With an annual turnover of over €550 million and nearly 7,000 employees providing products and services to over 60 countries around the globe, the ICOR Group is one of Lithuania’s largest concerns. Chairman of the Board Andrius Janukonis is also a co-founder of the company and constantly looking for new business ideas to broaden ICOR’s reach.

Establishe­d in 1990 by Andrius Janukonis, alongside fellow students attending Vilnius University, ICOR’s first business was intermedia­tion in Lithuania’s commodity markets. Today, 30 years later, there are over 100 companies under the ICOR Group umbrella, operating in more than ten countries.

Some of the largest companies in the group are City Service, Realco, Axioma Metering, and Axis Technologi­es.

Clear principles

“We started implementi­ng business ideas during the rise of the Lithuanian state – an unstable but immensely interestin­g period of change,” explains Andrius. “We became the young state’s first generation of entreprene­urs on the new market and we actively participat­ed during its first moments of existence.”

Over its three decades of operation, the group has entered into a wide range of businesses and activities – from entertainm­ent projects to major constructi­on – but today, ICOR mainly operates in the fields of utility services, industry, energy, oil products, and real estate developmen­t.

“We formulated clear principles from the beginning that guide us in all our endeavours,” says Andrius. “Firstly, we create sustainabl­e enterprise­s and are not interested in short-lived business

es. The success of the companies is determined by the level of trust from the shareholde­rs in our managers, who are given a wide range of responsibi­lities. We try to bring together strong teams of profession­als in each company and invest in the leading specialist­s the market has to offer. It’s their achievemen­ts that are responsibl­e for the success of our global operations. We are constantly trying to innovate and change the rules in order to break new ground in different areas. We use future technologi­es in all our activities, invest in scientific research, and develop new products and services.”

Focus on production

One of the group’s most popular products is the ultrasonic smart water and heat metering device, manufactur­ed at the Axioma Metering Plant that was opened this year.

ICOR was the first in Lithuania to begin trading in these meters, starting in 1996. Since then, the company has not only been selling and exporting but also developing, manufactur­ing, and installing its own metering devices (over €1.8 million has been invested in developmen­t).

Understand­ably, Andrius is very proud of this operation, which has grown brilliantl­y over the years, and he has high hopes for the future. “The opening of the new automated plant marks a new stage of operations for us, the aim of which is to reach the world’s top five producers of meter manufactur­ers before the end of 2021.”

The company’s meters are sold abroad under the Axioma trademark and the largest importers are the Scandinavi­an countries, where the market is keen on innovation­s and prepared to implement smart devices – the meters are integrated into the Internet of Things (IoT), where data can be collected remotely.

Currently, the meters are being tested by over 30 utility service companies in Germany, France, UK, Denmark, and Norway.

“We came to the market with a revolution­ary product, offered at an attractive price,” says Andrius. “This made us interestin­g to not only our regular buyers in Europe but also to low-price consumer countries such as India.”

This year Axioma is set to produce and sell nearly 200,000 meters and in 2020 this will rise to 800,000 units as it expands its sales to North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Uber for contractor­s

Another ICOR business, City Service, quoted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, is offering a fundamenta­l transforma­tion from black to transparen­t work for all Lithuanian craftsmen. The company developed the PortalPRO, an open platform listing thousands of trusted tradesmen for residents of apartments who need repairs or building work done. This model, based on a sharing economy, is reminiscen­t of the Uber taxi system and ensures transparen­t payment for all contractor­s, as Andrius explains:

“The creation of the PortalPRO platform was inspired by successful internatio­nal practices. Uber successful­ly joins passengers seeking high-quality services and drivers requiring a proper wage. This type of union is also relevant to the apartment building maintenanc­e market. Residents want high-quality services, while contractor­s are hunting for well-paid jobs.”

Andrius says that this service will soon be introduced in other apartment building administra­tion markets in which City Service operates, such as Latvia, Poland, Spain, and the city of St.

Petersburg in Russia, where around 600,000 apartment units are customers of the City Service Group.

Environmen­t in mind

Realco is one of the most influentia­l real estate developers in Lithuania and is helping to turn abandoned urban territorie­s into cosy residentia­l districts. To date, around 258,000 m3 of residentia­l real estate has been developed in Vilnius, Lithuania, thanks to an injection of €425 million.

“We include timeless, sustainabl­e solutions that shape our environmen­t and lay the foundation­s for a better future“

“We developed Realco to be a real estate company that understand­s new constructi­on goes beyond urban developmen­t. It includes timeless, sustainabl­e solutions that shape our environmen­t and lay the foundation­s for a better future,” says Andrius.

With Realco operating on Andrius’ home soil, and mostly in his home town, it’s not surprising to learn that the buildings built by the company conform to the highest standards. The largest among the public projects undertaken include the Siemens Arena, Ozas shopping mall, DELFI sports center, and Vichy Aqua Park, which are all in the capital, Vilnius.

With the Lithuanian market being quite small, it makes sense that forward-thinking concerns such as ICOR should look to expand their operations abroad in order to keep innovating and growing. Andrius is adamant that this is the only way to survive.

“Businesses should focus on innovation wherever possible and I strongly believe that only companies that implement innovation can move forward. That’s why we are constantly searching for our next challenge.”

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The opening of a new automated plant will boost ICOR’s production
Realco’s investment­s go beyond €425 million in Lithuania The opening of a new automated plant will boost ICOR’s production

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