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Getting the best out of your city


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For CEO Fredric Kastevik, setting up Järfälla VA- & Byggentreprenad AB (JVAB) to accomomdate close partnerships with its clients has been key to the success it has seen in the city. “In our industry most business interactions are long-term, and the more suited you are to partnerships the more you tend to retain clients. That’s something we’ve been working on in every aspect of our company’s approach.”

For Mr. Kastevik, it all starts with what JVAB leaves behind: “The foundation of all our client relationships is their satisfaction. What I like about this industry, is that you can finish a road or a park project and it will stand there forever. You can show it to your children. This is the way we set our standards. Especially in infrastructure, the legacy of our work is really what recommends us to prospective clients more than any marketing we could do.”

Yet, it is not just what has been done, but the consistency of method, that has allowed the firm to build up significant partnerships: “Stockholm Vatten is our biggest customer and we have been working together for 25 years, our partnerships with them and other clients have allowed us to put down roots and given us the sense of stability we needed to be able to expand.”

Lasting partnerships with the city’s major infrastructural providers has provided the impetus for large growth, explains Mr. Kastevik: “The company was founded in 1985 by my father. It was small and mainly dealt with sewer and water projects. I actually worked for a competitor during those years, and took over the management of the company in 2014. My role was to use the impetus from those long-term partnerships, and our great reputation, and plan a new phase.”

My role was to use the impetus from our long term partnerships, and our great reputation, and plan a new phase. Fredric KastevikCEO

Since taking over, Mr. Kastevik has overseen a doubling in revenues, to over 75 million EUR in 2019: “We are working on bigger projects now. We have 50 to 60 projects around Stockholm every year, are very good at infrastructure projects, building roads, water and sewage and pipes. Our reputation has allowed us to expand smoothly into these areas, as our clients trust us.”

Despite the expansion, and the company now consisting of 150 employees, Mr. Kastevik still sees JVAB as a family company, and is keen to stress the importance of that value: “From a purely business perspective, our short decision making processes are rare for such a large firm, because we maintain a family ownership structure. This makes us flexible to the customer’s needs. It keeps that entrepreneurial agility that is always needed, especially when competing for tenders in a large city like Stockholm.”

For the CEO, this business structure also contributes to the ability of the firm to generate long term partnerships, as clients know decision makers personally and may work with them over multiple projects. “Our reputation for longevity, our value-driven approach and our family ownership style are the ways we distinguish our business model in the market,” summarises the CEO, “but I wouldn’t say that our company is ‘complete’. There is always more to be done to create the best market offering, so we are always listening to our clients for ways we can work with them better.”

For Mr. Kastevik, this has been a drive to become a more climate-conscious civil engineering company: “JVAB has long worked to reduce fossil carbon emissions from our machines. JVAB’s own excavators were operated during 2018 using 47% renewable fuel. We have also installed electric car chargers at our head office. This is something our clients really value, and it’s our way of moving forward and continuing to offer the best service on the market. 90% of our clientele are public institutions, who are accountable to the people. In Stockholm, climate-awareness is very high, so the more we can build sustainably, the more we can be preferred by our partners in the city.”

“In a competitive city such as Stockholm, setting up your firm to accommodate close partnerships is key,” concludes the CEO, “we have set JVAB up to do that through our legacy mentality, value driven approach, agility and willingness to continually update our ways of doing things to accommodate the changing needs of our clients.”

By building JVAB around these four pillars, Mr. Kastevik has seen significant consolidation of their market-leading position in the Stockholm civil engineering market.