Our country lived under severe conditions in 1950s in absence of social benefits of today. Entrepreneurship was driven by passion to work and hope to create jobs for the whole family. Family businesses‚Äô impact on employment has always been very big. Family businesses are characterized by high ethical standards and responsibility for not only the jobs within the family but also other employees and the environment. The courage to take risks and know-how to control business growth are required for forward movement.
Unto Leinola (on the left) was born in 1939 in Vaasa, grew up and went to school in Kotiranta. He graduated from Vaasa Vocational School as a metalsmith. After the vocational school he took the job of a welder, and his first workplace was at W√§rtsil√§ workshop in Sund, Palosaari. The next one was in P. Taskinen metal shop. The company focused on sheet metal working and later also on air conditioning. When Taskinen filed for bankruptcy, Unto lost his job. ‚ÄĚThose who seek a job will get it‚ÄĚ, he used to say and in accordance with this motto he did all kinds of work for real estate, even went to get employment at Suomen Puhallintehdas. He met Karl-Erik Bertell and his friends through work, and they offered cooperation.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
Unto Leinola ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Karl-Erik Bertell
Aarne Leinola, Unto‚Äôs father, too, founded a business. Thus, T:mi RAKENNUSPELTISEP√ĄT LEINOLAT & Kumpp. / BYGGNADSPL√ÖTLAGARE LEINOLAT & C.o. started in 1962. The facility for the new company was set up in Unto‚Äôs backyard, in Kotiranta, Vaasa. The partners took over gutter and metal roof repair, snow clearing from roofs, for customers such as Hotelli Central, Commerce, Egenh√§rd, and Sato Oy. After minor changes were done, the company was registered in 1970 as T:mi Leinolat & Kumpp. Orders were brought in for roofs, gutters, moldings, machine seamed roofs, ventilation ducts, dust extraction channels, and many more.
Production facilities from Labor Oy
When in 1969 the facility in Kotiranta was not enough anymore, 500 m¬≤ of production space and 12 m¬≤ of heated office space were rented from Labor Oy.
Production facility from Labor Oy, 1969
A new production facility in Tapionkatu
Also, Labor‚Äôs facilities became too small and uncomfortable. The company had to look for new spaces. Tapiokatu industrial area in Vetokannas proved to be a suitable site in every respect. In February 1972, the new 1200 m¬≤ production and office space as ready, and manufacture of waste containers was launched there as well.
Production facility in Tapionkatu, 1972
In 1976, the production facility was extended to obtain approximately 2000 m¬≤, the office space to 500 m¬≤ and cold storage space was increased similarly. Already in 1982, again, more space was needed and at the same time Unto‚Äôs wish to have a cafeteria and a sauna was fulfilled.
A controlled leap into the unknown
The company got to know that Iraq was hosting major construction projects, among others, schools, hotels, and amusement parks were built. In 1979, the company went in search of growth to Baghdad, Iraq, and all machinery was transferred there from Finland under the license of Vise Oy, and a new production facility was built. There were 10 to 15 workers from Finland at the new facility, and additionally Egyptians, Filipinos, and Pakistanis were hired. This enriched all of Leinolat Group with the most valuable experience and skills.
Irak Bagdad 1979
Production facility, Irak 1979
Development of Bobi mailbox originated from a customer‚Äôs request. Martti Lehtim√§ki, a designer at an advertising agency, visited a bank and came across a real practical problem; the bank‚Äôs customers had to spend their lunch break queuing simply to leave their payment service envelopes at the bank counter. This as the start of Bobi Company Oy in 1991 and of its product, payment service envelopes‚Äô collection station that in a few years was found in offices of the largest bank groups. Other changes happened to occur approximately at the same time, namely, in mail collection, door-to-door shipping gave way to mailbox delivery, and because of that Bobi mailboxes became common also as mailboxes for households. Leinolat Oy have been manufacturing Bobi mailboxes from the very beginning.
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Bobi ‚Äďpayment service mailbox, 1991¬† ¬† ¬†Bobi -mailbox, 1st generation, 1992
Sheet metal components
When manufacture of electronics sheet metal components and parts began, new machine tools were purchased and the number of employees brought to 85. Then, it was time to think whether a certain production division could be separated into a business of its own and seek a new facility for it. The decision was made that 25 %, that is, mechanical and sheet metal components‚Äô production would continue to operate as a new company. Vaasa Mechanics Oy (Vamec) and its shareholders‚Äô agreement were set in 1998.
CEO election and company growth
Raimo Leinola was appointed the Managing Director in 2000. The same year, calculations were initiated to determine if Bertell‚Äôs share in the Company should be redeemed. The parties decided to seal the deal 20.4.2000.
Same year on, Leinolat Oy worked together with Adiabatix Oy whose business is to design and market high performance insulation products. Adiabatix Oy was part of Leinolat Group already in the beginning.
In late 2005, the controlling interest of Uwira Oy was purchased. Uwira, a quality conscious contract manufacturer operating in power and marine industries, specializes in MAG, TIG, and submerged arc welding, as well as builds subassemblies, pressure vessels, and prefabricated piping customized to requirements of the ordering party.
Back in 2008, the Company‚Äôs Board of Directors laid their eyes on the opportunity to make contracting a separate business. As a result, LVI-Leinolat Oy was founded.
Uwira strengthened its operations and ensured continuous development by purchasing the controlling interest in 2009 jointly with its long-term partner Metallity√∂st√∂ Kilkanen Oy. Kilkanen Oy is a family business counting over 40 years of history. Its operation is based on a variety of machining operations in conformance with the customers‚Äô needs and drawings. Thus Metallity√∂st√∂ Kilkanen Oy joined the Leinolat Group.
The complete stock of shares of the newly founded Vaasa Mechanics Oy (Vamec) that manufactures sheet metal products was sold to Kempele based Elektrometalli Oy in 2010.
As a result of negotiation on the group structuring, a decision was made to separate Leinolat Oy‚Äôs production division into a new company in 2010. It was named as Leimec Oy and is owned by Leinolat Oy to this day.
Thanks to the new large-scale organization of Leinolat Group, the focus can be now placed on larger project entities to be implemented jointly. Vaasa based Leinolat Group, LVI-Leinolat, Uwira, Adiabatix, Leimec, and Metallity√∂st√∂ Kilkanen Oy operated proceeding from the idea that cooperation is the key to success.-Ritva Leinola, 2012