Light and Air, the book on Kera Group’s history was published in 2011 in honor of the 40th anniversary of Keraplast. Various events have brought the organization to the present, as operations have expanded from original skylight production to smoke extraction hatches, transparent roofing, and terrace glazing.
Two young men from the post-war age got a spark to become entrepreneurs in the plastic industry. Tapio Nieminen and Pertti Könönen decided in 1971 to set up a limited liability company, the articles of association of which included the production of “skylights and other plastic products. Skylights represented modern architecture at the time.
Keraplast moved to Orimattila in 1972. From the year 1974 on the business has been run in our own premises, when the first phase of the 400 sq. meter production hall was finished on Käkeläntie.
The Ministry of the Interior ruled 1981 that the sales of smoke hatches are subject to license and only admitted hatches were to be sold. At that time, Keraplast was among the first to apply for approvals for the hatches to be able to enter to the markets.
In the 1980s, Keraplast made significant growth when energy prices fell, and the company became the market leader in smoke extraction hatches in Finland. The growth of the company was boosted by bold export sales to the Soviet Union and Swedish exports that began in the latter part of the decade.
During that decade, the company also began selling light-transmitting plastic sheets.
In early 1990s, when Keraplast hung on with post cyclical orders of the construction industry when surprising contact was made. The group that owned the main competitor was selling off the entire business and offered Keraplast the opportunity to buy it.
Thus, in July 1993, Uniplast business was transferred to Keraplast. As a result of the deal, Keraplast’s employee number increased from 20 to 28, with some important personnel moving from Uniplast to Keraplast.
During the 1990s Keraplast also implemented other acquisitions, when it purchased Iron Fox Oy from Kuopio (Finland) in 1997 and in 1998 the plastic business of Sanka Oy company.
After the recession a new growth period began. In the late 1990s, Keraplast, together with its partner, established an agency in St. Petersburg, which marketed the company’s products in Russia. Important orders for smoke extraction systems soon began to drop in.
Enthusiastic of the success, the activity of the agency was changed in the mid-2000s to become Keraplast’s first subsidiary. Based on the experience of St. Petersburg, courage for internationalization was increased. The Group has subsidiaries in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.