Nikari: Scandinavian clarity a source of interest to customers from all over the world

Tekes 2.5.2017 12.05 | Published in English on 10.5.2017 at 8.07
Press release

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Nikari Oy makes solid-wood design furniture primarily for public spaces. Nikari’s customers include the extension to the Tate Modern Museum in London, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg as well as several embassies. Just in a few years, the company has multiplied its exports. Tekes has helped with boosting exports.

Some of Nikari's first partners in the 1960s and 1970s included architect Alvar Aalto and professor of design Kaj Franck. The basic idea from the very start was to combine Finnish handicrafts with modern design.

International trade fairs to boost exports

Nikari was a prominent name at the Salone del Mobile fair in Milan in April 2017.

"We got hundreds, if not thousands, of contacts in Milan. Good new agents and retailers as well as numerous queries from potential customers from around the world. Even direct orders. We were also very flattered by the fact that the management of this event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, specifically chose us to do the interior design of their own "GREEN" VIP lounge. All the other companies taking part in the project were Italian," explains Johanna Vuorio, CEO, Nikari.

"As a financial reward, the Trade Fair grant is relatively modest, but without it we wouldn't have been even able to start our internationalisation work. We hope to keep receiving it in the future – it is one of the most effective forms of support in our field."

For Nikari, internationalisation started in 2012 on the Swedish market.

"With the support of Tekes, we ran an internationalisation project on the Swedish market. Sweden is now our biggest export market, so the project was very beneficial. The turnover of our company has doubled in the course of this period of internationalisation, and we have been able to hire more employees," summarises Vuorio.

In Sweden, the design and clothing industries are major employers, with impressive export figures. According to Vuorio, Finland can grow in the same areas.

"It is important to get competent, skilled people for this sector and that Finland can invest in the development and internationalisation of the sector like Sweden has done in recent years. Finland can easily grow stronger if the will to do so is there. At the moment, customers from all over the world seem to have a strong interest in Scandinavian clarity and purity."

For further information, please contact

Johanna Vuorio, CEO
johanna.vuorio (at)

Interview: Eero Lukin

Team Finland Tekes