Black Donuts is a Finnish company that has benefited from international collaboration to secure its unrivalled position in the tire industry. Through the support of the government and organizations like Tredea, Black Donuts has been able to enjoy the benefits of internationalization. I met CEO Kai Hauvala, to discuss the growth, benefits of internationalizing, as well as challenges.
By plugging the gap in the tire manufacturing industry worldwide Black Donuts has established its’ position at a fast and profitable rate, with a turnover in 2011 of 300.000 euros to a 2016 turnover of 11 million euros. Headquartered in Tampere, Finland, Black Donuts does not have any clients in Finland. This is because, while considering the tire industry, demand is highest in developing economies, thus forming its largest client base there. The company has its activities in different locations including the United States, Middle East and emerging Asia. To rise to this positon, Black Donuts has secured the best tire technology from a collection of different skills and talents all over the world. In a nutshell, securing mobility has created the niche for which Black Donuts operates.
How then has Black Donuts embraced internationalization? Black Donuts is taking steps to push for a more inclusive and international team by opening a branch office in India and absorbing local talents to engage; this is the expected growth for all their future regional hubs. For Black Donuts, increased neutrality and independence welcomes diversity, an aspect indicative of their journey to internationalize. Furthermore, customers respond well to a diverse team, therefore businesses are encouraged to diversify for maximum benefit. Concretely, Black Donuts can speak to advantages of internationalization as it has been able to acquire 9 million euros in funding from the interaction with international talents, which is a clear proof to the benefits that are available as a result of open interaction.
Why then are companies reluctant to internationalize? Businesses face a myriad of challenges and as an entrepreneur, establishing the business is already a risky endeavor; as growth continues, internationalization in all its forms bares even more risk. The government is then an integral part in supporting and sharing the risks involved in growth, that relate directly to the acquisition of new talents and resources to propel growth.
Through Talent Tampere and Tredea, the mounting risk is reduced as they provide support through access to organizations that support business growth and through its international network of talents that Black Donuts has tapped into. These mechanisms have allowed Black Donuts to feel more confident in internationalization and have increased its attractiveness to talents.
Another challenge for businesses to internationalize is in adapting to fit market needs, as well as the challenge to understand customer working and the nuances of different business cultures. This opportunity is well designed for international talents, Black donuts has recognized this and has secured the services of international individuals who provide cultural training and services to the company resulting in a more rounded team to meet varying client and business needs and expectations. Legitimizing the need for the skills and knowledge from international talents that, Talent Tampere has invested in knowing.
Tampere hosts several higher education institutions and Black Donuts is cognizant of this growing pool of capable individuals, engaging with Tredea to find ways to keep the proper education in the sector relevant and current is a way to develop interest and retain talents noting that its 360-tire industry knowledge is its strongest asset . Concretely, Black Donuts continues to offer traineeships to provide work experience and professional opportunities to qualified candidates.
As we concluded our conversation, Mr. Hauvala notes, that positioning your organization as a talent based organization will provide unique access to various talents and opportunities in the market. As such, Black Donuts uses an inclusive organization structure that offers a creative space to team members; this opportunity translates to job satisfaction pegged on freedom for employees.