Among others, the following Dutch companies are successfully acting in the Baltics:
WOODlife Flooring, a trademark of UAB NEDlit International, is a Dutch flooring brand with a factory located in Marijampole, Lithuania. The main WOODlife sales office is located in the Netherlands and all products are developed in the Netherlands according to the highest European and Dutch standard, where only the best materials are used.
The Lithuanian based company was established in 1993, not long after Lithuania’s independence and is lead by two Dutch owners with a background in international sustainable forestry and timber technology.
The core activity is the production of high quality engineered floorboards which is sold under WOODlife Flooring brand. WOODlife Flooring is exported worldwide to over 20 countries.
WOODlife has great affinity with sustainable forest and nature management and a healthy environment. Therefore most of WOODlife’s oak and ash engineered floorboards can be purchased FSC®-certified. This Forest Certification Scheme proves that a timber based product is derived from forests that are managed in a responsible way.
Xplicity is a Lithuanian – Dutch IT Product Development Company with more than 12 years of experience which has made it the accomplished software development company it is today.
Xplicity strives on its long term commitments with its clients. Xplicity has been working for more than 5 years with Login VSI and with SailRacer since its beginning 6 years ago, it has helped SailRacer to grow and develop into a successful Software and Hardware Startup.
Xplicity understands the vastly changing world of technology therefore Scrum framework was implemented in the company more than 7 years ago, making Xplicity one of the most experienced with Agile in Lithuania. Both Xplicity’s development teams and products are flexible to changes therefore easily improved as well as capable of innovation and adapting to the expanding IT field.
Xplicity has many years of experience in outsourcing, it understands the requirements and processes involved both for large and small scale projects. It has perfected the operation culture of outsourcing throughout the years.
Xplicity has great passion for code, delivering the best product possible and exceeding expectations. Xplicity can be truly proud of the products it creates because of the extremely talented people that it is made of.
Industrial group “Wavin” - is a major supplier of plastic pipe systems and solutions in Europe, consolidating more than 30 factories in different countries. “Wavin Baltic” is a factory located in Vilnius, Lithuania, and producing sewer, soil & waste, drainage, water, gas and cable pipes. The company is responsible to serve the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Belarus and Kaliningrad markets.
Grosso Moda group was founded in 1990, a time when all kinds of companies were moving their production facilities to Eastern Europe. The group's founder, Guus Backland, realised that this could be a turning point for the fashion industry and consequently decided to open up a production facility in this region. Grosso Moda established its production head office in Lithuania, as this country was the first accessible country in the region.
25 years later, Grosso Moda has grown into a successful fashion design, development and production company with sales and production offices all over Eruope and Asia.
From design & development to fabric & trimming sourcing and from pattern making to fashion production; Grosso Moda aims to deliver 'custom made services' to every client in their portfolio. They are actively involved in manufacturing projects and supply chain management in order to serve their clients with the best quality and reliability against the desired price level.
AkzoNobel is one of the largest chemical product companies in the world. Its operations are divided into three areas – decorative paints, performance coatings and speciality chemicals.
In the Baltics, Akzo Nobel operates in the business areas of decorative paints (for construction, prefabricated houses, and DIY consumers) and performance coatings (industrial wood adhesives and finishes).
EKE Sadolin S.P. was founded in 1987, during Soviet times. It was the first post-war company with a foreign partnership in Estonia. Together with further development of the Estonian business ES Sadolin AS became a member of the international AkzoNobel group in 1995.
AkzoNobel Baltics can therefore claim that it is the oldest enterprise operating as a joint-stock company in Estonia. AkzoNobel has consolidated all its business branches operating in the Baltic region and Ukraine into its Estonian company and has been called Akzo Nobel Baltics AS.
