Two young men with strong desire to be entrepreneurs, Launo Laakkonen and Erkki Nykvist, founded a manufacturing workshop in a small and dark cellar in Helsinki in 1953. The location was called the Junk Pit and the company was named as Teräs- ja Metallityöt Oy. The first own products were school gymnastics equipment and various kinds of transport devices. However, the superfluous syllables were soon dropped from the name and Temet was born.
Experiences from the recent war put a lot of pressure for the Government to rearrange the Civil Defence concept of Finland. This led to a new Civil Defence law being passed in the Parliament in October 1958. The new law regulated on building Civil Defence shelters in Finland. Temet participated as a shelter equipment supplier from the very beginning. As the demand for the other product groups fell, the success of Civil Defence shelter equipment grew strongly. By 1963, Temet was an expert company totally focusing on special equipment for shelters.
“It is very exceptional that a family owned manufacturing company survives 60 years with the same owners and more than 50 years in the same business”, says Mr. Jyrki Ronkainen, CEO of Temet.
Strong technology and product development driven by the newly established Finnish system opened the pathway for Temet to international civilian and military shelter market in the early 1970’s. Exports began with the Swedish market and widened to the Middle East, South East Asia and the United States over the next four decades.
Mr. Ronkainen continues, “Temet has still today a strong home market as Finland continues building shelters for its citizens. Since the beginning of the program, Finland has built on average 66.800 shelter places / roughly 800 - 1000 shelter units per year, and the official number of shelter places at the end of year 2010 was 3.807.600. Temet has succeeded in maintaining its market leader position in Finland throughout the years with current market share of over 70 %.”
Market in Finland has its limits though, and is shrinking in due course as the number of shelter places per capita will reach its saturation. There is also considerable political pressure to downsize or completely cut the program. Therefore, it has been a consistent strategy for Temet to seek growth from export. Besides the traditional market for civilian and military shelters, Temet is heavily expanding on the industrial protection market, particularly on the petrochemical market, where the threat of hydrocarbon vapor explosions or deflagration is imminent as we unfortunately have witnessed lately.
Mr. Abdul Gafoor Kallayil, the owner of JGB International representing Temet in several countries throughout the Middle East congratulates Temet for the successful 60 years and comments, “though the base technology is the same, products somewhat different from the shelter products are needed for the petrochemical market. Also, the entire sales funnel for industrial sales is completely different and requires very strong local partners in each geographical market area to successfully complete the stages of the sales process.”
Despite the present challenging worldwide economical situation Temet began its second 60 year journey with confidence that the global demand for high quality protective solutions it has to offer is on the rise.