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Great success in Poland for small Swedish paint manufacturer

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Decorative paint from Colorex sells like hot cakes in Poland. The key to success is long-term cooperation with the right partner. Business Sweden played a crucial role in finding the partner.

On a market dominated by large, internationally owned paint companies, Colorex stands out as a relatively small, privately owned Swedish alternative. Operating from Västergötland, Colorex has had major international success with its Swedish-produced decorative paint.

- Our goal was market presence in all the neighboring countries to Sweden. Additionally, Poland was a natural next step for me because I worked with the Polish furniture industry in the 70s and 80s and made several business trips to Poland together with Ikea employees, says Ulf Carmström, Export Manager at Colorex.

The right partner key to success

- The right partner with the right profile was the key word when we started the Business Opportunity Project. We found the right partner in Poland and it depends entirely on Business Sweden's work.

Business Sweden made a market check, where Colorex could compare the Polish market with the Swedish home market. Thereafter Business Sweden found then potential partners to visit in Poland.

- The market visit met my expectations very well, with visits to various types of potential partners in Poland, which gave me the opportunity to evaluate different setups. After the market visit, we invited three potential partners to our production facilities in Sweden, after which it became obvious who we wanted to cooperate with, says Ulf.

Exports of Colorex to Poland have developed very positively since participation in the Business Opportunity Project. Before the project only small amount of floor varnishes and no decorative paint were exported. Five years after the project Colorex turnover on the Polish market exceeded ten million Swedish kronor.

"BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY PROJECT BEST WAY FOR SMALL COMPANIES"

Ulf is convinced that long-term thinking and trust in the relationship with the local partner is very important for a successful establishment.

- Find a partner that works long-term and understands the Polish market, listen to the partner and adapt the business accordingly because Swedish setup rarely works abroad.

Satisfied with the Business Opportunity Project in Poland, Ulf has continued to cooperate with Business Sweden through assignments in several other Central European countries, with project management from Poland.

- For small companies, the Business Opportunity Project is absolutely the best way to enter a new market. You cannot find a better combination of market- and partner overview, Ulf concludes.