Openness and transparency can create great value for a company’s culture and for its sales. This is one of the most important Nordic business practices to be successfully implemented within Dovydas Duoblys’s company, according to the young entrepreneur.
Duoblys is partner in Solid Supply, a Lithuanian company that provides furniture based décor solutions for retail stores and shops. He was recently recognized by Nordic Business Report as one of the most successful young business leaders in Northern Europe. Duoblys shared his views on business values and success factors at a recent EHU Public Conversation in Vilnius.
“In my opinion, a real team is when decisions are based not on one person, but on all members' input,” Duoblys told the audience at the Novotel Vilnius Centre, which sponsors the series. “When you are transparent and open, then you have a team. If you are not transparent, all you have is a team on paper.”
“In the kitchen of our office, we have a big monitor where we show all the results of the company to our colleagues. Everyone in the company knows about turnover, clients, sales, products... everything. It’s very open. Because when it’s open, we can think about the work and make team decisions,” explains Duoblys, who says even the salaries of the company’s senior staff are known to employees.
Nordic Business Report recently included Duoblys on its list of “Greatest Young Leaders Under the Age of Thirty in Northern Europe” together with other entrepreneurs from the region. The criteria for evaluating possible candidates were: results achieved, business sense, originality, practicality and impact of ideas, international outlook, and responsibility in their actions.
According to Duoblys, transparency increases trust both within the organization and with clients. The latter is an important aspect in the Scandinavian business environment: client recommendations built on professional experience and trust are the most important factors that increase sales.
Duoblys’s advice to other Lithuanian exporters is to be open with the client: “If a mistake is made, you must report it right away. The possibility of maintaining a good relationship will be higher than hiding an error. Otherwise, the client will think that you are not trustworthy. Now, when we make a mistake, we share it right away. It is difficult. But in the end we benefit.”
According to Duoblys, a negative attitude towards openness may lead to a loss of clients.
“I know a lot of situations when Lithuanian companies have sold their services or products, but the relationship was very short." He explains: “You get the contact, you make a sample or first project, you make a mistake, you try to hide it, you don’t succeed, the client sees it and does not give you a second chance.”
Duoblys, after working as a salesman for several Lithuanian companies, started his own company with two of his university coursemates. He came to the realization that it did not make sense to compete in a relatively small local market and sought out new markets for export. In Scandinavia, he found a business culture that was closest to his way of thinking.
“You have a choice to work either with the East or the West. Working with the East is very complicated. Maybe for older generations it’s easier. But for me it’s very difficult: it’s always about illegal actions. For me, it’s difficult to understand them. On the other hand, in Scandinavia people are more open, logical, and sensitive to business,” Duoblys noted. According to him, Scandinavians believe that Baltic companies employ hard workers and manufacture products that are high-quality for a good price.
The EHU Public Conversation with Dovydas Duoblys was moderated by EHU Vice-Rector for Development and Communications Darius Udrys.