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Skonto Prefab is a prefabricated concrete elements producer, founded in 2002 and based at an 8-hectare manufacturing site in Salaspils near Riga. But that's not where we are today. Concrete may be extremely useful but it is not the most poetic of materials. It would be hard to compose an Ode to Concrete or paint a magnificent landscape full of prefabricated concrete, even if it was livened up with a few dashes of steel reinforcement and cross-laminated timber.
At just 33 years of ago, Ķeņģis finds himself in charge of a business with an annual turnover of 35 million euros in 2017, but when he joined the company its future was far from certain.
“The company was formed in 2002 just to produce prefabricated concrete load-bearing goods for the local market. When the economic crisis hit in 2008 the company almost went bankrupt and so a decision was taken to try to sell to the Nordic countries. It didn't work out and the company was making big losses, but in 2013-4 a new management team – including me - was brought in to find a new direction,” says Ķeņģis.
The turning point was a decision to offer not just goods but services as well.
“We started to profile ourselves as a construction company which provides full services for concrete load bearing structures, from design to engineering, manufacturing, logistics and assembly. There is a team of 70 assembly guys at the other end in Stockholm. A project can last two years, and ten trucks every day for two years is a major logistics operation, so we also have our own trucks at each end,” says Ķeņģis.
The strategy worked. Skonto Prefab finished 2015 with 18 million euros in turnover and small profit after years of losses, with most of the turnover generated in Sweden. Projects so far have ranged from 1 million to 15 million euros, and the number of in house engineers has risen from 5 to 30, which Ķeņģis describes as “selling knowledge, not just pieces of concrete.” The target for 2018 is turnover of 50 million euros.
Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom