On the road to strong growth

Heikki Hiltunen, CEO, iLOQ

Growth in all areas in 2021

iLOQ has continued its strong growth, even in these globally challenging times. The company achieved growth in all areas – from meeting ambitious revenue targets to expanding our global reach and increasing our headcount. iLOQ has grown to become a major international leader in wireless digital access management solutions. iLOQ’s revenue exceeded €100 million for the first time in 2021, with operations on all continents. During 2021, 55 new employees joined iLOQ.

Our continued success has been driven by a solid strategy of profitable growth and its implementation despite the pandemic. In 2020, in difficult and uncertain circumstances, we were able to deliver on our strategy without compromising our objectives. This enabled iLOQ to continue on its successful path in 2021. In addition, timely anticipation of and response to global logistical challenges and availability constraints for raw materials and certain electronic components enabled us to deliver quickly to our customers and thus to continue our strong profitable growth in 2021.

We have never wanted to be a lock and key company. We see ourselves as a high-tech growth company that is ushering in the digital era in access management.”

Reputation as a driver for growth

Building awareness and reputation has been an important part of our growth story. While great new references and successful client projects work as the best possible tools for convincing new customers, awareness and perception of the brand and company are the factors that help us get in through the door to tell our story. Our partnership with F1 world champion Kimi Räikkönen has given us the kind of exposure and international credibility and visibility that we could not have achieved without him.

Of course, the anticipated approximate 23% growth of the digital access management market as a whole (from 2019 to 2023) has also been a driver for the growth of iLOQ. We have actively pushed to be ahead of that curve and continue to be a proud disruptor in the field of locks and keys, whether mechanical or electronic. However, we have never wanted to be perceived as a traditional lock and key company. We see ourselves as a high-tech growth company that is ushering in the digital era in access management.

We are now able to deliver user experiences and benefits that the traditional lock and key will never be able to match.”

Megatrends support our vision

We have always been a born digital company. The trends we see emerging into the forefront of global business are things that we see favoring the inevitable shift from mechanical locks and keys to digital access management. One of those big trends, the rise of SaaS (software as a service) solutions over physical products, is something that has been at the core of iLOQ’s business from the very beginning. Our business has been built on cloud-based digital solutions since 2006.

We expect to see the shift from physical keys to using mobile devices for access to continue and escalate. We are already seeing this in our business and welcome the new era of keyless digital access management. These new digital platforms are also helping expand the role of access management in peoples’ lives. Through software development and 3rd-party integration opportunities, we are now able to deliver user experiences and benefits that the traditional lock and key will never be able to match. With the launch of our iLOQ HOME app, we are putting the user in control and making a mobile device the key to smarter living.

This ties in with one more trend stemming from the digital transformation the world is undergoing. This is the growth in popularity of subscription-based services. Just as the blockbusters of the world made way for Netflix, we see the concept of Access as a Service being the future of access management and the way it is bought and consumed.

Sustainability goals and objectives are an integrated part of our company strategy and business operations.”

Integrating sustainability into strategy

In the past year, a lot of work has gone into iLOQ’s sustainability and corporate responsibility strategy and roadmap. Sustainability is not a discussion happening on the side table these days; it is taking center stage in many conversations. For us, it has meant that sustainability goals and objectives are an integrated part of our company strategy and business operations. These are things that need to be addressed in order to be successful in the future.

Sustainability requirements are included in our Code of Conduct and sustainability gates and roadblocks ensure that these factors are actively considered in our R&D and innovation processes. We are also setting the bar high for all partners in our value chain. We will be requiring all partners to sign and commit to our updated Code of Conduct. At the same time, we have developed, in co-operation with Snowfox, a digital tool that will help us monitor and report emissions data from our suppliers in real time. This is yet again one more way innovation and digitalization help iLOQ to lead the way.

Crossing all borders

Growth means expanding outwards and opening doors to new markets. The past financial year has seen us starting operations in the UK and the UAE, with the Poland office to also open soon. In this time of pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions we have been able to utilize our digital tools and capabilities to do much of this without ever meeting face to face. We anticipate this growth and expansion to continue in the future with activities towards the North American and Asia Pacific markets already planned for the 2022 financial year.

We are also seeing our client relationships growing to become multinational co-operations. We have already adopted a Global Key Account Model for use with customers in the telecom industry worldwide. We are seeing the implications that suggest this model may become prevalent in other industry segments, including the residential segment, in the not-so-distant future.

The future is ours

Our people, the foundation on which this company is built, are as committed as ever. This can be seen in the results of our employee satisfaction study, where the employee NPS was a staggering 51. This shows exactly what type of spirit we have within iLOQ. This has meant that when many speak of challenges in attracting talent, iLOQ has been able to bring talented and motivated personnel into the mix. We have been very successful in on-boarding new people using our digital tools and new ways of working.

It is no secret that, to achieve the success we have had in recent years, we have expected a lot from our employees. We are where we are because of our culture of high ambition and high performance. Teamwork and dedication to a shared goal has carried us through even these tough years. Because of the value we recognize in our staff and partners, we want to continue to look after their well-being and motivation. We stay in regular contact and stress the importance of internal communications. And we are astonished by how our people continue to exceed all expectations time after time.

In 2021, an internal activation we called the 100 million race brought the troops together to work towards a common goal. Staff and partners committed to reaching a set of strategic goals that would enable us to grow to 100 million euros in sales. We were lucky enough to be able to bring together all our staff in Leverkusen, Germany to celebrate the finish line of this internal campaign, and for many to meet colleagues for the first time in person. After all this solitude, this event was the most moving employee engagement I have ever been a part of. I was proud to see how high spirts were, while still acting responsibly. It was the most well-deserved break from remote work and online meetings. Going into 2022 with this group of people promises great things for the future.

Our strategy provides us with a clear roadmap for the future in terms of factors related to business, finance, corporate responsibility and sustainability. With the continued support and commitment of our shareholders, management, staff and partners, I foresee a successful new financial year ahead.