Bert-Inge Hogsved launched Hogia's customer event days with a look back over the company's history to explain why Hogia enjoys such a strong position today:
I think the most important factor has been our long-term approach. Many ideas that were born in our early years have been central to the company ever since. We embraced a small-scale approach early on. That's why we're now a large group with 27 companies. We're good at delegating individual responsibility. It's satisfying to see how that responsibility makes people grow. Our small-scale approach also makes it easier to adapt to change.
Another of our characteristics is a focus on gender equality. I emphasised early on that if we managed to make the company successful, we should have an equal number of male and female employees. And we have done ever since. This has remained a key idea in our organisation over the years.
Today we have 570 employees. Our employees increase by 25 people a year. The company is completely family owned. The business is self-financed and has no loans. My mother used to say that you should earn money before spending it. We have never let in external players who are only interested in making money grow. The company has not made a loss in 25 years. This stability enables us to take the aggressive approach we have today. We are currently investing strongly in product development.
We have always focused on customers' business with a long-term approach. Our business concept has been the same since the company was founded. It starts with the words "Providing service now and in the future..." We have always based our service on customers' needs and have never tried to bind them to us. We were the first software company in Sweden to invest whole-heartedly in open, standardised solutions.
We have strong confidence in the future. We aim to continue growing and to have 700 employees by 2020. We are currently investing over half a billion SEK in developing our new cloud platform, which is based on components that can each be used in different systems. We have put enormous effort into testing this technology. It allows us to quickly produce new software with relatively little new code. This flexibility and uniformity gives us a very strong position for the future. But it is important to move ahead wisely. We also have our core products, which are reliable, multifunctional programs. The cloud-based products will be linked to our core products to allow a gradual transition between the technologies. Customers can continue using their existing products, but the cloud-based services will give them an improved experience. This transition will take time.
One thing I've learned is that there are no short cuts in this world.