A full-service, well-known glazing company. This is what entrepreneur Jarkko Tarnanen from Kimmelux is currently constructing, after buying the company’s bankruptcy estate with his partners last December. He is making fast progress with the help of Business Joensuu’s services.

We are met by a motivated and humble entrepreneur at the Kimmelux production facilities on Pamilonkatu in Joensuu.

– The glass industry is new to me. You cannot learn everything in a few months. Our big advantage is that the company has skilled and motivated employees to guide us – these people have enthusiasm and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Jarkko Tarnanen says that Business Joensuu’s business specialist Satu-Minna Piiroinen has provided excellent assistance particularly in personnel and competence services.

– In my previous role as Vatupassi’s operative director, I became familiar with submitting applications for investment support, but I lacked experience in personnel matters. Satu-Minna has been a really big help, she has expertise and contacts. I have been very pleased with the help I have received, Tarnanen says gratefully.

Three of Kimmelux’s six employees worked in the company already before the change of ownership. Kimmelux intends to engage future glass professionals through applying the master-apprentice principle. Once the company’s growth and development processes are under way, experts will also be needed for design and product development.

Too good to miss

The roots of Kimmelux as a family business date back decades. During the Immonens’ era, the company made strong progress in the customer segment of the defence industry. The general public recognised the company as a windscreen supplier. After many unfortunate events, the company went bankrupt in autumn 2021.

– At that time, Anssi Hyttinen, Mika Saarelainen and I were thinking that such a good brand and business should not go to waste. We reviewed the company’s situation with Terho Immonen, the owner of the company. We analysed the overall situation and examined the paperwork and the reasons leading to the bankruptcy.

Soon Tarnanen, together with Hyttinen and Saarelainen, who had decided to join the venture as business partners, were ready to buy. First, the three men purchased Kimmelux’s premises from a real estate company. At that time, other parties interested in acquiring the bankruptcy estate’s business operations withdrew from the competition, and Tarnanen and his partners agreed to buy the bankruptcy estate’s business by way of an asset deal.

Structuring the business

Thanks to Terho Immonen’s relentless efforts to strike a deal with clients of the defence administration, Tarnanen and his team were able to close a significant deal with the Swedish Defence Forces and Patria right at the very beginning.

– The Swedish Defence Forces will be upgraded by 168 vehicles. This order means approximately three years of work for us. This is a great boost right at the start; I would say it’s almost like winning the lottery. Through Patria, we will also sell to other international markets. Most recently, an order was shipped to Croatia in late March, early April.

Business development in bulletproof glazing and safety glass is still ongoing. In this, Terho Immonen continues his work through his own consultancy company as a trusted partner of Kimmelux. There is still trade in windscreens, too, under the Kimmelux brand.

– The windscreen services are run by Kari Lehikoinen, a former employee of Kimmelux. His company Karilux operates as a tenant in our premises.

Of all the business areas, the services for construction companies, maintenance companies and consumer customers are currently under Tarnanen’s scrutiny.

– Construction and glazing services have great potential. We intend to expand the market area from the growth centres in Southern Finland to Oulu. The goal is to be a national actor in the sector within two years.

Double coaching!

Jarkko Tarnanen went through his first Business Joensuu GROW coaching a couple of years ago when he was still working for a machine rental company.

– In that group, I represented a larger company than the others. My role resembled that of a mentor, and it was good to exchange ideas with other people in the group. When I participated in the growth coaching for the second time with Kimmelux, the situation was very different. I said to Business Joensuu’s business coach Mervi Leminen that this time there will be plenty of growth as we are starting from zero, the entrepreneur says and chuckles.

Tarnanen is full of praise for business coaches Mervi Leminen and Santeri Lanér for their role in the GROW Coaching.

– Those two really are something! In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it has been great to know that at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, I can share ideas and development stories in the growth coaching group.

After the GROW coaching, Tarnanen is planning to get a grip of digital matters and digital marketing in Business Joensuu’s DigiGrow service.

Turning targets to numbers

In its first financial year, Kimmelux aims for a turnover of EUR 1.2 to 1.5 million without any financial loss.

– In 2023, the goal is to exceed 2 million. The target for 2025 is a turnover of 4 million euros. The objectives are clear, without any ifs and buts. With this motivated and growing group, the goals are quite realistic and achievable, the entrepreneur says assuringly.

The company now has about 1,000 square metres of production space. The growth plans for the facilities have also become structured.

– The plans include an extension in 2024 and 2025. Negotiations with the City of Joensuu on adjacent plots are already well under way.

 

Image: Jarno Artika

Teksti: Sirkka-Liisa Aaltonen/Viestintä Ässä Oy