AkzoNobel's ambition is to be among the market leaders with all its brands (AkzoNobel, Pinotex, Sadolin, and Hammerite) not only in terms of business size, but also in terms of quality, innovation and sustainability and to be profitable in the Baltics. Its current market share varies in the different Baltic countries andbusiness areas from 20-40% with AkzoNobel operating at the premium end of the market. In 2013, its turnover was € 64.5 million and its profit was € 3.6 million.
Piret Minn, General Manager of Akzo Nobel Baltics shared her views about investing and doing business in the Baltics:
- Could you please point out some differences in business culture among the three Baltic countries? Would one common strategy work for entering these markets or should local differences be taken into account?
Estonia and Latvia are quite similar in terms of business culture although Latvia is less transparent I would say. But Lithuania is very different. The country has had a kingdom that has an impact on attitudes. Everybody wants to run their own show, the spirit of team work is weaker than in the other Baltic states and the market is therefore more fragmentated.
- Do you recommend Dutch entrepreneurs to do business in Estonia or the other Baltic countries, and why?
It is simple and transparent to do business in Estonia, and at the same time there is still potential for growth and development. Risks are also moderate. People in the whole region are not yet satisfied with the level of welfare and try to achieve more, which again means potential for growth.
Dutch company Brabantia is Europe’s leading supplier of innovative household products, with exports to more than 80 countries and revenues of € 93 million in 2010.
In 2008, the company initially opened a production plant in Latvia, renovating a brownfield site and in turn extending it. By 2011, it completed the transfer of its production of laundry dryers and ironing boards to Latvia, employing approximately 75 people. The main reasons for selecting Latvia included its strong tradition in metalworking, the country's EU membership and Euro-pegged currency, and a business-friendly environment. The company is achieving a number of benefits with its facility in Latvia, including fast reaction to changes in demand from EU customers, lower levels of inventory, a talented workforce, low employee turnover and a salary/productivity balance that is competitive with Asian companies .
Marcel van de Velde, Brabantia’s Director for Production, has also noted that: “the support and professional assistance from LIAA was one of the main reasons why Latvia was chosen as the right place to start a production plant.”
TNT Express is one of the world’s largest express delivery companies with a global reach to 200 countries and a very strong position in Europe. The company makes sure that your parcels, documents and freight items are delivered safely and on time throughout the world.
TNT has already carried out successful operations in the Baltic countries for more than 15 years.
The company transfers goods and documents to and from the Baltics. TNT Express has become one of the leading companies in the freight and logistics industry in the region.
Bikkel Group is a holding with several different companies mostly in human resources and real estate. The company was established in 1999 and has a turnover of 40 million euro. Our headquarters is situated in the Netherlands.
Since 2008 we have been operating in Latvia as a payroll service for several companies within Latvia and we recruit employees from Latvia to work in the Netherlands. In recruitment we also co-operate with Riga State Technical School.
This year we started to buy our first real estate property in Riga, as a start for a wide portfolio. Together with expanding goals in the supply of labour, our groups focus will be on Latvia.
Our choice for Latvia is simple. Latvians have good English skills and are very motivated and hard workers. There are also differences; it was strange to understand that people don’t shake hands directly, especially woman. But as we are interested in Latvian culture, such differences only bring us joy in doing business.
Chronopay is a leading company in the area of the online payment industry. Founded in 2003 in Amsterdam, Chronopay accomplished a fast growth, providing services for on-line payments.
In 2005, Chronopay opened an office in Riga, Latvia, where it started a profitable cooperation with Parex Banka and Pasta Banka. Among its first clients was “Templatemonster.com”.
The main reason for choosing Latvia was to establish an ideal gateway between the Russian Federation and Western-Europe. An important additional fact is that most Latvian citizens understand, speak and write the English language as well as the Russian language.
Since establishing Chronopay Baltics, we managed to extend our services in that specific region. In 2009 Chronopay launched a payment platform specifically aimed at the airline industry. One of the best known airline companies, AirBaltic, became one of our clients.
