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Leadership is a learning process - Kiilto Latvia takes environmental steps hand in hand with customers

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For Karlis Lakstigala, Kiilto represents strong heritage that took root in the Nordics, but continues to branch out internationally. Its people and products nurture growth year after year through sustainable thinking and measurable impact –  from green materials to safety.  

Blog from Karlis Lakstigala 

Thanks to a happy coincidence, I saw a LinkedIn job post for Country Director at Kiilto Latvia just before the Covid outbreak in January 2019. The position matched my industry experience in adhesives technology and my desire to work for a family-owned company with growth potential.

More local, vocal and systematic approach 

To strengthen Kiilto’s brand awareness and position as a construction expert in Latvia we decided to take a more local and vocal approach. In early 2021, we started a podcast with the Latvian Association of Civil Engineers to have different stakeholders join the conversation on construction. Our strategic goal is to not only have more targeted communication, but also engage a wider audience, so that we can enjoy better collaboration between technical universities, government contractors and end consumers. Listeners are encouraged to suggest new topics linked to public and private construction for upcoming episodes. So far, we have discussed opportunities and challenges related to rising prices, renewable resources, Soviet Era building renovation and 3D concrete printing. 

Karlis pictured far left on Episode 3 of the podcast series. 

However, emerging as an environmental expert and trusted partner in Latvia will require a mix of systematic patience, educating and adapting. In terms of sustainability-focused construction projects and purchasing decisions, Latvia still lags behind the EU and even our neighbors, Estonia and Lithuania. This is because the national income level is low, meaning people have to fulfill their basic needs before they can think about topics such as green ingredients and packaging. And that’s okay. We plan to be with our customers every step of the way. Listening to their current problems and offering the next best alternative until the market is ready to pay for eco-friendly products, services and solutions of the future. 

To be an environmental leader in all Kiilto countries, we understand the importance of pointing customers in the right direction. By making their lives easier today, we can establish a lasting relationship defined by two-way communication and incremental progress. 

A part of something bigger 

Having studied in both my home country of Latvia and abroad in Italy, I also share an international mindset with my colleagues at Kiilto. This allows us to tackle problems together whether inside or outside of our regional responsibilities. We share knowledge that helps us solve challenges from the angles of our business, new technology and the customer. Kiilto as an organization places emphasis on learning and development in these areas, so that we have the ability to sense and seize setbacks, define clear steps to overcome them, and work together as a team to achieve our international and local goals. 

As a Country Director, I try to lead by example and inspire with enthusiasm. With a ‘yes we can’ type attitude, I celebrate successes and learn from failures. It seems that failures stick in your memory much longer than wins. From each failure, you learn to exercise your mind to find new ways to ultimately succeed. In the end, I am passionate about my work for international and local communities.