FCCJ Luncheon Meeting 23 May 2006
Theme:
"From 1945 to Martela's Design Event in Tokyo"

Guest Speaker: Mr. Heikki Martela President, Martela Group
RECAP
The history of Martela dates back to 1945 when it was established as Tehokaluste. Export started already in the 1950's with the Kilta chair, a product which also made Martela's first inroads on the Japanese market, it was produced under license here in the 1970's.

Martela has a steady expansion in the 1980's, when it also established a subsidiary in Singapore, which, however, did not last long. After 2-3 years it was closed. It's main product was cabinets and shipping mainly air half-way around the world was not economical.

The 1990's saw quite dramatic change in the consumer behaviour with the IT revolution. Less shelves, smaller desks and during the last 5 years, especially after the 5/11 in the USA the worldwide office furniture market has slumped by 40%, although it now is slightly increasing. For this reason Martela has put more focus on contract furniture, or as they like to call it, surroundings, which means furniture for public premises like schools, libraries, meeting facilities, auditoriums, etc.

Today Martela is the market leader in Finland and Poland (where it also has a factory) and it has a strong position in all Scandinavian countries. In Japan they have worked through 6 importers/dealers for more almost 20 years. The business is all project sales, mainly in the contract furniture business. They do not have any own presence/office in Japan, but are considering establishing themselves here if the market develops positively. Having 6 importers often competing for the same projects is not ideal and presently Martela's sales staff spend many weeks every year in Japan.

Mr. Martela, supported by visiting representatives for iittala and Artek at the meeting, agreed that IKEA entering the Japanese market has a positive effect on all those involved in the business selling interior products in Japan as it increases the awareness of Scandinavian design.
IMAGES FROM THE MEETING
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge
FCCJ President Mika Mäkinen opens the meeting followed by some serious faces.
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Heikki Martela, FCCJ Board of Trustees member Erik Ullner and FCCJ Board Member Seppo Rantanen.
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Conducting business in Japan requires a balance between global product strategies and aaprion to local needs.
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The meeting was attended by 23 members and guests
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Our target is to grab a larger share of the market.
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Sepo Rantanen asks a question about Martela's views on production in China.
Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Ambassador Jorma Julin explaining about the Eurovision song contest winner Lordi...
©2006 Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan. All rights reserved.
Mail to Webmaster