In 1966, Fernand Habegger and Rolf Törn, both like-minded entrepreneurs, shared a vision to found the number one belting company in Sweden. Trust and competency were the values which were the foundation for Nordiska Habasit AB, later expanding to serve Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark. Fifty years later, it remains a dynamic center for all Nordic countries. The location serves a variety of cultures, but the Swedish values are apparent in their collaborative and egalitarian decision-making style.
“Habasit Sweden has a unique form of leadership,” explains Johan Tisell, the Nordic Business Management Developer. “We take a lot time to listen and discuss. It is a slower process but there is more involvement with employees at every level.”
Tisell has been with the company for over forty years and was originally hired by Törn who approached him in 1976 with a job offer as Service Manager. At the time, the company only had twelve people, but it quickly grew with Törn’s determination to make Nordiska Habasit AB the number one supplier in the region.
Tisell remembers how Törn esteemed loyalty in customers and employees alike. From the beginning, Nordiska Habasit was based on family values with both Törn’s wife and son also deeply involved in the company. These were values which were familiar to Habegger, and thus the co-founders shared an alliance of abiding trust which lasted many years.
Törn sold the business to Habasit before retiring in 1995, but even after this handover, the priorities remained the same.The roaring nineties: rising to number one
The nineties were a time of significant transition for the company, but Tisell says that it was also one of the most exciting decades in product development, such as the introduction of the N-line PVC belts, Non-woven belts and the decade’s crowning achievement of plastic modular belts around 2000.
Today Habasit Sweden has risen to number one in the Nordic belting market. The tradition of innovation continues and Tisell believes that Habasit’s upcoming range of food belts will be a momentous step forward for the company. Although new products have continued to extend the range of possibilities for customers, Tisell says that the company’s success has been largely due to their consistent commitment to competence. This includes providing employees with both external and internal training so that each person is equipped with the knowledge to meet the needs of every customer.A handshake good for fifty years
Today there are 45 employees based in Sweden with distributors and sales representatives in Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway, where there will also be a fabrication center opening at the end of the summer. As the company has grown, Tisell has seen the prospects for employees grow with it.
“It is a more international atmosphere,” he explains. “There are greater opportunities for employees who are interested in getting training or working abroad.”
Increased mobility and continued education for employees has only served to strengthen customer support, and with fifty years of skilled experience now behind them, Habasit Sweden enjoys many long-term relationships with clients. The Swedish value of mutual respect is a universal priority apparent in every interaction.
“A handshake is a handshake,” explains Tisell. “It is not just about a contract, it is about trust.” (ST)