In 1993, four young entrepreneurs from Latvia founded a business with the intention to provide local retailers with new and upcoming IT products. In the two decades that followed, ELKO Group has experienced a dynamic evolution, expanding into nine countries and reaching a turnover of more than US$1 billion.

Based in the Latvian city of Riga, ELKO Group represents over 90 IT vendors, selling their goods to thousands of retailers, resellers, system integrators and other channel partners across the region. Furthermore, it offers 20,000 product titles from famous suppliers such as Lenovo, Intel, Seagate, Western Digital, and Acer.

CEO Svens Dinsdorfs joined ELKO Group in 2006 as finance director before being appointed to the top spot at the beginning of this year. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the business and takes an active role in various development projects.

Sven previously worked in the finance area for the Latvian national airline airBaltic as well as the cosmetic and pharmaceutical product distributor Sirowa Group before making the transition into the field of IT. Svens says he garners respect from his staff at ELKO Group by taking risks and keeping lines of communication open. He regularly goes through business-related topics with his middle management team before starting up discussions and encouraging everyone to share their thoughts. “"I expect my employees to cooperate and come back with feedback. I want them to tell me if a particular initiative is wrong; if there is no potential, if there is potential, or if we should do it in a different way. I find my role is to initiate certain topics and things we need to do, then I expect my employees to give proper feedback."

The full interview with Svens Dinsdorfs is featured in the July edition of The CEO Magazine.