Today, Chronopay is represented in the following countries; The Netherlands (HQ), Russian Federation, Latvia and Spain. Chronopay cooperates with the world’s leading bank acquirers and offers a global gateway between local- and international e-commerce companies and their customers. The company currently holds a top 4 position within the Russian on-line payment market.
The Fryslan House aim is to assist companies and organisations form the Northern Netherlands region to start their business in the Baltic Region. Riga takes on a central position in the Baltics, therefore, we have chosen Riga as a spring board to cover the Baltics. Back in 2007 when we started the Fryslan House Riga, the economy was still going strong. During the recession years, we have seen many Western European companies leave the Baltics. That trend has been reversed, we see an increasing interest in the Fryslan House Riga again. Our latest member, Jobbird is a leading staff recruiter in the Netherlands. They use their online system to share job opportunities. And they were also triggered by the central location of the Fryslan House in Riga to promote their companies services.
Fryslan House has cooperated from the beginning with the Netherlands Latvian Chamber of Commerce (NLCC). They have assisted us to date with housing services and trade information. The combination of the local network in the Northern Netherlands region and the NLCC in Riga has been successful. To date, over 15 companies from the Northern Netherlands have been facilitated by the Fryslan House. Mind you, Northern Netherlands covers only 12 % of the total Dutch economy. Only to stress that if the whole of the Netherlands would operate like Fryslan House, the Baltics would be dazzled by Dutch companies!
LATVIAN-EU-TRADE has been working with leading Dutch companies to help produce their products in Latvia. With more than 12 years in Latvia, Hubertus Veldmeijer, manager of the company, has built up experience with many companies in different areas. With his technical background, he has helped many companies go from idea to end product.
With Latvia’s developed metal and wood industry, LATVIAN-EU-TRADE works to create components or full products for its clients. Working with highly professional Latvian industrial designers, they can help to develop prototype models, test prototype models and eventually bring the models into production. They work in the car industry, with metal products, powder-coating, PVC products and design, alloy products and mold design, development and 3D CAD design, and in the packing and transport industry. Latvian-EU-Trade oversees the processing of orders from start to finish and deliver the end results to their clients’ door.
For Hubertus Veldmeijer Latvia is a simple and smart choice: “I think Latvia is a great place for business because of opportunities in the industry overall, like the metal and wood industry, where they are open for new business developments. And, of course, because of beautiful Riga.”
Samskip is a global logistics company offering transport and related services by land, sea, rail and air with a particular focus on cost efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly transport. With an annual turnover of Euro 530 million, Samskip is now one of the largest transport companies in Europe with offices in 24 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia employing 1,300 people around the world.
Samskip has been operating in Latvia since 1997 and employs over 250 people. Using own equipment ranging from vessels, trucks and containers, Samskip offers a solution for every requirement: a door-to-door service integrating collection, shipment and delivery into a seamless transport solution, quay-to-quay and feeder services. The containers range in size from 20ft to 45ft pallet-wide high cube units, including reefers, curtainsiders and flat racks. The combination of high frequency sailings, a vast geographical spread and 33-pallet capacity containers offers a competitive and environmentally-friendly alternative to road transport.
Valters Preimanis, Samskip’s Branch Manager, has advised that: “Multimodal transport is most cost and energy efficient transport mode and shall contribute to the requirements of the customers’ and other stakeholders with regards to savings of transport costs and carbon footprint”
Snakeware started as a 3-person project and has turned in to one of the Dutch leading digital agencies. Today over 250 organizations manage over 500 dynamic sites, narrowcasting or mobile solutions with unique software for Omnichannel management and distribution - including leading Dutch companies, and many government and independent associations. Today Snakeware also operates from Riga, Latvia.
Since establishing its Riga office in 2006, Snakeware has expanded its client base and list of services. The company utilizes the convenient location of Riga to expand its operations to the East and the competitive salaries and skilled workforce that Latvia has to offer.
“Snakeware Riga is our strategic hub with dedicated people and partners from Latvia for building our digital portfolio in the Baltics and Russia”