Ville Juvonen is the new entrepreneur owner of Okuwood Oy and talks about the business deal that took place in July and how the start of his entrepreneurship has been going. - The best part was that I didn't even have to travel to Business Joensuu, but Business Joensuu came to me, Ville Juvonen says.

Ville Juvonen’s past career involved design and a lot of tinkering with computers, but this no longer satisfied his ambitions. He wanted new challenges and was ready to jump out of his comfort zone. Things started to happen quickly when Juvonen found an interesting company called Okun Puutuote Oy (Oku’s Wood Product Oy) for sale in the Business Joensuu’s Osuva Business Marketplace.

Kari Juvonen, the owner of Okun Puutuote, had been manufacturing packaging for metal export companies in the Savo and Karelia regions for 30 years. In March, Juvonen celebrated his 70th birthday and retirement had been on his mind for couple of years.

– I was mostly contacted by potential buyers from Southern Finland, but they were not worthy of consideration. I wanted to find someone from nearby who would be willing to take over the company. An educated, young and hardy guy who could handle this business. In the end, the right guy was just around the corner, five kilometres away, Juvonen rejoices.

Sharing the same last name, but not related to each other, Kari and Ville Juvonen started negotiating with the help of Business Joensuu’s business specialists Jouko Piirainen and Juha Saastamoinen. Both men praised Business Joensuu’s customer-oriented approach.

– Dealing with both experts was very straightforward, quick and easy. It was very helpful that Juha Saastamoinen travelled to Outokumpu when necessary. Many plans and calculations were made without me having to travel 50km to Joensuu, Ville Juvonen says.

An important link for metal exporters

As a result of the business acquisition, the company name Okun Puutuote will remain in the company’s history, but the new entrepreneur will continue working under the new name of Okuwood Oy. The business transfer was so smooth that there were no interruptions in deliveries at all.

The continuity of the service was good news for the region’s metal export companies. There are several hardware and machine manufacturers in the region whose products will be transported worldwide in Okuwood’s wood and plywood packaging. The packages involved aren’t exactly small either. Kari Juvonen recalls that the largest package with its contents weighed 50 tons. At their largest, the packages can be the size of a detached house.

– In them are machinery, equipment, and entire factories, basically anything that the manufacturers export from here to the world. The packages have to be sturdy enough to withstand all kinds of transport and loading and unloading in ports, Kari Juvonen explaines.

The goal is controlled growth

For Ville Juvonen, switching from working in an office to manufacturing transport packaging is not as big a leap as one would think at first. Growing up on a farm, he is used to working with all kinds of machines. Juvonen built his own house, so assures that he has the skills for building work, carpentry and generally working with wood.

– It was of course a big help that Kari Juvonen was available in the early stages to give advice and practical tips. A long-term employee will also continue to work for the company, so we are moving forward with confidence.

‘Forward’ is indeed the young entrepreneur’s future plan but he is planning for moderate growth.

– I want to take my time to learn how the company basics work and what sort of pace and resources are needed to get things done. The connection to Business Joensuu remains there and I know who to contact for advice if needed. Perhaps the next step is to map out opportunities for further sales and marketing, Ville Juvonen says.

Text: Sirkka-Liisa Aaltonen/Viestintä-Ässä