Interview with Mr Ahti Kekonen, director of the Katepal plant

“To become a leader in the soft roofing industry was my goal and the goal of the whole company ….”


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imageFlexible shingles Ruflex from the Katepal plant … This phrase has become synonymous with the highest Finnish quality and modern design for specialists in the roofing market in Russia and the CIS countries. More than 60% of builders and architects know the RUFLEX brand and prefer to work exclusively with it. However, not much is known about the plant itself. In order for Russian consumers to learn more about the people who create this beautiful tile, we talked with the director of the plant Katepal OY, Mr. Ahti Kekonen. A variety of topics, both professional and universal, were raised: home and family.

Flexible shingles Ruflex from the Katepal plant … This phrase has become synonymous with the highest Finnish quality and modern design for specialists in the roofing market in Russia and the CIS countries. More than 60% of builders and architects know the RUFLEX brand and prefer to work exclusively with it. However, not much is known about the plant itself. In order for Russian consumers to learn more about the people who create these beautiful tiles, we talked with the director of the Katepal OY plant, Mr. Ahti Kekonen. A variety of topics, both professional and universal, were raised: home and family.

– Russian people perceive their home as part of family values, and the roof, as an important part of the house, as a family talisman: it protects the house from bad weather. In the old days, the roof was described as a storehouse of family wisdom. For any family, their own house is very valuable and the roof, as part of the house, is also very valuable. What are the values ​​and traditions associated with the roof, the Finnish people have?

Ahti Kekonen (А.К.): I think that the Russian and Finnish peoples are very close in spirit and their family values ​​and traditions are similar. Indeed, a roof is more than just protection from our cool, windy and rainy climate. For me, the family is the center of life, the house is the family castle, the fortress, its reliable protection, and the roof is the most important part of the house. And by the way, I know your saying … “Have a roof over your head.” Finns say so too!

– Most business people believe that good family relationships are reflected in business success. Do you think this is so? What are your values ​​in your family and business?

imageA. K .: If understanding, respect and love reign in the house, then the business will be successful and effective. I think you need to be able to properly allocate your time between family, work and leisure. For me, as a man and head of the family, an important aspect is a strong and loving family, the health of my relatives, and as a businessman, professional success and achievement of assigned tasks. I am sure that family well-being directly affects your success in work and vice versa. And yet, I know that the main thing is to always be yourself. We must be honest with ourselves and others..

– Tell us about your company’s mission?

A. K .: Katepal OY is a leading manufacturer of shingles and waterproofing materials in Scandinavia. Becoming a leader in this industry has been my goal and the goal of the entire company. Together we made it happen! Our company provides our customers with the highest quality products and services that meet their requirements and needs. For us, the main tasks are: to always maintain high quality products and deliver them to our customers and partners on time.

image– Today more and more people are choosing real estate outside the city, in nature. Please tell us about the prospects for the building materials market and, especially, about the prospects for roofing materials in 30-50 years?

A. K .: Now the standard of living of the population is growing, many are trying to make their dreams come true and are moving to their own country house. I believe that this trend will continue to grow in the future and, of course, it will have a positive impact on sales of shingles and other building materials. A growing trend in the future will be the presence of two houses in a family – an apartment in the city and a country house.

On the other hand, 30 – 50 years is a long period of time, it is impossible to say with certainty what will be fashionable, how the tastes and preferences of people will change, how the standard of living will change. One thing I can be sure of is that despite any changes, a reliable and beautiful roof will be important for all of us in the future..

– Today many companies turn their attention to tradition, team spirit in the company. Tell us about the traditions of your company?

A. K .: Katepal has been around for almost 60 years. Katepal has established itself as a reliable partner, our production employs a large number of people, some of them are already in the second generation. We always reward our employees for good work, and this in turn stimulates them to achieve new results.

Every year our company congratulates its employees on the holidays and gives them gifts, not forgetting about those who have already retired. We organize collective events, parties for all our employees. We especially love the Christmas holidays. And in the summertime, the whole team arranges corporate outdoor recreation – we swim, go to the sauna, arrange a feast, allowing ourselves to relax “a little”.

– Katepal is known for its cutting edge technology. Keeping up with the times is also one of your traditions.?

imageA. K .: I would not call it a tradition, but rather a long-term strategy of our company. The latest technology is the prerogative of our company.

– It is known that the legislation on environmental protection is quite strict regarding the activities of most manufacturing companies. What are the requirements for you?

A. K .: You know, Finland has very strict environmental laws. This year we received an Environmental Permit from the authorities, which sets stringent requirements for the company’s actions. Katepal’s management has always been very attentive to the protection of flora and fauna. Throughout the history of our company, we have taken into account all environmental aspects and fulfilled all the requirements so that our activities do not harm the ecology of our country and its nature..

– Katepal OY is known in Russia as a manufacturer of top quality roofing products. How do you control the quality of your products?

A. K .: And not only in Russia, but in more than 25 countries of the world. Product quality control is a very important issue that cannot be covered in one interview. Our goal is to produce top quality products. We carry out control at all three stages of production: quality control of supplied raw materials, production control and the final stage – control of finished products. This process includes all kinds of testing. For example, every product (be it shingles or rolls) is weighed and checked, and the result is recorded in a quality control database for our statistics, which we keep constantly..

– The quality of a tile depends on the characteristics of all its components. What requirements do you put forward to your suppliers?

A. K .: Yes, you are absolutely right. Maintaining the quality level directly depends on how and from what materials we produce shingles. We set specific technical requirements for all components and only accept new raw materials on the basis of successful production tests. Upon receipt of each batch of products, a quality check is carried out. If the raw material does not meet our requirements, then we do not use it in our production.

image– Tell us about the products that you intend to release this year and about those new products that have already been presented to the Russian consumer?

This year, a new collection of Ruflex Super Foxy shingles was presented to the attention of Russian consumers. It is unique – the new tile is distinguished by its graceful shape and variety of colors. It is not our rule to stop there, so our team is constantly working on modernizing the plant, inventing new technologies, updating products and improving the quality of our goods..

We always try to pleasantly surprise our clients and partners!

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