Mectalent, looking at doubling revenue in 2016
“All in all, if everything goes as expected, we’re looking at doubling our revenue in 2016.” That is not a bad way to start an interview. The Oulu-based manufacturing company has grown quite a lot in the past few years, including a facility expansion, opening several projects previously on hold, and most of all, investing heavily in product development. CEO Tapio Harila continues:
“The positive outlook in European economies has recently allowed several of our clients to restart earlier projects, which creates cash flow for us.” Of course, Mectalent also develop their own solutions, which have been released globally. “At the moment, we’re shipping surgical instruments to China, which is naturally a massive market for CE-marked western medical equipment,” Harila says.
In for the long haul
Mectalent operates in two main fields: medical and new technologies, and there is growth in both of them. “What’s really interesting is the advent of optical and measurement devices that we help become reality,” says chairman of the board Olli Karhi. Mectalent helps several new companies in the long path of creating a product from an idea, and has even invested in some of them. “The ideas come from students who may want some assistance in product development or finding the right market, and with our expertise, we’re a logical solution to many. So we pitch in, either partnering with them, or as in a few cases, becoming shareholders.”
It should be remembered that this is not something that happens overnight. “Most of the product development projects take years, and often private investors grow impatient. There’s not a three-year exit plan in this business.” The students definitely do not mind getting help with their fledgling companies. Mectalent is so successful in their student collaboration that Incubio, the Aalto University’s bioinformation technology students’ organisation has a yearly excursion trip to Oulu every spring.
Growth is strategic
In the medical equipment business, following strict regulation standards is part of the course. For this purpose, Mectalent has started a sister company, Mectalent Medical Services, which focuses solely on product regulation processes and permits, including the CE markings so coveted in China.
These company partnerships are part of Mectalent’s strategy, where growth in both medical and new technologies is underway. “Last year, we invested two million euros in production equipment, and we’re going to recruit even more R&D engineers this year to move with the strategy,” Harila explains.
Olli Karhi, Chairman of the Board