There are several reasons why we are definitely developing our brand: Branding adds value to the product and branding forms a long-term business relationship. If we start producing another brand today, tomorrow this brand can put the production in another country where it is cheaper, for example, in Romania, Ukraine or elsewhere. That would make our factory dependent on these orders, we would have related contracts that should be applied first and we could not create such a strong team working specifically for our brand. Branding allows you to control the distribution and production of your products and also creates a much greater added value for the product in the long run.
Do your customers already recognize that they are using "Vizulo" lamps directly?
Maybe not always, but mostly knows. All products have our logo. We also pay attention to the presence of our partners in local exhibitions and to being the ambassadors of our products in the country. These are the long-term relationships we are trying to build with our distributors. Sometimes we participate in exhibitions together, we help with product presentations, we are very receptive to marketing activities.
There are several major players in the street lighting segment. How can you fight and compete with them?
We have five fundamental values of our company, which we define ourselves and that allow us to compete with large production plants. One – quality; We do our best to produce the highest quality. Other – attractive design. One might think that the design is not as important as the luminaire is too high and can not be seen from below. However, the choice of product happens, so to speak, on the table – nearby. That is why designing and processing the product is important so that people feel confident in making a decision. Around the world, local and large business leaders are very concerned that the product they buy is of high quality – so bulbs last for a long time, because there are countries where even criminal liability is predicted if an accident occurs due to Street lighting. Consequently, each customer is also at risk when making a decision, and design and quality are very important values.
"Vizulo" is on display in Australia. Advertising photo.
In Australia, our luminaires were valued not only as functional lighting, but also as design lighting. We can produce fast enough and at a reasonable price, although we are not and do not want to be in the category of cheaper fixtures. Thirdly, flexibility is very important for us to be able to adapt quickly to market and customer requirements, which is difficult for large manufacturers. We always listen to our customers, write down their suggestions and try to follow them if possible. Fourth speed. This is a technology business and now technology is developing very quickly. If you lose something, there is a risk that nothing will be captured and you may lose a market in a product group. The speed with which we respond to customer requirements is important, but the speed of production is also important. This year we are focusing on the digitization and automation of production processes. We do not want to increase the number of employees faster but at the same time increase turnover and that is the only way to achieve this.
The fifth value is the willpower of the company and the desire for success. Big companies have billions of billions and huge cash resources that can invest in any development segment. To compete with them, it is very important that our entire team has this desire to win, excitement and fervor. Often, you have to go through great difficulties, and if someone is not really ready for it, he can not really be on the same team as us. It has increased both the psychological and physical burden, thus gaining this passion by proving yourself and others that you can do is very important to our team.
How do you motivate your team to have this wish win?
In our company, people have the opportunity to grow rapidly, we try to get the most out of their leaders' resources. We strive to continuously improve working conditions, invest in production, buy new equipment, upgrade software. We offer employees the opportunity to do some sporting activities, for example, we have a basketball court at Iecava. For those who grow up in the company, we regularly raise compensation. If there are results, there are also financial benefits.
Do you also develop other product lines without public lighting?
Yes, we started working with internal lighting, and we hope that in the future, internal lighting is as important as external lighting. In the internal lighting segment, we are already actively working in Scandinavia in cooperation with one of Sweden's biggest electrical installation companies, the "Bravida". In Latvia, our interior lamps are also appearing more and more.
The road to the Latvian Business Forum in Denver on May 2 is ahead of you. Qlike this Your goal is to go to the US?
Our strategic decision is to enter the American market and it is very important to make contacts in that market. In this way, we will be able to find these contacts and learn from other Latvians already in the American market, such as Jan Berga, with the company "SAF Technique". This year we plan to go to the lighting show in Philadelphia.
Lighting "Vizulo" in Riga, Bastejkalns. Advertising photo.
Do you emphasize that you are a Latvian producer?
Yes, we do not hide behind the label "European Union". We also say that the product is manufactured in Latvia. There is caution from the start because Latvia is still not considered a technologically advanced country. However, at a time when the ice is broken and customers appreciate and buy our products on a large scale, Latvia has a very positive signal of recognition. There are many industrial products that are not noticed in everyday life, such as laying pipes in the ground, electronic devices are not visually seen, but street lights are a product that creates the city's view of the urban landscape. I can say that we have very good designs, where our lighting is already in the real environment: the Porsche salon in the Netherlands, our products are in the streets of Holland, France, Iceland, New Zealand, Peru and other countries, we just won a great competition in Reykjavik. Lighting is a product that is on the streets and visible and visible to all. The lighting has been in operation for at least ten years and is also a good sign of the Latvian state. We may not think of it every day, but lighting directly influences the appearance of the urban environment – the city looks more beautiful, brighter, and different. It is a very pleasant feeling when we drive and see the lamps we produce for many kilometers.
Completing our conversation, a little about another subject, about life. "Vizulo" is a family business. How do you live in the family with work-related stress? Does not this cause tension at home?
Get used to stress. Fatigue and work routine can make your own, and there are times when it is more difficult. However, we formulate that it is important how you look at the problem. Problems often arise in the next steps of development. No problem, there would be no growth in both the family and the business. We think about it, but working together we understand one another's problems very well. In solving them, leaving our comfort zone, we develop and grow together is very interesting. In addition, we try to spend as much time as possible with our children, take them with us when we meet with foreign partners and, whenever possible, involve them in their work activities.