Ecolean’s biggest markets are in Asia, and expanding to Japan was the next big move for the innovative packaging supplier. In a country with long business cycles, it is crucial to get up and running quickly. With the help of Business Sweden, Ecolean shortened its time to market with 6-12 months, and minimised the risk inherent in entering a new market.
Japan is one of the most developed markets for liquid food packaging, and there is high demand for the kind of sustainable, stand-up pouches that Ecolean makes. But it takes 12-18 months to get started in a new market. And with lead times in Japan that can stretch out as long as three years, Ecolean needed a jumpstart. A shorter time to market with the right local support.
“The Asian markets are fast moving and big,” Sajland says. “We did not want to get stuck spending time starting up offices or getting the right kind location. It just absorbs the time. For us, it was all about getting up to speed in a smooth and quick way.”
Ecolean partnered with Business Sweden in 2015 to handle their operational, legal and financial to-do list in their offices in Seoul, Jakarta, Sydney and Singapore. In Japan, Business Sweden established Ecolean in their Tokyo office, handled the finances – like payroll, cost reporting and expenses – and helped Ecolean meet their legal requirements, registering them as a representative office.We have been able to focus fully – five days a week – on taking Ecolean to market, meeting potential customers and negotiating deals.
“The great thing in partnering with Business Sweden is that you get your desk on Monday and you’re up and running Tuesday – it is that fast,” Sajland says. “If we had to start from scratch, we would have easily spent about half of our time during the first few months just getting the company going. They help make all the practical things work – everything from insurance to salaries. It’s critical in a startup phase that you get these things right.”
With all of the focus that Ecolean has been able to put on business development and sales in the last three years, the company is ready to capitalise on its hard work and investments.
Ecolean specialises in lightweight packaging solutions for the food industry.
The company was founded in 1996 in Helsingborg, southern Sweden. They employ around 400 people and have commercial activities in 30 countries.