The timing of the establishment of the Hungarian subsidiary could not have been better for Rondo Ganahl. “It was a time of rapid expansion for our Austrian parent with international customers beating a path to their door,” explains Managing Director of Rondo Kft. Mária Sigray. “We were a green field project with a new and motivated workforce and top-quality production equipment, ready and able to turn out a premium product for a discerning customer base.”
Within two years business was booming to such an extent that the premises were extended by an additional 4,000 m², and new machinery was purchased to increase production capacity. This programme of expansion was even continued through the financial crisis in 2010, a decision that has stood the company in good stead now that demand is once again rising.
“2012 was a record year for us, both in terms of production volume and turnover,” states Ms. Sigray. “It was also proof that our strategy of investment even when times are bad had paid off.”
Turnover in 2012 was 39 million EUR, a 20% increase over the previous year and equivalent to 12.28% growth in the volume sold. Rondo Kft’s success certainly owes a great deal to the quality of its manufacturing base. The Budapest-based factory boasts the latest paper processing equipment, with which the company can meet the requirements of its demanding clientele to the letter.
Operating a three-shift production cycle, incoming orders can generally be filled within five days. “We mainly serve the fast-moving consumer goods sector and have to be ready to make decisions at a moment’s notice,” explains Ms. Sigray. “With the capacity increases we have implemented in recent years, we can supply the needs of all our Hungarian clients.”
The managing director had been with Rondo Ganahl since the 1980s before being chosen to lead the new Hungarian operation in 1994. “I am responsible for the operative side of the business and setting strategic targets for the future,” says the business studies graduate. “My leadership style is results oriented, and my focus is both on our customer base and our product range. It is important that we manufacture to order and are satisfied with the financial solvency of our customers.”
The Hungarian operation is run according to the company philosophy of its Austrian parent. The family-run company sees itself as a paper specialist and is not tempted to expand into other product areas. Environmental responsibility, employee welfare and corporate accountability are the values it promotes and lives by. Corporate credibility is vital to Rondo’s success.
“It is important that our customers know that we keep our promises,” insists Ms. Sigray. The relatively flat management hierarchy adopted by Rondo with its quick decision routes and flexibility is the key to its ability to react quickly to its customers’ needs. Prime amongst these are increasingly complex packaging designs, a trend that is largely driven by the company’s foreign clients.
“The foreign chains are leading the way in terms of the complexity and quality of the designs they want made,” says Ms. Sigray. “We enjoy working with them as they have very definite ideas about what they want, which makes our work much easier.”
Rondo has a client base numbering 400 active customers, mostly within the FMCG sector, across a number of product areas including food, beverages, cosmetics and so on. A major customer is the Swedish furniture giant Ikea, for whom Rondo interestingly does not make packaging material but rather finished products, storing boxes and even products for the children’s range.
The company is Rondo’s largest export partner in a business where packaging must be produced close to where it is needed. “Corrugated board in particular is bulky and holds a lot of air,” explains Ms. Sigray. “It does not make financial sense to transport it halfway around the world. We are responsible for the Hungarian market while other factories in the Rondo Ganahl Group in Austria, Romania and Turkey serve customers in our other markets.”
In addition to producing plain packaging, Rondo can also print in six colours to create printed solutions with near photographic quality. Price is no longer the deciding factor when it comes to selecting a packaging supplier. Far more important are factors such as quality and the ability to meet short deadlines.
“We serve a varied customer base ranging from small, locally active businesses to major international concerns,” says Ms. Sigray. “It makes our job more interesting when we can work on a variety of different products, and it is also rewarding to see the end product in the shops.”
Rondo can cite plenty of arguments to counter competition from other packaging forms such as plastic, despite the strength of the EU plastic lobby. The company uses only paper sourced from within the EU, which also has the best record worldwide with regard to paper recycling. As plastic comes under ever greater scrutiny from the environmental lobby, paper will doubtless win the packaging battle in the future.
Stay in touch to see when the company gets featured on our site by receiving our newsletter. Simply fill out the form on the next page.