Manufacturers' news


28 March 2017

Ponsse has won the Peter Fazer Award, the annual recognition awarded by the Finnish Family Firms Association. The award, named after the association's founding member, was handed to Ponsse representatives in Helsinki on the 24th of March.

“The developmental success of Finland, which celebrates its centennial this year, is largely based on expertise in forestry. Therefore, we are especially delighted to name Ponsse, the manufacturer of forest machines, as Family Business of the Year. This family-owned company had to implement a change of generation in its ownership and management practically overnight, but results show that the transfer of the company to the descendants has been an enormous success,” says Heikki Kovanen, chairman of the award committee and the Finnish Family Firms Association.

Ponsse was founded in 1970 by Einari Vidgrén whose four sons continue to manage the family business. Vidgrén himself had limited educational opportunities as a young man, having completed only primary school studies.

“Although Ponsse is currently a listed company, we are also very much a family business. The family still owns about 60 per cent of the company, and we work here as a strong team,” said Juha Vidgrén, the Ponsse chairman of the board during the award ceremony.

The Family Business of the Year 2017 is the world's leading manufacturer of forest machines and operates in close co-operation with its customers, listening to their wishes and needs. Ponsse has enjoyed strong growth during the last few years. Located in Vieremä, the group employs a total of about 1,500 people in its headquarters in Finland and in other countries.

“We have found that in order to grow, we need to invest in product quality and development. Therefore we are strongly focused on developing our core business. If we can keep our customers happy, financial success will follow. By doing that, we have shown that even in a small place like Vieremä, we can be a significant employer and bring prosperity to the region of Northern Savonia,” says Juha Vidgrén.

The 14th annual award ceremony

The Finnish Family Firms Association is a national organization of family businesses focused on co-operation, providing coaching and lobbying services. The purpose of the Peter Fazer Award is to recognise the family as a driving force in the achievements of successful businesses. This year's award was given to Ponsse during a seminar celebrating Finland's centennial at Culture Factory Korjaamo in Helsinki on 24 March. The winner is chosen by members of an award committee lead by Heikki Kovanen, the chairman of the board of the Finnish Family Firms Association. Other members in the committee are Fazer member of the board Jan Fazer, Aho Group Oy chairwoman of the board Miia Porkkala, member of the board George Berner of Berner Oy, Managing Director Leena Mörttinen of the Finnish Family Firms Association and professor Jyrki Wallenius of Aalto University. The award committee also received consultation from Territory Senior Partner Mikko Nieminen of PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy.

Previous winners of the award include Berner Osakeyhtiö, Leinovalu Oy, Ahlstrom Oyj, Tasowheel Oy, Aho Group Oy, Paulig Oy, Kiilto Family Oy, Harvia Oy, Teknos Oy, Woikoski Oy, Kemppi Group Oy with Broman Group Oy, and KWH-yhtymä Oy.

Sourse: Ponsse