At the World Entrepreneur of the Year (WEOY) event in Monaco, EY awarded the company Vivapen from Celje the Family Business Award of Excellence for the best family practices and family enterprises. The family enterprise that produces colourful pens is the leading manufacturer of ink pens, rollers and inks in Europe.
The CEO of Vivapen, Petra Melanšek, accompanied the award with the following words: “This award is another confirmation that we are doing something right for the last 52 years and that these endeavours are not being overlooked. Even as a craftsman, my father had a vision and always set high goals. But despite that, he kept his values and transferred them to the family and the staff. Of course, this success would not be possible without our excellent co-workers, and our long-time and trustworthy business partners.”
Recent breakthrough to a vast Chinese market
The company enterprise, which was established in the 1970s by Jože and Vanda Melanšek, and which has been led by their daughter Petra since 2007, produces colourful pens, such as fountain pens, rollers, ink erasers and fibre pens, ink feeding systems, inks, ink inserts, and school and stationery equipment. They are working with various top-notch pen producers, such as Faber Castell. Because of the projects which were developed in cooperation with them, Vivapen has managed to make the transition from producer of school pens to premium pens.
The company realises 99% of all income on foreign markets. They mostly export to Germany and other EU states, the USA, South America, Taiwan, etc. At the beginning of 2019, the company made a breakthrough to the massive market of China. The credit for this goes to Petra’s son Luka, who, in addition to her nephew Tomaž, is now the third generation of the Melanšek family to dedicate their lives to pens.
At Vivapen, they are committed to constant progress, which is reflected in constant improvements of existing products and technologies, and the implementation of new ones. Their list of awards and recognitions for innovation products is getting longer by the year. In their work, they combine expert knowledge even from physics, chemistry and engineering. The path to a higher added value, which is their goal, leads them also through automated and robotised production, with which they have been working intensively for the last two years.
Criteria for the selection of a representative from Slovenia
This year’s representative of Slovenia the company Vivapen has been selected by an independent jury, consisting of prof. dr. Boštjan Antončič, head of the Academic Unit for Entrepreneurship at the School of Economics and Business at the Ljubljana University, mag. Edita Krajnović, CEO of Mediade, and chairman of the committee Mr Matjaž Čadež, founder of the companies Halcom and MBILLS.
Vivapen has been chosen by the committee based on eight excellence criteria: “The company is distinguished by its internationality and entrepreneurship, the focus on a narrow market niche, the integration of the third generation into the company, the transfer to products with higher added value and the values that are the basis of their long-term success,” said the members of the committee in the grounds of the election.
Slovenes proud to be a match to international family businesses
The international company EY awarded the excellence awards to a Slovenian family enterprise for the now fourth year in a row. Last year, it was given to Lumar IG, and to KLS Ljubno and Roto before that.
“The traditional WEOY event inspires us every year, as it hosts successful entrepreneurs from the entire world. As part of the conferring of family enterprise awards to Slovenia for what is now the fourth time, we are getting to know that family enterprises around the world are innovative, responsible and sustainable. We are happy that Slovenian family enterprises are able to be as successful as any other national and international family enterprise, and we are proving every year that we are able to compete with them” says Mojca Emeršič, Head of family business services of EY Slovenia.
EY has been actively dealing with family enterprises by bringing good news stories and setting good examples of Slovenian family enterprises. In the autumn, we are planning to publish the sixth book “Family Business in Slovenia”, which will represent ten new and prosperous family enterprises.
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