A few words with the author
The journalist and author Ronald Fagerfjäll describes Gränges from its creation in pre-industrial Sweden to its position in today's global market. As a business reporter, he has followed the company throughout his career and can use his own interviews from over 50 years with the company's leaders and employees.
What are your reflections of the big picture when it comes to Gränges' history?
Gränges is a much larger part of the story of Sweden than almost all historical descriptions tell. Would we have been outside the wars without Gränges, for example? What would northern Sweden have been without the LKAB activities? In the history of the Swedish stock exchange, during the years 1907–1956, Gränges was the largest. And of the export giants that was created between 1947 and the industrial crisis in 1977, Erland Waldenström's Gränges was the most sound. The fact that Gränges became a cutting object was due to a Swedish cost crisis when international competition intensified. The Swedish system was simply too rigid after a long period of success. And today's Gränges is actually a fairly typical example of how a part of the business can start a new cycle of growth.
What will be the lessons for the person reading the book?
Companies work in an environment that is constantly evolving and changing. It's like trying to stand still or advance on an escalator moving towards you. The company has to walk to stand still and run to move at all. This is almost impossible to cope with if you do not always have demanding customers and tough competitors who push you. The most dangerous are periods when customers sell everything that comes out quite unpretentiously, such as 1946–1974. The company doctor Ulf af Trolle put it something like this in the early 1970s. "You can not save a company that is doing well!"
On the other hand, companies that have to work hard with all the new requirements keep the flexibility.
Author and journalist Ronald Fagerfjäll.