100-year anniversary

1919 - 2019

On 17 May 2019, Solar turned 100 years.

We marked this special occasion by publishing an article on the 17th of each month of the anniversary year, marking different events in our history. 

Enjoy reading our story!

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The business adventure begins

Chapter 1 - 1912-1919:
An ambitious entrepreneur moves to Kolding
At 21, Jacob Jørgensen moves to Kolding in February 1912 to become an independent merchant. He is determined, has seen the potentially huge market for metres, and aims to become a Nordic importer of semi-manufactured metre parts from the English company Solar Works.

Read chapter 1

Nordisk Solar Compagni

Chapter 2 - 1919-1925:
Financially strong and visionary businessmen establish a new company in Kolding
Jacob Jørgensen is not in doubt about his role. He continually wants to run a business and invest in becoming a significant value-creating player in the changeable electrical trade. He is aware that it will require more operational and working capital to accommodate the wider group of customers with a wider assortment of products, and he is determined to find a financial partner.

Read chapter 2

Audiola Radio

Chapter 3 - 1925-1930:
Danish radio production established in Kolding
With a keen interest, Jacob Jørgensen observes how the people's interest in radio reception has increased since the first tests in 1923. When several radio stations like the British BBC are established, the visionary merchant has no doubt that broadcasting is going to become a mass media. Jacob Jørgensen is sure that the radio quickly will become widespread and a common household item, just like electricity. 

Read chapter 3

The Solar lamp

Chapter 4 - 1931-1946:
Danish capital secures Danish jobs
In 1931, co-founder and majority shareholder in Aktieselskabet Nordisk Solar Compagni Jacob Jørgensen is known as one of Kolding’s most entrepreneurial businessmen. Despite the scarcity during the post-war years and the restrictions during the 1920s, he managed to develop the company from selling electric metres into a significant and acknowledged wholesaler of electrical articles and radios to electrical contractors as well as power and utility plants.

Read chapter 4

More than radio production

Chapter 5 - 1942-1962:

Audiola becomes a conglomerate

At Audiola in Kolding, they want more than just to produce radios and gramophones. The company which is a subsidiary of Nordisk Solar Compagni, is on the hunt for new business territories.

Read chapter 5

Lights for the entire kingdom

Chapter 6 - 1949-1998:
Audiola focus on electrical equipment and lighting
After more than 30 years of radio production, Audiola decides to phase out their production of radios and gramophones. The company shuts down the production in the 50s and is determined to adjust their business area to development and production of electrical equipment and lighting. 

Read chapter 6

A generational shift is closing in

Chapter 7: 1961-1980
The founder of Nordisk Solar, Jacob Jørgensen, is appointing several directors and lines up the next generation.
The entrepreneurial managing director, Jacob Jørgensen, is known and respected by the Danish business community for being a merchant, manufacturer, shipping company owner, developer and property owner. 

Read chapter 7

The digital age is born

Chapter 8 - 1978-1989
Products, knowledge and solutions for trade and industry
Solar, Denmark’s biggest electrical wholesaler, listens to the tuning fork of the time and with investments and competence boost, they set the pace of a new agenda in the Danish electrical industry.

Read chapter 8

Expanding through Europe

Chapter 9 - 1989-2004
Solar brings out the big wallet
The company taps into their cash pile, as they make their first foreign acquisition in Sweden. This sets off the expected expansion abroad, which the group has been preparing for since the establishment of the subsidiary Solar International A/S in October 1987.

Read chapter 9

Consolidation and efficiency

Chapter 10 - 2005-2014:
After a range of acquisitions, Solar focus on efficiency above all
Back in 2006, after almost two decades of fast paced growth, both organically and via acquisitions, Solar intensifies its focus on business consolidation, with Flemming H. Tomdrup, newly appointed CEO in front. Solar has developed into a significant international wholesaler in the Northern European market.

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A transformation

Chapter 11 - 2014-2017
Solar transforms into a digital sourcing and services company
Appointing a new CEO in 2014 entails a significant change of strategy as well as a new identity for Solar. When Anders Wilhjelm is appointed as new CEO, Solar goes from being a product-oriented company to focusing much more on services.

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Solar focuses on the core business and concept sales

Chapter 12: 2017 - today
In 2017, the Danish Country Manager is appointed CEO, which means an increased focus on the core business and concept sales.
When hiring Jens Andersen as new CEO in 2017, Solar increases its focus on the core business. Three strategic focus areas are singled out and they should support the financial targets going towards 2020. The focus areas are Strategic suppliers, Industry focus and Operational excellence.

Read chapter 12