Viken, Sweden - November 13, 2003
Darko Perván, founder and managing director of Välinge Innovation, has won the regional round of the contest “Entrepreneur Of The Year” arranged by Ernst & Young.
The jury gave the following reasons for its decision:
“An entrepreneur and inventor who has succeeded in turning technology into a profitable business. A leader with a sense for innovation and new thinking as well as financial aspects and good order. A pioneer in the field of glue-free flooring responsible for a number of patents and a well developed cooperation with licensees around the world. Deep local roots but with a global perspective and caring of the environment, externally as well as internally. Darko Perván has good prospects of becoming a good example for new entrepreneurs.”
Ever since its start, Välinge Innovation has been concentrated on research and development of the glue-free joint for floorings. The company´s technology has, within a short period of time, become world dominating and is used by wood and laminate floor producers all over the world.
Välinge Innovation is one of Sweden´s most profitable companies and has for a period of ten years had a profit margin between 60 and 70 per cent.
In the seventies and eighties, Darko Perván was in charge of developing the first laminate floor in the world at the flooring company Pergo (then Perstorp Flooring). In 1993, he founded Välinge Innovation and the world´s first mechanical locking system was developed that same year.
New thinking characterises every aspect of Välinge Innovation’s business.
- The most important thing is the simplicity and that the fact that almost everyone will be able to install a floor with a perfect result, Darko Perván says.
Välinge Innovation’s income mainly consists of license fees from product developments of mechanical locking systems. Leading floor producers such as NFI (i.e. Kährs), Tarkett Sommer, Armstrong and Berry are to be found among the company´s licensees.
In May this year a research centre in Viken, Sweden, was inaugurated and Välinge Innovation plans to recruit 30 new employees in order to start up its own production line. This production line has the capacity to produce 2.5 million sqm of floor every year and will also function as a testing and demonstration facility.
Darko Perván will represent the southern region of Sweden in the national final of this competition.
About the contest “Entrepreneur Of The Year”
“ Entrepreneur Of The Year” is one of the major Swedish awards in its field and consists of several regional trial after which ten finalists enter the national final. The winner of the national final will then represent Sweden in the contest “Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year”.
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