The niche specialist
What’s the right way to succeed in tough international markets? If you ask Kjell Antus, President of KWH Group, the solution is simple:
“Our philosophy is to own and develop companies that are very specialised and manufacture niche products. In this way, they can become world leaders in their own field. Another part of our philosophy is not to chase fast profits, but rather to make long-term investments.”
The group is one of the largest family-owned industrial companies in Finland and has a history that goes back decades. Although the products that the group produces have varied over the years, the business philosophy has remained the same. KWH Group continues to focus on niche segments, yet it has the courage to change when needed.
Recently the long-term efforts were acknowledged when Family Business Network Finland chose KWH as the Family Business of the Year 2016.
The fact that the group is a conglomerate with three very different business groups makes it robust against downturns and winds of change. All three business groups are currently showing stable annual growth. The crown jewel in the group has for long been the abrasives company Mirka. However, siphons manufacturer Prevex (that is the largest part of KWH Invest) has in the last years seen a fast development and is considered something of a new Mirka. In 2016, Prevex grew by almost 30 per cent and the company continued to grow by another 30 per cent in 2017.
“We are very happy to have a stable family-owned company as an owner, that has the guts and resources to invest and take risks. When the financing is in order, we can concentrate on doing our job in the best possible way,” says Prevex’s CEO Mikael Lillvik.
Prevex is today one of the leading manufacturers of siphons in the world, and in accordance with KWH’s philosophy, the company focuses on siphons only. Prevex’s success is mainly due to unique products and a strong commitment to product development.
“We have a loyal and dedicated staff with a huge know-how. Most of our production still takes place in Ostrobothnia, although we have recently bought a company in Poland. In the future, we plan to grow our production in Europe in order to be closer to our customers,” Lillvik says.