Success stories

Finpack runs packaging business in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Joachim Jankes

In conjunction with the Doing Business with Finland seminar in Ulaanbaatar, Finnpartnership got to visit a project the programme supported in 2009-2014: Finpack and its production plant, which produces paper and cardboard packaging for example for the food industry. Finpack is a fully Finnish-owned company that has been operating in Mongolia since 2001. The company employs 70 people, most of them women, and is currently looking to recruit more. In total, Finpack’s investment in Mongolia amounts to approximately €2 million.

Finpack’s Managing Director is Tsaschimeg Batbaatar and the plant manager is Finnish Joachim Jankes, who is responsible for production and its development as well as product development. Jankes tells that finding and keeping the workforce in the company is the biggest challenge currently. Few people in Mongolia have industrial production skills, and Finpack trains all its employees. Industry-related issues such as the use of machinery, material properties, and the production of packaging, from design and moulds to the finished product, have to be trained for each employee from the very beginning. Jankes highlights the importance of Finnpartnership’s support particularly regarding training workforce.

Around 80% of the workers in the production plant are women. Purensuren has been with Finpack for 5 years.

“There is nothing here and many things have had to be done from scratch,” Jankes tells, noting that the issue is simultaneously good and bad thing. “On the other hand, such a position brings freedom and the opportunity to be the first in the industry to create working culture, practices and industry standards. On the other hand, it is difficult to operate because the value chain around production is missing.” According to Jankes, starting a new business and setting up a manufacturing plant in a developing country has been “a rollercoaster ride of decades, both on a practical and emotional level.” Jankes himself has settled in Mongolia after starting a family. 

A typical feature of operating in developing markets is that things develop slowly and suddenly they can pick up speed. Establishing a business in a developing market is not the best option for every operator, Jankes says, and it is hardly the easiest either. But this is exactly what Finnpartnership’s Business Partnership Support aims to: creating sustainable decent jobs in developing countries. Finnpartnership is delighted for and congratulates Finpack on the business it has created, which is a model example of how development funds generate private investment and create sustainable growth in developing markets.

Otumbaatar, the main printer, has been with Finpack since 2004. He considers it a matter of honour to keep the machines clean, which is extremely important in the packaging industry.

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