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The Story of Jotun
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A Penguin That Brought Colours To The World The penguin is notoriously known as a tough bird. The penguin can withstand the harshness of weathers and that goes without saying for our products of Jotun as well.
In its early years back in 1920, Odd Gleditsch started off as a paint distributor in Sandefjord, Norway. Not long, he became the leading supplier of paint for whaling fleets all across Norway. This then prompted him into starting up and manufacturing his very own paint.
On 12th March 1926, Gleditsch invited shareholders to subscribe to the new company. With a share capital of NOK 60 000, Jotun Kemiske Fabrik A/S was founded, with Odd Gleditsch sr. as managing director.
Odd Gleditsch had an idea that having the penguin as his logo was a perfect choice as he saw it as a match made in heaven because the penguin too is tough, sturdy and a naturally beautiful creature.
As business grew, Gleditsch bought the patent rights to Arcanol, which is an innovation in protective marine coatings. This grey-coloured red lead had particularly good rust-inhibiting properties and became Jotun's first major success in manufacturing paint.
The penguin then spread it wings beyond the borders of Norway. Globalisation began with the establishment of a factory in Libya and this enhanced the development and Jotun’s reputation as a major paints manufacturer in the Middle East and South East Asia.
With an eye for quality, Jotun became the very best in the paint business. The modernisation of the plant and looking into the future of paint, the overall quality improved which in return lead to an increase in awareness, sales and distribution of Jotun across the seven seas.
Today Jotun has 65 companies in 45 countries worldwide, represented in over 100 countries, it has grown from its once humble beginning as a paint distributor to a megabrand.
"If I have a secret weapon, it is my ability to find able employees and to listen, and listen carefully, to their thoughts, suggestions and ideas," said Odd Gleditsch. Many people would say that it was this very way of thinking that created the able employees to make Jotun the world known company it is today.