Eska’s CEO gives lecture to Dutch entrepreneurs
‘We regularly have to reinvent ourselves’
7 November 2016
‘Originally, the letters S and K in our logo stood for SpoorkaartjesKarton (railway ticket board). When railway tickets in the Netherlands were replaced by the electronic public transport chip card, we had to make a choice: either we went along in the world of technology, or we continued with the production of board. We chose the latter and extended our portfolio to solid board for stationery, hardcover books, games and puzzles’, says Rienk Jan van der Kooi.
Before Rienk Jan van der Kooi started as CEO in 2015, Eska had already been active in the same PMCs (product-market combinations) for years. 'However, we saw a shift take place within those PMCs. Every product and market has a certain life cycle, and changes occur continuously. Digitalisation and the economic crisis have increased this substantially in the past 15 years, with the result that strategic manoeuvrability has become increasingly important. We therefore have to find an answer to shifts every day. Our focus is always on improvement and innovation’, Rienk Jan van der Kooi therefore concludes.
Growth in luxury packaging
The Belgian-American investor that acquired the company in 2013 put the following question to Rienk Jan and his team: 'How can we reduce the dependence in the various PMCs?’ In this process, our team had to make many choices. We know where our product can be of added value, and where global market growth is still possible. Growth is in packaging for luxury items, such as fashion, perfume, spirits and electronics.’
During a lecture at a business-to-business event for 500 entrepreneurs, Rienk Jan spoke of strategic planning in disruptive markets. 'Eska's entire strategy can be summarised in only two words: 'we're in.' Two words that are not just about the end products made from solid board, but also refer to our role in these markets. We play a central role in the chain of brand owners, designers, converters and producers. By applying knowledge management, we create a basis for product innovation. And that is how we become a knowledge centre for our customers', says Rienk Jan.
How has Eska acquired a position in the market for luxury packaging?
The LuxePack fairs in Shanghai, New York and Monaco were used as a springboard. 'We determined there that there is a great need for knowledge of materials, but also for knowledge of processing and markets. That is why we do not only consult with converters, but also with brand owners and designers. They play an essential role in the market for luxury packaging.’
'Because we all worked hard to discover who is in the lead for each brand, Eska ultimately acquired a position in the market for luxury packaging and today our mills in Hoogezand and Sappemeer for internationally reputable brands. But also in the future, we will continue to reinvent ourselves,' Rienk Jan concludes.