New CEO at Elopak
Thomas Körmendi, Elopak’s new CEO, has experience of managing companies in European countries extending from the Benelux to the Caucasus. In one of his previous roles he was responsible for significant parts of the activities of Tetra Pak, which is by far the largest global drinks carton company. Thomas is himself from Copenhagen and is a Danish citizen, while his family’s background is in Hungary and he lives in Stockholm – and he now has an office in Oslo.
In practice, the location of Thomas’s office is of relatively minor importance. This is because he spends the majority of his time travelling and during his first six months as CEO he has managed to visit all of Elopak’s production facilities and the majority of its other units around the world. In addition, he has worked to build personal relationships with a range of customers.
“I am pleased that the Elopak employees I met were skilled and motivated, and I am also pleased about the positive reports I received from customers spanning the whole spectrum from local dairies to international heavyweights”, comments Thomas Körmendi in an interview with Ferd Magazine. He is nonetheless clear that Elopak is facing not only exciting times with major opportunities but also significant challenges.
Innovation is crucial
“We are working systematically on increasing the profitability of our operations and will have a new and improved organisational structure in place next year. However, in addition to getting more out of our existing business, we also need to grow our revenue”, comments Thomas Körmendi, who emphasises that Elopak’s important markets are either showing little growth or are contracting.
“We therefore need to continue and intensify our work to generate new ideas and to be innovative, and we are in the middle of a strategy review process that involves mapping the opportunities open to us on several levels – geographic, the areas of application for our products, and exploiting new opportunities that are opening up in our existing markets”, he explains.
Geography and new areas of application
Europe is currently Elopak’s largest market, and the company is also well established and seeing good growth in the USA and Canada. It is also involved in a number of joint ventures in other locations around the world.
“We will be looking at the opportunities for further geographic expansion. This is, however, primarily a question of plans for the long-term. From a short-term perspective, we have more to gain from expanding the applications to which our cartons are put in our existing markets”, comments the CEO, who nonetheless sees great potential in the growing level of environmental awareness being seen in more and more parts of the world, which is an important factor for Elopak’s customers to take into consideration.
“Drinks cartons have very good environmental credentials, and to complement this Elopak works to minimise the greenhouse gas emissions generated by its production activities and operations. This has become an increasingly important competitive advantage and will be all the more so going forward”, explains Thomas Körmendi.