COB ICOR Group
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.
“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.”