INKISH.TV met with CEO Håvard Grjotheim from 07 Media in Oslo a couple of months ago – and that was an interesting. 07 Media is one of the largest printers in Norway – or to be more precise, 07 Media is not only a printer, but produces a lot of different products and services. Hårvard Grjotheim is not only a charismatic leader since 07, but he is also having a great international experience, since he among other things have been president for Intergraph.

0:46    First of all, I should like to say that I’ve been eager to work with other fields of the media industry outside printing, for more than 20 years, I think. And in 07 Media today, we have diversified quite a lot, so we have the printing, we have the digital printing, we have video and film production, animation, we also have a rather huge design department, and we are absolutely in the interactive side with the webs and everything around it and digital publishing and things like that. Also, I would say that we are working with content marketing, we are selling advertising and we are more and more heavily going into the retail industry. So, it’s a diversified company. We very often say that we are an information service provider and we can deliver on all the channels that exist today. We try to be an advisor for our customers. That means that both from a design point of view, or a campaign point of view, we are involved in making campaigns, making design activities that have a mission and that is important for our customers. So, that means that we are really involved in the business thinking of our customers.

2:05    I think that we were a group of people who really saw into the future, that you need to be bigger. If you should go more powerfully into new areas, you need to have a size. If you want to employ new people with new competences, you need some level of size again, in order to move on and go into the future. So, I think that was the main background for putting these companies together and try to create The 07 Media Group.

2:42    That’s a good question, because it’s difficult, and in many of our meetings with sales people, with advisors and marketing people, it’s very important for us to underline that we should not be involved in business areas where we are not good enough, because that could have a very strong impact on the whole company. So, when we go into new areas, new technique or new activities, we have to make sure that we are able to deliver up to the satisfaction of our customers. We are putting down a lot of hard work in order to fulfill what you are asking about, because it is a good question and an important question.

3:27    We have split them in new Sales Personal Advisors, Key Account Managers, and in different groups, so to say. You have people working mainly with print, some mainly with design and new activities, some mainly with interactive solutions and so on. The most important thing for us then is try to create a crossover competence that you know when to bring with you – a technical person, or an advisor, in order to fulfill the wishes of the customers again. So, that is very important for us. We don’t see growth in all areas. We have to see and realize that printing as such is a decline in all countries, and also in Norway. So, we have to have more and more focus on nearby areas. I would say that our most important area is the area where we can combine services from print, from digital areas, from design, from content marketing and from several areas. That’s our most growing and also our most profitable area to work in. Last year we had an increase of our turnover with almost 10% altogether. In some of the new areas, we need to have some more time to create the growth, we have to balance things, we have to learn about things. For instance, in content marketing, in advertising areas and things like that. We are pretty new in these areas, we need to learn to build an organization and then we can start growing in the field, as well. So, it will differ from place to place and from company to company how it will be, but I am very busy thinking about the overall figure and the result of these figures, as well.

5:26    I think that it’s a combination of both, organic growth and of new acquisitions. I think that through the 9 years since 2007, we have made several acquisitions and that have been acquisitions that could create business in new areas, but also most of all try to combine competences and activities that could fulfill the dream of what 07 Media should be in the future. But, of course, all these companies that have merged into 07 have a different culture, different background, a different way to work. So both, in the area of IT systems, in ERP systems, in customer systems and things like that, we have to merge it together. Most of all, I think it’s about the culture and to try to create the common culture crossover in the companies – to meet each other, to talk with each other, to discuss the development of the market and see if we can stand still. I think all kinds of discussions like that, in addition to seminars that we have together, is an important part of creating one culture and one ambition and one wishing for 07 Media.

6:44    We are far less companies today than we were 3 or 4 years back. That means that we also have fewer leaders all around, but since we have a distance between the companies and we have also more and more niches and differences between the companies, it’s extremely important to have a leader and the leadership in each company in order to take out the potential of what the company can make locally and also on a national basis. What is different with 07 Media is the size of our company, because it’s in this market, a very big company and it might be said, too that we have a bigger scope with different products and services to our customers than anybody else in the Norwegian market. So, that’s the difference, but I can also see that several of the medium-sized players are trying to develop new services, new products in order to follow up this development we can see in the society as a whole.

7:49    That’s true that all are not ready for it, but if I go back 10 years and look at the trends, I would say that also the customers are talking about how they can be more and more competitive, how they can be more and more rational in what they do, and I think that many of our biggest customers are in a situation where they, let’s say, see the benefit from having several services delivered from one supplier who really knows them in a very good way, so that’s the trend, and that’s the development, I think.

8:26    There is absolutely still many, many companies in Norway in the printing industry and there is a competition also from neighboring countries and of course, also from the former Eastern Europe area like the Baltic, Poland, and also countries further way down in Europe.

8:52    I think that the speed we can accelerate in this company is important to create a competitive advantage in this competitive age. I think also the number of services that we can offer is a part of it and yes, of course, Norway has been dropped out of the European competition for many years now due to the oil area and the boosting oil business that we had in this country. I think that the last couple of years also the crown has gone a little bit down. The decline of the crown should tell us that we are more competitive now than we used to be 2,3, or 4 years ago, and we can feel it.

9:37    I think the most important thing that we have done in our market is that we have been running seminars in Norway, for 12 years now. Seminars are very well visited by people, from 250-300 up to 600 people are coming back to us and this is giving us a unique opportunity to marketing, our total concept for the market. And as a standalone thing, I think that seminars have been our most important thing in order to fulfill our wishes on how we could meet the customers’ needs.

10:19   If you are looking at the trends, the technological and development and what is going on in the total media market, the biggest challenge in Norway and maybe also in the rest of Europe is the size of our companies. It’s 85% of the companies in Europe, of 120,000 companies are very, very small companies. It will be very difficult for them tomorrow to invest and to get friends with their bank to invest, it will be difficult for them to invest in new areas and to employ new people with new competences that could fulfill the picture that the customer is expecting from them. I think that’s the main problem.

11:08   I think that we’re still active in print. It might be digital printing, it might be inkjet printing, it might be offset printing, but we will still be a supplier who can also take big part of the paper-based activity in the future. Also, more and more about the distribution of the finished products, but I think that both on the digital side, on the design side, on the campaign side and in the fair area or video and film production, we will grow in these areas and that will be a bigger part in 5 years from now. Niches in the retail industry, as well, and things like that, will be part of our business tomorrow that will be bigger than today.

12:02   I think that if you have a smaller size, you need to be very clever in your niche and you have to be very faithful to your niche and you have to think – technology, competence, product and service in the niche, and try to stay there and be very strong in your area. If you are medium-sized, it’s in fact sometimes a little bit more difficult, because then you need to cover a bigger market, bigger geographical area, and still you need to maybe invest in more equipment, you need to invest in more technique, more competence in order to have a little bit broader scope than you have today. For some companies, that will be very, very difficult to change the organization into a broader scope, so to say. For the bigger companies, I think they have to do the job themselves and find out the way ahead and, of course, we are living in a very turbulent world – the media industry is changing every day – look at the newspapers, look at the magazine industry, everybody is struggling today and tries to find the platform for the new future.