EMSNOW Executive Interview: Otto Pukk, President and CEO, Incap Corporation
The roots of Incap go back to 1985, when the company was registered with the name Teknoinvest in Finland. Incap was born in 1992 through the merger of three development companies operating in various industries. The company evolved further to a contract manufacturer of electronics and furniture, which was listed on the Helsinki Exchanges in 1997.
Since then, Incap has streamlined its operations, and production in Finland was divested or transferred to Incap’s factories in Estonia and India. Accordingly, the company has concentrated solely on electronic manufacturing services, with a mission to be extremely efficient and flexible, important qualities in an EMS, especially now. We caught up with Otto to get an update on the company’s recent acquisition of AWS, among other things.
EMSNOW: Please begin by giving our readers an overview of InCap and the scope of its business in the EMS industry.
Incap Corporation is a trusted partner and one-stop-shop in electronics manufacturing services. As a global EMS company Incap supports customers ranging from large multinationals and mid-sized companies to small start-ups in their complete manufacturing value chain. Incap offers state-of-the-art technology backed up by an entrepreneurial culture and highly qualified personnel. The company has operations in Finland, Estonia, India, Slovakia, the UK and Hong Kong and employs approximately 1,300 people. Incap’s share has been listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd stock exchange since 1997.
EMSNOW: Before we get into more detail about Incap, can you update our readers about your response to the Covid-19 crisis?
Incap has production in India, Estonia, UK, and Slovakia. We have continued operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and have followed the different measures announced by the governments in the different countries where we operate, reducing capacity and closing temporarily down production where it was required. Today all our factories are up and running with India and UK restricted to somewhat reduced capacity. Preparations have been made to ramp up production to full speed once the lockdowns are lifted.
EMSNOW: Incap recently acquired AWS Electronics Group, an EMS with facilities in the U.K. and Slovakia. How does this acquisition complement and extend the existing Incap business?
Through the acquisition, we will be able to improve our service and product offering to our existing customers, widen our customer base, enter into new market segments and broaden our geographic presence.
We have gained a new strategic foothold especially in the UK and Central Europe and we have strengthened our position in the USA and South-East Asia. The production facilities in the UK and Slovakia complement Incap’s current production facilities located in Estonia and India. In particular, this will open the opportunity to widen the commercial prospects between the UK and India.
The acquisition also balances Incap’s customer portfolio both in numbers and industrial segments. In the long-term, the acquisition is expected to bring synergy benefits in e.g. material purchasing and cross-selling opportunities.
EMSNOW: What industry sectors does Incap primarily serve and in which geographies are your OEM customers located?
We have many long-term customer relationships and work with customers of any industry ranging from large, global multinationals and mid-sized companies to small start-up’s with strong growth potential. Our flexible operational model enables us to work with a diverse customer base. Our operational sweet spot is close cooperation with customers whose operational model and culture mirror that of ours: agile, flexible and efficient. That is where we can offer most value.
Incap’s factories in Estonia, India, the UK and Slovakia are specialized in manufacturing electronics, electromechanical products and final assemblies. Up-to-date capacity of the units corresponds well with the technology need and growing demand of customers in industrial electronics. The volumes of product entities and box-build products are increasing steadily, with more added value for the customer. For example, Incap Estonia is a manufacturing partner for a leading electronics metering supplier in Scandinavia, while Incap India has a long experience in manufacturing power electronics and related box-build products. Incap UK has over 20 years of experience in the defence, security and aerospace markets and Incap Slovakia has a dedicated hall for automotive projects.
Today, Incap is producing electronics all over the world – to different parts of Europe, North America, Africa, Australia and Asia.
EMSNOW: Incap is headquartered in Finland and now has a geographic footprint with facilities in Estonia, India, the UK and Slovakia, and a purchasing office in Hong Kong. How does this network collaborate to best serve your customers?
The collaboration works thanks to Incap’s strong customer and employee driven corporate culture and decentralized structure. Incap’s flexible operations model enables our factories and teams in different countries to be more than just subcontractors – they are more like manufacturing one-stop-shops and strategic production partners offering technical support and added value. This allows our customers to communicate on spot directly with decision makers, our specialists from local factories, which allows us to offer our customers fast and flexible solutions.
EMSNOW: Incap promotes itself as being “Flexible, Agile and Efficient” and that “smart utilization of our existing capacity is the main source to cost efficiency and profitability.” Please explain what tools and systems you leverage to achieve these objectives?
Our customers want to have their products manufactured at reasonable costs. In order to be competitive, we have to operate with great efficiency without wasting any financial or human resources. This thinking is deeply ingrained in our culture. As the customer’s needs may change very fast, depending on the market demand, we promise to provide flexibility. Our capacity can easily be adjusted to varying quantities and varying product mixture. That is possible thanks to our flexible machinery that can easily be replaced or upgraded according to the project and our team’s will to serve the customers in the best way.
Our customers also value fast decision-making and a short time to market. That’s where agility comes in, as our organization is lean and we can react quickly to customer’s needs – be it a new product introduction or changes in the manufacture of present product.
EMSNOW: You were recently awarded The Order of the White Star, 4th Class by the President of the Republic of Estonia. This was for your dedication to work and community that has made life better in Estonia. Congratulations on that award. Can you tell us more about what InCap programs led to that award?
Today, Incap’s production from Estonia, Saaremaa island, is exported to all over the world – to different companies in Scandinavia, North America and China. The quality and technical solutions of our products and the motivation and competence of our personnel are at the highest level – that is the main key behind our success, while noticed and appreciated worldwide.
EMSNOW: Where do you see the opportunities for growth of the EMS industry?
There are several trends that influence the growth on the EMS market. As technology and digitalisation continue to develop generally, we expect the use of electronics to grow. Increasingly, our customers expect one-stop-shop solutions for all their manufacturing needs throughout the manufacturing value chain including design, manufacturing, sourcing, financing and logistics. Customers are also looking for EMS that have global manufacturing capability. As product lifecycles become shorter we see customers shifting manufacturing closer to the end-user of their products. This shift is likely to gain more momentum as a result of global trade wars and now the COVID19 outbreak. Generally OEMs outsource more manufacturing and services.
EMSNOW: What issues do you expect to be the most challenging in terms of profitability for InCap and the EMS industry in the next few years?
The long-term prospects for electronics contract manufacturing services look bright, as the use of electronics in various appliances is increasing worldwide. As an Electronic Manufacturing Service provider we need to be prepared to adjust quickly to the possible changes in the market situation. We believe that our flexible operational model and strong employee and customer driven corporate culture will continue to be important to keep us competitive also in the future.
In Incap specifically, our revenue has increased in last years organically due to the growing demand from the established customers and from the new customers. When developing our operations we continue to focus on functions with the highest added value to our customers while maintaining a lean organization structure and strict management of costs.
EMSNOW: What else would like to say to the EMSNOW readers?
Over the years we have learned that alongside the core EMS market demand of On Time Delivery, Quality and Cost efficiency, our customers expect their partners to be able to adjust into continuous change. That is how we develop and run our operations.
We continue our work to expand our customer base and alongside the established industrial companies we also continue to cooperate with several promising technology start-ups.