermetrics, recognising the companies’ growth and positive contributions in the exceptional circumstance brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards are given annually to companies that have not only enjoyed international success, but also demonstrated a commitment to ethical and ecological sustainability and contributed to promoting employment, innovation, foreign investment and skills formation in Finland.

“The awarded companies have been able to succeed, internationalise and employ people during these economically challenging times,” said Nina Kopola, the director-general of Business Finland.

Supermetrics, the developer of a suite of solutions for gathering, analysing and utilising marketing data, was presented the award in the newcomer category. Its solutions are used by a thoroughly international corporate clientele of 15 000 that includes giants such as Amnesty, the BBC, Nestlé and UNICEF.

Supermetrics’ Zhao Hanbo, Henna Mäkinen, Duleepa Wijayawardhana and Mikael Thuneberg have developed tools that are used to report over 10 per cent of global digital marketing. Image: Supermetrics

“We have been amongst the first in developing data tools that everyone can use without particular technical knowhow,” said Mikael Thuneberg, the founder and chief executive of Supermetrics.

“The importance of data in business operations continues to grow, and we should all have the opportunity to utilise data independently in our work. This can only be achieved with technology that everyone can have access to.”

Global reach 

Harvia and Lojer, meanwhile, were named the growth companies of the year.

The former has grown in its 70 years in business from a national manufacturer of sauna heaters to a globally renowned sauna and spa brand with sales in over 80 countries. It has also invested significantly in taking the environment into consideration at every stage of the product life cycle – from design to production, logistics and recycling.

“We at Harvia realise that 90 per cent of the global sauna and spa markets is outside Finland,” told CEO Tapio Pajuharju.

“We have always been as close as possible to the market and our customers, and together we humbly keep implementing the cornerstones of our strategy by focusing on geographical expansion, increasing the value of the average purchase and continuous improvement of productivity.”

Lojer, the largest medical furniture manufacturer in the Nordics, derives around 60 per cent of its turnover from exports to more than 115 countries. Its products are made principally from locally or regionally sourced materials at facilities in the Finnish localities of Hollola, Kempele and Sastamala.

Founded over a century ago, Lojer is proud to continue to employ and manufacture in Finland. Image: Lojer

“The award is valued recognition for our resilient exportation work that was started in the 1960s,” said Ville Laine, the managing director of Lojer.

“Our global competition are the big global corporations, and we can hold our own due to the high-quality, excellent usability and durability of our products. They are based on domestic development and production. The significance of these matters culminated during the spring of coronavirus as the demand for hospital beds and transport stretchers increased exponentially.”

The award recipients are selected by the president from a list of candidates presented by Team Finland, an internationalisation promotion network consisting of Business Finland, ELY Centres, Finnvera and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

By: Aleksi Teivainen