SAKRET legend – how to turn Latvian sand into gold?
During the change of centuries in Latvia, just like in the whole world, everyone was waiting for new changes, with a little bit of uncertainty – whether computers would work as precisely as in 1999, or prices would rise and how much. The people of our country in their minds had already joined the European Union and the NATO Alliance and were having great expectations.
Meanwhile, others did not wait, but acted and used the opportunities, provided by the situation in the country and economy of that time.
At the beginning of the 21st century, three clever and proud Latvian men – Maris Kelpis, Andris Vanags and Juris Grinvalds – acquired SAKRET license after successful negotiations. It gave the opportunity to produce and sell SAKRET products in the Baltic and Scandinavian markets, as well as in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
In 2003, SAKRET Ltd. was founded – 100% Latvian company. Presently Chairman of the Board of AS Sakret Holdings Dipl. Ing. M. Sc. Chem. Andris Vanags, with previous experience in the industry as Brocēni JSC (now SIA Cemex) customer service director, started building a new team. Step by step he assured about the new idea and attracted industry professionals to the still unknown SAKRET – leading technologist Iveta Laumane started working in the company and still is, as well as commercial director Juris Grinvalds.
In 2004, the construction of the production plant began, as previously SAKRET only imported products from Germany. More than 4 million EUR were invested and the capacity of the factory built was 100 thousand tons.
Andris Vanags says: “It is significant that market consumption in 2004 was only 60 tons and many called our plans crazy and unrealistic for manufacturing a plant with almost twice the capacity of the market demand. Some even offered a calculator so that we can see the figures better and more clearly.”
SAKRET decision makers carefully calculated and saw significant market potential. They did not make a mistake because in the coming years, the company’s turnaround increased several times.
In 2005, the company was authorized to use the CE marking, which confirms the compliance of the entire production process with EU requirements. In 2006, further investments were made to increase production capacity.
In 2005, SAKRET founded a branch in Estonia and already in 2007 a factory with a capacity of 150 thousand tons per year was opened there. By that time, this was the first Latvian company’s investment in production in Estonia.
With the goal of covering the entire Baltic market, in 2006 SAKRET also opened a representative office in Lithuania and started building a production plant there next year. Lithuanian factory with a capacity of 250 thousand tons per year was the second largest Latvian investment in Lithuania.
SAKRET saw further opportunities on the market – construction chemistry production was started. In 2006, the company “SAKRET Plus” was founded, specializing in the production of paints and primers, gradually expanding its assortment and supply. Its leader, Valentin Kokorevich, took on a new challenge and has been developing SAKRET Plus for a few years from a small department to “pluses” – with a solid and professional team.
Despite the overall downturn in the industry and the contraction in demand during the crisis, SAKRET’s turnover declined relatively slightly – by less than 20%, but in the industry as a whole by 60-80%. In this complicated situation, our gratitude to our partner in the long run is certainly expressed to DNB Bank for their support and belief in our successful cooperation in the future.
At the beginning of 2009, SAKRET has carried out testing of its manufactured materials and other manufacturers’ products in accordance with EOTA (www.eota.eu) certification document ETAG 004, which ensures the compatibility and high quality of the products of the heat insulation system.
At the beginning of 2010, the company, together with 9 other building material producers, merged and established the Latvian Association of Building Materials Manufacturers (www.bra.lv), which aims to develop the overall industry.
SAKRET intensively participates in various competitions, received awards for the production of innovative materials, export development and production of products replacing imports.
In addition, the company invests resources in Latvian education, in cooperation with universities, such as Riga Technical University and Turiba University, providing students with both practical and theoretical knowledge.
In 2018, SAKRET’s turnover was nearly 21.3 million. euro. The company continues its development and its work on developing new products and materials does not stop for a moment.
What is the basis for the success of SAKRET?
SAKRET Chairman of the Council Dipl. Ing. M. Sc. Chem. Andris Vanags admits that SAKRET managed to change people’s habits. Before SAKRET, the builders mixed the construction materials in sites – concrete, masonry and other materials, and used a shovel, a bucket or even a handful as a unit of measure. However, with persistent work, SAKRET showed that it can also be otherwise – an industrially-made building mixture would give the builder outstanding results for high-quality professional and quality work.
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