The idea was that we steered clear of
simple, straightforward work, and
instead took on projects that would
help us develop further.
Finnish Turun Sanomat newspaper in 1996.
According to Björkman, Deltamarin has
never made decisions solely for financial
reasons – the objective has always been
to learn something new. As far as future
investments go, a difficult task is better than
an easy one. “We wanted to be innovative.
The idea was that we steered clear of simple,
straightforward work, and instead took on
projects that would help us develop further.”
This decision was quintessential in
Deltamarin’s success, as it motivated the
company to seek work abroad.
In the early days of Deltamarin, Björkman
formed the six-member core of the
company alongside Jukka Laiterä, Kyösti
Herrala, Juhani Kivi, Jaakko Järvinen and
Markku Kanerva, together with a local bank
and repair yard.
In 1990, when it was established,
Deltamarin was the seventh largest
consultancy group in Finland, managed by
Alf Björkman, and employing 143 people in
Raisio. The clientele in Finland was scarce,
and international business was the obvious
way to move to.
“Upon deciding to make our business
international, we thought we would be staying
in Europe,” said Alf Björkman in an interview
in Turun Sanomat in 1990. “But we soon
realised that we couldn’t do that. The United
States, for example, was a growing market.”
This was because the United States Navy
had reduced its orders, so the shipyards had
started competing for commercial orders.
“We develop a ship concept with the
shipowner and then continue working with
the shipyard building the ship when the
shipyard doesn’t have the necessary design
capacity,” said Björkman, describing the
Subcontracting was showing a significant
increase globally. Björkman believed
that Finland had the potential to do well in
subcontracting, because people in Finland
have always known how to build complex
ships, but that success would require inhouse
research and development. At the
time, the company was focusing on concept
development including hydrodynamics,
machinery solutions, structures and weight,
all of which had recently secured them an