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A Decade of Success: Miilux's Journey in the Polish Market

Miilux manufactures and sells wear-resistant and personal protection solutions, utilizing its own brands and innovations. In 2014, the company expanded to Poland and has been growing here ever since. 


Tuomas Asunmaa asked Pekka Miilukangas – the Owner & CEO of Miilux Group – and Tomasz Fedoryszyn – Managing Director at Miilux Poland – about the company’s successful journey in the Polish market.


Photo by Miilux Poland

1) Interview with Pekka Miilukangas


What influenced your decision to expand to Poland?

Poland was one of Miilux's first export countries and we had a very important customer there. Poland is also attractively located at the center of the European market.


Were there any surprises during the market entry process?

Maybe not big surprises right away, but the crisis in the Polish coal mining industry in 2016 was a big setback and threatened the continuation of our business in Poland.


How did you plan market entry to Poland?

We started with a short preliminary study made by a Polish consultant. After that, we conducted a more extensive analysis, and finally a third study aimed at establishing ourselves.


What are the key values you apply when leading the Polish team?

The values of the Miilukangas family business date back to the foundation of Miilukangas in 1967. The most important is honesty, which is reflected in the careful fulfillment of our social obligations. Continuous improvement and profitable growth have also guided the Polish operations.


How significant is the Polish market within Miilux's global strategy?

The importance of the Polish business has been increasing every year. Miilux Poland currently accounts for about 20% of the Miilux Group's turnover. The Polish business is growing significantly, as is the Miilux Group as a whole.


What advice would you give to Finnish CEOs considering expansion to Poland?

One of the most important tasks is to find a reliable chairman of the board, member(s) of the board, and manager in Poland. They should have experience in working with Finnish companies. You can’t run your business from Finland, so you must carefully recruit a very reliable team in Poland.


And finally, how are you planning to celebrate Miilux's 10 years journey in Poland?

Miilux Poland will celebrate its 10th anniversary on 14-15 June 2024 in Tarnowskie Góry. The anniversary is shaping up to be a year of significant investment and growth.


Photo by Miilux Poland

2) Interview with Tomasz Fedoryszyn


What is your favorite thing about working at Miilux?

Miilux, as a company, always appreciates initiative and responsibility. This is what I expect from my employees and what the Finnish owners expect from me. It is really exciting for me to work like an entrepreneur, shaping the business according to my vision. In 2023, we will break another record as Miilux Poland had already doubled last year’s revenues by the end of September.


What are the key elements of your management style?

Support, responsibility, critical thinking, rationality and entrepreneurship guide me in managing the Polish production branch of Miilux. I think that Finnish people have a similar approach to business, which is what makes our cooperation so fruitful.


What is the most memorable project you have managed in Miilux?

I started working in Miilux in 2017, and just two years later we decided to double the area of our production facility. Since then, we have also increased our revenues 10 times and tripled our staff. It is all a result of many projects, some easy, some very complex, that have contributed to the development of the company. Next year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Miilux Poland and I am convinced that we have good reason to be proud.


What are the main opportunities and challenges currently facing the Polish market?

There are challenges related to the current slowdown of the Polish and European economy. At the same time, we see a big opportunity for Miilux in the defense sector. Our business is structured in such a way that it allows us to achieve our goals even in difficult times.


What advice would you give to a Finn considering entering the Polish market?

Business culture in Poland has changed over the years and generations. Nowadays, it is increasingly transparent and based on mutual trust. Therefore, I would suggest having local, reliable support at least at the beginning of market entry to overcome potential cultural differences and better adapt the product to the situation in Poland.



 

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