In summer 2015, unexpected news shook the entire Leinolat Group. Mr Raimo Leinola, long-term CEO of the group, had deceased during his holiday in northern Finland.
Needless to say, confusion and grief followed. Eventually, it was time to find a new leader for the group. In the autumn of 2015, the post was offered to Lars-Erik Schöring, Raimo Leinola’s brother-in-law.
Having been on the board of Leinolat Group for the past five years, Schöring was no stranger to the group. At the time, however, he was working for Wärtsilä, the leading provider of complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets.
His career at Wärtsilä had spanned over three decades, during which he had held various manager-level positions, serving in different countries and amassing experience involving large-scale power plant projects and much, much more.
At first, Schöring had mixed feelings towards changing his employer. After all, he had always enjoyed working for Wärtsilä.
“At some point, however, I started thinking that 30 years is a long time working for one and the same company,” Schöring recalls. “That’s when I decided the time was ripe for a new challenge, and accepted the offer.”
Actions Rather Than Mere Talk
Established in 1962, Leinolat Group currently comprises six subsidiaries that in 2015 had a combined turnover of €30 million, and that employ approximately 240 people.
According to Schöring, the group he is now in charge of has been well managed and is doing more than well.
“Over the past ten years, Leinolat Group has been developing and growing steadily,” he states. “The growth has been achieved by means of acquisitions, by expanding the product portfolio, and by expanding to new markets. Currently, the group has several strong pillars to lean against, and the future looks nothing short of promising.”
When discussing the strengths of Leinolat Group, Schöring brings up one characteristic that he values particularly much: the group’s tendency towards actively doing things rather than merely talking about it.
“There are two kinds of people in this world, those who like to talk, and those who actually do things,” he points out. “Leinolat Group is run by people who do not only talk, but are also ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.”
A fine example of just that is Kilkanen, a subsidiary that is currently adding finishing touches to the establishment of a joint venture with a local partner in India.
According to Schöring, Leinolat Group does not have a specified target for growth in the near future. However, he is confident in stating that the group’s annual revenue can be expected to rise from the current €30 million to between €40–50 million by 2020. Needless to say, there is plenty of work to do before that.
“We are going to have to improve in terms of efficiency as well as quality,” Schöring says. “Meanwhile, with our six strong subsidiaries, we will definitely be able to develop new products and find new markets.”
At the time of our interview, Schöring has served as the group’ new CEO for about three weeks. For him, however, it has felt like three months already. But that, he assures us, is not because he has been bored. On the contrary, he has been busy travelling around and meeting people in order to get to know the group as well as its partners and clients.
The current business environment in Leinolat Group’s native Finland is anything but ideal. Good thing for the group, then, that its business is very much global in nature. Based on what he has learned by now, Schöring names two aces in the group’s sleeve that are more than likely to help push its business to the next level.
T-Drill, of whose revenue as much as 95% comes from exports, is on the rise, and the demand for its products is likely to increase, especially in Asia. Meanwhile, Schöring believes Kilkanen and its joint venture in India are going to bring the group further growth and plenty of potential for new opportunities.
“All this said, I remain confident that Leinolat Group will be able to keep on the right track and continue to flourish,” Schöring concludes.
Text and image by Industrial PRIME
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