The Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in New Europe

Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

This original selection of case studies from eight new EU member countries looks at the ability of entrepreneurs to develop innovative and successful firms in an environment of turbulent social and economic change.
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Chapter 6: Our Future Looks Even More Promising! The Case of Libra Holding in Lithuania

Ruta Aidis


Ruta Aidis 6.1 INTRODUCTION I arrive on time at the Holiday Inn in Vilnius for my meeting with Tomas Juska, CEO of Libra Holding, the largest wood-processing company in ˇ Lithuania. He is already waiting for me, a bluetooth in his ear and tapping away on his laptop. At 38 years of age, Tomas’s entrepreneurial experiences illustrate a new breed of entrepreneurs in Lithuania, those who grew up under Soviet control but were well positioned to pursue the opportunities that developed during the initial stages of independent Lithuania’s emerging market economy. A number of successful high-tech companies have developed in the posttransitional environment in Lithuania. As in other formerly centrallyplanned economies, the legacy of high investments in human capital, especially in the fields of science and engineering, have provided fertile ground for successful companies such as Fermentas and Sicor Biotech to take root and flourish in Lithuania. These types of firms tend to be synonymous with innovation. However, this case study chooses to focus on another type of innovation that embodies the essence of entrepreneurial opportunities as they develop in chaotic ‘anything goes’ transitional environments where even young, inexperienced college students can set up a successful international manufacturing company in a matter of years. The Libra Holding case also highlights the fact that other areas of innovation can be as important as product development. The company’s philosophy and strong leadership provide crucial support for business success and excellence. This chapter is structured as follows. Section 6.2 provides a brief background description...

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