“Teltonika’s” growth is only surpassed by future growth ambitions
“Teltonika” today is an influential player in the global market, developing products and technologies for the Internet of Things that are exported to over 150 countries worldwide. The company declaring its ambitious annual growth plans has been awarded in the nomination “Development in Kaunas” at the Kaunas Growing Business Awards “K.A.V.A. 2019” for the second year in a row: and not by chance. We talk about this with Giedrius Kukauskas, Head of “Teltonika Networking” in Kaunas.
The company is active since 1998: how has it changed over the years?
Photo: Giedrius Kukauskas, Head of “Teltonika Networking” in Kaunas.
“A single volume of the book would not be enough to describe all the changes that “Teltonika” has undergone since its founding, but the beginning was certainly fraught with challenges, risks, and courage. It’s no secret that Arvydas Paukštys, the founder of “Teltonika”, created this company in his room with a manual soldering-iron and an unshakable belief in the success of his business.
For the first four years, we had been working with a team of 4 people on products such as glucose meter, stopwatches for sports events, and current measurement devices. The turning point was 2005: during that year the company’s revenue increased 15 times and the first office was opened in Kaunas, the team grew to 47 people, and more than 45,000 products were sold to 32 countries worldwide.
Constant changes in technology and the ability to not only adapt to them, but also to work faster, better, and more innovatively than our competitors, helped us to sell more than 8.6 million products to over 180 countries worldwide at the end of 2018.”
Briefly introduce your main products: what you are proud of, what you create and what makes up most of your turnover?
“We are currently working in two directions: developing and manufacturing vehicle telematic systems, and professional networking equipment for business and industry. In Kaunas, we are developing our network equipment division, which is like a younger brother of the vehicle telematics product group.
“Teltonika” released the first routers based on mobile network technology back in 2007. Interestingly, the first RUT100 routers are still used in certain industry sectors in Lithuania today. This shows that the direction we have taken from the beginning to develop reliable and quality products has proven its worth. The best evidence of this is the rapidly growing sales of this product group, which last year amounted to more than EUR 20 million at “Teltonika”. Current networking products are designed and manufactured to reflect the company’s core mission of creating the Internet of Things (IoT).”
You have won the “Development in Kaunas” nomination for two years in a row: what led to this expansion?
“In 2018, we paid much attention to increasing the efficiency of the company. Many products have been upgraded; automated soldering, testing, assembly, and other manufacturing aspects have been made more efficient. By optimizing these processes, we naturally produced more products, which became a new impetus for development in Kaunas.
The last few years have been special not only in terms of production but also in terms of management. We devoted a lot of time and energy to internal communication improvement, training of our employees and refinement of our sales strategy.
“Teltonika’s” total sales increased from 50.6 million to 55 million Euros. Net profit increased from 4.9 million to 8.4 million Euros. The value generated per hour as a measure of efficiency rose from 20 EUR/hour up to 26 EUR/hour. In total, the Kaunas network equipment division brought us a 48% increase in the number of products sold, or 193,000 products sold per year.”
What role does the Kaunas Networking division play in the global “Teltonika” context?
“Here at Kaunas Networking division, we take care of the entire networking equipment product life cycle process: from the idea to its implementation. Listening to the needs of our customers and market changes we develop the unique product portfolio with high performance firmware and software solutions. We do so by involving our design departments, creating prototypes and printing certain parts with 3D printer.
When a new product appears, our operational marketing division takes care of its launch, external and internal communications, and a professional sales team distributes it to multiple markets across the globe.”
When it comes to development, how does it relate to the growth in demand for human resources?
“We can safely say that “Teltonika’s” growth rate is probably surpassed only by future growth ambitions. We aim to grow faster than our competition. Of course, this requires a rapidly growing team. We are actively looking for additional team members every day.
We work closely with the Kaunas University of Technology and have established the IoT Academy: we invite promising young specialists to test themselves in a functional working environment by providing them with all the tools, knowledge as well as challenges to test their skills. Finally, we hire the best ones.
We know how important it is to retain professionals, so we understand that a good atmosphere or additional motivational measures are not enough today. We emphasize the opportunity to reach one’s full potential by involving him/her in the creation of an exclusive and technologically unique product. For our specialists, we strive to make clear guidelines and define what outcome of their work should be satisfactory and motivating both for them and for “Teltonika”.
Constantly changing technological aspects of our networking products create dynamic working environment, minimizing monotony which also influences employee retention. Finally, fast pace of the company development brings a great deal of trainings for the employees where they can improve their skills.”
What makes Kaunas attractive for your company?
Kaunas has long been a city of technology and it has not changed today. It is important to mention that the engineering path of our founder Arvydas Paukštys started at Kaunas Polytechnic Institute. Today, the clear identity of Kaunas infrastructure development is becoming a decisive criterion for emerging businesses. A city that can create a safe and attractive environment for its people, in the long run, provides the perfect place for professionals – this is important to every business. Today, Kaunas is attractive to “Teltonika” for its supply of quality specialists because without them we would not be able to develop and implement advanced networking equipment that is demanded worldwide.
The changing and improving image of the city is very important to us. We receive many guests from all over the world: many bring back home great impressions of Kaunas and return not only as customers but also as friends.”