There is an enormous inherent talent and drive within Indutrade and in all of the skilled employees, and that’s where you will find the source of our future success.

Patric Österlund

MD Colly Filtreringsteknik AB
Annual sales MSEK
Number of employees

Trusting people is a part of our culture

For almost 20 years, Patric Österlund has been working within the Indutrade Group and is currently the Managing Director of Colly Filtreringsteknik AB, a Board member of six other Indutrade companies, and a Business Unit Manager in Industrial Components, one of Indutrade’s eight business areas. Patric is an excellent example of Indutrade’s strong belief that people make the difference, and this is also something he applies in the companies in which he operates.

“My objective is to help other people succeed. And to achieve that, you really need to listen and try to understand other people. You need to be saying ‘yes’ more than ‘no’, trusting that people will do the right things. It’s all about a tolerant leadership based on trust. I want my employees to be able to come to me and tell me about a problem and at the same time, suggest a solution. My role as MD or chairman, is not to give orders, but to make my colleagues grow, develop and trust their own abilities,” says Patric.

Extensive decentralisation

“In my opinion, it’s precisely our trust in people and their abilities that is the common denominator for all Indutrade’s companies. Our governance is based on decentralisation. Hence, we need to trust the employee’s ability to do what’s right. That’s why it is so important that the companies we acquire, have the same values about people and leadership that we do. We only acquire profitable, stable companies with a similar culture as ours. After the acquisition, the company can continue to operate as before, with the same name, logo, etc. We are not looking for mergers and seemingly potential synergies. Our acquisition model is tried-and-tested, successful and probably quite unique,” explains Patric.

In my opinion, it’s precisely our trust in people and their abilities that is the common denominator for all Indutrade’s companies

Benefits for the companies

If companies are going to run their businesses as before, one might wonder why they should be a part of Indutrade. As Patric explains, there are a number of reasons.

“Normally, the companies we acquire are run by the entrepreneurs who also founded the company, and it can often be associated with succession planning. Indutrade also offers the possibility to continue operate the business under more solid forms, not least financially. A stable owner with a strong financial position can also bring advantages in a company’s relationships with its customers and suppliers, along with facilitating opportunities for investment and expansion,” he says.

“When a company becomes part of Indutrade, it also gets a professional board, which many companies have not had before. The chairman will serve as both mentor and advisor, with access to a wide network of extensive competence and expertise from the Group. For example, the chairman can suggest who to turn to within the Group for all types of matters, making the need for external consultants minimal,” explains Patric.

“This knowledge bank is something we should be using even more, and an internal communication platform was recently launched at Group level, providing us with access to our gathered expertise on various topics. Communications and networking within the Group are extensive and valuable, with everyone heartily sharing their experiences. I frequently discuss opportunities and challenges with my Group colleagues, providing each other with advice and guidance. Even though the knowledge sharing is something that I think we could develop and use even further, I’d like to emphasise that no one is forced into it. It is entirely up to each individual MD to decide how much advice or guidance he or she seeks from the colleagues within the Group,” explains Patric.

Personal development

“For those who would like to, there are excellent opportunities for personal development. I started as a sales manager at Colly Filtreringsteknik almost 20 years ago. I advanced to Division Manager and then to my current position as Managing Director. For the last 6-7 years, I have also been serving on the Board at several Indutrade companies. I am currently Chairman for four companies, and Director for an additional two. I also have the privilege of working with acquisitions for the Industrial Components business area. So, there are great opportunities for development, for those who want, at many levels. We have good examples within the Colly companies where employees who started to work in the warehouse and learnt our products well, advanced and are now working with in-house sales. We also have sales representatives who have advanced to team leaders, with both managerial and budget responsibilities.

There is an enormous inherent talent and drive within Indutrade and in all of the skilled employees, and that’s where you will find the source of our future success,” concludes Patric.

Patric Österlund

MD Colly Filtreringsteknik AB

Hear it from our entrepreneurs

To get the best understanding of how we work and what it means to be a part of Indutrade, you can read these stories of some of the entrepreneurs who have sold their companies to us. What did the acquisition mean for them and how do they perceive Indutrade as an owner?