While 2020 certainly brought its challenges for businesses, it also brought stories of resilience, growth and innovation. We bring you a roundup of our favourites from the past year.
2020 was a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted supply chains, upended business models and plunged economies into historically-deep recessions. For companies dependent on consumer mobility and physical interaction, the year has been dismal. For others, including the enablers of alternative solutions such as e-commerce and videoconferencing, it’s been a boon.
Yet, despite having to navigate all of the turmoil, businesses have continued to explore new frontiers and break new ground, whether it’s coming up with new sustainable solutions or implementing innovative new technologies.
As we approach the close of the year, we take a look back at our top articles from 2020 featuring some of these inspiring companies and their stories.
Stories of growth and sustainability
Mobile phone accessory maker Ideal of Sweden has been on a whirlwind growth journey, from a small garage operation to an e-commerce leader. The company shares the keys to its tremendous growth and the benefits of automated solutions such as Nordea’s AutoFX currency robot. Read How an e-com pioneer grew to SEK 1 bn in turnover in just a few years.
Mysoda is taking an already green concept of at-home carbonation and making it even more sustainable. That includes producing locally, using wind power and, most recently, in collaboration with Finnish forestry company UPM, launching a new line of wood-based sparkling water makers made from forest industry residues instead of fossil-based plastic. Read On a mission to make your soda green.
Denmark-based recycling company Scanmetals has struck gold with its circular economy business idea. With Nordea as its banking partner, the company has grown rapidly from its humble beginnings in a small factory to its current international operations that recover around 45,000 tonnes of metal from incinerated garbage each year. Read From bankruptcy to global market leader.
Navigating the pandemic
For MedKit Finland Oy, speed was of the essence in the spring. The importer of healthcare and emergency medical products wasted no time mobilising when the pandemic hit. As a result, the growth the company had been dreaming of for 10 years finally fell into its lap. Read How a swift pandemic response paid off for a Finnish growth company.
Faced with the collapse in air travel, Finnair CEO Topi Manner discusses how the listed Finnish airline reached an early decision to raise EUR 512 million in new equity to stay resilient during the pandemic and also invest in becoming carbon neutral by 2045. Read Aviation: The extreme of the extremes.
New equity capital was also the response of listed sporting goods retailer XXL. The company was in the middle of a major working capital reduction programme to bring down leverage when Covid-19 struck. CFO Stein Eriksen discusses the decision to do a third equity issue in six months to safeguard the viability of the business. Read New equity capital was a matter of ‘safety first’.
Embracing technology and digital innovation
Each year, Swedish charity Majblomman raises money by having schoolchildren sell special flower pins. This year, with social distancing in place, the company opted for a fully digital campaign. Nordea’s Open Banking team helped the organisation get a real-time digital overview of its incoming donations. Read Flower power – Open Banking help Majblomman track donations in real time.
In response to corona social distancing, Din Bil, the largest car dealership in Sweden, introduced a car collect, repair and return service to reduce the need for physical touchpoints. Nordea Connect provided an easy way for customers to pay online for the new service. Read Din Bil takes Nordea Connect for a drive.
Finally, designer footwear company Flattered is making use of Nordea’s we.trade platform to ensure less cash is tied up in its supplier ordering process. The blockchain-based trade platform simplifies the trading process and allows companies to offer bank payment guarantees to their suppliers. Read Keeping trade on its feet.
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