Last week was all about the ocean, and Vidar Rabben, CEO in Fjord Maritime was among the speakers at the One Ocean Conference. Since they were founded in 2016, he and his team have experienced a speedy growth. Their goal is no less than to be driving the green evolution, and it looks like they are on the right track.

Starting with high ambitions

Vidar Rabben explain that they set a bold goal from the start.

Fjord Maritime has since its inception, had an ambitious commitment to lead the green shift in aquaculture industry, through offering cost efficient and sustainable energy measures.

He explains that the founders of the company also had a clear strategy to build a company that could stand (or float) on its own, and “own” the end customers throughout the entire life cycle of our services.

The goal was to quickly transition from the “startup phase” into commercial operation, Rabben says. 

Photo: Vidar Rabben at One Ocean Conference. Credit: One Ocean Conference.

Speedy success based on seven factors

Since the company was founded in 2016 by Vidar Rabben, Øyvind Bakke and Stig Kalvenes, they have become the largest supplier of hybrid solutions to fish farmers, not only nationally, but worldwide. What’s the recipe for this success?

Vidar Rabben points to seven factors: timing, cost-effective solutions, commercialisation, specialization/ownership, service, scale up/standardization and sustainability. He elaborates.

First of all, the timing was crucial. Fjord Maritime has developed as strong position with a world-leading knowledge database and operating expertise through strategic and hard work, which will be helpful in the scaling phase we are currently in.

His second point is about cost-effective solutions, and he says that all of their solutions are based on the foundation that the investments pay for themselves through reduced operating costs.

The third aspect is commercialisation. Fjord Maritime uses a lot of time engaging in active sales activities, as well as building and maintaining trust by keeping our promises and meeting expectations of both our customers and others.  

A competent team to tacle scaling and sustainability

I also want to mention a competent team as the fourth factor, which is a combination of specialization and ownership.

Rabben addresses the importance of having the right team, the correct resources to fill the roles in the company.

Having a common DNA where ownership, open communication, quality, and the ability to execute our goals are important criteria for success.

Taking an active position in customer cooperation, where we recognize our role as a specialist, will increase the value for our customers. We also have succeeded in using our experiences and knowledge from each project to improve, he says.

The fifth point is based on service, and our services are based on smart technology that offers us the possibility to support and develop them in real time 24/7. With “high end” technology installed at different locations, it is important that we know the status on our operations and can work proactive to adapt and make adjustments to secure stabile and sustainable energy to our customers production.

Rabben also highlights the significance of scaling and standardization.

Fjord Maritime owns design and the software, and we have worked hard to make a system package that covers over 95% of the installations. This promotes ability to scale, correct cost level and quality, simplified installation and delivery.

Last but not least, is the importance of sustainability.

We offer services and solutions that can significantly improve the industry’s climate footprint. In addition, all deliverances can document actual savings.

Advice for other startups

What advice do you have for other startups that wants to establish their company in the industry? Rabben have many:

  • Spend time with customers to understand their needs and challenges in everyday life.
  • Don’t rush the insight phase, where you document what you and your company can contribute with.
  • Put in place a simple and understandable “elevator pitch”.
  • Get a pilot and reference project in place as early as possible.
  • Consider large and commercial operations as early as possible.
  • Create an organization that grows with you (there is no space for error due to lack of resources/time).
  • Build a “creative” culture around you, where everyone take ownership of their roles”.
  • Make use of the good network found in, for example, NCE Seafood Innovation, Innovasjon Norge and other clusters.

With those in mind, maybe you and your idea can join in on driving the green transition in the seafood industry?

Vidar Rabben, CEO, Fjord Maritime

“Don’t rush the insight phase, where you document what you and your company can contribute with”.